New releases 9/12/17

Top Hits
Beatriz at Dinner (comedy, Salma Hayek. Rotten Tomatoes: 78%. Metacritic: 68. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “The hopeless polarization of American society is both a truism and a taboo. We may be divided by class, race, ideology and any number of other forces, but many of us also cling to the belief — or the delusion — that a larger consensus still holds us together. Failing that, we can at least still be nice to one another when the occasion requires. Can’t we? ‘Beatriz at Dinner,’ a new film directed by Miguel Arteta and written by Mike White, unflinchingly addresses that question, and declines to provide a comforting answer.” Read more…)

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (animated feature, Kevin Hart [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 87%. Metacritic: 69. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “It’s a frenetic animated film from DreamWorks whose title is really all you need to know. If your child would be amused by seeing the word “underpants” in the name of a movie, this one will entertain. The film, based on Dav Pilkey’s book series, is about two friends, George [voiced by Kevin Hart] and Harold [Thomas Middleditch], who spend their spare time pulling pranks and creating D.I.Y. comic books about Captain Underpants, a superhero whose outfit boldly acknowledges that many superhero costumes in fact are little more than fancy undies.” Read more…)

The Mummy (action/adventure, Tom Cruise. Rotten Tomatoes: 16%. Metacritic: 34. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “You’ve no doubt been told that if you can’t say something nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all. If I followed that rule, I’d be unemployed. But still. There’s no great joy in accentuating the negative. So I will say this in favor of ‘The Mummy’: It is 110 minutes long. That is about 20 minutes shorter than ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,’ about which I had some unkind things to say a couple of weeks ago. Simple math will tell you how much better this movie is than that one. If you have no choice but to see it — a circumstance I have trouble imagining — you can start in on your drinking that much sooner.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray Discs
The Mummy

New British
Broadchurch: Season 3 (mystery series, David Tennant)
Decline and Fall (comedy series, Jack Whitehall)

New TV
This Is Us: Season 1 (dramedy series, Mandy Moore)
Designated Survivor: Season 1 (political thriller series, Kiefer Sutherland)

New Documentaries
Germans and Jews (anti-semitism, reconciliation. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 73. From Ken Jaworowski’s New York Times review: “Don’t expect simple answers in ‘Germans & Jews.’ Just prepare for formidable questions. Those are the real reasons to see this incisive documentary. More than 200,000 Jews live in Germany, and according to the film, Berlin has the fastest-growing Jewish population in Europe — startling facts, given the country’s history. The filmmakers speak with individuals there to learn how they reckon with the past, which pervades so many aspects of contemporary German life.” Read more…)

Festival (1967, Newport Folk Festival, music, history, Joan Baez)

Music: Bait & Switch play bluegrass Wed., Sept. 20

Bait and Switch plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Sept. 20. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Bait and Switch is a Bluegrass-Plus band that has been performing in New Haven for several years at festivals and fundraisers. Its members were brought together from other CT bands to play Americana music, Bluegrass, and Blues. The band members are avid supporters of the New Haven Land Trust and the CT Audubon Society.

Justin Elicker enjoys playing banjo in his free time. He also enjoys playing banjo in his head when he is busy with other things.

Dan Rausch has been playing bass in various local ensembles since the late 1990’s. His musical interests range from Bach to Bluegrass to the Blues. He has been known to appreciate a good pun!

Steve Nystrup is an award winning musician and composer whose first love is the guitar. His second love is mountain biking and when not performing he can be seen flying over the trails in Connecticut and Vermont.

