Music: The Sawtelles with Best Video manager Richard Brown on Thurs., May 14, at 8 PM

Sawtelles_BV_091214_WebThe Sawtelles, with special guest Best Video manager Richard Brown, play the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, May 14. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

The music of husband and wife duo the Sawtelles is a balance of four elements: alternate-tuned guitar, stand-up drum kit (ala Velvet Underground’s Mo Tucker) and two voices. Sparse but intricately arranged pop that is as lush as it is threadbare makes what is played as important as what isn’t. Peter plays guitar and Julie plays drums; they both sing. Their sparse but intricately arranged pop is as lush as it is captivatingly unique.

The Sawtelles will be joined for this set by Best Video’s own Richard Brown—who also plays in Happy Ending—on guitar and sax.

Their self-produced DYI philosophy aligns them more with the hand painted Sun Ra LP’s of 1950’s and 60’s then it does with those striving for mainstream commercial success. They have released 6 CDs.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, May 7. CLASSICAL/JAZZ: PETRICHORD—SAMUEL SUGGS & MOLLY NETTER

• Friday, May 8. INDIE ROCK: SPECTRAL FANGS

• Wednesday, May 13. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

• Thursday, May 14. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Friday, May 15. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Monday, May 18. FILM SCREENING: “HEY BOO: HARPER LEE & TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD”

• Wednesday, May 20. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: JAY PRINCE, PATRICK DALTON

• Thursday, May 21. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, May 22. ROCK: NOTHING SPECIAL

• Wednesday, May 27. BLUEGRASS: THE FIDDLEHEADS

• Thursday, May 28. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM

• Friday, May 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SABRINA TRUEHEART

• Thursday, June 4. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR, PARLAY DRONER

• Friday, June 5. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Monday, June 8. FILM SCREENING: “FINDING TATANKA”

• Friday, June 12. BLUEGRASS: THE WOOL HATS STRING BAND

• Thursday, June 18: SILENT FILM with MUSIC: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT scores “THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI”

• Friday, June 26. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Friday, July 17. PIANO POP/PAINTING: POCKET VINYL

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

Music: Big Fat Combo return on Wed., May 13, at 8 PM

Big_Fat_Combo_at_BV_Performance_SpaceOne of the most popular bands to play the Best Video Performance Space, the Big Fat Combo return on Wednesday, May 13. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

The Big Fat Combo hail from Cheshire and offer their own, wry, well-crafted take on rock ‘n’ roll. The quartet is a classic rockabilly group: upright bass and drums, rhythm and lead guitar. Led by singer Tom Hearn, the Big Fat Combo not only play their original tunes (“Tag Sale,” “Banned by Sam the Clam’s” and “Chicks Dig it,” among others) but also riff on classic rock ‘n’ roll, garage rock, punk, country and even some easy listening chestnuts (“Que Sera Sera,” “It was a Very Good Year”) that they make fully their own.

The Big Fat Combo released their first compact disc, “Chicks Dig it,” in 2010. Watch them perform the title song at the Performance Space in December, 2012 in a video by Dave Kelsey:

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, May 7. CLASSICAL/JAZZ: PETRICHORD—SAMUEL SUGGS & MOLLY NETTER

• Friday, May 8. INDIE ROCK: SPECTRAL FANGS

• Wednesday, May 13. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

• Thursday, May 14. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Friday, May 15. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Monday, May 18. FILM SCREENING: “HEY BOO: HARPER LEE & TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD”

• Wednesday, May 20. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: JAY PRINCE, PATRICK DALTON

• Thursday, May 21. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, May 22. ROCK: NOTHING SPECIAL

• Wednesday, May 27. BLUEGRASS: THE FIDDLEHEADS

• Thursday, May 28. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM

• Friday, May 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SABRINA TRUEHEART

• Thursday, June 4. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR, PARLAY DRONER

• Friday, June 5. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Monday, June 8. FILM SCREENING: “FINDING TATANKA”

• Friday, June 12. BLUEGRASS: THE WOOL HATS STRING BAND

• Thursday, June 18: SILENT FILM with MUSIC: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT scores “THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI”

• Friday, June 26. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Friday, July 17. PIANO POP/PAINTING: POCKET VINYL

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

Music: Rock with Spectral Fangs on Fri., May 8, at 8 PM

Photo by Erin Waterfall

Photo by Erin Waterfall

Connecticut indie rock band Spectral Fangs play the Best Video Performance Space on Friday, May 8. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Originally a three-piece garage band with dreamy drifts, Spectral Fangs expanded in November 2012 to fit waves of reverb and power pop sensibilities. Now the band floats tight melodies high above a coalescence of ’60s soul, ’70s punk, irreverent ’90s rock and indie pop.

