New Releases 7/28/15

Top Hits
Clouds_of_Sils_MariaClouds of Sils Maria (drama, Juliette Binoche. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%. Metacritic: 78. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “For some young performers, blockbusters are where talent and ambition go to die. For others, like Kristen Stewart, the star of that international juggernaut called the ‘Twilight Saga,’ big movies can be a good place to hide out while they’re raking it in. In the superb French film ‘Clouds of Sils Maria,’ Ms. Stewart plays an ordinary American abroad, a new-age, pop-savvy Daisy Miller who, with expressive intelligence that few blockbusters allow, makes a passionate argument for the kinds of movies the actress herself is best known for. Ms. Stewart has rightly won a lot of attention for her performance [the French film industry rewarded her with its highest honor, a César], but it would be a mistake to think of this as some sort of career rescue mission.” Read more…)

Camp X-Ray (drama, Kristen Stewart. Rotten Tomatoes: 73%. Metacritic: 54. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “Whether you’re a guard or an inmate at the Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba, the place, as depicted in ‘Camp X-Ray,’ is a living hell, but not in the most obvious ways. It’s not a rank dungeon with clanging torture chambers. This relentlessly dour first feature, directed and written by Peter Sattler, was actually shot in an abandoned juvenile prison in Whittier, Calif., just outside Los Angeles. As you observe the 24-hour-a-day surveillance in which guards, two to a shift, go round and round, peeking into each room every three minutes to make sure a detainee hasn’t attempted suicide, you have the sickening sense of people locked in a miserable, dehumanizing ritual from which there is no exit.” Read more…)

Comet (romance, Justin Long. Rotten Tomatoes: 41%. Metacritic: 52. From David DeWitt’s New York Times review: “‘Comet’ aims to be a serious look at romance, and Justin Long and Emmy Rossum serve it well as the fraught-with-freakish-intelligence couple at its center. Both appear to be naturals at the film’s snark-free, zippy dialogue, which would outrun an Aaron Sorkin script in a verbal race.” Read more…)

Home_DVDHome (Dreamworks animated feature, Rihanna [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 45%. Metacritic: 55. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “The short, squat creatures that turn up in animated movies may all be starting to run together in your mind, which makes finding a distinctive voice for such characters all the more important. The creators of ‘Home’ made an inspired choice in that regard for their little hero, recruiting Jim Parsons of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ for the job, and they made another by pairing him with the pop star Rihanna.” Read more…)

52 Tuesdays (Australia, gender roles/drama, Tilda Cobham-Hervey. Rotten Tomatoes: 79%. Metacritic: 71. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “There’s very little about the Australian drama ’52 Tuesdays’ that could be considered conventional. Not the characters, all of whom are played by nonprofessional actors. Not the story, which concerns the effects of a mother’s gender transition on her teenage daughter. And not the filmmaking, whose rigid structure — once a week for a year, only on Tuesdays — was decided before any other element. The result of these and other constraints is a frustratingly fragmented yet warmly intimate portrait of an evolving bond that frays but doesn’t sever.” Read more…)

The Water Diviner (drama, Russell Crowe. Rotten Tomatoes: 63%. Metacritic: 50. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Ties review: “For ‘The Water Diviner,’ his muddled directorial debut about love in the time of war and dissemblance, Russell Crowe wanted to go full David Lean while nodding at Peter Weir’s ‘Gallipoli.’ Like many filmmakers, Mr. Crowe also wanted to tidy up history to suit his dramatic needs.” Read more…)

Justice League: Gods and Monsters (animated superhero action feature, Benjamin Bratt [voice])

New Blu-Ray
Home

New Foreign
JaujaJauja (Argentina, romance/drama, Viggo Mortensen. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 76. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “The films of the Argentine director Lisandro Alonso often feel longer than they are. That isn’t a bad thing, necessarily. Too many movies hurtle forward on fast editing and breathless plotting, and too much of life goes by in a blur. The characters in four of Mr. Alonso’s features — ‘La Libertad,’ ‘Los Muertos,’ ‘Liverpool’ and now ‘Jauja’ — undertake difficult journeys, at least partly on foot, across hostile terrain. Following them through long takes and static shots accompanied by abundant silence and sparse dialogue and music, the viewer feels the weight of time. This can be uncomfortable, but the risk of tedium can deliver a special kind of intensity, a slowing of the metabolism and an awakening of the senses.” Read more…)