Maureen Wasik has been singing forever and occasionally the boys in the band let her near a percussion instrument (never anything with strings). When not singing, she’s a dietitian and enjoys extolling the virtues of vegetables.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Thursday, Sept. 7. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: KATHY MUIR, SUSAN CARSON

• Friday, Sept. 8. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Sunday, Sept. 10, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Sept. 11, 7:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: LEA, ALIEN BOY, PERFUME V, NECKLINE

• Wednesady, Sept. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

Thursday, Sept. 14. ACOUSTIC SOUL: CHRISSY GARDNER & ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Sept. 15, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Wednesday, Sept. 20. BLUEGRASS: BAIT AND SWITCH

• Thursday, Sept. 21. ROOTS ROCK/GARAGE SOUL: BRONSON ROCK

• Friday, Sept. 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Sept. 27. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, Sept. 29. FOLK: FLINT LADDER

• Saturday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOHN GORKA (FERNANDO PINTO PRESENTS) Tickets available online at johngorkatickets.brownpapertickets.com

• Sunday, Oct. 1, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Thursday, Oct. 5. NORDIC/CELTIC FOLK MUSIC: GARY WIKFORS AND ANGUS MOSSMAN

• Friday, Oct. 6. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Wednesday, Oct. 11, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Oct. 12. INDIE ROCK: BONG WISH, more TBA

• Friday, Oct. 13. FLASH FICTION: PAUL BECKMAN

• Sunday, Oct. 15. POWER POP: JOHN HARRISON & THE HARRISONICS

• Friday, Oct. 20. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Saturday, Oct. 21, 7:30 PM. VIDEO STORE DAY SCREENING OF “PSYCHOS IN LOVE” WITH DIRECTOR GORMAN BECHARD & LEAD ACTOR CARMINE CAPOBIANCO

• Wednesday, Oct. 25. NEW ORLEANS-STYLE FUNK: BAND OF DRUTHERS

• Thursday, Oct. 26. INDIE ROCK: SEAN HENRY, RYXNO

• Friday, Oct. 27. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: THE BOSSA NOVA PROJECT

• Saturday, Oct. 28. LIGHT UPON BLIGHT HALLOWEEN SHOW

• Friday, Nov. 3. AMERICANA: FYFE AND STONE

• Saturday, Nov. 4. SOLO MODERN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Sunday, Nov. 5, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Nov. 9. GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK: RICH MORAN

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN (SOLD OUT!)

• Friday, Nov. 17. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Saturday, Nov. 18. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY GALA AT THE BALLROOM AT THE OUTER SPACE: 5 IN THE CHAMBER, OLIVE TIGER, more TBA

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 3 PM. JAZZ: TRIO 149

• Thursday, Nov. 30. BLUEGRASS: EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

• Sunday, Dec. 3, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Friday, Dec. 8. BLUEGRASS: TWISTED PINE (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Friday, Jan. 12, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: BEPPE GAMBETTA (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

 

Music: GuitarTownCT presents Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley Fri., Sept. 15, at 7:30 PM

GuitartownCT Productions presents Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley Friday, Sept. 15, at 7:30 pm at Best Video Performance Space. This is a unique collaboration between two supremely gifted musicians. Rob Ickes is a 15 time IBMA bluegrass dobro player of the year, and Trey Hensley is a young singer/songwriter with jaw dropping guitar skills. Their first album, “Before the Sun Goes Down,” got a Grammy nomination in 2015. Tickets are $25 at GuitarTownCT.com.

This collaborative effort is bound to be a revelation to traditional music fans on several counts. Rob Ickes is a longtime, well-established instrumental giant, and Trey Hensley is newly arrived in Music City, bursting with talent both as a vocalist and guitarist. Their new album, Before the Sun Goes Down, is slated for release this winter.