Spectral Fangs’ influences range from T.Rex and Belle and Sebastian to The Soft Boys, Dinosaur Jr., The dBs and The Left Banke. This reflects only a sliver of the vast music catalogue galvanizing the band—and the many projects that each Fang has embarked upon since they were teenagers growing up in the Tri-State Area.

For more than a decade prior to becoming Spectral Fangs, Joe, Tony and Jared participated in Connecticut’s indie music scene, driving jangly, guitar-focused garage bands like The Saltwater Swells, JFK and The Field Recordings. This sound represented a logical progression from the frenetic punk rock urgency of their earliest band years, when they played New York City dives, famous Connecticut clubs and teen centers.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, May 7. CLASSICAL/JAZZ: PETRICHORD—SAMUEL SUGGS & MOLLY NETTER

• Friday, May 8. INDIE ROCK: SPECTRAL FANGS

• Wednesday, May 13. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

• Thursday, May 14. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Friday, May 15. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Thursday, May 21. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, May 22. ROCK: NOTHING SPECIAL

• Wednesday, May 27. BLUEGRASS: THE FIDDLEHEADS

• Thursday, May 28. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM

• Friday, May 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SABRINA TRUEHEART

• Thursday, June 4. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR, PARLAY DRONER

• Friday, June 5. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Monday, June 8. FILM SCREENING: “FINDING TATANKA”

• Friday, June 12. BLUEGRASS: THE WOOL HATS STRING BAND

• Thursday, June 18: SILENT FILM with MUSIC: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT scores “THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI”

• Friday, June 26. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Friday, July 17. PIANO POP/PAINTING: POCKET VINYL

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

Music: Classical/jazz crossover with Petrichord: “Crossing from Bach to Daft Punk” on Thurs., May 7, at 8 PM

Samuel_Suggs_BW_WebDouble bassist Sam Suggs, along with vocalist Molly Netter and perhaps some other friends, will perform at Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, May 7. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

The program is “Petrichord: Crossing from Bach to Daft Punk” with vocalist Molly Netter and double bassist Sam Suggs and friends.

“I’m going to do a good deal of solo work — arrangements of Bach’s lute suite, a premiere of a new work and my own compositions — as well as pieces with my duo partner Molly Netter and maybe a few other friends will join — classical, jazz, fuzzy,” says Suggs.

Oregon Arts Watch:

What Suggs proceeded to play quite simply boggled the mind. Audience members sat up on the edge of their seats, leaning forward … to try to discern just how he was making the myriad sounds from his single instrument… I virtually held my breath all the way to the end.”

Seen and Heard International wrote, “Molly Netter enlivens complex and beautiful music with a voice described as “crisp and clear, white yet warm.”

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, May 1. FILM SCREENING: TONY JULIANO PRESENTS “A DARK ROOM FILM FEST”

• Thursday, May 7. CLASSICAL/JAZZ: PETRICHORD—SAMUEL SUGGS & MOLLY NETTER

• Friday, May 8. INDIE ROCK: SPECTRAL FANGS

• Wednesday, May 13. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

• Thursday, May 14. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Friday, May 15. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Thursday, May 21. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, May 22. ROCK: NOTHING SPECIAL

• Wednesday, May 27. BLUEGRASS: THE FIDDLEHEADS

• Thursday, May 28. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM

• Friday, May 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SABRINA TRUEHEART

• Thursday, June 4. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR, PARLAY DRONER

• Friday, June 5. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Monday, June 8. FILM SCREENING: “FINDING TATANKA”

• Friday, June 12. BLUEGRASS: THE WOOL HATS STRING BAND

• Thursday, June 18: SILENT FILM with MUSIC: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT scores “THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI”

• Friday, June 26. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Friday, July 17. PIANO POP/PAINTING: POCKET VINYL

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

 

UPDATED with ticket info! Sat., Apr. 25, fundraiser for Best Video Film & Cultural Center, new non-profit dedicated to saving Best Video

Friends of Best Video BVFCC_color_WebBest Video Film and Cultural Center—a new non-profit created to preserve Best Video’s rich archive and explore new ways to bring people, film, and music together—will be holding a benefit music event at The Ballroom at The Outer Space on Saturday, April 25, from 7-10 p.m.