3 Hearts (France, romance/drama, Charlotte Gainsbourg. Rotten Tomatoes: 73%. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “The French filmmaker Benoît Jacquot’s ‘3 Hearts’ has the incalculable advantage of teaming three of Europe’s most revered actresses, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve, in a proudly old-fashioned romantic melodrama. Those names alone make it sound delectable, and in its outlines, this quintessential Gallic bodice-ripper might be described as a hybrid of ‘An Affair to Remember’ and the German filmmaker Dominik Graf’s recent ‘Beloved Sisters.’ But its internal clock is askew and the premise of the movie, which is set in the present, feels musty.” Read more…)

White God (Hungary, dystopian drama, Zsofia Psotta. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 80. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “The hand that feeds — and also brutalizes — is righteously bitten in ‘White God,’ a Hungarian revenge fantasy that’s like nothing you’ve seen on screen before. The story is as simple as a parable, a campfire story, a children’s book: A faithful animal, separated from its loving owner, endures, suffers, struggles and resists while trying to transcend its brutal fate. The director, Kornel Mundruczo, has said that he was partly inspired by J. M. Coetzee’s devastating novel ‘Disgrace,’ but the movie also invokes haunting animal classics like ‘Black Beauty’ and The Call of the Wild.'” Read more…)

The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein (France, 1972, horror/sexploitation, Dennis Price)

New British
Father Brown: Season 2 (mystery series, Mark Williams)

New TV
Nashville: Season 1 (series, Hayden Panettiere. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 85.)
Nashville: Season 2 (series, Hayden Panettiere. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%.)

New Documentaries
Revenge_of_MekonsRevenge of the Mekons (music, punk rock, The Mekons. Rotten Tomatoes: 87%. Metacritic: 77. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Ben Kenigsberg’s Times review: “In the liner notes for a 1982 record from the Mekons, the critic Lester Bangs wrote that the band would ‘gourmandise’ rock. [He also suggested that he was paid $1,500 to write the essay.] ‘Revenge of the Mekons,’ an infectious new documentary from Joe Angio, is a celebration of that voracity. The film is both a generous primer on the band, which grew out of the punk movement in Leeds, England, in 1977, and a celebration of its longevity.” Read more…)

New Music DVDs
Revenge of the Mekons (music, punk rock, The Mekons. Rotten Tomatoes: 87%. Metacritic: 77. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Ben Kenigsberg’s Times review: “In the liner notes for a 1982 record from the Mekons, the critic Lester Bangs wrote that the band would ‘gourmandise’ rock. [He also suggested that he was paid $1,500 to write the essay.] ‘Revenge of the Mekons,’ an infectious new documentary from Joe Angio, is a celebration of that voracity. The film is both a generous primer on the band, which grew out of the punk movement in Leeds, England, in 1977, and a celebration of its longevity.” Read more…)

New Children’s DVDs
Home (Dreamworks animated feature, Rihanna [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 45%. Metacritic: 55. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “The short, squat creatures that turn up in animated movies may all be starting to run together in your mind, which makes finding a distinctive voice for such characters all the more important. The creators of ‘Home’ made an inspired choice in that regard for their little hero, recruiting Jim Parsons of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ for the job, and they made another by pairing him with the pop star Rihanna.” Read more…)

Music: Zoo Front, Bill Arnold Thurs., Aug. 5, at 8 PM

The indie rock group Zoo Front and singer-songwriter Bill Arnold play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Aug. 5. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

The last year has been a busy one for Zoo Front. The new CD Red Stereo Dress is the beginning of a new era for the band, with Nancie Tief making her singing and songwriting debut. Adding to the fun, we adopted a new working philosophy we call ABM – “ambient background mischief”. The idea is to add a subliminal track to each song that somehow fills out the sound in a way that defies definition. We hope you like the results.