From his powerful yet sympathetic vocal interpretations of traditional and contemporary material to his jaw-dropping instrumental skills on both acoustic and electric guitar and considerable songwriting talents, Trey Hensley is bursting at the seams with freshness and musical excitement. His resonant baritone voice is rich, expressive, and equally at ease with classic bluegrass, traditional country, and original compositions. Raised in Jonesborough, Tennessee, Trey began playing guitar and singing when he was 10 years old. Invited by Marty Stuart and joined from the wings by Earl Scruggs, Trey Hensley landed on the Grand Old Opry when he was only 11. To this day, Marty Stuart remains a fan and booster. Trey has already in his young life played with Johnny and June Carter Cash, Charlie Daniels, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, The Oak Ridge Boys ,and Janie Fricke. He’s appeared on bills with Sara Evans , Charlie Daniels, Peter Frampton, Randy Owen, Steve Wariner, and Marty Stuart, and has appeared before President George W. Bush, First Lady Barbara Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Rob Ickes has been playing bluegrass with his much-decorated band Blue Highway for over twenty years, during which time he has been adjudged Bluegrass Dobro Player Of the year fifteen times. Rob has played on countless sessions, recording with artists such as Merle Haggard, Dierks Bentley, Patty Loveless, and Alison Krauss. He has also helped form a jazz –oriented trio, Three Ring Circle, along with Andy Leftwich and Dave Pomeroy. His most recent album Three Bells is a true dobro summit, collaborating with fellow greats Jerry Douglas and the late Mike Auldridge. He even once received a surprise phone call from admirer, jazz guitar and harmonica master Toots Thielemans! In Before the Sun Goes Down, the listener will have the chance to view Rob Ickes, by now an acknowledged master of the dobro and lap steel guitar, outside of the box.

Rob has been a supporter since he first heard Trey, a happening that came about in an unusual way. He became aware of the young man’s enormous vocal talent when he heard his scratch vocal (suggested by the album’s engineer) on Rob’s band Blue Highway’s album The Game. Wayne Taylor and Tim Stafford of Blue Highway penned the song “My Last Day In The Mine.” The band had initially hoped to have a prominent lead singer outside the band to perform a guest vocal of the song for the album but found themselves falling in love with the youthful Trey’s evocation of the world-weary working man’s fears of leaving the only job he’d ever known. Trey was 22 at the time. Trey’s vocal was used on the completed product and has since received considerable positive notice, as has the entire album. Shortly thereafter, Trey and his wife Amber relocated to Nashville, and Rob has been showing Trey the ropes.

Before the Sun Goes Down promises to be a breath of fresh air on the country music scene today while bringing traditional country and bluegrass music to the forefront. Accompanied by some of the finest, most accomplished musicians in Nashville , Rob and Trey tackle a diverse group of songs, put a fresh spin on some old ones, polish up some more recent hits, and offer up an original from Trey – all the while drawing influence from artists as diverse as Jimmy Martin, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Billy Joe Shaver, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, Buddy Emmons, Jimmie Rodgers, and Bob Wills. In addition to Rob, Trey’s sterling vocals are bolstered by a band which includes Aubrey Haynie or Andy Leftwich on fiddle, the ubiquitous (and mighty fine) Nashville acoustic bassist Mike Bub, and drummer John Gardner. Others featured are Jon Randall, Susanne Cox, Dan Tyminski, Shawn Lane, and Ron Block.

Before the Sun Goes Down was recorded mostly live with minimal overdubs, fixes, punch-ins, or even very many takes, and with all the musicians in one room in only a few days of studio time. Rob, the driving force behind the album and the man largely responsible for its creation, says that his favorite albums by the pioneers of the music, the ones that made him want to make music in the first place, were made in the same manner. The spontaneity and sheer joy of creation among a small group of master musicians is palpable in listening to the completed product.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Thursday, Sept. 7. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: KATHY MUIR, SUSAN CARSON

• Friday, Sept. 8. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Sunday, Sept. 10, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Sept. 11, 7:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: LEA, ALIEN BOY, PERFUME V, NECKLINE

• Wednesady, Sept. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

Thursday, Sept. 14. ACOUSTIC SOUL: CHRISSY GARDNER & ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Sept. 15, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Wednesday, Sept. 20. BLUEGRASS: BAIT AND SWITCH

• Thursday, Sept. 21. ROOTS ROCK/GARAGE SOUL: BRONSON ROCK

• Friday, Sept. 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Sept. 27. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, Sept. 29. FOLK: FLINT LADDER

• Saturday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOHN GORKA (FERNANDO PINTO PRESENTS) Tickets available online at johngorkatickets.brownpapertickets.com