Tickets are $25 but we encourage supporters to give more if you can. Donations above $25 will be tax deductible.

Tickets can be purchased and additional donations made through Brown Paper Tickets.

(Tickets can also be purchased at Best Video [cash or check only]. If making out a check for more than $25 and you wish the amount exceeding $25 to be tax-deductible, make the check out to “The Institute Library” and put “BVFCC” in the memo.)

A superb lineup of superb local artists have offered to donate their talent for this event: Goodnight Blue Moon, Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps, Eurisko, Dudley Farm String Band and jazz guitarist Joe Carter.

Steve Rodgers, owner of The Space and The Outer Space, has generously donated use of The Ballroom for our inaugural event.

About BVFCC

Best Video Film and Cultural Center (“BVFCC”) was created to preserve Best Video’s rich archive and explore new ways to bring people, film, and music together. Later this year, BVFCC will start to operate BEST VIDEO, a valued community space serving Greater New Haven with its world class film archive, performance space and coffee bar.

The entire film archive – one of the finest such collections in the country – will remain in place and continue to grow with additions of more foreign and domestic films, documentaries, and dramatic TV series. In addition, the music events, film screenings and other presentations in the performance space will be expanded to reach a broader community audience.

Educational Outreach

A new and very important part of BVFCC’s activities will be an extensive educational outreach program. Films and targeted curriculum will be packaged and organized by specific categories and made available to area schools and other educational organizations. Our goal is to cultivate critical thinking and enhance writing skills for students of all ages by starting a film club in every public school in Greater New Haven. Acclaimed films in the BEST VIDEO collection will be seen and experienced by more people than ever before and clubs will be forums for deep discussion about both domestic and international social justice issues, as well as film history and the arts in general.

Partnership with THE INSTITUTE LIBRARY

Applying for 501c3 status takes time. However, we are partnering with The Institute Library – New Haven, Connecticut’s oldest independent circulating library and one of the last remaining membership libraries in North America. The Institute Library has agreed to be BVFCC’s fiscal sponsor. What that means is that you can make a tax-deductible contribution to BVFCC through the Institute Library today.

New Membership Options

A new membership format is being developed, one which we believe will better serve BEST VIDEO’s 5,000 customers and streamline the video rental process.

Our Success Depends on You

We invite the support of every member of the BEST VIDEO family. If you are unable to make it to the concert, please consider making a donation. All amounts are greatly appreciated. We look forward to the participation of all of our existing members and we are excited to welcome new members to our family as we make this major transition to an even better BEST VIDEO.

 

Films Screening: “A Dark Room Film Fest”—short films by local filmmakers on Fri., May 1, at 7 PM

adrlogo_WebArtist Tony Juliano presents the second “A Dark Room Film Fest” at Best Video Performance Space on Friday, May 1. Juliano will offer up short films by more than a dozen local filmmakers. The event starts at 7 PM and admission is $5.

Previously, Juliano has presented non-mainstream movies he likes at Never Ending Books in New Haven.

The lineup of filmmakers and their films:

Jesse Richards: “Days Gone Not Forgotten”
Harris Smith: “The Death Cycle” and “Youngblood”
Elizabeth Jane Thesis: “Killing Time With Lizzie “Boredom”
Jimi Patterson: “Portrait Of An Artist: Maria Kreyn” or a new Elison Jackson music video.
Roy Rezaäli: “Tulip”
Ali Robins: “After I Woke”
Scott Barley: “Nightwalk”
Rob Zott: “I’m Just Me”
Ian Applegate: “Rap Music Today Vol I”
Mike Franzman: “Winter In New Haven”
Tony Juliano: “Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron” and “Sonny”
Wally Chung: “Tall Evil”
Steven Tsuchida: “A Ninja Pays Half My Rent”
Still from Tony Juliano's "Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron," starring Vivienne LaFlamme