Zoo Front

Zoo Front

The personnel is Ed Ekendu (Guitar), Nancie Tief (Guitar),  Julie Riccio (Drums) and Ju Dee Luna.

Bill Arnold played guitar and wrote songs for The Wall Spiders for much of the 90’s. He is currently a singer and strings player for The Rude Mechanicals while he writes for theatre and film, including an upcoming film of his play, “Night of the Musical Dead.”

Bill Arnold

Bill Arnold

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Friday, Aug. 14. ROCK: THE FURORS, TOM HEARN

• 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

• Thursday, Aug. 27. AMERICANA: PATRICK DALTON & MIKE SKAGGS

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

• Friday, Sept. 4. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Wednesday, Sept. 9. COMEDY OPEN MIC WITH JAKE NIETOPSKI

• Thursday, Sept. 10. INDIE ROCK: LA TUNDA

• Friday, Sept. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNW MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Sept. 16. CARIBBEAN/FOLK: LUKE RODNEY

• Friday, Sept. 18. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN

• 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

• Friday, Oct. 30. HALLOWEEN FILM SCREENING WITH LIVE SCORE: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

 

Next Wednesday’s Luke Rodney show postponed

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Luke Rodney show scheduled for next Wednesday, July 29, is being postponed. We will post when we have a rescheduled date to confirm.

Music: Samuel Bass, Bella on Fri., July 31, at 8 PM

The singer-songwriters Samuel Bass and Bella play Best Video Performance Space on Friday, July 31. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Samuel Bass

Samuel Bass

Samuel Bass is a songwriter from Hamden, Connecticut. He currently lives/goes to school in Marlboro, Vermont where he studies ethnomusicology. His first album, The Gritty Smoke, was released on the 4th of July, 2012, and since then he has been working on a new release called The Uncanny Valley. He enjoys intimate conversations and long walks on the beach.

Bella in performance.

Bella in performance.

Bella Ortiz-Wren (just Bella onstage, or “queen dweeb”) writes dreamy swoon-tunes about family, erasure, sweethearts and leg hair. Her songs bounce across different genres–they’re a mix of punky sass, jazzy flare, solo angst, folky moments and mellow delight. General vibe includes rich vocals, some distortion, and lots of reverb. Bella hails from Brattleboro, VT and is currently working on her next album, titled “Sour Honey.” When not playing music, she can be found making pottery at Marlboro College (or at work, slicing deli meat).

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• 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 Postponed

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Friday, Aug. 14. ROCK: THE FURORS, TOM HEARN

• 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

• Thursday, Aug. 27. AMERICANA: PATRICK DALTON & MIKE SKAGGS

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

• Friday, Sept. 4. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Wednesday, Sept. 9. COMEDY OPEN MIC WITH JAKE NIETOPSKI

• Thursday, Sept. 10. INDIE ROCK: LA TUNDA

• Friday, Sept. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNW MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Sept. 16. CARIBBEAN/FOLK: LUKE RODNEY

• Friday, Sept. 18. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN

• 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

• Friday, Oct. 30. HALLOWEEN FILM SCREENING WITH LIVE SCORE: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

 

New Releases 7/21/15

Top Hits
What_We_Do_in_the_ShadowsWhat We Do in the Shadows (comedy, Jemaine Clement. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 75. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “Set in modern-day Wellington, New Zealand [the exterior of the vamps’ house is the headquarters of Peter Jackson’s production company], this weird and witty spoof filters the routines of the living through the lens of the long dead. For our gang of ghouls, encounters with passing werewolves — whose full-moon preparations are ingeniously telescoped into a hilarious aside — are ultimately less problematic than figuring out how to look good when you have no reflection. Or getting into a hot club without a direct invitation.” Read more…)

