Music: Jazz saxophonist Jovan Alexandre plays Fri., Oct. 9, at 8 PM

Jovan_Alexandre_WebThe Jovan Alexandre Trio performs at Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Oct. 9. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

The Jovan Alexandre Trio features Jovan Alexandre and Andrew Breskin on saxophones and Matt DeChamplain on piano.

Jovan Alexandre is an emerging jazz tenor saxophone phenomenon, known for the brightness of his tone and the elegant bearing of his compositions. He may be situated, broadly speaking, within the penumbra of hard-bop and post-bop styles elaborated and taught in Alexandre’s native New England by the iconic Jackie McLean [1931-2006] during his later, seminal years as a Connecticut resident and educator.

Alexandre has been a soloist on recordings for drummers Ralph Peterson (Outer Reaches [2010]) and Winard Harper (Coexist, sharing the tenor spotlight with Frank Wess [2012]), and for the South African jazz singer Nonhlanhla Kheswa (Meadowlands, Stolen Jazz [2013]). Alexandre’s first album as a leader, Collective Consciousness, will be released worldwide on February 24, 2015.

Just as Jackie McLean himself had—in such albums for Blue Note as Let Freedom Ring [1962] and One Step Beyond [1963]—extrapolated upon both the lyricism and projection of a Charlie Parker or a Dexter Gordon and the angular modes and scales of John Coltrane, so has Jovan Alexandre revealed himself as a spiritual heir to McLean with authoritative and imaginative excursions into the free-flowing modernist colloquy pioneered by McLean.

Alexandre’s uniqueness, though, lies in his personal sound. He plays free of bombast, full of texture. His sound can variously seem molten and sharp-cornered within the same tune, sometimes practically within the same phrase. The melody lines are stately, whatever their tempo.

At Hartt, Alexandre’s primary mentor was Jackie McLean’s own son, tenor saxophonist René McLean. He also studied with other direct protégés of Jackie McLean, especially tenor saxophonist Jimmy Greene and alto saxophonist Kris Allen, along with pianist and arranger Chris Casey, trombonist Steve Davis, and bassist Nat Reeves. These instrumentalists are all key contributors to what some have called a “Hartford sound” grounded in Jackie McLean’s teachings and continuing influence, and especially his notions of historicity and the value of hand-to-hand transmission of jazz knowledge.

Even before graduating from Hartt, Alexandre had begun to earn a reputation as one of the most interesting of the new tenor saxophone soloists, through appearances with several top-name musicians such as Hank Jones,  Dionne Warwick, Curtis Fuller, Harold Mabern, Larry Willis, Charles Tolliver, Randy Brecker, Antoine Roney, Benito Gonzalez, Shimrit Shoshan, and Kendrick Oliver & The New Life Jazz Orchestra.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Oct. 1. TRIP HOP: THE FOREST ROOM, HIP-HOP: CHEF THE CHEF

• Friday, Oct. 2. ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Monday, Oct. 5. FILM SCREENING: ELIHU RUBIN’S & ELENA OXMAN’S “ON BROADWAY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 7. ROCK ‘N” ROLL: THE BUTTONDOWNS; SINGER-SONGWRITER: GARY HERIOT

• Thursday, Oct. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI, BEN PARENT with DANA TAKAKI

• Friday, Oct. 9. JAZZ: THE JOVAN ALEXANDRE TRIO

• Wednesday, Oct. 14. INDIE ROCK: CHRISTOPHER MIR

• Thursday, Oct. 15. SOLO GUITAR/CD RELEASE: GLENN ROTH

• Friday, Oct. 16. TOURING SINGER-SONGWRITERS: LINDA WATERFALL, DEAN STEVENS

• Wednesday, Oct. 21. ROOTS ROCK: BRONSON ROCK

• Thursday, Oct. 22. GARAGE SOUL: ELISON JACKSON

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

• Thursday, Oct. 29. SYNTH POP/ROCK: MISSION ZERO

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

• Wednesday, Nov. 4. OLD TIMEY/SWING: THE ZuZAZZ STRING ORKESTRA

• Friday, Nov. 6. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Friday, Nov. 13. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Wednesday, Nov. 18. FILM SCREENING: THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)

