Music: Rock by Happy Ending (featuring BVFCC’s Hank Hoffman & Richard Brown), solo set by Mercy Choir Fri., Feb. 10

Happy Ending—which features Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s own Hank Hoffman and Richard Brown—plays the Performance Space Friday, Feb. 10. Mercy Choir aka Paul Belbusti) opens with a solo set. The show starts at 8 PM and there is a $5 cover.

Happy Ending

Happy Ending plays electric rock ‘n’ roll, mixing original compositions influenced by garage rock, folk rock and psychedelia—oftentimes with a political slant—with cover songs from the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Happy Ending has released three albums and on EP. The most recent,an EP called “Here Comes Mr. Sinister,” features three punk songs by the group. It was released on Inauguration Day, 2017.

“Electricity for the Youth of Today,” was recorded live at Best Video Performance Space in December of 2013. The vinyl LP and 45 “Have A Nice Day” came out in 1984 and the compact disc “Smile for the Camera” in 1996. John Foster, editor of Op Magazine, described “Have A Nice Day” as a “future cult item for the collectors.” Hank Hoffman sings and plays guitar; Richard Brown plays guitar and alto saxophone. Tom Smith is on drums and Randy Stone plays bass. Happy Ending has a Facebook page.

Mercy Choir.

Mercy Choir is the songwriting and recording project of New Haven, CT based musician Paul Belbusti. Over the past decade, Paul has produced a large quantity of critically acclaimed music ranging from abstract experiments to more traditional pop and rock and roll. Mercy Choir’s latest release is “Like a Fountain Stirred” and it is its best and most adventurous work to date.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Tuesday, Feb. 7. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “LOVING”

• Wednesday, Feb. 8. BLUEGRASS: BAIT AND SWITCH

• Thursday, Feb. 9. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, Feb. 10. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING, MERCY CHOIR (solo)

• Monday, Feb. 13. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “BIRTH OF A NATION”

• Wednesday, Feb. 15. ROCK: LEFT ON SCARLET STREET

• Thursday, Feb. 16. ALT-COUNTRY/ROCK: NO LINE NORTH, BOP TWEEDIE

• Friday, Feb. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ALEX BLAIR

• Monday, Feb. 20. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “ARRIVAL”

• Wednesday, Feb. 22. JAZZ: THE PAUL SHANLEY QUARTET

• Thursday, Feb. 23. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Friday, Feb. 24. INDIE POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Saturday, Feb. 25. PROTEST MUSIC CABARET: “SHALL WE TALK ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT?”

• Sunday, Feb. 26. “AND THE AWARD GOES TO…”: BVFCC OSCAR AWARDS BRUNCH/FUNDRAISER 4-6 PM

• Monday, Feb. 27. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “HACKSAW RIDGE”

• Wednesday, Mar. 1. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS (rescheduled from Feb. 9)

• Thursday, Mar. 2. SURF ROCK: THE CLAMS

• Monday, Mar. 6. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “MANCHESTER BY THE SEA”

• Wednesday, Mar. 8. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Saturday, Mar. 11. JAZZ: THE FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE PLAYS “BLACK, BROWN AND BEIGE; YELLOW, TRANS AND QUEER: MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THIS (A PROTEST SUITE COMPOSED BY ALLEN LOWE)

• Monday, Mar. 13. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “MOONLIGHT”

• Wednesday,  Mar. 15. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SHULA WEINSTEIN & BEN ROSS

• Thursday, Mar. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM, KATHY MUIR

Friday, Mar. 17. INDIE ROCK: DISCO TEEN 66

• Wednesday, Mar. 22. CLASSICAL: 4-3-2-1: A EUPHONIUM AND FRIENDS PRODUCTION

• Friday, Mar. 24. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH; SINGER-SONGWRITER: BELLE OF THE FALL

• Saturday, Mar. 25. JAZZ: : THE FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE PLAYS “BLACK, BROWN AND BEIGE; YELLOW, TRANS AND QUEER: MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THIS (A PROTEST SUITE COMPOSED BY ALLEN LOWE)