Still from Tony Juliano’s “Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron,” starring Vivienne LaFlamme

UPCOMING EVENTS:
• Thursday, Apr. 30. INDIE ROCK: loom• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

• Thursday, May 7. CLASSICAL/JAZZ: PETRICHORD—SAMUEL SUGGS & MOLLY NETTER

• Friday, May 8. INDIE ROCK: SPECTRAL FANGS

• Wednesday, May 13. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

• Thursday, May 14. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Friday, May 15. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Thursday, May 21. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, May 22. ROCK: NOTHING SPECIAL

• Wednesday, May 27. BLUEGRASS: THE FIDDLEHEADS

• Thursday, May 28. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM

• Friday, May 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SABRINA TRUEHEART

• Thursday, June 4. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR, PARLAY DRONER

• Friday, June 5. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Monday, June 8. FILM SCREENING: “FINDING TATANKA”

• Friday, June 12. BLUEGRASS: THE WOOL HATS STRING BAND

• Thursday, June 18: SILENT FILM with MUSIC: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT scores “THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI”

• Friday, June 26. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Friday, July 17. PIANO POP/PAINTING: POCKET VINYL

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

Music: loom play on Thurs., Apr. 30, at 8 PM

Loom_WEbThe indie rock group loom play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Apr. 29. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

loom (Obscure Me Records) is a four-piece from Bethel, Conn., that makes heavy, dreamy pop with heart. The band is comprised of singer-songwriter Danielle Capalbo (guitars, vox), her brother Will Touri (lead guitar), drummer Jared Thompson (Spectral Fangs, The Field Recordings) and bassist Robbie Vozza (The Ghost Sonata). Danielle’s disarming vocals and keen songwriting are the backbone for the band’s subtle unorthodox pop music.

At turns shoe gaze and anthemic, loom conjures the likes of Wye Oak or Slowdive. While relatively young—Capalbo assembled the group in winter 2014—loom has already drawn attention, with debut B-Side “Every Crime” named one of WCNI’s Top 10 songs of 2014 (Moon Cheese Baby).

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Apr. 23. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: PRESTER JOHN featuring SHAWN PERSINGER & DAVID MILLER

• Friday, Apr. 24. BLUEGRASS: THE KOREY BRODSKY BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 30. INDIE ROCK: loom

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

• Thursday, May 7. CLASSICAL/JAZZ: PETRICHORD—SAMUEL SUGGS & MOLLY NETTER

• Friday, May 8. INDIE ROCK: SPECTRAL FANGS

• Wednesday, May 13. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

• Thursday, May 14. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Friday, May 15. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Thursday, May 21. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, May 22. ROCK: NOTHING SPECIAL

• Wednesday, May 27. BLUEGRASS: THE FIDDLEHEADS

• Thursday, May 28. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM

• Friday, May 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SABRINA TRUEHEART

• Thursday, June 4. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR, PARLAY DRONER

• Friday, June 5. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Monday, June 8. FILM SCREENING: “FINDING TATANKA”

• Friday, June 12. BLUEGRASS: THE WOOL HATS STRING BAND

• Thursday, June 18: SILENT FILM with MUSIC: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT scores “THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI”

• Friday, June 26. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Friday, July 17. PIANO POP/PAINTING: POCKET VINYL

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

 

Music: The Zu Zazz String Orkestra on Wed., Apr. 29, at 8 PM

ZuZazz_String_Band_WebThe ZuZazz String Orkestra plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Apr. 29. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $10.

A swinging sextet sporting combinations of fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar, string-bass, piano, ukulele, and steel-guitar, ZuZazz plays American music from the first three decades of popular recordings.

Their repertoire includes abandoned and regional styles including: Old-timey, Vaudeville, Hawaiian, Blues, Jump, Bluegrass, Cowboy, Swing, Traditional Jazz and tasteless Novelty. Songs from Charlie Poole, Mae West,  Helen Hume, Jimmie Rodgers,  Irving Berlin and W.C Handy are the band’s mainstays.

