Music: Sidewalk Dave to perform Thurs., Mar. 7, at 8 PM

Sidewalk_Dave_72dpiSidewalk Dave bring their psychedelic-inflected indie rock to the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Mar. 7. The cover charge for this show is $5 and the music starts at 8 PM.

Sidewalk Dave is led by singer/guitarist/songwriter Dave Van Witt. Van Witt resists describing his music, preferring to that the listener “lis­ten and decide for your­self. There has never been an over­ar­ch­ing influ­ence or ‘you sound like’ that has been con­sis­tent or mean­ing­ful to me, so I will not mis­lead you with my own opin­ions of myself.”

He is willing to divulge some biographical info, including the origin of the name “Sidewalk Dave”:

In sev­enth grade I was kicked out of band class for impro­vis­ing dur­ing con­certs we would put on for all the par­ents. After a few failed punk bands (one aptly named For­mula For Fail­ure) I began writ­ing my own songs on a cheap gui­tar. Learn a chord, write a song, learn a sec­ond chord, write two songs, and on and on. I used to burn the nerves out of my play­ing fin­gers to strengthen my cal­louses and allow me to prac­tice longer each day. Right after my six­teenth birth­day my mother moved to Kansas City to get re-married. After liv­ing in seven dif­fer­ent towns between Bel­gium, Switzer­land, Iowa, North Car­olina, and Con­necti­cut, I decided to stay put and ride out high school on the grace of friends and their fam­i­lies. Often, I would get some beer and play on the side­walks to keep from both­er­ing my hosts. One fate­ful evening a friend yelled from a passenger-side win­dow, “Side­walk Dave!” The name some­how fol­lowed me to col­lege, and after my pre­ten­tious prog-rock band fell apart (due to my arrest for pos­ses­sion of LSD), I needed a name to release the music I con­tin­ued to work on by my lone­some. Four albums later, I’m still learn­ing what it is to become a man through the per­sona and stage name, Side­walk Dave.

Writing at CT.com, Chip McCabe listed Sidewalk Dave’s 2012 album “Hard On Romance” among his albums of the year. According to McCabe:

This album just seethes a nasty vibe and sound that you would expect to hear emanating from the best dive bars in the bowels of the most artistic cities.  I hate calling a band’s efforts “mature” because that implies their previous work is, what, “immature”?  But this really is a band that continues to grow and expand their sound so that every new album is their best.  The Blues play a big influence here but it’s just one coat of paint over a canvas of sounds that draw from such varied artists as The Stooges, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, Sonic Youth, Weezer and even moments of Pink Floyd just to name a few.  However you want to classify it though (I’ve seen “rock”, “folk rock”, “alt rock”, etc.) doesn’t really matter because whatever label you try to put on this band they will always transcend it.  This album is no exception.

Check out Sidewalk Dave’s video for their song “Sinister Things”:

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Saturday, Mar. 9. ACOUSTIC CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC: HADE & WILLIAMS

• Wednesday, Mar. 13. ACOUSTIC BLUES & ROCK: NOAH KESSELMAN

• Thursday, Mar. 14. WINE TASTING with KARL RONNE from THE WINE THIEF

• Wednesday, Mar. 20. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN

• Thursday, Mar. 21. INDIE GARAGE ROCK: GHOST OF CHANCE

• Sunday, Mar. 24. READINGS: JOEANN HART & MATT DEBENHAM

• Wednesday, Mar. 27. PUNK ROCK: STARK RAVING LULU

• Thursday, Mar. 28. FILM SCREENING: STEPHEN DEST’S “MY BROTHER JACK”

• Wednesday, Apr. 3. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 4. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Wednesday, Apr. 10. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Thursday, Apr. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Apr. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

• Monday, Apr. 22. FILM SCREENING FOR “WHAT WOULD YOU DO?” SERIES: “WALK ON WATER”

Music: Sambeleza with Jeff Fuller and Isabella Mendes Wed., Mar. 6, at 8 PM

Sambeleza will play the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Mar. 6. the cover charge is $5 and the music begins at 8 PM.

Sambeleza—featuring Isabella Mendes, Jeff Fuller, Joe Carter and Asher Delerme—performs a wide variety of Brazilian songs, both old and new, with a jazz twist. Featured composers include Tom Jobim and Ary Barroso, as well as younger composers like Djavan, Debora Gurgel and Arlindo Cruz. A few originals by group members are added to the mix.