• Wednesday, Mar. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: LAMONT

• Thursday, Mar. 30. ALTERNATIVE/AMERICANA: THE WYRD BROTHERS

• Saturday, Apr. 1. CULT FILM SCREENING: TBA

• Thursday, Apr. 6. AVANT-GARDE: ELM FICTION

• Friday, Apr. 7. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Saturday, Apr. 8. CLASSICAL GUITAR: MAX LYMAN; AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: ALEXANDER

• Sunday, Apr. 9. REDSCROLL RECORDS SCREENING AND MUSIC

• Friday, Apr. 21. POP: THE DRESS-UPS

• Friday, Apr. 28. BLUEGRASS: THE SLOCAN RAMBLERS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SHAWN TAYLOR & WANDERING ROOTS (CD Release)

• Friday, May 5. SINGER-SONGWRITERS IN  THE ROUND: JENNIFER DAUPHINAIS, CHRISTOPHER BOUSQUET, FRANK CRITELLI

• Saturday, May 6. CULT FILM SCREENING: TBA

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

 

Music: The Sawtelles “Brown” CD release this Fri., Dec. 2, with Hank Hoffman opening

The Sawtelles play Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Dec. 2, a CD release show for their 11th self-produced CD, “Brown.” The disc is so named because it features prominent guitar and sax contributions by recent Sawtelles compatriot Richard Brown, also the general manager of Best Video Film & Cultural Center. BVFCC Program Director Hank Hoffman opens with a solo acoustic set. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

sawtelles_nyc_web

The Sawtelles

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.

hank_hoffman_acoustic_web

Hank Hoffman

Hank Hoffman has been writing songs for and playing guitar and singing in the psychedelic and folk rock band Happy Ending—often with Richard Brown—since 1983. For this show, Hoffman will be playing solo acoustic guitar for his whole set with the exception of a final tune where he will be joined by Bronson Rock leader Gary Mezzi on guitar and harp.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Saturday, Nov. 26. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Nov. 28. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CHARADE”

• Wednesday, Nov. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM TRIO

• Thursday, Dec. 1. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: GLENN ROTH, SINGER-SONGWRITER: KRISTEN GRAVES

• Friday, Dec. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES CD RELEASE SHOW, HANK HOFFMAN (solo)

• Sunday, Dec. 4. FREE FIRST SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM (PRESENTED BY GUITARTOWNCT)

• Monday, Dec. 5. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID”

• Thursday, Dec. 8. AMERICANA: SEPIATONE

• Friday, Dec. 9. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY BAND (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Monday, Dec. 12. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “WINTER’S BONE”

• Thursday, Dec. 15. JAZZ: THE AFRO-SEMITIC DUO (DAVID CHEVAN & WARREN BYRD)

• Friday, Dec. 16. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Saturday, Dec. 17. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE GOONIES” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Dec. 19. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CONTACT”

• Friday, Jan. 6. ACOUSTIC FOLK BLUES & MORE: VANGE DURST

• Saturday, Jan. 7. MUSIC OF “THE SIMPSONS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Friday, Jan. 13. BLUEGRASS: FIVE IN THE CHAMBER

• Friday, Jan. 20. BLUEGRASS: THE PAGE TURNERS (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Friday, Jan. 27. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Saturday, Jan. 28. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Friday, Feb. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Feb. 10. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Friday, Feb. 24. INDIE POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

 

Music: Happy Ending (featuring BVFCC’s Hank Hoffman & Richard Brown), Bill Beckett play Fri., Feb. 12

Happy_Ending_promo_pic_psych_WebHappy Ending—which features Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s own Hank Hoffman and Richard Brown—plays the Performance Space Friday, Feb. 12. The concert is also a celebration of Hank Hoffman turning 60. There will be cake! Solo guitarist Bill Beckett opens. The show starts at 8 PM and there is a $5 cover.

Happy Ending plays electric rock ‘n’ roll, mixing original compositions influenced by garage rock, folk rock and psychedelia—oftentimes with a political slant—with cover songs from the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Happy Ending has released three albums. The most recent, “Electricity for the Youth of Today,” was recorded live at Best Video Performance Space in December of 2013. The vinyl LP and 45 “Have A Nice Day” came out in 1984 and the compact disc “Smile for the Camera” in 1996. John Foster, editor of Op Magazine, described “Have A Nice Day” as a “future cult item for the collectors.” Hank Hoffman sings and plays guitar; Richard Brown plays guitar and alto saxophone. Tom Smith is on drums and Randy Stone plays bass. Happy Ending has a Facebook page.