• Sunday, Oct. 1, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Thursday, Oct. 5. NORDIC/CELTIC FOLK MUSIC: GARY WIKFORS AND ANGUS MOSSMAN

• Friday, Oct. 6. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Wednesday, Oct. 11, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Friday, Oct. 13. FLASH FICTION: PAUL BECKMAN

• Sunday, Oct. 15. POWER POP: JOHN HARRISON & THE HARRISONICS

• Friday, Oct. 20. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, Oct. 27. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: THE BOSSA NOVA PROJECT

• Saturday, Oct. 28. LIGHT UPON BLIGHT HALLOWEEN SHOW

• Saturday, Nov. 4. SOLO MODERN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Sunday, Nov. 5, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN (SOLD OUT!)

• Friday, Nov. 17. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Saturday, Nov. 18. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY GALA AT THE BALLROOM AT THE OUTER SPACE

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 3 PM. JAZZ: TRIO 149

• Thursday, Nov. 30. BLUEGRASS: EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

• Sunday, Dec. 3, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Friday, Dec. 8. BLUEGRASS: TWISTED PINE (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Friday, Jan. 12, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: BEPPE GAMBETTA (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

Music: Acoustic soul from Chrissy Gardner & Robert Messore Thurs., Sept. 14

Chrissy Gardner and Robert Messore bring their version of acoustic soul to the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Sept. 14. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover charge is $5.

Chrissy Gardner is a singer/songwriter originally from Chicago, IL. Whether from behind a piano, holding a guitar or standing at the front of the stage with mic in hand, she belts out her tunes in a style that is often compared to both classic and contemporary singer/songwriters, but also has real shades of hard rocking Blues and R&B. On stage, Chrissy can effectively convey the depth of meaning in her music with her passionate voice and genuinely sophisticated and romantic piano playing, but when the time comes to get the crowd up and dancing, she can rock as hard as anyone.

Robert Messore (meh-sor’-ee) has been called “Connecticut’s finest fingerstyle guitarist.” He plays beautiful instrumental guitar music and he is noted for composing tuneful pieces that work well as music, and not simply as fancy guitar playing. 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).

When Chrissy Gardner and Robert Messore get together, their performances are full of vulnerability, triumph, and joy. Chrissy effortlessly embodies the spirits of soul, folk and contemporary music through her masterful songwriting and her shape-shifting voice that in one phrase can be as delicate and lovely as Joni Mitchell and in the next express the heart and soul of Janis Joplin. Robert has passionately devoted himself to the guitar for 30+ years and was voted Best Instrumentalist in a New Haven Advocate readers’ poll. Together, Chrissy and Robert make a kind of acoustic soul music that is sheer bliss.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Wednesday, Sept. 6. ALT-COUNTRY: JUNEBUG SADDLE

• Thursday, Sept. 7. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: KATHY MUIR, SUSAN CARSON

• Friday, Sept. 8. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES (CD RELEASE!)

• Sunday, Sept. 10, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Sept. 11, 7:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: LEA, ALIEN BOY, PERFUME V, NECKLINE

• Wednesady, Sept. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

Thursday, Sept. 14. ACOUSTIC SOUL: CHRISSY GARDNER & ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Sept. 15, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Wednesday, Sept. 20. BLUEGRASS: BAIT AND SWITCH

• Thursday, Sept. 21. ROOTS ROCK/GARAGE SOUL: BRONSON ROCK

• Friday, Sept. 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Sept. 27. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, Sept. 29. FOLK: FLINT LADDER

• Saturday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOHN GORKA (FERNANDO PINTO PRESENTS) Tickets available online at johngorkatickets.brownpapertickets.com

• Sunday, Oct. 1, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Thursday, Oct. 5. NORDIC/CELTIC FOLK MUSIC: GARY WIKFORS AND ANGUS MOSSMAN

• Friday, Oct. 6. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Wednesday, Oct. 11, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Friday, Oct. 13. FLASH FICTION: PAUL BECKMAN

• Sunday, Oct. 15. POWER POP: JOHN HARRISON & THE HARRISONICS

• Friday, Oct. 20. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, Oct. 27. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: THE BOSSA NOVA PROJECT

• Saturday, Oct. 28. LIGHT UPON BLIGHT HALLOWEEN SHOW

• Saturday, Nov. 4. SOLO MODERN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Sunday, Nov. 5, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN (SOLD OUT!)