Come hear a bunch of good-time tunes with dancing beats, ironic lyrics, bad rhymes, tight harmonies and forgotten history, rendered with long instrumental breaks, unanticipated laughter and moving feet.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Wednesday, Apr. 22. AMERICANA/ROOTS: THE HELLWIGS

• Thursday, Apr. 23. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: PRESTER JOHN featuring SHAWN PERSINGER & DAVID MILLER

• Friday, Apr. 24. BLUEGRASS: THE KOREY BRODSKY BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 30. INDIE ROCK: loom

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

• Thursday, May 7. JAZZ: SAMUEL SUGGS

• Friday, May 8. INDIE ROCK: SPECTRAL FANGS

• Thursday, May 14. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Friday, May 15. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Thursday, May 21. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, May 22. ROCK: NOTHING SPECIAL

• Thursday, May 28. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM

• Friday, May 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SABRINA TRUEHEART

• Friday, June 26. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Friday, July 17. PIANO POP/PAINTING: POCKET VINYL

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

Music: Bluegrass with The Korey Brodsky Band on Fri., Apr. 24, at 8 PM

KoreyBrodskyBandSFCROP_WebThe Korey Brodsky Band plays Best Video Performance space on Friday, Apr. 24. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5. The Korey Brodsky Band performs both original and traditional bluegrass with virtuoso instrumental playing and compelling trio harmonies.

The band features 16 year old Korey Brodsky who played guitar in the IBMA 2013 Youth All-Star band at the Awards Show in Raleigh, NC.  Korey has consistently placed in the top three spots in the adult guitar categories for guitar and mandolin at the Roxbury Pickin and Fiddlin contest. He has been playing since 3 years old and has studied with Michael Daves, Jim Hurst, Steve Kaufman, Jim Allyn, and Betsy Rome. Korey has performed with Bill Keith, James King, Tom Chapin, Tony Trischka, and Jonathan Edwards.

Dick Neal plays banjo, mandolin and guitar and is the band’s most prolific songwriter. Dick works as a record producer, recording engineer, studio/performing musician, songwriter, recording artist, and teacher. As a studio pro his work has appeared on dozens of recordings (CDs, soundtracks, documentaries, and jingles). He plays several stringed instruments (guitar, banjo, and mandolin) in a variety of musical settings with many acts and styles.

Sofia Chiarandini is 15 years old. She plays fiddle and sings both lead and harmony in the band. She is the 2014 recipient of the Mark O’Connor Berklee summer program scholarship award. Sofia has been playing since age 5 and studies classical violin with Juliette Kurtzman of Manhattan. Sofia has been playing double bass since she was 9 as a student of Domenick Fiore. She has performed solo and with Boulevard Swing Trio, Norwalk Youth Symphony, the Danbury Community Orchestra, the Jim Allyn band, the Town Hall band, Francine Wheeler, Vaneese Thomas, Tony Trischka and Peter Yarrow. In these acts she has played violin, flute, double bass, bass guitar, mandolin, piano, lead vocals, backup vocals and has sung a capella.

Rick Brodsky plays bass and sings with the band. Rick is a multi-instrumentalist musician and a production manager for the Clearwater Festival. He has appeared at festivals and venues around the Northeast and is a regular on the New York/Connecticut bluegrass scene. Rick has played bass for several local bluegrass bands and for a popular local live-theater radio show where he has shared the stage with Peter Yarrow, Tom Chapin, Livingston Taylor, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Guy Davis, Christine Lavin and many more. Currently, Rick is playing bass for Jonathan Edwards and enjoying tour dates with the band throughout the Northeast.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Apr. 15. SYNTH-POP: MISSION ZERO

• Thursday, Apr. 16. GUITAR INSTRUMENTALS: BILL BECKETT; INDIE FOLK: XAVIER SERRANO

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Wednesday, Apr. 22. AMERICANA/ROOTS: THE HELLWIGS

• Thursday, Apr. 23. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: PRESTER JOHN featuring SHAWN PERSINGER & DAVID MILLER

• Friday, Apr. 24. BLUEGRASS: THE KOREY BRODSKY BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 30. INDIE ROCK: loom