Bill Beckett describes the music he is playing as “melodic, modal, dreamy.” Among the myriad influences he names are “Elizabethan, Medieval, 19th-20th century French Classical, Afghani, Indian, Psychedelic, The Hagakure, and Films in general.” Artists name-checked by Beckett are “Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, Purcell, Debussy, Satie, Ravel, Kurosawa, Fellini, Jim Jarmusch, and John Fahey.”

Bill Beckett

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Feb. 3. YIDDISH SWING/JAZZ VOCALS: THE SELTZER SISTERS of the NU HAVEN KAPELYE

• Thursday, Feb. 4. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SWAMP YANKEE, ALEXANDER

• Friday, Feb. 5. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: MERCY CHOIR, PAGEANT DOVE

• Sunday, Feb. 7. BLUEGRASS JAM 2-5 PM (FREE)

• Monday, Feb. 8. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO”

• Thursday, Feb. 11. FOLK MUSIC: HOMEMADE JAM

• Friday, Feb. 12. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Monday, Feb. 15. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE”

• Wednesday, Feb. 17. ACOUSTIC BLUES/FOLK: DITTYMACK

• Thursday, Feb. 18. JAZZ: THE MONK PROJECT BAND

• Friday, Feb. 19. GUITARISTS/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: RANDY COLLINS, IAN ETHAN CASE

• Monday, Feb. 22. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “99 HOMES”

• Friday, Feb. 26. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB

• Thursday, Mar. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOY IKE

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Sunday, Mar. 6. FILM SCREENING & Q&A WITH SCREENWRITER DONALD MARGULIES (Co-presented with THe Institute Library): “THE END OF THE TOUR”

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Thursday, Mar. 24. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, Mar. 25. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DICK NEAL

• Wednesday, Mar. 30. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: EUGENE GALLAGHER, WESTERN ESTATES

• Thursday, Mar. 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

 

Hank Hoffman’s Picks 12/1/15

Hank_Hoffman_Picks_Image_sketch_WebTHE WAYS OF GENIUS

Mr. Turner (dir. Mike Leigh, 2014)
Love & Mercy (dir. Bill Pohlad, 2014)

No doubt the world is filled with well-adjusted geniuses. Creative masters who relate easily to those around them.

But, often, genius is as much burden as gift, both to the possessor and to those who come within his or her orbit.

Two wonderful movies released on DVD and Blu-Ray this year, LOVE AND MERCY and MR. TURNER, offer compelling depictions of mercurial artists wrestling both with their artistic visions and inner torments. As well, each film also presents superbly realized cinematic renditions of time and place.

Mr_TurnerBritish director Mike Leigh’s “Mr. Turner” portrays the brilliant landscape and seascape painter J.M.W. Turner in the latter years of his life. (Many of Turner’s paintings are on view at the Yale Center for British Art.) Collegial and competitive with his peers in the Royal Academy, he can be irascible and withdrawn when with family and lovers. Actor Timothy Spall gives a powerful performance as Turner. At times, Spall’s Turner communicates in little more than snorts and grunts. But he can also be tender, forging a seemingly kind and affectionate long-term relationship in the final years of his life with the widow Mrs. Booth.

Turner lived from 1775 to 1851; Leigh’s film showcases a bustling early Victorian England in the accelerating grip of industrialization. In one scene, Turner paints a steam-spewing train in the proto-Impressionist “Rain, Steam and Speed—The Great Western Railway.” As a painter, he faces the possibility of obsolescence in the face of the new medium of photography.

Light is the essence of photography and light was the essence of Turner’s paintings. Director Mike Leigh, through the beautiful cinematography of Dick Pope, allows us to see England as Turner saw and experienced it.

The quality of light is different but as integral in LOVE & MERCY, directed by Bill Pohlad. LOVE & MERCY tells the story of Brian Wilson, leader of—and songwriter for—The Beach Boys. In the early to mid-1960s, The Beach Boys’ music broadcast the myth and reality—mostly the former—of California sunshine to the world.

But it wasn’t all sunshine for Brian Wilson. Even without his ill-advised indulgence in LSD, Wilson—a victim of an extremely abusive father—still might have struggled with mental health issues. His musical vision  and experimentation with adventurous harmonies expanded the vocabulary of rock music. It also caused dissension within the group, particularly with singer—and cousin—Mike Love, who wanted Wilson to stick with the formula that had secured the group so many hits.

Love_MercyPohlad deftly tells two parallel stories—that of Wilson’s musical ascension and emotional collapse in the 1960s and that of his entrapment and control by therapist Eugene Landy (played by Paul Giamatti) in the 1980s, from which Wilson was freed by the intervention of his future wife Melinda Ledbetter (played by Elizabeth Banks).

The younger Wilson is played by Paul Dano; John Cusack plays the older Wilson. The fine performances by the two actors make the fact that they don’t look much like the same person at different ages irrelevant—they convey a consistent emotional inner life for the character that overrides the outer appearances.

While Wilson continues to perform to this day, his most creative songwriting is behind him. In LOVE & MERCY, Pohlad not only convincingly depicts a creative genius being overcome by his inner demons. He also convincingly recreates the creative milieu of the 1960s Los Angeles music scene and Wilson’s important role within it.

It wasn’t all “Fun, Fun, Fun.” But notwithstanding the anguish there were plenty of musical “Good Vibrations.”

(The Other) Hank’s Picks 8/18/15

Hank_Hoffman_Picks_Image_sketch_WebTwo Days, One Night (dir. Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 2014)

Solidarity.

Before it was the name of an independent trade union in Communist Poland, it was the ethic that undergirds all unionism. Put in the words most often associated with the Industrial Workers of the World (colloquially known as the Wobblies), a radical American union most active in the early 1900s (although still around today): An injury to one is an injury to all.

A lack of solidarity at a small solar panels manufacturing firm in Belgium is the act that sets in motion TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT, a superb drama by Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. Oscar winning actress Marion Cotillard plays Sandra, a wife and mother who has been on sick leave from work while she battles depression. As she prepares to return she finds out that 14 out of 16 of her fellow workers, when presented with a choice to receive their promised 1,000-euro bonus or lay her off, have voted her out of a job.

But Juliette—a friendly co-worker who was one of the two who voted to save Sandra’s job—has found out that the foreman interfered in the vote by telling some workers their own jobs might be at risk if they didn’t vote for the bonus. She prevails upon Dumont, the owner of the firm, to allow a re-vote on Monday.

It is up to Juliette but more particularly Manu, Sandra’s husband, to encourage Sandra to visit each one of her co-workers over the weekend and lobby them to allow her to keep her job.

Cotillard is a glamorous star but she thoroughly inhabits the role of Sandra, projecting an intense vulnerability. The film is most certainly a commentary on the struggles of workers in the contemporary economy but in no ways a polemic. In Two Days, One Night, the Dardenne brothers have crafted a riveting drama in which even the bit characters—Sandra’s fellow Solwal workers—feel fully realized.

Non-profit effort at Best Video reported on WNPR-FM, state NPR affiliate

The efforts of Best Video Film & Cultural Center (BVFCC) to purchase and maintain Best Video as an archive of film and a venue for cultural events was the subject of a report on July 16 by WNPR reporter Diane Orson. Orson interviewed Hank Hoffman, store assistant manager and president of BVFCC. Hoffman is responsible for booking the music in the Performance Space.

Hoffman is quoted in the report:

“The video business has obviously gone through major changes,” he said.  “And it’s not possible to maintain a video store on a profitable basis. If it was just a Tommy K’s or Blockbuster it would make sense just to close the store. But this is a place for people to gather, to talk movies, to meet their neighbors, to find out what’s going on in the arts.”

You can read the report or listen to it here.

(The Other) Hank’s Recommendations 2/10/15

Hank_Hoffman_Picks_Image_sketch_WebFORCE MAJEURE

A pull-quote on the cover of the new Swedish film FORCE MAJEURE touts it as a “must-see dark comedy.” I can agree with the “must-see” sentiments. But comedy? Not so much (although there are comedic moments). Rather, FORCE MAJEURE is an intense, squirm-inducing relationship drama.

It begins with a bourgeois idyll, a young attractive Swedish family—dad, mom, sister and brother—on skiing holiday in the French Alps. On their second day, as they dine al fresco on the hotel restaurant patio with a view of the majestic mountains, an explosion sets a controlled avalanche cascading down the mountainside. As the diners watch, however, the wall of snow barrels towards them, provoking a rising panic. The mother, Ebba (played by Lisa Loven Kongsli), gathers their two children to hustle them to safety. But the father, Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke), grabs his iPhone and gloves and runs away, leaving Ebba and the kids to fend for themselves.

The avalanche never quite reaches the diners; everybody is safe. But it sends an icy chill through Tomas’ and Ebba’s marriage. Fight or flight—Tomas, in the instant, chooses the latter and ends up with the former. Once the avalanche comes, it’s all downhill from there.

Music: Happy Ending (with Best Video’s Richard Brown & Hank Hoffman), Lys Guillorn on Thurs., Feb. 12, at 8 PM

Happy_Ending_Lys_BV_021215_WebHappy Ending, featuring Best Video’s own Hank Hoffman and Richard Brown, plays the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Feb. 12. Acclaimed indie rock songstress Lys Guillorn will open with a short solo set. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Happy Ending plays electric rock ‘n’ roll, mixing original compositions influenced by garage rock, folk rock and psychedelia—oftentimes with a political slant—with cover songs from the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Happy Ending has released three albums. The most recent, “Electricity for the Youth of Today,” was recorded live at Best Video Performance Space in December of 2013. The vinyl LP and 45 “Have A Nice Day” came out in 1984 and the compact disc “Smile for the Camera” in 1996. John Foster, editor of Op Magazine, described “Have A Nice Day” as a “future cult item for the collectors.” Hank Hoffman sings and plays guitar; Richard Brown plays guitar and alto saxophone. Tom Smith is on drums and Randy Stone plays bass. Happy Ending has a Facebook page.

Lys Guillorn is a singer/songwriter of the same musical school as Laura Veirs and Kristin Hersh, with a little Emmylou Harris thrown in: dreamy, lyric-driven, melodically interesting, and indefinable.  She makes “oddly uplifting, folk, blues, country-infused, acoustic semi-electric psychedelic dark pop music.” (Geraint Jones, Comes With a Smile, UK). In recent years, Guillorn has released a full-length CD, an EP, and a collection of compilation tracks on her own Little Cowgirl Records. She released her second full-length CD of original material, “Winged Victory,” in November, 2013.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday., Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Wednesday, Feb. 4. ALT-COUNTRY: LINES WEST

• Friday, Feb. 6. AVANT-GARDE: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Monday, Feb. 9. FILM SCREENING: “LOST HORIZON”

• Wednesday, Feb. 11. JAZZ: BRETT BOTTOMLEY

• Thursday, Feb. 12. INDIE ROCK: HAPPY ENDING, LYS GUILLORN

• Friday, Feb. 13. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Monday, Feb. 16. FILM SCREENING: “ABOUT SCHMIDT”

• Wednesday, Feb. 18. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ILANA ZSIGMOND

• Friday, Feb. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE MOUNTAIN MOVERS

• Monday, Feb. 23. FILM SCREENING: “CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS”

• Thursday, Fen. 26. BLUEGRASS: CHURCH SECTS

• Friday, Feb. 27. FUNK/ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Monday, Mar. 2. FILM SCREENING: “THE SWIMMER”

• Thursday, Mar. 5. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Mar. 6. JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA WiRED

• Monday, Mar. 9. FILM SCREENING: “GRAN TORINO”

• Monday, Mar. 16. FILM SCREENING: “NOW, VOYAGER”

• Monday, Mar. 23. FILM SCREENING: “UP IN THE AIR”

• Friday, April 3. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR

• Thursday, Apr. 9. 150th ANNIVERSARY OF APPOMATTOX/FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

 

Music: The Sawtelles, Happy Ending Duo (Best Video’s Richard Brown and Hank Hoffman) on Fri., Jan. 2, at 8 PM

Best Video Performance Space kicks off its 2015 programming on Friday, Jan. 2, with a show featuring husband and wife duo The Sawtelles and the Happy Ending Duo, comprised of Best Video’s own Richard Brown and Hank Hoffman. The music 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.

The Sawtelles

The Sawtelles

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. They have released 6 CDs.

Happy Ending usually plays electric rock ‘n’ roll, mixing original compositions influenced by garage rock, folk rock and psychedelia—oftentimes with a political slant—with cover songs from the 1960’s and 1970’s. But for this show, band members Hank Hoffman and Richard Brown will play in a more stripped down, semi-acoustic mode.

Happy Ending Duo: Richard Brown, left, and Hank Hoffman, right

Happy Ending Duo: Richard Brown, left, and Hank Hoffman, right

Happy Ending has released three albums. The most recent, “Electricity for the Youth of Today,” was recorded live at Best Video Performance Space in December of 2013. The vinyl LP and 45 “Have A Nice Day” came out in 1984 and the compact disc “Smile for the Camera” in 1996. John Foster, editor of Op Magazine, described “Have A Nice Day” as a “future cult item for the collectors.” Hank Hoffman sings and plays guitar; Richard Brown plays guitar and alto saxophone. Tom Smith is on drums and Randy Stone plays bass. Happy Ending also has a Facebook page.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Dec. 18. POST-PUNK: ZOO FRONT, KEVIN MF KING

• Friday, Dec. 19. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Friday, Jan. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES, HANK HOFFMAN & RICHARD BROWN

• Sunday, Jan. 4. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NOTORIOUS”

• Wednesday, Jan. 7. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: CRISTINA HARRIS, PATRICK DALTON

• Friday, Jan. 9. MUSIC FROM “TWIN PEAKS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Sunday, Jan. 11. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “STRANGERS ON A TRAIN”

• Wednesday, Jan. 14. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Thursday, Jan. 15. SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Jan. 16. INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Sunday, Jan. 18. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “REAR WINDOW”

• Sunday, Jan. 25. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NORTH BY NORTHWEST”

• Friday, Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Friday, Feb. 6. EXPERIMENTAL: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Mar. 6. ELECTRIC JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA’S WiRED

Music: Psychedelic pop by Happy Ending (featuring Best Video’s Hank Hoffman & Richard Brown) Thurs., June 19, at 8 PM

Happy_Ending_group_photo_72dpi_WebHappy Ending, featuring Best Video’s own Hank Hoffman and Richard Brown, plays the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, June 19. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Happy Ending plays electric rock ‘n’ roll, mixing original compositions influenced by garage rock, folk rock and psychedelia—oftentimes with a political slant—with cover songs from the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Happy Ending has released three albums. The most recent, “Electricity for the Youth of Today,” was recorded live at Best Video Performance Space in December of 2013. The vinyl LP and 45 “Have A Nice Day” came out in 1984 and the compact disc “Smile for the Camera” in 1996. John Foster, editor of Op Magazine, described “Have A Nice Day” as a “future cult item for the collectors.” Hank Hoffman sings and plays guitar; Richard Brown plays guitar and alto saxophone. Tom Smith is on drums and Randy Stone plays bass. Happy Ending has a Facebook page.

Watch the band play their original song “Cityscape” at Cafe Nine in New Haven in January, 2014.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, June 11. LITERARY READING: ALICE MATTISON, SANDI KAHN SHELTON

• Thursday, June 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, June 13. FOLK: ROBERT MESSORE

• Wednesday, June 18. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Thursday, June 19. GARAGE POP/PSYCHEDELIC ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Wednesday, June 25. INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Thursday, June 26. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: PRESTER JOHN featuring SHAWN PERSINGER & DAVID MILLER

• Friday, June 27. PUNK ROCK: STARK RAVING LULU

• Sunday, June 29. BEST VIDEO FUNDRAISER

• Wednesday, July 2. ROCK: EXTRASENSORY

• Thursday, July 3. BUOYANT POP ROCK: THE FURORS

• Wednesday, July 9. CLASSICAL GUITAR: ORPHÉE RUSSELL

• Thursday, July 10. FOLK: THE HEATH SISTERS

• Thursday, July 24. PROGRESSIVE FOLK ROCK: KINDRED QUEER

• Thursday, July 31. ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Friday, Aug. 1. ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI

• Wednesday, Aug. 13. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Friday, Aug. 15. POP/ART/PUPPETRY: POCKET VINYL, GLUMPUPPET