Brasil (spelled with an “s” in Portuguese) is well known for its rich heritage—a blend of indigenous, African and European cultures—from which the music has risen with fascinating rhythms, soaring melodies and colorful harmonies. The musicians of Sambeleza are outstanding U. S. and Brazilian interpreters of the great songs of the bossa nova and samba traditions, as well as outstanding jazz artists in their own right. Sambeleza derives its name from two words: samba, the national dance of Brasil, and beleza, Portuguese for “beauty.”

A YouTube video of Sambeleza performing the cover song “Outra Vez”:

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Thursday, Mar. 7. INDIE ROCK: SIDEWALK DAVE

• Saturday, Mar. 9. ACOUSTIC CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC: HADE & WILLIAMS

• Wednesday, Mar. 13. ACOUSTIC BLUES & ROCK: NOAH KESSELMAN

• Thursday, Mar. 14. WINE TASTING with KARL RONNE from THE WINE THIEF

• Wednesday, Mar. 20. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN

• Thursday, Mar. 21. INDIE GARAGE ROCK: GHOST OF CHANCE

• Sunday, Mar. 24. READINGS: JOEANN HART & MATT DEBENHAM

• Wednesday, Mar. 27. PUNK ROCK: STARK RAVING LULU

• Thursday, Mar. 28. FILM SCREENING: STEPHEN DEST’S “MY BROTHER JACK”

• Wednesday, Apr. 3. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 4. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Wednesday, Apr. 10. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Thursday, Apr. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Apr. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

• Monday, Apr. 22. FILM SCREENING FOR “WHAT WOULD YOU DO?” SERIES: “WALK ON WATER”

Hank’s recommendations 02/26/13

hank_paperTHIS ONE SHOULD HAVE BEEN AN OSCAR CONTENDER

THE IMPOSTER — I read this story a year or two ago in the New York Times. The multi-festival award-winning documentary derived from that story, with archival footage, current interviews of the real people involved and effective dramatic re-enactments, was released just this month on DVD.

It’s about a 23 year old Frenchman who, in a phone call from a police station in Spain, convinces a grieving family in San Antonio, Texas, that he is their 13-year-old son who disappeared three years ago. Soon he is flown “home” for the long awaited, hope against hope reunion.

The film is also about investigation methods utilized (or not) by family members, the FBI and a canny, down home private detective named Charlie Parker whose independent take on the real identity of the claimant becomes as thrillingly arrived at as the outsider jazz music of his namesake. The detective’s revelatory theorizing even includes a HOMELAND spin on who the subject really might be.

The film starts out fascinatingly and gets better as it goes along, making a 90 degree turn into bigger and more disturbing lie. In effect, this is several movies in one.

There have been several fine films about imposters, including THE GREAT IMPOSTER (with Tony Curtis), Spielberg’s CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, and CATFISH, the documentary from a couple of years ago about an elaborate fake internet identify that lures a group of young college men across country for a surprise encounter with the family that concocted it.

This increasingly gripping documentary plays like the dark side of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.

Music: Jonny Rodgers on Thurs., Feb. 28, at 8 PM

Jonny_Rodgers_w_guitarJonny Rodgers will perform his sublime melange of art song with guitar, keyboard, loops and tuned wine glasses in the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Feb. 28. Cover charge is $5 and the music starts at 8 PM.

Living in the Yale University dominated town of New Haven, CT, Jonny Rodgers writes beautiful, quirky songs using guitars, tuned wine glasses, electronics and a unique chamber orchestra. He is also a composer/producer, writing chamber, orchestral and choral music for concert and for films.

His formative musical years were spent writing, touring and recording with his brother Steve Rodgers in the indie band Mighty Purple. Jonny has also played for the bands Ten Shekel Shirt, NYC’s classical-crossover band Awry (now My Brightest Diamond), the electronic artist Son Lux, the theatrical pop band Faux Fix, and many others. Jonny has collaborated with many talented musicians from the world of Classical and New Music.

His latest full album The Aviary, was originally written and entirely scored as a live show with a 9-piece chamber orchestra featuring highly unusual elements, such as Tuned Wine Glasses and Steel Drum. His newest material prominently features Tuned Wine Glasses, Guitars and Electronics with live loops used in unexpected ways. You can check out some samples of Jonny Rodgers’ music here.