• Thursday, Dec. 3. ELECTRONIC: AVMUS

Music: Singer-songwriters Frank Critelli; Ben Parent with Dana Takaki on Thurs., Oct. 8, at 8 PM

Singer-songwriters Frank Critelli and Ben Parent with Dana Takaki play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Oct. 8. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Frank Critelli

Frank Critelli

Frank Critelli writes songs. He dabbles in haiku and other short poetry. Sometimes he writes other stuff too. Like postcards. His songs are available on compact disc and for download at Independisc Music Club and other places like CD Baby. You can read more about his music at his Web site.

Frank Critelli often performs live. Sometimes he performs solo, and sometimes he is accompanied by one or more musical co-conspirators. Over the years he’s played in streets and subways, coffeehouses, classrooms, barrooms, clubs, colleges, festivals, theaters, and (most recently) in his kitchen.

Ben Parent is one of two principal songwriters for the band the Rivergods, an original, working band based in southeastern CT that has played its own heartfelt harmony-rich folky/rootsy/rockish music since 1997. Dana Takaki is a classically-trained violinist (and kick-ass fiddler) who has worked with the Rivergods since 2013 (and before that on the solo work of the Rivergods’s other principal songwriter, Nancy Parent). Earlier this year, the Rivergods won a ‘Best Americana Performance’ New London Whalie Award for for Ben’s song “Fall Where They Fall” off of the Good Sponge Sampler Vol. III, a compilation of southeastern CT Americana/roots rock (http://goodsponge.bandcamp.com).

Ben Parent & dana Takaki

Ben Parent & dana Takaki

The late, great James Velvet wrote the following about the Rivergods in the New Haven Advocate in 2012: “The Rivergods have been a durable part of Connecticut’s richest original music community, New London, since 1997. That kind of experience will give a band time to grow and find its own way, and they have. They’re generally regarded as an Americana band, but their roots are in rhythmic, well-crafted pop music of all sorts. … They were good then, and they’re even better now.”

The Rivergods have played countless shows and festivals over the years, including playing to 15,000+ people at Summer Pops in Westerly, RI, Sailfest and Opsail in New London, CT, the Meriden Daffodil Festival, the Block Island Music Festival, the NEMO New Music Showcase in Boston, NXNE in Toronto, CA and more, but enjoy playing small, intimate gigs just as much.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Oct. 1. TRIP HOP: THE FOREST ROOM, HIP-HOP: CHEF THE CHEF

• Friday, Oct. 2. ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Monday, Oct. 5. FILM SCREENING: ELIHU RUBIN’S & ELENA OXMAN’S “ON BROADWAY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 7. ROCK ‘N” ROLL: THE BUTTONDOWNS; SINGER-SONGWRITER: GARY HERIOT

• Thursday, Oct. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI, BEN PARENT with DANA TAKAKI

• Friday, Oct. 9. JAZZ: THE JOVAN ALEXANDRE TRIO

• Wednesday, Oct. 14. INDIE ROCK: CHRISTOPHER MIR

• Thursday, Oct. 15. SOLO GUITAR/CD RELEASE: GLENN ROTH

• Friday, Oct. 16. TOURING SINGER-SONGWRITERS: LINDA WATERFALL, DEAN STEVENS

• Wednesday, Oct. 21. ROOTS ROCK: BRONSON ROCK

• Thursday, Oct. 22. GARAGE SOUL: ELISON JACKSON

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

• Thursday, Oct. 29. SYNTH POP/ROCK: MISSION ZERO

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

• Wednesday, Nov. 4. OLD TIMEY/SWING: THE ZuZAZZ STRING ORKESTRA

• Friday, Nov. 6. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Friday, Nov. 13. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Wednesday, Nov. 18. FILM SCREENING: THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)

• Thursday, Dec. 3. AVANT-GARDE: JOHN MILLER

Music: The Buttondowns, Gary Heriot on Wed., Oct. 7, at 8 PM

Rock ‘n’ roll group The Buttondowns and singer-songwriter Gary Heriot play Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Oct. 7. The music begins at 8 PM and there is a $5 cover.