• Friday, Nov. 17. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Saturday, Nov. 18. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY GALA AT THE BALLROOM AT THE OUTER SPACE

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 3 PM. JAZZ: TRIO 149

• Thursday, Nov. 30. BLUEGRASS: EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

• Sunday, Dec. 3, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Friday, Dec. 8. BLUEGRASS: TWISTED PINE (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Friday, Jan. 12, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: BEPPE GAMBETTA (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

New releases 9/5/17

Top Hits
Band Aid (romance/comedy, Zoe Lister-Jones. Rotten Tomatoes 85%. Metacritic: 67. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “And while the songs have adequate toe-tapping potential, they are primarily a storytelling device, a way of lending this couples-therapy comedy some distinction. [In addition to writing, directing and starring in the movie, Ms. Lister-Jones composed the music for the tunes, mostly with Kyle Forester, and wrote the lyrics.]” Read more…)

Paris Can Wait (romance, Diane Lane. Rotten Tomatoes 44%. Metacritic: 48. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “‘Paris Can Wait,’ a smugly affluent Euro trifle and the first narrative feature from Eleanor Coppola [the wife of Francis Ford Coppola], is little more than an indulgent wallow in gustatory privilege. By the time the final meal is devoured, you’ll be wanting nothing so much as an antacid.” Read more…)

Rough Night (comedy, Scarlett Johansson. Rotten Tomatoes 46%. Metacritic: 51. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “How low can she go? That’s the question in the soft vanilla comedy ‘Rough Night,’ about five women who blunder into disaster over the course of a carousing bachelorette weekend. If you’ve seen ‘The Hangover’ and its sequels or various other movies of this familiar ilk, you have more or less seen ‘Rough Night.'” Read more…)

Megan Leavey (war drama, Kate Mara. Rotten Tomatoes 84%. Metacritic: 66. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Neil Genzlinger’s Times review: “When the story you’re telling involves a Marine and her combat dog, you know it’s going to be high on emotion, both the pulse-pounding and the heartstring-tugging varieties. The key is to not overplay the hand. Gabriela Cowperthwaite seems to recognize that in her direction of ‘Megan Leavey,’ letting this irresistible real-life story tell itself with a minimum of manufactured sentiment.” Read more…)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (true life drama, Oprah Winfrey. Rotten Tomatoes 66%. Metacritic: 64. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times television review: “One of the most acclaimed nonfiction books of 2010, ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,’ began as an investigation of a medical miracle but became a gripping, poignant story about racism, shoddy scientific ethics and a sprawling family’s painful experiences with both. If it sounds as if effectively truncating such an intricate, provocative book into a 93-minute movie would be nearly impossible, well, the film version that has its premiere Saturday night on HBO proves the point. This fascinating tale really wanted to be a six- or eight-episode mini-series.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray Discs
Sherlock Holmes (1916 silent film restoration)
Army of Darkness

New Foreign
Raw (France, horror, Garance Marillier. Rotten Tomatoes 90%. Metacritic: 81. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “‘Raw,’ Julia Ducournau’s jangly opera of sexual and dietary awakening, is an exceptionally classy-looking movie about deeply horrifying behavior. Infusing each scene with a cold, unwelcoming beauty, the Belgian cinematographer Ruben Impens makes his camera complicit in the trashy goings-on. Sneaking beneath bedsheets and sliding over young flesh, his lens takes us places we may not want to go.” Read more…)

The Wedding Plan (Israel, rom-com, Noa Koler. Rotten Tomatoes 85%. Metacritic: 72. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Ben Kenigsberg’s Times review: “The premise and the title of ‘The Wedding Plan’ suggest a bubbly rom-com, but this prickly, delicately layered film from Rama Burshtein — an ultra-Orthodoz director based in Israel — has the tangled ambiguity of a Talmudic lesson. Like Ms. Burshtein’s ‘Fill the Void’ [2013], the story of a religious woman who must decide whether to marry her dead sister’s husband, ‘The Wedding Plan’ manages to be respectful of traditions while at the same time feeling modern, even progressive.” Read more…)

Like Crazy (Italy, comedy/drama, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. Rotten Tomatoes 81%. Metacritic: 74. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “Cultural sensitivity about mental illness has increased to the extent that using a psychiatric hospital or its residents as metaphors for society in general is considered in bad taste, at least. But either nobody has told this to the Italian film director Paolo Virzì, or he just doesn’t care. The analogy he draws between Italy and two initially opposed women in an institution is the linchpin of his ‘Like Crazy,’ an energetic, visually attractive but ultimately irritating comedy-drama.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
Sherlock Holmes (1916, silent classic, William Gillette)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
The Birthday Party (1968, William Friedkin-directed version of Harold Pinter play, Robert Shaw. From Vincent Canby’s 1968 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “In this brief shot, which opens the movie adaptation of Harold Pinter’s ‘The Birthday Party,’ William Friedkin, the director, captures in simple visual terms the verbalized purgatory of Pinter’s stage play. There are both the hint of menace, never defined, and the suggestion of the dislocation of familiar things, which can be both terrifying and funny. Subsequently, however, the movie becomes an almost literal screen translation of material conceived for the stage. It is beautifully acted and photographed and its soundtrack has a kind of ferocious presence, but it’s a movie that doesn’t really have a life of its own.” Read more…)

New British
Endeavour: Season 4 (mystery series, Shaun Evans)

Music, Poetry, Comedy: Best Video starts “Second Wednesday” Open Mic series Wed., Sept. 13

Musicians! Comedians! Poets!

By public demand—and at the suggestion of Best Video Film & Cultural Center staffer Molly Capobianco—we are commencing a monthly Open Mic at Best Video Performance Space.

The first Second Wednesday Open Mic takes place Wednesday, Sept. 13, starting at 7 PM. Admission is a Suggested Donation of $3-5 to support BVFCC.

We will be putting out a sign-up sheet for designated slots at 6:30 PM and performers can choose their slot on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Each slot is 10 minutes or two songs (whichever is shorter) with a 5-minute break between each performer. We have a total of 10 slots from 7-9:30 PM if people use their maximum time.

We will play it by ear after that with any “extra” performers getting time as available in order of signing the sheet. While 9:30 PM is the official cut-off time, we may at our discretion continue with performers up to 10 PM.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Thursday, Aug. 31. INDIE ROCK: DISCO TEEN ’66

• Friday, Sept. 1. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & TONY LOMBARDOZZI

• Wednesday, Sept. 6. ALT-COUNTRY: JUNEBUG SADDLE

• Thursday, Sept. 7. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: KATHY MUIR, SUSAN CARSON

• Friday, Sept. 8. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Sunday, Sept. 10, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Sept. 11, 7:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: LEA, ALIEN BOY, PERFUME V, NECKLINE

• Wednesady, Sept. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

Thursday, Sept. 14. ACOUSTIC SOUL: CHRISSY GARDNER & ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Sept. 15, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Wednesday, Sept. 20. BLUEGRASS: BAIT AND SWITCH

• Thursday, Sept. 21. ROOTS ROCK/GARAGE SOUL: BRONSON ROCK

• Friday, Sept. 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Sept. 27. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, Sept. 29. FOLK: FLINT LADDER

• Saturday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOHN GORKA (FERNANDO PINTO PRESENTS) Tickets available online at johngorkatickets.brownpapertickets.com

• Sunday, Oct. 1, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Thursday, Oct. 5. NORDIC/CELTIC FOLK MUSIC: GARY WIKFORS AND ANGUS MOSSMAN

• Friday, Oct. 6. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Wednesday, Oct. 11, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Friday, Oct. 13. FLASH FICTION: PAUL BECKMAN

• Sunday, Oct. 15. POWER POP: JOHN HARRISON & THE HARRISONICS

• Friday, Oct. 20. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, Oct. 27. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: THE BOSSA NOVA PROJECT

• Saturday, Oct. 28. LIGHT UPON BLIGHT HALLOWEEN SHOW

• Saturday, Nov. 4. SOLO MODERN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Sunday, Nov. 5, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN (SOLD OUT!)