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

• Thursday, May 7. JAZZ: SAMUEL SUGGS

• Friday, May 8. INDIE ROCK: SPECTRAL FANGS

• Thursday, May 14. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Friday, May 15. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Thursday, May 21. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, May 22. ROCK: NOTHING SPECIAL

• Thursday, May 28. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM

• Friday, May 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SABRINA TRUEHEART

• Friday, June 26. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Friday, July 17. PIANO POP/PAINTING: POCKET VINYL

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

 

Music: Prester John with Shawn Persinger and David Miller on Thurs., Apr. 23, at 8 PM

Prester_John_Point_Color_WebPrester John, a duo featuring Shawn Persinger (guitar, vocals) and David Miller ( mandolin, harmony vocals) play the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Apr. 23. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $7.

With a unique blend of acoustic folk, jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, humor, and the avant-garde, New Haven, CT duo Prester John has a sound that is entirely their own. Formed in 2008 by underground guitar-hero Shawn Persinger, Prester John also showcases the musical talents of David Miller on mandolin and harmony vocals.

The Chicago Tribune once said, “Prester John has made a career out of balancing technical prowess with pop accessibility (and) a dash of punk-rock rawness.” One minute you’re hearing a pop/rock song in the tradition of Cat Stevens or Jack Johnson, the next you’re listening to music that could have been composed by Stravinsky or Frank Zappa. When it comes to traditional and mainstream styles Prester John’s authenticity is also difficult to match; their bluegrass repertoire sounds straight out of Appalachia (no doubt due to Persinger’s West Virginia roots) and their swing tunes recall the bygone days of The Hot Club of France. The ease and flexibility they display traversing and transcending genres is practically unheard of in this day and age (if ever).

Prester John have released two “sister CDs,” with Desire for a Straight Line showcasing the instrumental side of their repertoire while Rise O’ Fainthearted Girls focuses on their singer-songwriter skills. Both recordings have garnered considerable popular and critical acclaim. The Village Voice described Desire for a Straight Line as an “eclectic assortment of slipstream compositions touching on prog-tinged jazz, classical, manouche, and newgrass idioms. It’s a lot of fun.” Desire… also found it’s way onto the 2010 Grammy nomination ballot for “Best Contemporary Jazz Recording,” though Prester John are the first to point out, “It’s not really jazz. More a mix of jazz, classical, and contemporary acoustic instrumental music.”

Critical reception of Rise O’ Fainthearted Girls has been equally complimentary, with Premier Guitar stating that Prester John are “remarkable instrumentalists and engaging singers [with] wildly entertaining, funny, clever and smart songs. The melodies are strong, catchy and unique, with a pop sensibility running under the clear influences of everything from Dawg music to heavy metal to the Beatles to gypsy jazz to bluegrass, with the occasional neo-classical flight of fancy thrown in for good measure.”

“This duo started with a backlog of Shawn’s songs but the future of our sound is wide open,” says Miller. “We both have an interest in different types of music and we also have the ability to play many styles. Whether it’s the simplicity of a two and four backbeat or the complexity of an atonal melody. Nothing is dismissed.” It is that eclectic taste and skill that makes Prester John a force to be reckoned with.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Apr. 15. SYNTH-POP: MISSION ZERO

• Thursday, Apr. 16. GUITAR INSTRUMENTALS: BILL BECKETT; INDIE FOLK: XAVIER SERRANO

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Wednesday, Apr. 22. AMERICANA/ROOTS: THE HELLWIGS

• Thursday, Apr. 23. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: PRESTER JOHN featuring SHAWN PERSINGER & DAVID MILLER

• Friday, Apr. 24. BLUEGRASS: THE KOREY BRODSKY BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 30. INDIE ROCK: loom

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

• Thursday, May 7. JAZZ: SAMUEL SUGGS

• Friday, May 8. INDIE ROCK: SPECTRAL FANGS

• Thursday, May 14. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Friday, May 15. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Thursday, May 21. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, May 22. ROCK: NOTHING SPECIAL

• Thursday, May 28. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM

• Friday, May 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SABRINA TRUEHEART

• Friday, June 26. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Friday, July 17. PIANO POP/PAINTING: POCKET VINYL

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS