New Releases 6/30/15

Top Hits
While We’re Young (comedy/drama, Ben Stiller. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%. Metacritic: 76. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “If you’ve seen Noah Baumbach’s ‘Greenberg’ you may remember a scene in which the title character, played by Ben Stiller, unleashes a tirade against a roomful of 20-year-olds whom he believes have been ruined by sensitive parenting, among other things. [If you haven’t seen ‘Greenberg,’ we need to talk]. ‘While We’re Young,’ Mr. Baumbach’s buoyant, vinegar-laced new film, is not a sequel — Mr. Stiller plays Josh, a reasonably pleasant and well-adjusted guy for a Ben Stiller character in a Noah Baumbach picture — but it does pick up where the earlier movie left off in its exploration of the fraught relations between ascendant millennials and the rapidly aging members of Generation X.” Read more…)

Danny Collins (drama, Al Pacino. Rotten Tomatoes: 77%. Metacritic: 58. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “In ‘Danny Collins,’ Al Pacino injects a zany charge of adrenaline into the title role of a rich, dissolute pop star belatedly seeking redemption for four decades of excess and wasted talent. This bogus character, introduced in a prologue set in 1971 as an intense, hungry young folk singer with a resemblance to the young Bob Dylan, is the latest in a lengthening Hollywood roster of rambunctious old goats.” Read more…)

The Gunman (thriller, Sean Penn. Rotten Tomatoes: 17%. Metacritic: 39. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review:”It’s not a hard and fast rule, but in general when the main character, sometime in the third act, says, ‘I did some bad things … ‘ and stares off into the middle distance, the implied end of the sentence is ‘including this movie.’ I take no particular pleasure in reporting that this is the case in ‘The Gunman,’ a globe-trotting action thriller and also, in passing, a melodrama of male sexual jealousy, an indictment of Western meddling in Africa and a concussion-awareness public service announcement.” Read more…)

Get Hard (comedy, Kevin Hart. Rotten Tomatoes: 29%. Metacritic: 34. From A.O. Scott’s New York Ties review: “The comic premise of ‘Get Hard’ could hardly be simpler. Will Ferrell is white. Kevin Hart, in contrast, is black. But you don’t have to consult a Starbucks barista to know that race is a very complicated matter. It’s been a source of humor for a very long time, but which jokes are acceptable to whom is never an easy matter to determine. Somebody is likely to be offended. The trick in a movie like this one is to appear daring while playing it safe, to act provocative while not actually provoking anyone.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray Discs
The Gunman
Danny Collins

New Foreign
Maria Wern: Set 1 (Sweden, murder mystery series, Eva Rose)

New British
Dancing on the Edge (period British mystery/drama, Chiwetel Ojiofor. Rotten Tomatoes: 61%. Metacritic: 65.)

New Documentaries
Deli Man (food, cultural history. Rotten Tomatoes: 61%. Metacritic: 62. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “‘Deli Man’ examines the state of the Jewish deli through David Gruber, known as Ziggy, a founder of Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen Restaurant in Houston. Trained in culinary school, he represents the third generation in his family to run such a restaurant, the film says; Ziggy’s grandfather was a source for many of his recipes and Yiddishisms. ‘Since he was a little kid, he’s been an 80-year-old Jew,’ says J. Mackye Gruber, Ziggy’s brother [and the co-director of the 2004 film ‘The Butterfly Effect’)].” Read more…)

Decline_of_Western_CivilizationThe Decline of Western Civilization Collection (music documentary, punk, heavy metal. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%. Metacritic: 76. From Marc Spitz’s New York Times review of the new DVD collection release:”The arrival of ‘The Decline of Western Civilization Collection’ as a pristine extras-filled box set from Shout Factory this week is to budding punks what a new ‘Star Wars’ movie is to, well, all the other kids: something they never thought they’d get to experience in their lifetimes. The arrival of ‘The Decline of Western Civilization Collection’ as a pristine extras-filled box set from Shout Factory this week is to budding punks what a new ‘Star Wars’ movie is to, well, all the other kids: something they never thought they’d get to experience in their lifetimes.” Read more…)

The Decline of Western Civilization (music documentary, punk. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Janet Maslin’s 1981 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Miss Spheeris’s documentary, which opened Wednesday at the Waverly, intercuts remarkably candid and interesting interviews with concert footage of various Los Angeles punk bands. The material has been assembled with skill, wit and detachment, as it aims to depict the punk scene as even-handedly as possible. Miss Spheeris must obviously have a strong interest in the music and in the performers to inspire their trust, rather than the contempt and sarcasm they demonstrate on stage and toward others. She approaches them from a critical distance just great enough to make her observations fresh and telling.” Read more…)

The Decline of Western Civilization II (music documentary, heavy metal. Rotten Tomatoes: 80%. From Janet Maslin’s 1988 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Even those who would never, without the urging of wild horses, dream of attending a film about the seamy world of heavy-metal music are sure to find Penelope Spheeris’s ‘The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years’ of unexpected interest. For one thing, Miss Spheeris has a way of asking just the right questions. Although the director does not appear on camera, she is very much a presence in the film, conveying a genuine interest that wins her subjects’ trust, and perhaps tacitly goading them to new heights of outrageousness. But when it’s time to ask bluntly about sex, drugs, ethics or economics, Miss Spheeris is ready to speak up. ” Read more…)

The Decline of Western Civilization III (music documentary, punk. From Elvis Mitchell’s 1998 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “‘I wasn’t born yet,’ says Why-me, the first interview subject of ‘The Decline of Western Civilization, Part III,’ Penelope Spheeris’s latest installment in her documentary series on the social trajectory of the Los Angeles punk scene. In the first ‘Decline’ [1981], the curdled fomentation of punk was young and looming. In the second [1988], she spun nasty jokes on rock ‘n’ roll, and in this third episode, which is minor but telling, the movement has become an institution. Many of the young punks interviewed — many in their teens, like Why-me — are inheritors of a movement that existed before they did and has calcified into ritualized anarchic behavior.” Read more…)

New Music DVDs
The Decline of Western Civilization Collection (music documentary, punk, heavy metal)

Music: Chris Peters and Bill Milford Thurs., July 9, at 8 PM

Bill Milford, left, and Chris Peters, right.

Bill Milford, left, and Chris Peters, right.

Singer-songwriters Chris Peters and Bill Milford play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, July 9. The show starts at 8 PM and there is a $5 cover.

Chris Peters and Bill Milford represent two generations of singer-songwriter fingerstyle guitar players. Bill has known Chris for all of his life and they have been playing together for the past 10 years. Respectively, as a student at Yale, and a professor of social work in Florida, Bill and Chris get together in the summer to create creative music arrangements from contemporary folk stylings to guitar interpretations of a Sousa March. Join them for a show of original songs, instrumentals, and sing-alongs.

Chris Peters has several CDs and has performed in the New England area and New York City.  Next year, he will tour internationally as one of the vocalists in the renowned Yale Whiffenpoofs.  He has wonderful jazz stylings on the guitar with a songwriting style and vocal tone reminiscent of James Taylor.

Bill Milford toured nationally in the 1980’s and was hailed by the Boston Globe as “one of the best of the new wave of singer songwriters…” His humor, song writing warmth, and fingerstyle guitar playing are earmarks of his performance style.  He has several recordings to his credit and often performs with Boston based vocalist Barb Siftar.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, July 1. ART SONG: TWINS OF EL DORADO; JAZZ: WORK AND WHY WE DO IT

• Friday, July 3. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Thursday, July 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: CHRIS PETERS & BILL MILFORD

• Friday, July 10. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: DEEPER SLEEPER, NATIVE SAGE

• Wednesday, July 15. JAZZ: THE ELLIGERS BROTHERS

• Thursday, July 16. STAND-UP COMEDY: RICH CYR & FRIENDS

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

• Tuesday, July 21. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Wednesday, July 22. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN (Former members of JAMES VELVET’S groups THE LONESOME SPARROWS & THE IVORY BILLS)

• Thursday, July 23. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: SHAUN BOWEN, KEVIN MF KING

• Friday, July 24. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: ANNE MARIE MENTA, SHELLYE VALAUSKAS

• Wednesday, July 29. CARIBBEAN/FOLK: THE LUKE RODNEY BAND

• Thursday, July 30. CABARET/CROONING/SPOKEN WORD: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Friday, July 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SAMUEL BASS

• Thursday, Aug. 6. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Friday, Aug. 7. INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Wednesday, Aug. 12. ELECTRONIC IMPROVISATION: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI & DEREK PIOTR

• Thursday, Aug. 13. INDIE FOLK: KINDRED QUEER

• Wednesday, Aug. 19. FOLK: WALKINGWOOD MANDOLIN QUARTET

• Thursday, Aug. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Friday, Aug. 21. BLUEGRASS: FIDDLE FOREVER

• Tuesday, Aug. 25. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Friday, Aug. 28. FILM SCREENING: “HEAD” (CT-PRODUCED LIVE PUPPET HORROR FEATURE)

• Wednesday, Sept. 16. COMEDY OPEN MIC WITH DAN CARRANO & DAN RICE

• Tuesday, Sept. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: HANNAH FAIR

• Wednesday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANGELA EASTERLING

• Thursday, Oct. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Friday, Oct. 23. ALT-COUNTRY: TANNERSVILLE

 

Mayor’s Night Out with Hamden Mayor Curt Balzano Leng Tues., June 30, 6-8 PM

Mayor Curt Balzano Leng will be hosting the inaugural “Mayor’s Night Out” on Tuesday, June 30, from 68 p.m. at Best Video, located at 1842 Whitney Avenue in Hamden.

The Mayor will be available for dialogue and citizen input on neighborhood as well as Town-wide issues in an informal coffee hour-type setting. The goal of this initiative is to provide greater accessibility to the Mayor throughout the community and work directly with residents in their neighborhoods.

Mayor’s Night Outwill be held in various Hamden neighborhoods throughout the coming months. For further information, please contact Chief Administrative Officer, Julie E. Smith at (203) 287-7100 or by email at jsmith@hamden.com.

Music: Bluegrass from the Dudley Farm String Band Fri., July 3, at 8 PM

Dudley_Farm_String_Band_BV_021315_WebDudley Farm String Band plays the Best Video Performance Space on Friday, July 3. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

While they have roots in bluegrass, Dudley Farm String Band brings together bluegrass, traditional and progressive styles. You might hear them playing old-timey standards one minute, and progressive folk or rock-‘n-roll sets the next. They have a great time when they play together, and it shows.

They pull tunes and styles from the likes of Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, The Soggy Bottom Boys (from “O Brother Where Art Thou?”), Doc Watson, Bela Fleck, Pink Floyd, Irving Berlin, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman. The group has also developed a substantial collection of original tunes.

The five band members play a range of folk instruments: Mat Crowley – mandolin; Irv Hagwood – banjo; Stan Hershonic – resonator slide guitar, mandolin, banjolin and harmonica; Mike Sinclair – bass and harmonica; and Brian Young – guitar, banjo and bass. They all sing from time to time, with Brian, Mat and Stan most often featured.

They’ve played in venues around the state, including: The Podunk Bluegrass Festival, East Hartford, CT; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; Medad Stone Tavern Museum, Guilford; Madison Historical Society and Bauer Park, Madison, CT; Night of a Thousand Stars (Guilford Free Library); North Branford Library; The International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven, CT; The Durham Fair, and, of course, performances at Dudley Farm. Dudley Farm String Band also recorded traditional music for the soundtrack of a Dudley Farm video showing a recent barn-raising at the farm.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, June 24. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA (CD RELEASE SHOW!)

• Thursday, June 25. CONTRA DANCE/FOLK: WRY BRED

• Friday, June 26. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Tuesday, June 30. MAYOR’S NIGHT OUT with HAMDEN MAYOR CURT BALZANO LENG

• Wednesday, July 1. ART SONG: TWINS OF EL DORADO; JAZZ: WORK AND WHY WE DO IT

• Friday, July 3. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Thursday, July 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: CHRIS PETERS & BILL MILFORD

• Friday, July 10. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: DEEPER SLEEPER, NATIVE SAGE

• Wednesday, July 15. JAZZ: THE ELLIGERS BROTHERS

• Thursday, July 16. STAND-UP COMEDY: RICH CYR & FRIENDS

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

• Tuesday, July 21. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Wednesday, July 22. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN (Former members of JAMES VELVET’S groups THE LONESOME SPARROWS & THE IVORY BILLS)

• Thursday, July 23. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: SHAUN BOWEN, KEVIN MF KING

• Friday, July 24. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: ANNE MARIE MENTA, SHELLYE VALAUSKAS

• Wednesday, July 29. CARIBBEAN/FOLK: THE LUKE RODNEY BAND

• Thursday, July 30. CABARET/CROONING/SPOKEN WORD: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Friday, July 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SAMUEL BASS

• Thursday, Aug. 6. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Friday, Aug. 7. INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Wednesday, Aug. 12. ELECTRONIC IMPROVISATION: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI & DEREK PIOTR

• Thursday, Aug. 13. INDIE FOLK: KINDRED QUEER

• Wednesday, Aug. 19. FOLK: WALKINGWOOD MANDOLIN QUARTET

• Thursday, Aug. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Friday, Aug. 21. BLUEGRASS: FIDDLE FOREVER

• Tuesday, Aug. 25. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Friday, Aug. 28. FILM SCREENING: “HEAD” (CT-PRODUCED LIVE PUPPET HORROR FEATURE)

• Wednesday, Sept. 16. COMEDY OPEN MIC WITH DAN CARRANO & DAN RICE

• Tuesday, Sept. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: HANNAH FAIR

• Wednesday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANGELA EASTERLING

• Thursday, Oct. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Friday, Oct. 23. ALT-COUNTRY: TANNERSVILLE

 

New Releases 6/23/15

Top Hits
The DUFF (teen comedy, Mae Whitman. Rotten Tomatoes: 72%. Metacritic: 56. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “Adapted from a novel by Kody Keplinger, whose website says that she wrote the book as a senior in high school, ‘The DUFF’ begins, in an apparent nod to ‘The Breakfast Club,’ by informing us that teenage stereotypes have changed: ‘Jocks play video games, princesses are on antidepressants.’ You could have fooled these characters, who ruthlessly enforce the traditional pecking order.” Read more…)

The Forger (crime thriller, John Travolta. Rotten Tomatoes: 6%. Metacritic: 32. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “Preposterousness is not necessarily a vice, and plausibility is a weak virtue. Just ask Alfred Hitchcock. So to say that the conceits of ‘The Forger’ [directed by Philip Martin] are ridiculous isn’t really saying much. It’s also dull, incoherent and drab to look at. There may be a glimmer of interest when Christopher Plummer shows up as Ray’s con-man dad, and another when Will’s drug-addict mother turns out to be Jennifer Ehle, but hope is quickly replaced by frustration that they had to waste their talents on a piece of straight-to-video hack work.” Read more…)

Survivor (action, Milla Jovovich. Rotten Tomatoes: 6%. Metacritic: 26. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “Milla Jovovich spends most of ‘Survivor,’ a thriller about a terrorist plot, running from various people. She runs from London to New York and, ultimately, into the land of the preposterous.” Read more…)

New Foreign
Timbuktu (Mauritania, drama, Ibrahim Ahmed. Rotten Tomatoes: 99%. Metacritic: 91. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “There is a strong current of anger and disgust running through his film, which was inspired by the Islamist takeover of Timbuktu and other parts of northern Mali in 2012. With some adjustments, it could have been set in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria or Pakistan. But the glory of ‘Timbuktu’ lies in its devotion to local knowledge, in the way it allows its gaze to wander away from violence toward images of beauty and grace.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
Rich Hill (social issues, economics, coming-of-age. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%. Metacritic: 75. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “In ‘Rich Hill,’ Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo, cousins and documentarians, immerse themselves in the depressed Missouri town of the title, from which their parents hail. But rather than attempt an elegy for the town, a former coal producer, or an essay on poverty, the pair zero in on three teenagers from struggling homes. The result, shot over a year and a half, is an intimately observant look at individual children and the details of their daily lives and personalities.” Read more…)

Music: Art song by Twins of El Dorado; jazz by Work and Why We Do It Wed., July 1, at 8 PM

The duo Twins of El Dorado and the trio Work and Why We Do It (the latter comprised of three members of Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps) play Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, July 1. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Twins_of_El_Dorado_Web

Twins of El Dorado

Twins of El Dorado is a voice-trumpet duo that explores the concept of the art song and the intersection of text and music, subtly testing the boundaries between the meaningful and the inscrutable. Founded by vocalist Kristin Slipp and trumpeter Joe Moffett in 2008 at the New England Conservatory of Music and currently based in New York, the ensemble has for years focused on the writing and performing of challenging new works. Twins of El Dorado seeks to bring new ideas to the song form, culminating in a communion between ensemble and audience through a shared experience of new music and live performance.

Work and Why We Do It plays music for guitar, accordion and violin. The written material is concise (think jazz heads or little open form pieces) but leaves a lot of room for improvisation, interpretation, decision making both group and individual, and a general screwing with the material. The group was conceived in early 2015 by Chris Cretella (guitar/compositions) along with Adam Matlock (accordion) and Brian Slattery (violin) in New Haven, CT.

Work and Why We Do It

Work and Why We Do It

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, June 24. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA (CD RELEASE SHOW!)

• Thursday, June 25. CONTRA DANCE/FOLK: WRY BRED

• Friday, June 26. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Tuesday, June 30. MAYOR’S NIGHT OUT with HAMDEN MAYOR CURT BALZANO LENG

• Wednesday, July 1. ART SONG: TWINS OF EL DORADO; JAZZ: WORK AND WHY WE DO IT

• Friday, July 3. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Thursday, July 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: CHRIS PETERS & BILL MILFORD

• Friday, July 10. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: DEEPER SLEEPER, NATIVE SAGE

• Wednesday, July 15. JAZZ: THE ELLIGERS BROTHERS

• Thursday, July 16. STAND-UP COMEDY: RICH CYR & FRIENDS

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

• Tuesday, July 21. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Wednesday, July 22. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN (Former members of JAMES VELVET’S groups THE LONESOME SPARROWS & THE IVORY BILLS)

• Thursday, July 23. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: SHAUN BOWEN, KEVIN MF KING

• Friday, July 24. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: ANNE MARIE MENTA, SHELLYE VALAUSKAS

• Wednesday, July 29. CARIBBEAN/FOLK: THE LUKE RODNEY BAND

• Thursday, July 30. CABARET/CROONING/SPOKEN WORD: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Friday, July 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SAMUEL BASS

• Thursday, Aug. 6. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Friday, Aug. 7. INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Wednesday, Aug. 12. ELECTRONIC IMPROVISATION: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI & DEREK PIOTR

• Thursday, Aug. 13. INDIE FOLK: KINDRED QUEER

• Wednesday, Aug. 19. FOLK: WALKINGWOOD MANDOLIN QUARTET

• Thursday, Aug. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Friday, Aug. 21. BLUEGRASS: FIDDLE FOREVER

• Tuesday, Aug. 25. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Friday, Aug. 28. FILM SCREENING: “HEAD” (CT-PRODUCED LIVE PUPPET HORROR FEATURE)

• Wednesday, Sept. 16. COMEDY OPEN MIC WITH DAN CARRANO & DAN RICE

• Tuesday, Sept. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: HANNAH FAIR

• Wednesday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANGELA EASTERLING

• Thursday, Oct. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Friday, Oct. 23. ALT-COUNTRY: TANNERSVILLE

 

UPDATED! Music: Olive Tiger offers indie folk on Fri., June 26, at 8 PM; Michael Kusek added to bill

Olive_Tiger_WebUPDATE 6/23/15: Guitarist/singer-songwriter Michael Kusek has been added to this show.

