Don’t let the plywood fool you—we are very much open during renovations!

Boarded_up_Best_Video_WebWe’re looking pretty inside–ask anyone who was at last week’s show by James Velvet and the Lonesome Sparrows–but for the next few weeks the front of the store will be boarded-up like a condemned property. But appearances are deceiving. In fact, the facade is being renovated and will be much more attractive when the renovation is completed. In the meantime, we are open for business, as usual.

The only possible inconvenience is that customers may not have access to a store drop box and will have to return rentals when the store (or the Coffee Bar, which opens at 6:30 AM) is open.

Music: Art rock by Floating Lanterns Wed., Apr. 23, at 8 PM

Art rock group Floating Lanterns play the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Apr. 23. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Floating_Lanterns_Outer_Space

Searching for answers through art. The compositions are influenced by the experimental and truth seeking nature of the ’60s, and ’70s, with the ideals of a once promised, hopeful future. Floating Lanterns was born in a bleak world during uncertain times. Art and melancholy under darkening skies.

Players are Jeff Cedrone (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Jackson LaRose (bass, vocals), Neil McCarthy(alto saxophone, effects), John C. Miller (synthesizers, electronics) and Joe Mignosa (drums). For more info check out their Facebook page.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Apr. 23. ART ROCK: FLOATING LANTERNS

• Wednesday, Apr. 30. AVANT-GARDE SOLO BASS VIRTUOSITY: JACK VEES • Wednesday, May 7. ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Thursdasy, May 8. IMPROVISATION: FUCHSPRELLEN

• Wednesday, May 14. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Thursday, May 15. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: FRANK CRITELLI, MARK MIRANDO

• Wednesday, May 21. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Thursday, May 22. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: ILANA ZSIGMOND, SABRINA TRUEHEART

• Wednesday, May 28. POP: MISSION ZERO

• Thursday, May 29. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: SAM PERDUTA, JASON PRINCE

• Thursday, June 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, June 18. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

Upcoming Best Video Performance Space shows

Now that the new room is ready to go, we are starting to fill up the schedule for the spring.

new_Performance_Space_Web

Here are the shows currently booked:

• Thursday, Apr. 17. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Wednesday, Apr. 23. ART ROCK: FLOATING LANTERNS

• Wednesday, Apr. 30. AVANT-GARDE SOLO BASS VIRTUOSITY: JACK VEES • Wednesday, May 7. ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Thursdasy, May 8. IMPROVISATION: FUCHSPRELLEN

• Wednesday, May 14. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Thursday, May 15. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: FRANK CRITELLI, MARK MIRANDO

• Wednesday, May 21. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Thursday, May 22. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: ILANA ZSIGMOND, SABRINA TRUEHEART

• Wednesday, May 28. POP: MISSION ZERO

• Thursday, May 29. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: SAM PERDUTA, JASON PRINCE

• Thursday, June 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

Music: James Velvet and the Lonesome Sparrows on Thurs., Apr. 17, at 8 PM

If all goes according to plan—and why shouldn’t it?—James Velvet and the Lonesome Sparrows will inaugurate the new Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Apr. 17. The cover is $5 and the music starts at 8 PM.

the_lonesome_sparrows_Web

Original acoustic rootsy rock ‘n’ roll. Songwriter extraordinaire James Velvet fronts the Lonesome Sparrows. The band includes Johnny Memphis on guitar, fiddle and harmony vocals. Memphis and Velvet have been playing together since 1985. Memphis is also a long-standing member of Washboard Slim and The Blue Lights. Velvet and Memphis are joined on dobro, mandolin and banjo by DickNeal, well-known in Southern CT for his bluegrass band, Hoe. Johnny Java plays electric bass and percussion.

Johnny Java and James Velvet played original roots R&R in The MockingBirds for a dozen years (buttressed for many of those years by DickNeal’s guitar playing). The Sparrows are happiest at Coffee House/Gallery concerts (Never Ending Bookstore, John Slade Ely House, The Buttonwood Tree, Best Video Performance Space) or, in the warm weather, at  CT’s  many tasty Farm Markets. In April, 2010, the group released their 13-track CD Black Velvet Royalty.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Thursday, Apr. 17. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Wednesday, Apr. 23. ART ROCK: FLOATING LANTERNS

• Wednesday, Apr. 30. AVANT-GARDE SOLO BASS VIRTUOISITY: JACK VEES

• Wednesday, May 7. ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Thursdasy, May 8. IMPROVISATION: FUCHSPRELLEN

• Wednesday, May 14. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Thursday, May 15. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: FRANK CRITELLI, MARK MIRANDO

• Wednesday, May 21. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Thursday, May 22. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: ILANA ZSIGMOND, SABRINA TRUEHEART

• Wednesday, May 28. POP: MISSION ZERO

• Thursday, May 30. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: SAM PERDUTA, JAY PRINCE

• Thursday, June 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

 

 

 

Best Video profiled in New Haven Living magazine

Renowned theater critic and journalist about town Christopher Arnott recently wrote about Best Video for New Haven Living magazine.