Here is Rodgers performing his composition “Water and Light” in his studio:

He lives in an extended community of friends, teaches, gardens and raises chickens.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Mar. 6. BRAZILIAN MUSIC & JAZZ: SAMBELEZA with JEFF FULLER & ISABELLA MENDES

• Thursday, Mar. 7. INDIE ROCK: SIDEWALK DAVE

• Saturday, Mar. 9. ACOUSTIC CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC: HADE & WILLIAMS

• Wednesday, Mar. 13. ACOUSTIC BLUES & ROCK: NOAH KESSELMAN

• Thursday, Mar. 14. WINE TASTING with KARL RONNE from THE WINE THIEF

• Wednesday, Mar. 20. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN

• Thursday, Mar. 21. INDIE GARAGE ROCK: GHOST OF CHANCE

• Sunday, Mar. 24. READINGS: JOEANN HART & MATT DEBENHAM

• Wednesday, Mar. 27. PUNK ROCK: STARK RAVING LULU

• Thursday, Mar. 28. FILM SCREENING: STEPHEN DEST’S “MY BROTHER JACK”

• Wednesday, Apr. 3. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 4. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Wednesday, Apr. 10. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Thursday, Apr. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Apr. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

• Monday, Apr. 22. FILM SCREENING FOR “WHAT WOULD YOU DO?” SERIES: “WALK ON WATER”

Music: The Shellye Valauskas Experience to perform Wed., Feb. 27, at 8 PM

The Shellye Valauskas Experience will perform in the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Feb. 27. The cover charge is $5 and the music starts at 8 PM.

This show takes place on Shellye’s birthday so come celebrate with her and the band!

Shellye Valauskas is a sweet songwriter who cares for catchy rhythms and hooks. Her CD “Box It Up,” recorded with her band The Shellye Valauskas Experience, is a box of secrets, surprises and delights. By the time she formed the band, vocalist/guitarist Shellye Valauskas was an established solo performer, winning the New Haven Advocate’s Grand Band Slam readers’ poll and rating a slot in New York’s CMJ Marathon.

As her songwriting collaborator and bandmate, she enlisted ace guitarist Dean Falcone, who’s served the Connecticut music scene since the early ’80s with Jon Brion in The Excerpts, his own Dean and the Dragsters, and a host of others. Valauskas and Falcone’s shared love for the intelligent, heartwarming yet punchy pop of Crowded House, The Posies and Aimee Mann, as well as the burgeoning Americana movement, helped them nail a distinctive yet accessible radio-friendly sound from the start.

Check out The Shellye Valauskas Experience performing their song “Box It Up” at Best Video last August, courtesy of Rev. Dave Kelsey of Golden Microphone Productions:

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Thursday, Feb. 28. ART SONG WITH TUNED WINE GLASSES: JONNY RODGERS

• Wednesday, Mar. 6. BRAZILIAN MUSIC & JAZZ: SAMBELEZA with JEFF FULLER & ISABELLA MENDES

• Thursday, Mar. 7. INDIE ROCK: SIDEWALK DAVE

• Saturday, Mar. 9. ACOUSTIC CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC: HADE & WILLIAMS

• Wednesday, Mar. 13. ACOUSTIC BLUES & ROCK: NOAH KESSELMAN

• Thursday, Mar. 14. WINE TASTING with KARL RONNE from THE WINE THIEF

• Wednesday, Mar. 20. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN

• Thursday, Mar. 21. INDIE GARAGE ROCK: GHOST OF CHANCE

• Sunday, Mar. 24. READINGS: JOEANN HART & MATT DEBENHAM

• Wednesday, Mar. 27. PUNK ROCK: STARK RAVING LULU

• Thursday, Mar. 28. FILM SCREENING: STEPHEN DEST’S “MY BROTHER JACK”

• Wednesday, Apr. 3. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 4. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Wednesday, Apr. 10. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Thursday, Apr. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Apr. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

Hank Recommendations 02/19/13

BEN AND OSCAR

hank_paperBen Affleck’s ARGO has been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar but not an Oscar for Best Director. This is unusual in Oscar history. The former award is usually accompanied by the second. Affleck has somewhat been compensated by the Golden Globes and, more importantly, the Directors Guild who both gave him the Best Director nod for Argo. The Golden Globes—foreign journalists all—are more critically honest, telling it like it is, and the Directors Guild directors know their film history in order to know how to make their own films effective.

The Oscars are about money, glamour and politics. An Oscar Nomination and, especially, Winner, is money in the bank at the box office. While critical acumen is thin in Hollywood, what’s layered on thick is media publicity and people voting en bloc for their own studio or film company or a person voting for the next director or star they are going to work with in order to heighten their own profile. Sentiment also plays a role in people voting for a certain issue or person (LINCOLN and Daniel Day-Lewis anyone?).