Olive Tiger  and Michael Kusek play the Best Video Performance Space on Friday, June 26. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

In early 2013, Olive Tiger emerged blinking from the ashes of Tallahassee-based gypsy folk group Two Live Tigers, when all members of said group found themselves in different corners of the USA.

Confused and lonesome, Olive returned to her home state of CT and was promptly buried under three feet of snow. The resulting insanity gave birth to a new direction for Olive Tiger, combining her gypsy folk roots with, rock, classical, & pop, creating an experimental expanse of sound linking influences from Andrew Bird, St. Vincent, tUnE-yArDs, and Joanna Newsom.

Combining cello, guitar, and voice, (frequently with a loop pedal), Olive currently sails to new territories while working on her debut album.  Olive Tiger performs in a variety of configurations from solo to full-band setup, featuring Jesse Newman on violin and Dane Scozzari on drums. For this performance, she will play as a duo with Newman on violin.

Michael Kusek is a New Haven based singer songwriter who has until recently been known primarily as the lead guitarist of local folk-rockers Elison Jackson. Kusek’s solo material, while still being guitar based, is much more ambient, sometimes gentle, while exploring darker, even sinister tones and themes.

Michal; Kusek

Michal; Kusek

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

• Friday, June 19. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Wednesday, June 24. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA (CD RELEASE SHOW!)

• Thursday, June 25. CONTRA DANCE/FOLK: WRY BRED

• Friday, June 26. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Wednesday, July 1. ART SONG: TWINS OF EL DORADO; JAZZ: WORK AND WHY WE DO IT

• Friday, July 3. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Thursday, July 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: CHRIS PETERS & BILL MILFORD

• Friday, July 10. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: DEEPER SLEEPER, NATIVE SAGE

• Wednesday, July 15. JAZZ: THE ELLIGERS BROTHERS

• Thursday, July 16. STAND-UP COMEDY: RICH CYR & FRIENDS

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

• Tuesday, July 21. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Wednesday, July 22. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN (Former members of JAMES VELVET’S groups THE LONESOME SPARROWS & THE IVORY BILLS)

• Thursday, July 23. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: SHAUN BOWEN, KEVIN MF KING

• Friday, July 24. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: ANNE MARIE MENTA, SHELLYE VALAUSKAS

• Wednesday, July 29. CARIBBEAN/FOLK: THE LUKE RODNEY BAND

• Thursday, July 30. CABARET/CROONING/SPOKEN WORD: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Friday, July 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SAMUEL BASS

• Thursday, Aug. 6. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Friday, Aug. 7. INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Wednesday, Aug. 12. ELECTRONIC IMPROVISATION: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI & DEREK PIOTR

• Thursday, Aug. 13. INDIE FOLK: KINDRED QUEER

• Wednesday, Aug. 19. FOLK: WALKINGWOOD MANDOLIN QUARTET

• Thursday, Aug. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Friday, Aug. 21. BLUEGRASS: FIDDLE FOREVER

• Tuesday, Aug. 25. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Friday, Aug. 28. FILM SCREENING: “HEAD” (CT-PRODUCED LIVE PUPPET HORROR FEATURE)

• Wednesday, Sept. 16. COMEDY OPEN MIC WITH DAN CARRANO & DAN RICE

• Tuesday, Sept. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: HANNAH FAIR

• Wednesday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANGELA EASTERLING

• Thursday, Oct. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Friday, Oct. 23. ALT-COUNTRY: TANNERSVILLE

 

Music: Wry Bred plays contra dance and folk music Thurs., June 25, at 8 PM

Wry_Bred_-61314_BV_emailThe contra dance trio Wry Bred plays the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, June 25. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover charge is $5.

The contra dance trio Wry Bred engages in joyful musical conversations with driving rhythms and exuberant harmonies.

With Julie Sorcek on flute and saxophone, Mickey Koth on fiddle, and Robert Messore on guitar, Wry Bred sensitively supports dancers and callers alike. The band was founded in 2009 and has been playing at dances, concerts, private parties, and other events ever since. They’ve developed a growing reputation and won the respect and admiration of dancers and music lovers throughout the area and beyond. The members of Wry Bred each bring years of experience as dancers and musicians.

Wry Bred has played for contra dances in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts and, in 2011, with dance caller Bill Fischer, went on tour to North Carolina and Tennessee.

Julie Sorcek has been playing flute since she was ten years old, and has been off and running ever since. She added piccolo in college, and has had extensive experience playing with high school and college symphonic bands, and in the late ’80s and early ’90s with the Danbury Community Orchestra. She also plays saxophone and occasionally bodhran and recently began lessons on the fiddle. She is a founding member of Wry Bred.

Mickey Koth was a strictly classical player for the first 40 years of her life. Like Julie, Mickey began playing flute at age ten. As a music education major in college, she learned all the instruments, except double bass and tuba. Her favorites were the bassoon and trombone. At age 39, she started contra dancing and loved the music so much, she rented a violin for her 40th birthday and soon began studying with bluegrass fiddler and dobro player Stacy Phillips. Before the end of her first year playing, she had joined a pick-up band. She and John Kalinowski were the founding members of the contra dance and concert band Wild Notes.

Robert Messore plays guitar in Wry Bred. He has passionately devoted himself to the guitar for 30+ years. Voted Best Instrumentalist in a New Haven Advocate readers’ poll, Robert has been called the Heart of the New Haven Folk Scene for his vital and many-faceted contributions as solo performer, side man, recording artist, teacher and concert presenter (working on several concert series and the Connecticut Folk Festival). He also plays guitar and bass with soul/rock group, The Chrissy Gardner Band, and presents a weekly program called Toddler Tunes, which is the largest children’s sing-along in CT!

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

• Friday, June 19. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Wednesday, June 24. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA (CD RELEASE SHOW!)

• Thursday, June 25. CONTRA DANCE/FOLK: WRY BRED

• Friday, June 26. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Wednesday, July 1. ART SONG: TWINS OF EL DORADO; JAZZ: WORK AND WHY WE DO IT

• Friday, July 3. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Thursday, July 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: CHRIS PETERS & BILL MILFORD

• Friday, July 10. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: DEEPER SLEEPER, BREE GARRISON

• Wednesday, July 15. JAZZ: THE ELLIGERS BROTHERS

• Thursday, July 16. STAND-UP COMEDY: RICH CYR & FRIENDS

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

• Wednesday, July 22. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN

• Thursday, July 23. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: SHAUN BOWEN, KEVIN MF KING

• Friday, July 24. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: ANNE MARIE MENTA, SHELLYE VALAUSKAS

• Wednesday, July 29. CARIBBEAN/FOLK: THE LUKE RODNEY BAND

• Thursday, July 30. CABARET/CROONING/SPOKEN WORD: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Friday, July 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SAMUEL BASS

• Thursday, Aug. 6. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Friday, Aug. 7. INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Wednesday, Aug. 12. ELECTRONIC IMPROVISATION: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI & DEREK PIOTR

• Thursday, Aug. 13. INDIE FOLK: KINDRED QUEER

• Wednesday, Aug. 19. FOLK: WALKINGWOOD MANDOLIN QUARTET

• Thursday, Aug. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Friday, Aug. 21. BLUEGRASS: FIDDLE FOREVER

• Tuesday, Aug. 25. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Friday, Aug. 28. FILM SCREENING: “HEAD” (CT-PRODUCED LIVE PUPPET HORROR FEATURE)

• Wednesday, Sept. 16. COMEDY OPEN MIC WITH DAN CARRANO & DAN RICE

• Tuesday, Sept. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: HANNAH FAIR

• Wednesday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANGELA EASTERLING

• Thursday, Oct. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Friday, Oct. 23. ALT-COUNTRY: TANNERSVILLE

 

New Releases 6/16/15

Top Hits
Welcome to Me (comedy/drama, Kristwen Wiig. Rotten Tomatoes: 69%. Metacritic: 67. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “From the start, ‘Welcome to Me,’ shot in front of a sparse audience in the studios of a struggling infomercial outfit, seems to be headed for disaster. Based on that description, you might be tempted to say the same about ‘Welcome to Me,’ which is the name of a new movie directed by Shira Piven from a screenplay by Eliot Laurence and starring Kristen Wiig as Alice. Just describing the film is equivalent to listing the many ways it could have gone wrong. To build a comedy around the predicament of a mentally ill main character is to risk either gross insensitivity or a maudlin romanticism that is just as offensive. To take up the subject of subprime television is to court banality and bad faith. But ‘Welcome to Me,’ while not perfect, is the opposite of a disaster. By turns touching, amusing and genuinely disturbing, it defies expectations and easy categorization, forgoing obvious laughs and cheap emotional payoffs in favor of something much odder and more interesting.” Read more…)

The Cobbler (comedy/drama, Adam Sandler. Rotten Tomatoes: 11%. Metacritic: 22. From Andy Webster’s New York Times review: “The good news is that ‘The Cobbler’ isn’t another ‘Grown-Ups’ sequel. Adam Sandler, as he did with Jason Reitman’s little-seen ‘Men, Women & Children,’ works outside his sophomoric-humor comfort zone in this urban fairy tale directed by Tom McCarthy [‘The Station Agent’]. The bad news is that he is not very well served. ‘The Cobbler,’ which Mr. McCarthy wrote with Paul Sado, speaks to the fabulist side of Mr. Sandler, the one that appeared in ‘Click’ and ‘Bedtime Stories.’ But it’s an uneasy fit, in a trite story.” Read more…)