• Friday, Nov. 17. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Saturday, Nov. 18. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY GALA AT THE BALLROOM AT THE OUTER SPACE

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 3 PM. JAZZ: TRIO 149

• Thursday, Nov. 30. BLUEGRASS: EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

• Sunday, Dec. 3, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Friday, Dec. 8. BLUEGRASS: TWISTED PINE (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Friday, Jan. 12, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: BEPPE GAMBETTA (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

 

Music: Indie rock show Mon., Sept. 11, with Alien Boy, Perfume-V (Oregon) & Lea, Neckline (CT)

Alien Boy

Just added! This Monday, Best Video Performance Space presents a four-act bill of indie rock featuring two touring groups from Oregon (Alien Boy, Perfume V) and two Connecticut acts (Lea, Neckline). The music starts at 7:30 PM (really—that’s when it starts!) and the cover is $5.

Alien Boy describes themselves as “post punk gothy pop punk new wave punk punk.” You can check out some of their recordings on their Bandcamp page. Band members are Sonia Weber, Derek McNeil, Mac Pogue, and Caleb Misclevitz.

Perfume V, named after a song on Pavement’s first LP “Slanted and Enchanted,” plays “West Coast art power pop.” The group features two overlapping members with Alien Boy, Mac Pogue and Sonia Weber. Pogue debuted Perfume V as more or less a solo endeavor last October with the Demonstration One EP, although the project has since expanded into a full band. Rounding out Pogue on guitar and vocals are Alex Beyer on guitar, Sonia Weber on drums and Mambo Lennon on bass. Check out their releases at Bandcamp.

Lea, a noisy indie rock power trio from Connecticut, describes themselves as, “three dumb friends making music for our 5 dumb friends.” Lea the band started in late 2013 as a two piece at Daggett Street in New Haven Connecticut. We debuted not long after on Kspills Couch on 2014. Lea now has three members. Check out their Bandcamp.

Neckline is Spit-Take guitarist Joe Katz taking a solo turn to open the show. Check out his recent demos at Bandcamp.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Wednesday, Sept. 6. ALT-COUNTRY: JUNEBUG SADDLE

• Thursday, Sept. 7. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: KATHY MUIR, SUSAN CARSON

• Friday, Sept. 8. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Sunday, Sept. 10, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Sept. 11, 7:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: LEA, ALIEN BOY, PERFUME V, NECKLINE

• Wednesady, Sept. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

Thursday, Sept. 14. ACOUSTIC SOUL: CHRISSY GARDNER & ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Sept. 15, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Wednesday, Sept. 20. BLUEGRASS: BAIT AND SWITCH

• Thursday, Sept. 21. ROOTS ROCK/GARAGE SOUL: BRONSON ROCK

• Friday, Sept. 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Sept. 27. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, Sept. 29. FOLK: FLINT LADDER

• Saturday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOHN GORKA (FERNANDO PINTO PRESENTS) Tickets available online at johngorkatickets.brownpapertickets.com

• Sunday, Oct. 1, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Thursday, Oct. 5. NORDIC/CELTIC FOLK MUSIC: GARY WIKFORS AND ANGUS MOSSMAN

• Friday, Oct. 6. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Wednesday, Oct. 11, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Friday, Oct. 13. FLASH FICTION: PAUL BECKMAN

• Sunday, Oct. 15. POWER POP: JOHN HARRISON & THE HARRISONICS

• Friday, Oct. 20. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, Oct. 27. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: THE BOSSA NOVA PROJECT

• Saturday, Oct. 28. LIGHT UPON BLIGHT HALLOWEEN SHOW

• Saturday, Nov. 4. SOLO MODERN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Sunday, Nov. 5, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN (SOLD OUT!)