In my opinion, in nominating Argo for Best Picture, and yet not Best Director, Oscar got it backward. Here’s why:

This true-life entertaining thriller takes place in 1979. Six US embassy employees in Tehran barely escape to the Canadian Embassy as sixty of their colleagues are taken hostage by the Ayatollah Khomeini. Stateside, the CIA asks: How do we get them out in the short time before they are discovered and, most likely, tortured and executed?

Ben Affleck not only directed this film but also stars as Tony Mendez, a CIA “exfil,” i.e. someone specializing in getting people out of hostile or enemy countries.

Listening in Washington to a panicky array of ill conceived escape plans, he tells the State Department emergency gathering: “Exfils are like abortions. You don’t wanna need one…but when you do, you don’t wanna do it yourself.” His own idea is hatched when he happens to see a scene from PLANET OF THE APES on TV: enter Iran as a Canadian film company making a science fiction movie in Tehran and spirit the six out as part of the film crew. As he later tells an incredulous and slack jawed State Department official:

“There are only bad options…it’s about finding the best one.”

“You don’t have a better bad idea than this?”

“This is the best bad idea we have so far.”

And, in fact, the film really takes off in Hollywood, where Affleck recruits a wizened and sardonic semi-retired producer and a prosthetic special effects designer, respectively played by Alan Arkin (deservedly nominated as Best Supporting Actor) and John Goodman. Here the wit flies fast and furious with knowing jokes about and often at the expense of Hollywood. What then ensues is clever chicanery and white-knuckle suspense as the faux film is credibly concocted and the escape plan goes into action.

This is a interesting subject for a film that is complexly directed by Affleck. Taking place in Tehran, Washington and Hollywood, it alternates quick cutting among crowd scenes with intimate one on one or ensemble encounters that heighten the initial confusion and then gradually ratchet up the stakes and finally the suspense. The noose for the six escapees tightens as the focus grows tight on the actual escape attempt.

In short, this is a Hollywood blockbuster, an entertaining thriller, and definitely a good movie. But it does not have the substance or depth, the gravitas, of a Best Picture Oscar (Lincoln, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, AMOUR anyone?) On this score, better than Argo is Ben Affleck’s earlier film GONE BABY GONE (which, in fact, we screened last night in Blu ray on our 120” screen in the Performance Space).

So Oscar got it wrong. But you’ll certainly get it right by directing yourself to watch this film for the good, well-directed movie it is.

Music: The Streams play Thurs., Feb. 21, at 8 PM

The Streams will perform in the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Feb. 21. The music starts st 8 PM; the cover charge is $5.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Streams are a four piece rock group formed in 1991. The group is headed by Dave Brooks with his band of grizzled veterans including: Spike Priggen (Dumptruck), Jeff Wiederschall (Miracle Legion) and New Haven guitar dazzler, Bill Beckett. (For this show, Brooks and Beckett will play as a duo.) They recorded an album of driving rock called, “Today, I Died,” available now at thestreams.net, itunes.com and most other online music sites.

The Streams play furious to contemplative story songs centered around American historic themes. The instrumentation is grounded by a solid rhythm section with some folky flourishes of mandolin, banjo and organ generally accompanied by raging electric guitars. The songs are tightly crafted pop rockers and lyrically run the gamut from blisteringly pompous war cries to quiet acoustic meditations on loss and heartbreaking destruction.

Most of The Streams songs are centered lyrically around the American Civil War. Many of the songs derive inspiration from the pages of Shelby Foote’s history of the Civil War, which gave a detailed and personalized view of the times devoid of political fence hopping, and the Ken Burns visual history of the Civil War, which also brought a unique and human perspective.

Check out this YouTube video for The Streams’ recordings of their song “The Drift”:

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Feb. 27. SINGER-SONGWRITER ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Thursday, Feb. 28. ART SONG WITH TUNED WINE GLASSES: JONNY RODGERS

• Wednesday, Mar. 6. BRAZILIAN MUSIC & JAZZ: SAMBELEZA with JEFF FULLER & ISABELLA MENDES

• Thursday, Mar. 7. INDIE ROCK: SIDEWALK DAVE

• Saturday, Mar. 9. ACOUSTIC CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC: HADE & WILLIAMS

• Wednesday, Mar. 13. ACOUSTIC BLUES & ROCK: NOAH KESSELMAN

• Thursday, Mar. 14. WINE TASTING with KARL RONNE from THE WINE THIEF

• Wednesday, Mar. 20. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN

• Thursday, Mar. 21. INDIE GARAGE ROCK: GHOST OF CHANCE

• Sunday, Mar. 24. READINGS: JOEANN HART & MATT DEBENHAM

• Wednesday, Mar. 27. PUNK ROCK: STARK RAVING LULU

• Thursday, Mar. 28. FILM SCREENING: STEPHEN DEST’S “MY BROTHER JACK”

• Wednesday, Apr. 3. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 4. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Thursday, Apr. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Apr. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

“Gone Baby Gone” film screening rescheduled to Mon., Feb. 18, at 7 PM

Gone_Baby_Gone_DVDBecause of Blizzard Nemo, the planned showing of “Gone Baby Gone” as part of the “What Would You Do?” film series has been rescheduled from this past Monday, Feb. 11, to next Monday, Feb. 18, at 7 PM. There are still a few seats available.