The Longest Ride (Nicholas Sparks romance, Britt Robertson. Rotten Tomatoes: 31%. Metacritic: 33. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “On the Box Office Mojo website, ‘The Longest Ride’ is described in three words: ‘Brand: Nicholas Sparks.’ That may be all you need to know. The film, directed by George Tillman Jr. [‘Soul Food,’ ‘The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete’], is the latest screen adaptation of work by an author whose stamp is unmistakable. To those familiar with his novels — and, more relevant to our purposes here, with the seacoast-and-sunlight, white-people-kissing-in-the-rain movies they have inspired — Mr. Spark’s name evokes a genre, an aesthetic, a swoony, saccharine, weirdly compelling gestalt.” Read more…)

Tooken (comedy/action, Lee Tergesen)

New Foreign
TangerinesTangerines (Estonia/Georgia, drama, Lembit Ulfsak. Rotten Tomatoes: 83%. Metacritic: 73. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘Tangerines” is a modest film, sure of its proportions and clear about its intentions. The key to its effectiveness lies with the actors, in particular Mr. Ulfsak, who radiates wry, weary wisdom and Mr. Nakhashidze, who is as charismatic and menacing as a mastiff at rest. The friendship that develops between Ivo and Ahmed is touching and credible, and seems like a small mercy in the midst of cruelty and hatred.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
Death Takes a Holiday (1934, comedy/romance, Fredric March. Rotten tomatoes: 83%. From Mordaunt Hall’s 1934 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Mitchell Leisen, director of the pictorial version of ‘Cradle Song,’ has wrought another distinguished production in this translation of the play ‘Death Takes a Holiday.’ It is an impressive picture, each scene of which calls for close attention. Undoubtedly Maxwell Anderson’s share in the adaptation had a great deal to do with the effectiveness of this screen contribution, the idea of which is peculiarly suited to the story-telling shadows.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
B.A.P.S. (1997, comedy, Halle Berry. Rotten Tomatoes: 13%. From Janet Maslin’s 1997 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Halle Berry plays Barbie in ‘BAPS,’ which casts her as a gold-toothed waitress from Georgia whose idea of upward mobility is going to Beverly Hills. She looks like a million bucks even when done up trashily enough to set off a metal detector. With Ruth Carter’s bright, booty-hugging wardrobe for Ms. Berry one of the film’s main comic assets, ‘BAPS’ does show that the star can be as funny as she is gorgeous [very]. But it’s still a weak and condescending comedy with too many implicit kinks for its squeaky-clean tone.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
I Am Femen (feminism, activism)

New Children’s DVDs
Strange Magic (CGI animated feature, Evan Rachel Wood [voice]. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “‘Strange Magic,’ directed by the Oscar-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom from a story by George lucas, is set in a world of fairies, elves and goblins. The fluid digital animation tickles the eye with a sea of periwinkle, pockmarked creatures and diaphanous, detailed wings.” Read more…)

Music: Franz Douskey & Rich Moran present Part 2 of their Tribute to Frank Sinatra Thurs., July 30, at 8 PM

Rich Moran, left, and Franz Douskey, right

Rich Moran, left, and Franz Douskey, right

The life and times of Frank Sinatra come alive on an evening of stories and songs presented by Franz Douskey, author of Sinatra and Me: The Very Good Years,  and vocalist Rich Moran at Best Video on Thursday, Oct 23, at 8 PM. The cover is $5.

Sinatra and Me: The Very Good Years features the recollections of New Haven native and Sally’s Pizza co-founder, Tony Consiglio, who met fellow teenager, Frank Sinatra, while visiting family and spending time on the streets of Hoboken, New Jersey in the early 1930’s. They formed a fast and true friendship that lasted until Sinatra’s death in 1998. Consiglio was not only Sinatra’s friend, he served as his confident, valet, and true “right hand man” for many years. From the early days when Sinatra was trying to establish himself as a singer to the mid 1960’s, Tony worked with Sinatra and was there to share the highs and lows of his career.