• Friday, Nov. 17. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Saturday, Nov. 18. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY GALA AT THE BALLROOM AT THE OUTER SPACE

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 3 PM. JAZZ: TRIO 149

• Thursday, Nov. 30. BLUEGRASS: EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

• Sunday, Dec. 3, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Friday, Dec. 8. BLUEGRASS: TWISTED PINE (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Friday, Jan. 12, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: BEPPE GAMBETTA (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

 

BVFCC Appeal an ongoing success—over $30,000 raised!

Dear Friends,

Wow.

We are humbled and grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support and love—there really is no other word for it—that we have received from the community since we made our appeal for donations and memberships.

The “official” campaign, as defined by the Facebook event we created, lasted through last Tuesday, August 29. But we continue to get new households joining up for our monthly or annual membership plans.

As of mid-day Monday, September 4, we have raised over $30,000 through donations and supporters signing up for new memberships or upgrading the plans they already have. We have added almost 100 new members.

If you haven’t already joined one of the plans but would like to, you can do so at this link or in person at Best Video Film & Cultural Center.

If you would like to donate, you can do so at this link or in person at Best Video Film & Cultural Center.

We are deeply grateful and humbled by the community’s support.

Thank you!

Music: The Sawtelles have CD release show Fri., Sept. 8

The Sawtelles play Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Sept. 8, a CD release show for their 12th self-produced CD, “9 Out of 9 (The Blue Album).” The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

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

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

The song “America” on the new record was written in a songwriting workshop that Julie, Peter and the late beloved singer-songwriter James Velvet participated in. It is dedicated to James.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Friday, Sept. 1. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & TONY LOMBARDOZZI

• Wednesday, Sept. 6. ALT-COUNTRY: JUNEBUG SADDLE

• Thursday, Sept. 7. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: KATHY MUIR, SUSAN CARSON

• Friday, Sept. 8. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Sunday, Sept. 10, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Sept. 11, 7:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: LEA, ALIEN BOY, PERFUME V, NECKLINE

• Wednesady, Sept. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

Thursday, Sept. 14. ACOUSTIC SOUL: CHRISSY GARDNER & ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Sept. 15, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Wednesday, Sept. 20. BLUEGRASS: BAIT AND SWITCH

• Thursday, Sept. 21. ROOTS ROCK/GARAGE SOUL: BRONSON ROCK

• Friday, Sept. 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Sept. 27. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, Sept. 29. FOLK: FLINT LADDER

• Saturday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOHN GORKA (FERNANDO PINTO PRESENTS) Tickets available online at johngorkatickets.brownpapertickets.com

• Sunday, Oct. 1, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Thursday, Oct. 5. NORDIC/CELTIC FOLK MUSIC: GARY WIKFORS AND ANGUS MOSSMAN

• Friday, Oct. 6. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Wednesday, Oct. 11, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Friday, Oct. 13. FLASH FICTION: PAUL BECKMAN

• Sunday, Oct. 15. POWER POP: JOHN HARRISON & THE HARRISONICS

• Friday, Oct. 20. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, Oct. 27. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: THE BOSSA NOVA PROJECT

• Saturday, Oct. 28. LIGHT UPON BLIGHT HALLOWEEN SHOW

• Saturday, Nov. 4. SOLO MODERN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Sunday, Nov. 5, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN (SOLD OUT!)

• Friday, Nov. 17. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Saturday, Nov. 18. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY GALA AT THE BALLROOM AT THE OUTER SPACE

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 3 PM. JAZZ: TRIO 149

• Thursday, Nov. 30. BLUEGRASS: EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

• Sunday, Dec. 3, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Friday, Dec. 8. BLUEGRASS: TWISTED PINE (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Friday, Jan. 12, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: BEPPE GAMBETTA (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)