Unfinished Business (comedy, Vince Vaughn. Rotten Tomatoes: 11%. Metacritic: 32. From Andy Webster’s New York Times review: “A ‘EuroTrip’ with balance sheets, the slick, innocuous comedy ‘Unfinished Business’ fails to seal the deal. Dan Trunkman [Vince Vaughn] is a St. Louis executive and father whose company is being restructured by Chuck Portnoy [Sienna MIller], a shark already demanding too many hours from employees. Enraged, Dan starts a rival outfit, hiring Tim McWinters [Tom Wilkinson], an older colleague forced into retirement, and Mike Pancake [Dave Franco], a young, pretty dullard.” Read more…)

Chappie (sci-fi action, Sharlto Copley. Rotten Tomatoes: 31%. Metacritic: 41. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Frankenstein’s monster gets a titanium makeover in ‘Chappie,’ a science-fiction blood-spurter and would-be heart-warmer that wavers uncertainly between laughter and tears. Set in South Africa in the usual bummer future — yet again, it’s man against man, as well as machine — the movie imagines a scenario in which tin-can police march in lock step with their human analogues to roust the usual tattooed and dreadlocked gun-toting degenerates.” Read more…)

Run All Night (gangster action, Liam Neeson. Rotten Tomatoes: 61%. Metacritic: 59. From Andy Webster’s New York Times review: “Yes, ‘Run All Night’ is another action film starring Liam Neeson, with a title as generic as you might expect. But the movie, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, who directed Mr. Neeson in the efficient airborne thriller ‘Non-Stop,’ has two saving graces: a tight script and terrific acting.” Read more…)

Beyond the Reach (action/thriller, Michael Douglas. Rotten Tomatoes: 34%. Metacritic: 33. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “How many times can a guy lose his marbles? If the guy is Michael Douglas, apparently as many times as he wants. Mr. Douglas does his unhinged thing again in ‘Beyond the Reach,’ a sun-baked suspense tale that doesn’t add anything to the human-hunts-a-human genre but is effectively served.” Read more…)

Go For Sisters (crime drama, Edward James Olmos. Rotten Tomatoes: 72%. Metacritic: 59. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “As long as ‘Go for Sisters’ is focused on its characters, it remains on firm ground. But the flimsy detective story draped over them is underdeveloped and too sluggishly paced to take hold. This self-financed movie, reportedly made for less than a million dollars, badly needs a dash of Hollywood-style action.” Read more…)

The Lazarus Effect (sci-fi/horror, Mark Duplass. Rotten Tomatoes: 13%. Metacritic: 31. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “The researchers in ‘The Lazarus Effect’ devise a serum that resurrects the dead by stimulating brain activity. The film itself seems best watched with as few neurons firing as possible.” Read more…)

Reach Me (drama, Al Pacino. Rotten Tomatoes: 0%. Metacritic: 21. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “Casting Sylvester Stallone as a gossip-site publisher obviously modeled on Matt Drudge is one of many counterintuitive ideas that backfire in ‘Reach Me.’ In this preposterous ensemble piece, residents of the greater Los Angeles area become better people through the extended influence of a motivational book.” Read more…)

Time Lapse (sci-fi thriller, Danielle Panabaker. Rotten Tomatoes: 77%. Metacritic: 50.)

New Foreign
Wild Tales (Argentina, comedy, Ricardo Darin. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 77. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “As high-spirited as its title suggests, ‘Wild Tales’ opens on a savage note and ends, well, that’s for you to find out. In between its shocker start and equally startling windup, this Argentine anthology offers up a scabrous, often unsettlingly funny look at human behavior in extremis. It’s a mad, mad social Darwinian world, churning with men and women who, whether pushed a lot or just a little, are all eager to do the worst to one another. They pounce and then they pummel, engaging in drag-down fights that leave them black and blue and sometimes stone-cold dead.’ Read more…)

Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (Israel, social drama, Ronit Elkabetz. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 90. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “This makes for gripping cinema from start to finish, almost implausibly so. ‘Gett’ is the third movie featuring Viviane that Ms. Elkabetz has written and directed with her brother Shlomi Elkabetz, after ‘To Take a Wife’ and ‘Shiva’ a.k.a. ‘Seven Days,’ and their work here is assured, streamlined and bold. As if to underscore the highly subjective quality of the storytelling in ‘Gett’ [he said, she said, they said], the Elkabetzes use only point-of-view shots throughout, which tethers every image — of the judges, of Viviane’s legs, of Elisha’s profile — to the perspective of one of the characters.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog (post-1960)
Staircase (1969, comedy/drama, Richard Burton. A late 1960’s movie based on a Charles Dyer play, “Staircase” stars Rex Harrison and Richard Burton as aging gay men living in London. Read Vincent Canby’s 1969 New York Times review [requires log-in] for a heaping helping of vintage homophobia: “Harry and Charlie are exploited as freaks, and ‘Staircase,’ which Stanley Donen has directed from Charles Dyer’s adaptation of his own play, is clearly something of a casting stunt: Marc Antony and Julius Caesar as a pair of decaying lovers in a lower middle-class London banlieu. Although Burton and Harrison are interesting actors whose styles command attention even when the material does not, ‘Staircase’ is essentially a stunt movie. Like homosexuality, which confuses one love object for another, the film is full of grotesque substitutes, false teeth, false hair, feminine pronouns for masculine. All of this might have made a more meaningful film if Dyer hadn’t also substituted invective for wit, self-deprecation for self-knowledge, and soap opera for drama. What story line there is concerns the increasing tension between Harry and Charlie as the latter prepares to answer a summons for having appeared at the Adam’s Apple nightclub in drag, or, as the summons put it: ‘in a manner calculated to bring depravity.'” Read more…)