After rebuffing many requests for interviews about his relationship with Sinatra through the years, Tony was introduced by a family member to local author, Franz Douskey when he was in his 80’s. Tony hit it off with Franz and eventually began sharing the fond remembrances of his life with Sinatra. Franz compiled the tales he heard into the book, “Sinatra and Me…The Very Good Years”, an “as told to” memoir published in 2012.

At this event, Franz will share Tony’s stories from the book as well as his own insights on the life and career of Francis Albert Sinatra. In between anecdotes, vocalist Rich Moran will perform a number of classic Sinatra tunes back by pianist Judy Webber, saxophonist Jeff Webber, and drummer Noah Golden.

Franz is a Pulitzer Prize author who has been published in over 200 hundred publications including The New Yorker and Rolling Stone. He also co-produced and co—hosted, Once Upon a Bandstand on WQUN featuring the music of Frank Sinatra and many others of his era.

Rich has performed at Best Video on several occasions, each time bringing his neo-traditional interpretation to a different part of the Standards repertoire. Together with the Webbers, he has played venues throughout southern Connecticut. Their most recent concert set titled, “Here’s To the Ladies Who Rhyme” was performed at the Guilford Concert Under the Stars series and Best Video this summer.

The pairing of Franz and Rich for this event came at the suggestion of Hank Paper. Since meeting, Franz and Rich have enjoyed sharing their mutual appreciation for the Great American Songbook and the singers who have put their stamp on the genre including Frank Sinatra. They look forward to presenting what they hope will be an informative and entertaining evening for all who attend.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• 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 Postponed

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Friday, Aug. 14. ROCK: THE FURORS, TOM HEARN

• 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)

• Friday, Sept. 4. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Wednesday, Sept. 9. COMEDY OPEN MIC WITH JAKE NIETOPSKI

• 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: Postponed! Music: Luke Rodney and band to play Wed., July 29, at 8 PM

Luke_Rodney_BV_093013_WebUPDATE 7/23/15: Due to circumstances beyond our control, this show is being postponed. We will post a new date as soon as we can confirm one with Luke Rodney.

Luke Rodney returns to Best Video to perform on Wednesday, July 29. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Rodney resides in Branford. A drummer, Rodney has played with many bands from his home country as well as numerous groups in the New Haven area, including the Cobalt Rhythm Kings, Inity, Jah Movements, St. Luke’s Steelband and his main group, White-eyed Lizard. Rodney’s performance at the Best Video Performance Space last September was his first concert performing his original music.

Rodney began playing the ukelele about three years ago, inspired by an old children’s guitar he found in a dumpster, which he repaired with the thought of giving to his two young children.

“When I got to four strings, I decided to keep it and tune it as a cuatro. I began hearing chords for the original songs I wrote,” says Rodney. “Many years ago a school teacher Juan O’Garo taught me three chords: C, F, G7. Those came in as my base for finding my way around the uke.”

Rodney has been writing his Caribbean-inflected music since the 1970′s. He recently released his first solo CD of his original songs, “Ta Te, Ta Ta.”

“I am grateful for all the people who give me their time and support to help with this venture,” says Rodney. “The music is raw and natural. The intent is to bring a happy feeling to whomever hears it. I want to make a difference in the world as a person and with my music.”

UPCOMING MUSIC:

• 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, BELLE

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

• 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. 9. COMEDY OPEN MIC WITH JAKE NIETOPSKI

• 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: Anne Marie Menta and Shellye Valauskas ditch their bands for a night, Fri., July 24, at 8 PM

Singer-songwriters Anne Marie Menta and Shellye Valauskas give their backing bands the slip for a night, playing solo sets—and perhaps some songs together—on Friday, July 24. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Shellye Valauskas

Shellye Valauskas

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.