Rob Obie leading a different version of The Buttondowns at Neverending Books in New Haven.

Rob Obie leading a different version of The Buttondowns at Neverending Books in New Haven.

The Buttondowns have been bringing their brand of retro-modern music to the Connecticut scene for the past three years. With one studio CD and one live recording under their belt, the band plays a tasty mix of originals and covers that you won’t hear anywhere else. If Elvis Presley was the fifth Beatle, they would sound an awful lot like The Buttondowns.

For this performance, The Buttondowns are Robert Obie (guitar and vocals), Daniel Farquharson (bass) and  John Santarsiero  (drums).

Gary Heriot considers himself a singer and songsmith. He has been a New Haven performer since the open mic nights at the Cape Codder in Westville in the mid-1980s. These days, he mostly finds an audience at Cafe Nine during Friday happy hours. He played in a band called “pome” for several years in the late ’90s. His musical tastes are highly pop-influenced. Heriot is a rhythm guitarist and an all around good guy.

Heriot_photo_Web

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Oct. 1. TRIP HOP: THE FOREST ROOM, HIP-HOP: CHEF THE CHEF

• Friday, Oct. 2. ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Monday, Oct. 5. FILM SCREENING: ELIHU RUBIN’S & ELENA OXMAN’S “ON BROADWAY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 7. ROCK ‘N” ROLL: THE BUTTONDOWNS; SINGER-SONGWRITER: GARY HERIOT

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

• Friday, Oct. 9. JAZZ: THE JOVAN ALEXANDRE TRIO

• Wednesday, Oct. 14. INDIE ROCK: CHRISTOPHER MIR

• Thursday, Oct. 15. SOLO GUITAR/CD RELEASE: GLENN ROTH

• Friday, Oct. 16. TOURING SINGER-SONGWRITERS: LINDA WATERFALL, DEAN STEVENS

• Wednesday, Oct. 21. ROOTS ROCK: BRONSON ROCK

• Thursday, Oct. 22. GARAGE SOUL: ELISON JACKSON

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

• Thursday, Oct. 29. SYNTH POP/ROCK: MISSION ZERO

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

• Wednesday, Nov. 4. OLD TIMEY/SWING: THE ZuZAZZ STRING ORKESTRA

• Friday, Nov. 6. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Friday, Nov. 13. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Wednesday, Nov. 18. FILM SCREENING: THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)

• Thursday, Dec. 3. AVANT-GARDE: JOHN MILLER

New Releases 9/29/15

Top Hits
Spy (comedy, Melissa McCarthy. Rotten Tomatoes: 93%. Metacritic: 75. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “Even better is the blithe feminism that makes ‘Spy’ feel at once revolutionary and like no big deal. It’s not just that the movie aces the Bechdel test. It didn’t even need to study. The movie isn’t uplifting; it’s buoyant. While [Melissa McCarthy’s character] Susan [Cooper] at first clearly has a lot to prove — that she’s a skilled professional and a ruthless adversary, everyone else’s doubts to the contrary — Mr. Feig doesn’t make her proving it the central arc of the narrative. Instead, he highlights Ms. McCarthy’s quickness and unpredictability, her genius for defying logic and decorum.” Read more…)

Poltergeist (horror/thriller, Kenedi Clements. Rotten Tomatoes: 31%. Metacritic: 47. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “The new ‘Poltergeist’ might well be the scariest movie 13-or-unders have yet seen, just as the original was for their parents back in 1982. Those parents might find it an enjoyable trip down memory lane, even if they do now recognize it as largely a well-served collection of horror-movie tropes. Gil Kenan directs the new incarnation, which has lots of 21st-century updates and is available in a 3-D version that has some tasty flourishes. Being sucked into the netherworld looks even more convincing than it did back in the ’80s.” Read more…)

Cop Car (comedy, Kevin Bacon. Rotten Tomatoes: 79%. Metacritic: 66. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “When the 10-year-old heroes of ‘Cop Car’ first see the cruiser in question, it’s parked unattended in a field, ready to be plucked like a daisy. Travis [James Freedson-Jackson] and Harrison [Hays Wellford] make a fine pair of pipsqueaks, and they’re on a great journey when they find the car, having run away from home that same day. They have no real reason or complaint or plans, just a single piece of beef jerky and a boy’s own sense of adventure. More important, they also have Jon Watts, a technically polished director [this is his second feature, after ‘Clown’], who seems to have made a close study of art-house exploitation flicks like ‘Blood Simple.’ From the moment that ‘Cop Car’ opens on Travis and Harrison, walking and talking in a parched field, in long shot, dwarfed by distant mountains and the wide-open sky above, it’s clear that Mr. Watts knows how to shoot.” Read more…)

Entourage: The Movie (drama/comedy, Kevin Connolly. Rotten Tomatoes: 32%. Metacritic: 38. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “By the time it reached the end of its HBO run in 2011, ‘Entourage’ had grown staler than last night’s Axe body spray. The passing of a few more years has not improved the aroma. Watching the movie is like finding an ancient issue of a second-tier lad mag — not even Maxim, but Loaded or Nuts — in a friend’s guest bathroom. You wonder how it got there. You wonder how you got there.” Read more…)

New Foreign
Deutschland 83 (Germany, Cold War-era espionage series, Alexander Beyer. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 79. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times television review: “Television has featured a fair amount of spying lately, and a fair amount of 1980s nostalgia, too. But ‘Deutschland 83,’ an espionage series from Germany set in that wretched decade, is fresh and enjoyable nonetheless, distinguishing itself with a young protagonist and a losers’-history perspective.” Read more…)

New TV
The Slap (Australia, miniseries drama, Sophie Okonedo. Rotten Tomatoes: 67%. Metacritic: 62. From Mike Hale’s New York Times television review: “An ensemble drama set in the recognizable human present — there goes most of contemporary American TV — ‘The Slap’ is insistently quotidian and naturalistic, intricately structured but free of any kind of camera trickery or narrative sleight of hand. [At least in the two episodes available for review.] As such it’s a showcase for its actors, many of whom rise eagerly to the occasion, including Jonathan LaPaglia [‘Cold Case’], Sophie Okonedo [‘Hotel Rwanda’], Melissa George [‘In Treatment’] and Essie Davis [‘Jumpers’] on Broadway).” Read more…)

Masterpiece Theater: Driving Miss Daisy (drama, Angela Lansbury. Rotten Tomatoes: 93%. Metacritic: 75.)

Film Screening/Discussion: Elihu Rubin’s & Elena Oxman’s “On Broadway”—New Haven urban planning on Mon., Oct. 5, at 8 PM

On_Broadway_promo_100515_WebThe short film “On Broadway”—directed by Elihu Rubin and Elena Oxman—will be screened in the Best Video Performance Space on Monday, Oct. 5, at 8 PM. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Elihu Rubin. There is a suggested $5 donation.

A close look at the redevelopment of a single street illuminates broader trends in American urbanism in the short film “On Broadway.” The first film in the New Haven Trilogy, “On Broadway” premiered at the York Square Cinema (now defunct) on Broadway in New Haven and was broadcast on Connecticut Public Television. The film was made at Yale’s Digital Media Center for the Arts in 1999-2000, when Elihu Rubin and Elena Oxman were Emerging Artist Fellows at the DMCA.  Thanks to Lee Faulkner, Carol Scully, Laraine Sammler, and Ken Lovell.

Elihu Rubin is an architectural historian, city planner, and documentary filmmaker. He is Associate Professor of Architecture, Urbanism, and American Studies at Yale. Elihu is the author of “Insuring the City:  The Prudential Center and the Postwar Urban Landscape” and is currently working on a book about the American Ghost Town.