New Television
The Newsroom: Season 3 (HBO drama, Jeff Daniels. Rotten Tomatoes: 76%. Metacritic: 63.)
The Killing: Season 2 (drama, Mirielle Enos. Rotten Tomatoes: 65%. Metacritic: 68.)

New Documentaries
The Wrecking Crew (music history, rock music, Hal Blaine. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 66. From Jon Caramanica’s New York Times review: “For a stretch in the 1960s, those faces beaming from album covers were lying to you: The music inside was often played by others. Those others were usually members of the Wrecking Crew, a loose cabal of versatile Los Angeles session musicians fluent in rock, soul, country and getting out of the way. This sentimental documentary is directed by Denny Tedesco, whose father, Tommy, was a lauded guitar player of that era. [He died in 1997.] Mostly, it’s hagiography, with stars like Cher and Brian Wilson used as character witnesses to the players’ greatness.” Read more…)

New Music DVDs
The Wrecking Crew (music history, rock music, Hal Blaine. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 66. From Jon Caramanica’s New York Times review: “For a stretch in the 1960s, those faces beaming from album covers were lying to you: The music inside was often played by others. Those others were usually members of the Wrecking Crew, a loose cabal of versatile Los Angeles session musicians fluent in rock, soul, country and getting out of the way. This sentimental documentary is directed by Denny Tedesco, whose father, Tommy, was a lauded guitar player of that era. [He died in 1997.] Mostly, it’s hagiography, with stars like Cher and Brian Wilson used as character witnesses to the players’ greatness.” Read more…)

Music: Sambeleza CD release party on Wed., June 24, at 8 PM

coverimagejpgsmall_WebSambeleza plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, June 24. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5. It’s a CD Release Party for their new record “Sambeleza Live.”

“Sambeleza Live” was recorded live at Summer Solstice Samba in June, 2014 at Voices Cafe of the Unitarian Church in Westport in association with WPKN-FM. Along with Sambeleza members Isabella Mendes, Jeff Fuller and Joe Carter on that date were special guests Ali Ryerson (flute), Adriano Santos (drums) and Ze Mauricio (percussion).

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.”

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Monday, June 15. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DANIELLE ATE THE SANDWICH, GLUMPUPPET

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

• Friday, June 19. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Wednesday, June 24. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA (CD RELEASE SHOW!)

• Thursday, June 25. CONTRA DANCE/FOLK: WRY BRED

• Friday, June 26. INDIE FOLK: OLIVE TIGER

• Wednesday, July 1. ART SONG: TWINS OF EL DORADO; JAZZ: WORK AND WHY WE DO IT

• Friday, July 3. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Thursday, July 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: CHRIS PETERS

• Friday, July 10. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: DEEPER SLEEPER, BREE GARRISON

• Wednesday, July 15. JAZZ: THE ELLIGERS BROTHERS

• Thursday, July 16. STAND-UP COMEDY: RICH CYR & FRIENDS

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

• Wednesday, July 22. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN

• Thursday, July 23. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: SHAUN BOWEN, KEVIN MF KING

• Friday, July 24. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: ANNE MARIE MENTA, SHELLYE VALAUSKAS

• Wednesday, July 29. CARIBBEAN/FOLK: THE LUKE RODNEY BAND

• Thursday, July 30. CABARET/CROONING/SPOKEN WORD: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Friday, July 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SAMUEL BASS

• Thursday, Aug. 6. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Friday, Aug. 7. INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Wednesday, Aug. 12. ELECTRONIC IMPROVISATION: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI & DEREK PIOTR

• Thursday, Aug. 13. INDIE FOLK: KINDRED QUEER

• Wednesday, Aug. 19. FOLK: WALKINGWOOD MANDOLIN QUARTET

• Thursday, Aug. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Friday, Aug. 21. BLUEGRASS: FIDDLE FOREVER

• Tuesday, Aug. 25. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Friday, Aug. 28. FILM SCREENING: “HEAD” (CT-PRODUCED STOP-ACTION ANIMATED FEATURE)

• Wednesday, Sept. 16. COMEDY OPEN MIC WITH DAN CARRANO & DAN RICE

• Tuesday, Sept. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: HANNAH FAIR

• Wednesday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANGELA EASTERLING

• Thursday, Oct. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Friday, Oct. 23. ALT-COUNTRY: TANNERSVILLE