Anne Marie Menta

Anne Marie Menta

Anne Marie Menta hails from New Haven, CT., where she has been a long time favorite singer/songwriter. She comes from a family of three brothers, where playing and listening to music was their great passion. Her musical credits include fronting various rock & roll, folk, and country bands as a singer/guitarist, including The Wanderers, Sugar Moon, Sky Riders, and Rodeo Radio. In the mid 90s, she decided to concentrate on her own original music, and those tunes of hers that she “snuck” into her cover band repertoire now became her main focus. But, the country, folk, and pop music that she loved continued to be an influence in her writing.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Friday, Aug. 14. ROCK: THE FURORS, TOM HEARN

• 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)

• Friday, Sept. 4. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Wednesday, Sept. 9. COMEDY OPEN MIC WITH JAKE NIETOPSKI

• 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 7/14/15

Top Hits
Ex_MachinaEx Machina (sci-fi, Oscar Isaac. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 78. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “‘Ex Machina’ is itself a smart, sleek movie about men and the machines they make, but it’s also about men and the women they dream up. That makes it a creation story, except instead of God repurposing a rib, the story here involves a Supreme Being who has built an A.I., using a fortune he’s made from a search engine called Blue Book. Mr. Garland, who wrote and directed, isn’t afraid of throwing around big names or heavy ideas, and he has pointedly named the search engine after Ludwig Wittgenstein’s 1930s ‘Blue Book.'” Read more…)

Goodbye to All That (romance/drama, Paul Schneider. Rotten Tomatoes: 60%. Metacritic: 62. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “This poker-faced comedy, the directorial debut of Angus MacLachlan, who wrote the screenplay for the 2005 film ‘Junebug,’ everses the usual roles in a story that typically focuses on a wife blindsided by her husband’s infidelity. So stunned that he is left speechless, Otto might as well have been grazed by a sniper’s bullet. He later learns through Facebook that Annie has been having a torrid affair. Although the marriage had been sexless for two years, he was contented with the status quo.” Read more…)

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (comedy/drama, Maggie Smith. Rotten Tomatoes: 62%. Metacritic: 51. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “Beyond its blindingly colorful palette, the pleasures to be gleaned from the sequel to the 2012 hit ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ derive from watching its eminent, mostly British cast ham it up while trying to inflate dramatic molehills into mountains. To get away with pretending that less is more, strenuous overacting is required.” Read more…)

It_FollowsIt Follows (horror, Maika Monroe. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 83. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Stephen Holden’s Times review: “‘It Follows’ opens nearly a year after winning the Next Wave award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Its acclaim derives from its masterly manipulation of mood by its cinematographer, Michael Gioulakis. The deadly menace, which seems to emerge from your peripheral vision, is initially hard to discern, but as it draws closer, never quickening its step, you sense its grim intention.” Read more…)

Maggie (post-apocalyptic thriller, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Rotten Tomatoes: 52%. Metacritic: 52. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Zombies, Arnold Schwarzenegger and a certain Terrence Malick je ne sais quoi — what could go wrong? More or less everything in this low-budget head-scratcher and periodic knee-slapper. A bearded Mr. Schwarzenegger plays Wade Vogel, a strenuously humble American farmer who, not long after the movie opens, retrieves his 16-year-old daughter, Maggie [Abigail Breslin], from a world crammed with artfully uglified, zomboid victims of a ghastly virus. Cars burn, fields burn and every so often — as when Wade gasses up his truck — one of these hungry zombies goes on the attack.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
The Salt of the Earth
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

New Foreign
The Confession (France, 1970, political thriller, Yves Montand. From Vincent Canby’s 1970 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Costa-Gavras’s ‘The Confession,’ which opened yesterday at the Beekman Theater, is not, I think, a better movie than his prize-winning ‘Z,’ with which it will inevitably be compared, not only by the critics but also by those members of the public who may look for a repeat performance. The earlier film was a nearly perfect topical thriller whose form pretty much defined the substance of its liberal politics. However, because the subject of ‘The Confession’ is much more complex, much more human, I find it vastly more interesting than ‘Z,’ even when one is aware of the way Costa-Gavras manipulates attention by the use of flashy cinematic devices that sometimes substitute for sustained drama. It is a horror story of the mind told almost entirely in factual and physical terms, which is something of a contradiction.” Read more…)