The “What Would You Do: Ethical Dilemmas in Great Films” film series is a collaborative effort of Temple Beth Sholom and Best Video. Best Video owner Hank Paper and Temple Beth Sholom Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic will take turns introducing films and leading the post-film discussions.

The admission cost per film is $5 and reservations are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. Each of the three previous screenings have been sold out.

The film will be introduced and the discussion led by Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic.

When two young private detectives (Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan) are hired to take a closer look into the mysterious disappearance of a little girl in blue collar Boston, they soon unravel a multitude of twists and turns where nothing is as it seems. “Gone Baby Gone” also stars Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan and Amy Ryan.

Elligers Brothers Band to play jazz Wed., Feb. 20, at 8 PM

The Elligers Brothers Band returns to the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Feb. 20. The cover charge is $5 and the music starts at 8 PM.

Sean_&_Erik_Elligers_Best_Video

Anchored by a rhythm section of Carl Testa on upright bass and Josh Gosselin on drums, the Elligers Brothers Band features Erik Elligers on tenor sax, Sean Elligers playing trumpet and Kyle Elligers on piano. According to Erik, some special guests may join them on a tune or two.

The combo plays modern jazz, defined in this case by the post-World War II styles of bebop, hard bop and modal jazz. Their set last year included both originals and their own interpretations of songs by such masters as Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins.

The Elligers Brothers Band recorded live at the Best Video Performance Space last May performing Erik Elligers’ composition “Smiles and Cries”:

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Thursday, Feb. 21. SINGER-SONGWRITER ROCK: THE STREAMS (DUO)

• Wednesday, Feb. 27. SINGER-SONGWRITER ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Thursday, Feb. 28. ART SONG WITH TUNED WINE GLASSES: JONNY RODGERS

• Wednesday, Mar. 6. BRAZILIAN MUSIC & JAZZ: SAMBELEZA with JEFF FULLER & ISABELLA MENDES

• Thursday, Mar. 7. INDIE ROCK: SIDEWALK DAVE

• Saturday, Mar. 9. ACOUSTIC CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC: HADE & WILLIAMS

• Wednesday, Mar. 13. ACOUSTIC BLUES & ROCK: NOAH KESSELMAN

• Thursday, Mar. 14. WINE TASTING with KARL RONNE from THE WINE THIEF

• Wednesday, Mar. 20. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN

• Thursday, Mar. 21. INDIE GARAGE ROCK: GHOST OF CHANCE

• Sunday, Mar. 24. READINGS: JOEANN HART & MATT DEBENHAM

• Wednesday, Mar. 27. PUNK ROCK: STARK RAVING LULU

• Thursday, Mar. 28. FILM SCREENING: STEPHEN DEST’S “MY BROTHER JACK”

• Wednesday, Apr. 3. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 4. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Thursday, Apr. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Apr. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

Hank’s Recommendations 02/12/13

hank_paperA LATE QUARTET — This is my favorite film of the new year.

The first scene opens in a New York City symphonic hall, the stage bare except for the instruments, the seats filled with a hushed, anticipant audience.

We’re about to be treated not only to some fine string quartet music, but to the drama of the musicians who play it.

The Fugue String Quartet is about to celebrate its twenty-fifth year together, at the same time they are on the cusp of losing the creative, professional and personal harmony that they’ve worked so hard to maintain. Not to mention a prodigal daughter following in the footsteps of two of the musicians who are married.

This is an adult drama underscored by beautiful symphonic and quartet music and an on-location New York sensibility. It also offers a quartet of finely tuned performances that will keep your eyes as well as ears riveted: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Mark Ivanir and Christopher Walken, the latter whom modulates his well-known twitchy cultic persona into a performance that’s perfectly moving.

This film is about passion versus discipline, nature versus training and, above all, harmony versus going solo. There’s not a moment in the movie that’s not natural or, in every sense of the word, beautifully played. It’s a disciplined film about the rise of discord and the affirmation of harmony that in the end packs an emotional wallop.

Bravo!