Elena Oxman is an assistant professor of film studies at the College of San Mateo, where she teaches courses in film history and production. After graduating from Yale in 1999, she co-founded the documentary production company American Beat with Elihu Rubin,, and they made a trilogy of documentaries about New Haven: “On Broadway” (about the redevelopment of Broadway), “Convergence” (about the history of the New Haven Green), and “Next Question” (about the legacy of the Black Panther trials in New Haven). Her essay-film, “Kmart Confidential,” explored a personal relationship with Kmart as a place and an idea, and featured the now defunct North Haven SuperK. More recently, she has turned to narrative filmmaking; her recent short film Lit premiered at Palm Springs International Shortsfest and is currently finishing up its festival run. She received her PhD in English from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012 and has published articles on the relationship between film and philosophy. She is currently working on a book project on the concept of realism in cinema.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

• Thursday, Oct. 1. TRIP HOP: THE FOREST ROOM, HIP-HOP: CHEF THE CHEF

• Friday, Oct. 2. ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Monday, Oct. 5. FILM SCREENING: ELIHU RUBIN’S & ELENA OXMAN’S “ON BROADWAY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 7. ROCK ‘N” ROLL: THE BUTTONDOWNS; SINGER-SONGWRITER: GARY HERIOT

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

• Friday, Oct. 9. JAZZ: THE JOVAN ALEXANDRE TRIO

• Wednesday, Oct. 14. INDIE ROCK: CHRISTOPHER MIR

• Thursday, Oct. 15. SOLO GUITAR/CD RELEASE: GLENN ROTH

• Friday, Oct. 16. TOURING SINGER-SONGWRITERS: LINDA WATERFALL, DEAN STEVENS

• Wednesday, Oct. 21. ROOTS ROCK: BRONSON ROCK

• Thursday, Oct. 22. GARAGE SOUL: ELISON JACKSON

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

• Thursday, Oct. 29. SYNTH POP/ROCK: MISSION ZERO

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

• Wednesday, Nov. 4. OLD TIMEY/SWING: THE ZuZAZZ STRING ORKESTRA

• Friday, Nov. 6. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Friday, Nov. 13. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Wednesday, Nov. 18. FILM SCREENING: THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)

Music: Rock band Holiday Ping on Fri., Oct. 2, at 8 PM

Holiday_Ping_BV_022715_4_WebHoliday Ping performs Friday, Oct. 2, at Best Video Performance Space. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Holiday Ping, founded last year, features local New Haven area musicians Henry Sidle, Jack Riotte, Andrew Fermo, and Jackson Roman. The quartet plays an eclectic mix of covers and their own originals with live improvisational elements. The group is heavily influenced by jam bands such as The Grateful Dead and Phish and jazz improvisational greats such as Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock.

This group is young but they play with the assurance of seasoned professionals.

Henry Sidle has previously played the Performance Space in solo acoustic mode and with Holiday Ping’s predecessor band Extrasensory. Henry Sidle, born in Chicago, is a teenage guitar player and singer/songwriter who plays gigs most days of the year. When Henry was 11, he began to play the guitar. Several years later, Henry has made his way to major festivals, venues, studios, cities and private parties. Henry’s music has been played Sirius XM’s Grateful Dead station. Henry has a unique acoustic rock sound, spiced up with his BOSS RC-30 loop station and large repertoire of originals and covers.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

• Thursday, Oct. 1. TRIP HOP: THE FOREST ROOM, HIP-HOP: CHEF THE CHEF

• Friday, Oct. 2. ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Monday, Oct. 5. FILM SCREENING: ELIHU RUBIN’S & ELENA OXMAN’S “ON BROADWAY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 7. ROCK ‘N” ROLL: THE BUTTONDOWNS, GARY HERIOT