Here’s a brief excerpt:

Nearly 30 years after it rewound its first rental, Best’s stock is just as impressive, its mission just as noble, its community just as strong. But its image has changed from being like “Clerks” or “Be Kind Rewind” to “The Last Picture Show” or “The Land That Time Forgot.” Customers don’t just marvel at how great a place it is. They’re awestruck that it still exists in today’s world of instant streaming and short online attention spans.

Read the whole thing—check out what Chris had to say here. (And enjoy the clever graphic made with Best Vid staff recommendation stickers!)

New Coffee Bar up and running

Getting the room cleared out for the Performance Space to resume shows is proceeding slower than we hoped. But the Coffee Bar is relocated and serving that great Willoughby’s brew, along with fine beers and wine.

Barista Kate Taussig gives a thumbs-up for the new Coffee Bar set-up.

Barista Kate Taussig gives a thumbs-up for the new Coffee Bar set-up.

We think artist/Coffee Bar manager Graham Honaker and barista Brian Johnson did a great job building the new coffee bar. They used planks from former cabinets for displaying videos for the counter facade and Graham made the countertop much as he makes his paintings/collages—putting down a layer of vintage magazine pages and coating it with clear epoxy resin.

Hand-built countertop made by Coffee Bar manager and artist Graham Honaker and barista Brian Johnson.

Hand-built counter-top made by Coffee Bar manager and artist Graham Honaker and barista Brian Johnson.

We lost a few days’ revenue in making the move so if you want to help out, come on down and get a great cappuccino or a glass of wine and check out our progress in making the new Best Video!

Rob Harmon’s Picks 04/01/14

Rob_Harmon_image_for_picksROB HARMON’S PICKS 4/1/14

Join us as we search this week for… Buried Treasure at Best Video!

Experiment in Terror (dir. Blake Edwards, 1962)

If you are in the mood this week for a nifty, classic thriller with tinges of noir, one sufficiently overlooked as to be – well – criminal, than my recommendation is to look in the Blake Edwards section of Best Video. “What?!” you are probably thinking. “You mean the same director responsible for such comedy classics as THE PINK PANTHER, A SHOT IN THE DARK, THE PARTY, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S and 10?” Could this be an April Fool’s joke or some indication of the confusion going on during Best Video’s current renovations? Not in the least.

EXPERIMENT IN TERROR opens with beautiful black-and-white night-time views of San Francisco, as frequent Edwards collaborator Henry Mancini’s score swells, the credits roll, and the camera follows the homeward journey by car of Kelly Sherwood (Lee Remick), via the Golden Gate Bridge. Upon arriving home in the—ulp!—Twin Peaks neighborhood and parking her car in the garage she is accosted by a man (Ross Martin) whose face is shrouded in shadow. He informs Kelly in his asthmatic wheeze of a voice that she is going to help him rob the bank where she works as a teller, or else he will kill both her and her teenage sister, Toby (Stefanie Powers), and—furthermore—that he has already killed twice before. After the intruder has left Kelly takes a risk and phones the FBI, in spite of his warning, and is connected with agent John Ripley (Glenn Ford) briefly before the line is cut. What ensues is a wonderfully twisty cat-and-mouse game between Kelly, Ripley and the FBI, and the psychopathic antagonist as he attempts to pull off the daring heist.

The film features two memorably eerie set pieces: one, the opening sequence in the garage where Kelly is held from behind by the unseen assailant and which takes place in close-up and (mostly) one startlingly-long take, with a few brief cutaways. Second, there is an extended sequence where the killer stalks a woman… in the shadowy interior of a mannequin studio! (Why not?)

experiment_in_terror_poster

Edwards’ direction is sure, unadorned, and marvelously economical, as one would expect from a filmmaker who had cut his teeth in the early days of television, on shows such as Mr. Lucky and Peter Gunn: from a greasy stool pigeon who spends his days in a moldering movie palace watching the Keystone Cops, to a noisy nightclub—overflowing with seedy revelers and undercover G-men—where Kelly is supposed to rendezvous with the antagonist. Experiment in Terror is stylishly baroque and filled with unexpected little details and flourishes, while the film’s overall atmosphere remains palpably perverse and nightmarish.

Remick and Ford are both solid in the leads and Martin makes for a memorably demented psychopath: his campaign of terror is icily effective and believably enacted.

Many iconic San Francisco locations are utilized and the city’s sleazy, decadent characterization is memorable, likely influencing later film classics such as BULLITT and DIRTY HARRY. Mancini’s score is one of the most distinctive ever composed, all throbbing electric bass line and the sound of two autoharps (an instrument similar to a zither), one jangly and out of tune and the other playing shimmering glissandos: one of the rare themes in movie history capable of searing itself into the brain after only a single listen. It manages also to compactly express the mood of Edwards’ film: a beautiful surface sheen – as befitting a picture made during the Camelot era – but one which covers over a dangerous, ugly reality and lurking menace. In spite of its title this is no mere “experiment”: Edwards proved early in his career—and before it would be defined by the madcap antics of Inspector Clouseau—that he was a versatile filmmaker worthy of note.

(And for further proof, also check out the tender and heartrending DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES, which Edwards made the same year.)