State_of_SiegeState of Siege (France, 1972, political thriller, Yves Montand. From Vincent Canby’s 1973 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Costa-Gavras’s ‘State of Siege’ is a riveting film and possibly an inflammatory one. It oversimplifies recent history, but raises so many complex and important moral questions that to attack it for oversimplification may be just a discreet form of rationalization, of looking the other way…. Strictly as an example of film-making, ‘State of Siege’ is exceptionally shrewd. Although we have no doubt what the outcome of the narrative will be, Costa-Gavras and Solinas maintain our interest at what is sometimes called (in admitted desperation) a fever pitch. Through the kind of rapid cross-cutting made familiar in both ‘Z’ and ‘The Confession,’ they manage to make straight exposition hugely dramatic.” Read more…)

Here Is Your Life (Sweden, 1966, historical drama, Eddie Axberg. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 78. From Vincent Canby’s 1968 new York Times review [requires log-in]: “‘Here Is Your Life’ is a sweet, gentle, technically wise movie about a young man’s growing up in northern Sweden during World War I. It is a first feature by Jan Troell, the 27-year-old Swedish director who also photographed the movie, edited it and wrote the screenplay with Bengst Forslund.” Read more…)

The Treatment (Netherlands, thriller, Geert Van Rampelberg. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%.)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
Black Hand (1950, crime drama, Gene Kelly. From bosley Crowther’s 1950 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Even though M.-G.-M.’s ‘Black Hand,’ which came to the Capitol on Saturday, might cynically be designated as just a period gangster film, it has more to recommend it than a good, adventurous gangster plot. It has, in its picturization of New York’s ‘little Italy’ back in the unrestricted period of this century’s first decade, some rather affecting indications of the crowded and troubled world, novel and mystifying, in which this city’s Italian immigrants lived. And it has some quite colorful acting by a generally well directed cast, of which the best—and the most—is contributed by Gene Kelly and J. Carrol Naish.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
Salt_of_the_EarthThe Salt of the Earth (photography, social issues, nature, Sebastião Salgado. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 83. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘The Salt of the Earth,’ Wim Wenders’s new documentary about the life and work of the Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, elegantly inhabits a moral and aesthetic paradox. Mr. Salgado’s photographs illuminate some of the worst horrors of the modern world: starvation, war, poverty, displacement. They are also beautiful, dramatic visual artifacts, and their power has a double effect. We are drawn into the contemplation of terrible realities, but at the same time our attention turns to the person bearing witness.” Read more…)

Beyond Zero: 1914-1918 (World War I, history)
Animal Odd Couples (nature, animal emotions, science, Temple Grandin)
112 Weddings (photography, interpersonal relationships, marriage. Rotten Tomatoes: 79%. Metacritic: 74.)

Music: Intense singer-songwriters Shaun Bowen and Kevin MF King on Thurs., July 23, at 8 PM

Singer-songwriters Shaun Bowen and Kevin MF King perform at Best Video on Thursday, July 23. The intensity starts at 8 PM and doesn’t let up for two sets. The cover is $5.

Shaun Bowen singer songwriter guitarist in long running heavy rock New Haven band Murdervan is also a solo performer with a style that separates him from most folk and acoustic acts. With just a beat up 1970s cheap  acoustic  guitar Bowen writes and plays songs in his solo act that are both driving and melodic and grounded by well-crafted pop hooks. He tends to strum the guitar very hard at times trying to fill the room with a big sound of open strings and lavish chordal voicings. Shaun is currently working on his debut record to be released sometime in early fall and continues to be seen live throughout the New England area.

Shaun Bowen at Best Video Performance Space March 23, 2015.

Shaun Bowen at Best Video Performance Space March 23, 2015.

Kevin MF King’s songs run amok with topics such as work drudgery, self-reflection, escapism, the debauchery displayed in modern politics and the process of human interaction, at times using fictional folk tales to tell a story, others just beautiful instrumentals. KMFK has more than 100 self-recorded songs regularly distributed on self-released hand-stamped CDs.

Kevin MF King

Kevin MF King

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• 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