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

• Friday, Oct. 9. JAZZ: THE JOVAN ALEXANDRE TRIO

• Wednesday, Oct. 14. INDIE ROCK: CHRISTOPHER MIR

• Thursday, Oct. 15. SOLO GUITAR/CD RELEASE: GLENN ROTH

• Friday, Oct. 16. TOURING SINGER-SONGWRITERS: LINDA WATERFALL, DEAN STEVENS

• Wednesday, Oct. 21. ROOTS ROCK: BRONSON ROCK

• Thursday, Oct. 22. GARAGE SOUL: ELISON JACKSON

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

• Thursday, Oct. 29. SYNTH POP/ROCK: MISSION ZERO

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

• Wednesday, Nov. 4. OLD TIMEY/SWING: THE ZuZAZZ STRING ORKESTRA

• Friday, Nov. 6. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Friday, Nov. 13. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Wednesday, Nov. 18. FILM SCREENING: THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)

New Releases 9/22/15

Top Hits
Pitch_Perfect_2Pitch Perfect 2 (singing drama, Anna Kendrick. Rotten Tomatoes: 67%. Metacritic: 63. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘Pitch Perfect’ was a charming campus comedy with humor that was naughty and sweet and had a sharp sense of the pop-culture moment. Its success has allowed [or perhaps forced] this installment to be bigger, louder and wilder, with new, sometimes redundant characters, celebrity cameos — Snoop Dogg! Jake Tapper! The Green Bay Packers! — and artificially elevated dramatic stakes. Some of the underdog appeal is gone, but a victory lap can be its own kind of fun, and more is not necessarily something to complain about, especially when what there is more of is Fat Amy.” Read more…)

Heaven Knows What (searing drama, Arielle Holmes. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. Metacritic: 76. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Nicolas Rapold’s Times review: “The characters of the junkie chronicle ‘Heaven Knows What’ lead their lives in the open, which is to say on the streets of New York. Whenever a couple of them are arguing — which is frequently — you glimpse passers-by steering their way around the commotion with the practiced resolve of New Yorkers trying to mind their own business. At the very least, the directors, Josh and Benny Safdie, have created a small, beautiful classic of street theater by rendering these public disputes within a vibrant Manhattan setting through ingenious photography.” Read more…)

The Turning (Australia, short stories, Cate Blanchett. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%.)

New Blu-Ray
Pitch Perfect 2

New Foreign
Mister_JohnsonMister Johnson (Australia, drama, Maynard Eziashi. Rotten Tomatoes: 81%. From Janet Maslin’s 1991 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “[Director Bruce] Beresford’s film acknowledges the boundless optimism of its leading character even as it watches him paint himself into a corner. Prodded by his grandiose airs into living well above his means, Johnson must fall back on a variety of half-devious ways of making ends meet. This forces him to swindle the very Englishmen he admires most, although he manages even to embezzle and steal in semi-affectionate ways. But neither Johnson’s chicanery nor the Englishmen’s reactions are stereotypical in any way. One of the things Mr. Beresford has done best, in films like ‘Breaker Morant’ and ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’ is to regard easily misunderstood situations in unexpectedly generous ways.” Read more…)

Americana singer-songwriter Angela Easterling to play Wed., Sept. 30, at 8 PM

Angela_Easterling_WebTouring award winning songwriter Angela Easterling plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Sept. 30. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Angela Easterling lives with her partner and their young son on the SC farm that has been in her family since 1791. She is a three-time Kerrville New Folk Finalist, a Telluride Troubadour Finalist and a two-time Wildflower Performing Songwriter Finalist.

The Boston Herald named her song “The Picture”  “Best Political Country Song” in their Year’s best music. Roger McGuinn, of the Byrds, called her “a bright shining star on the horizon!” and went on to say, “Her CD brought me back to the time the Byrds recorded ‘Sweetheart of the Rodeo — tradition meets youthful exuberance.

With her new album, “Common Law Wife,” acclaimed Americana singer-songwriter Angela Easterling clearly spells out the direction her life has taken in recent years. “Now I’m a common law wife, living out my life/I ain’t got no license, I’m a common law wife,” Easterling sings on the classic country-styled title track, joyfully explaining the relationship she now has with her longtime musical collaborator Brandon Turner.

Recorded with Joe Pisapia (Guster, k.d. lang, Drew Holcomb) at his Middletree Studios in Nashville, “Common Law Wife” – in addition to sparkling multi-instrumental performances by Turner – features some of Music City’s finest musicians, including Will Kimbrough, Fats Kaplin, Dave Jacques and Paul Griffith.

Among the album’s highlights is “Isaac Woodard’s Eyes,” which Easterling was inspired to write after learning about the real life story of an African-American World War II veteran who was savagely beaten and blinded by police officers in South Carolina just hours after being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1946.

Throughout her career, beginning with her 2007 debut album, “Earning Her Wings,” which was chosen as “Americana Pick of the Year” by Smart Choice Music,” Easterling has embraced her heritage in a big way as a writer and an artist. Her second album, 2009’s “BlackTop Road,” debuted on the Americana Top 40 chart, where it remained for seven weeks, and it was chosen as a top pick in both Oxford American and Country Weekly.

Over the years, Easterling has opened for or appeared on stage with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Sarah Jarosz, Lucinda Williams, Charlie Louvin, Elizabeth Cook, Robbie Fulks, Mary Gauthier, Ray Price, Suzy Bogguss, Ellis Paul, Radney Foster, the Oak Ridge Boys and Lori McKenna.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

• Wednesday, Sept. 23. ROCK: MAD RIVER CITY

• Friday, Sept. 25. INDIE ROCK: THE RIGHT-OFFS

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

• Thursday, Oct. 1. TRIP HOP: THE FOREST ROOM, HIP-HOP: CHEF THE CHEF

• Friday, Oct. 2. ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Monday, Oct. 5. FILM SCREENING: ELIHU RUBIN’S & ELENA OXMAN’S “ON BROADWAY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 7. ROCK ‘N” ROLL: THE BUTTONDOWNS

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

• Friday, Oct. 9. JAZZ: THE JOVAN ALEXANDRE TRIO

• Wednesday, Oct. 14. INDIE ROCK: CHRISTOPHER MIR

• Thursday, Oct. 15. SOLO GUITAR/CD RELEASE: GLENN ROTH

• Friday, Oct. 16. TOURING SINGER-SONGWRITERS: LINDA WATERFALL, DEAN STEVENS

• Wednesday, Oct. 21. ROOTS ROCK: BRONSON ROCK

• Thursday, Oct. 22. GARAGE SOUL: ELISON JACKSON

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

• Thursday, Oct. 29. SYNTH POP/ROCK: MISSION ZERO

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

• Wednesday, Nov. 4. OLD TIMEY/SWING: THE ZuZAZZ STRING ORKESTRA

• Friday, Nov. 6. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Wednesday, Nov. 18. FILM SCREENING: THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)

 

The Forest Room , Chef the Chef perform Thurs., Oct. 1, at 8 PM

Trip-hop artist The Forest Room (aka Matt Streit) and hip-hop MC Chef (pronounced “Keff”) the Chef play Best Video Performance pace on Thursday, Oct. 1. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5. This will be an open floor show to encourage dancing.

the_forest_room_at_shebeen_Web

The Forest Room is the acoustic solo project by Matt Streit which began in 2004 as a casual musical outlet outside of his main band. An active musician from Milford, CT for many years, mainly as a bass player in heavy metal and rock bands, Matt takes a completely different approach with the Forest Room by writing most of the music on acoustic guitar, utilizing multiple layers of guitar parts with live record looping, and occasionally incorporating produced beats. Matt uses several guitar effects pedals, some of which he built himself. The Forest Room combines influences and elements of instrumental, folk, ambient, hiphop, and triphop music.

“I’ve been writing this music to create something that is relaxing for me as well as be something to occasionally groove and dance to.  Over the years, it has evolved into the live performance setting with more elaborate looping and occasional lighting.  I want to share these vibes.”

Chef_the_Chef_Web

As for Chef the Chef, hip-hop blog OK-Tho had this to say: “Connecticut underground beast on the rise Chef (pronounced like Keff) the Chef just dropped the 3 track Friends EP for us to enjoy. The Friends EP features appearances by his alias Heart Eyes and Fedo. Put it on and rock it for your many friends. I predict this MC/Producer has a lot of great work ahead of him.”

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

• Wednesday, Sept. 23. ROCK: MAD RIVER CITY

• Friday, Sept. 25. INDIE ROCK: THE RIGHT-OFFS

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

• Thursday, Oct. 1. TRIP HOP: THE FOREST ROOM, HIP-HOP: CHEF THE CHEF

• Friday, Oct. 2. ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Monday, Oct. 5. FILM SCREENING: ELIHU RUBIN’S & ELENA OXMAN’S “ON BROADWAY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 7. ROCK ‘N” ROLL: THE BUTTONDOWNS

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

• Friday, Oct. 9. JAZZ: THE JOVAN ALEXANDRE TRIO

• Wednesday, Oct. 14. INDIE ROCK: CHRISTOPHER MIR

• Thursday, Oct. 15. SOLO GUITAR/CD RELEASE: GLENN ROTH

• Friday, Oct. 16. TOURING SINGER-SONGWRITERS: LINDA WATERFALL, DEAN STEVENS

• Wednesday, Oct. 21. ROOTS ROCK: BRONSON ROCK

• Thursday, Oct. 22. GARAGE SOUL: ELISON JACKSON

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

• Thursday, Oct. 29. SYNTH POP/ROCK: MISSION ZERO

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

• Wednesday, Nov. 4. OLD TIMEY/SWING: THE ZuZAZZ STRING ORKESTRA

• Friday, Nov. 6. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Wednesday, Nov. 18. FILM SCREENING: THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)

 

Music: The Right Offs play rock ‘n’ roll Fri., Sept. 25, at 8 PM

Local rock ‘n’ roll trio The Right Offs make their Best Video Performance Space debut on Friday, Sept. 25. The show starts at 8 PM and there is a $5 cover.

Right_Offs_Web

From The Right Offs:

We’re The Right Offs. We play rock ‘n roll nice and loud. Connecticut is where we’re from. When we speak we shout and when we play we entertain. Maybe it’s art, maybe it’s music, maybe it’s just what we love. Nothing wasted; not one movement, syllable or glance. You’ll see us coming out of the corner of your eye and we’ll dare you to try and turn away.

The group is Erik Vumback on the drums, Damian Jovanovic on bass and vocals and Max Loignon on guitar and lead vocals. They’ve been together for about six months and their influences include The Who, Black Sabbath, Nirvana and The Clash.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

• Wednesday, Sept. 23. ROCK: MAD RIVER CITY

• Friday, Sept. 25. INDIE ROCK: THE RIGHT-OFFS

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

• Thursday, Oct. 1. TRIP HOP: THE FOREST ROOM, HIP-HOP: CHEF THE CHEF

• Friday, Oct. 2. ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Monday, Oct. 5. FILM SCREENING: ELIHU RUBIN’S & ELENA OXMAN’S “ON BROADWAY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 7. ROCK ‘N” ROLL: THE BUTTONDOWNS

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

• Friday, Oct. 9. JAZZ: THE JOVAN ALEXANDRE TRIO

• Wednesday, Oct. 14. INDIE ROCK: CHRISTOPHER MIR

• Thursday, Oct. 15. SOLO GUITAR/CD RELEASE: GLENN ROTH

• Friday, Oct. 16. TOURING SINGER-SONGWRITERS: LINDA WATERFALL, DEAN STEVENS

• Wednesday, Oct. 21. ROOTS ROCK: BRONSON ROCK

• Thursday, Oct. 22. GARAGE SOUL: ELISON JACKSON

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

• Thursday, Oct. 29. SYNTH POP/ROCK: MISSION ZERO

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

• Wednesday, Nov. 4. OLD TIMEY/SWING: THE ZuZAZZ STRING ORKESTRA

• Friday, Nov. 6. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Wednesday, Nov. 18. FILM SCREENING: THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)