Music: GuitarTownCT bluegrass jam Sun., Mar. 1, from 2-5 PM

The “First Sunday” Hamden Bluegrass Jam—hosted by GuitarTown CT Productions takes place Sunday, Mar. 1, from 2-5 PM.

There is no cover—although donations to support Best Video Film & Cultural Center are gratefully accepted—so come on down—have a coffee, beer or glass of wine and enjoy the music. It’s all acoustic and mostly traditional. Any and all bluegrass players are welcome.

Bring your instrument or just bring your ears. Come to pick or just to listen.

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Music: Fleurs, Alethea, Safety Meeting play indie rock Fri., Feb. 28, at 7:30 PM

Indie rock groups Fleurs, Safety Meeting, and Alethea play a triple bill at Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Feb. 28. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).
Fleurs is a musical enigma. All shifty riffs and sticky words, Fleurs draws romance out of depravity, mining glitter out of gunk. Fleurs is the feeling of lighting a cigarette on a cold day, the smell of a one night stand, the sound of fine china shattering on concrete. Too smart to be rock, too hard to be pop, Fleurs’ music is a multi-headed serpent that strangles as it caresses.
Alethea is a three-piece punk band from New Haven, CT that features Kurt McGirt (guitar, vocals), Dan Halen (bass, vocals), and Matt Rossi (drums). Founded in 2018, the New York-based Safety Meeting is a four piece indie garage pop band.

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Music: Surf’s up with the rockin’ retro sounds of The Clams Thurs., Feb. 27

Surf’s up! Instrumental rockers The Clams play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Feb. 27. The waves of reverb start crashing at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Those hard-shell, salty, instrumental wise guys return to Best Video for an evening of fun retro instrumentals, soundtrack and pop favorites that end up sounding like retro instrumentals and Clams originals that somehow also end up sounding like retro instrumentals. Groovy Go-Go dancing gals, Vivienne and Kitty will really make this a show. The Clams have few new songs for a new album – lets see how far the album work progresses by showtime!

Straight from the beach party/clambake of your dreams, The Clams brought the driving sound of 1960s surf music to parties, clubs and events everywhere. This 3 piece group dished up tasty instrumental surf classics a la Dick Dale and the Ventures, surfed-up TV and movie classics and loads of Clams originals!

The Clams have provided reverb soaked, go-go powered instrumentals from Maine to Pennsylvania. The Clams have shared stages with The Nebulas, 9th Wave, SPF-4, The Rip Chords and Many more awsome bands. The Clams have played The Cutting Room NYC, Otto’s Shrunken Head, Cafe 9, Ralph’s Diner, Kirkland Cafe, Geno’s Rock Club, Yarmouth Clams Festival and many more groovy venues.

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Music: The Howling Hound Dogs play jug band music Wed., Feb. 26

The Howling Hound Dogs play Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Feb. 26. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

The Howling Hound Dogs are a fun, upbeat washboard trio who play swing standards from the 20’s to the 50’s as well as folk and blues tunes, modern arrangements and funny originals. Their shows include ukulele, guitar, kazoo, harmonica, mandolin, banjo, washboard, jug and even spoons!

As a band and as soloists they’ve appeared at festivals, town concerts, senior facilities, libraries, the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas, Nashville’s Bluebird Café and on TV and radio. Thew members of The Howling Hound Dogs are Peter Magrane, Lou Manzi and Tom McVerry.

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Secret Cinema, hosted by Rob Harmon, screens a secret movie Mon., Feb. 24

Best Video Film & Cultural Center staffer Rob Harmon hosts a semi-regular cult film series under the rubric “Secret Cinema.” The next Secret Cinema takes place Monday, Feb. 24, at 8 PM. Along with the night’s movie, Rob shows relevant film trailers and cranks up the Best Video popcorn machine for cinema-appropriate snacking.​

Secret Cinema is free but donations to support Best Video Film & Cultural Center and its programming are always welcome. For more info, call BVFCC at (203) 287-9286 or email Rob at secretcinemact@gmail.com.

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Film screening: “Greenfingers” launches second annual 3-film “Garden In Film” garden-themed series Sun., Feb. 23, at 3 PM

Reprising a series concept from 2019, Best Video Film & Cultural Center member and master gardener Eric Larson (formerly head of Marsh Botanical Gardens at Yale) presents “Garden In Film,” a series of three garden-themed movies, starting on Sunday, Feb. 23, and continuing on alternate Sundays (Mar. 8 and Mar. 22). Admission for each screening is $7.

The series plants the seed on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 3 PM with 2000’s “Greenfingers,” starring Clive Owen and Helen Mirren. Seedlings break the earth on Sunday, Mar. 8, at 3 PM with “Tulip Fever” from 2017, starring Alicia Vikander. The final harvest occurs on Sunday, Mar. 23, at 3 PM with the screening of Hal Ashby’s “Being There” (1979), starring Peter Sellers.

Starring Clive Owen and Helen Mirren, Green Fingers tells the tale of a group in a minimum security facility in England who discover the joys of gardening as therapy, physical improvement and perhaps leading to a spot in the world famous Chelsea Flower Show. Based on a true story (aren’t all movies these days?) Green Fingers will help us swing into the gardening season with verve, elan and the added bonus of appreciating that we are not locked up in prison.

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Comedy: Reel Life—A Stand-Up Comedy Show Sat., Feb. 22, at 8 PM, with host Stosh Mikita

Reel Life—A Stand-Up Comedy Show returns on Saturday, Feb. 22. It starts at 8 PM and the cover is $10.

Reel Life is a monthly comedy showcase featuring a diverse cast of comics from New Haven, New England and New York City. Hosted by Stosh Mikita.

Stosh Mikita is a New Haven, CT based comedian whose comedy combines clever observations, self-deprecating humor, and dark personal stories from an unusual upbringing. Starting in 2013, Stosh has quickly become a regularly featured comedian all over New England.

Joining Stosh this month are Rob Santos, Darren Sechrist, Tricia D’Onofrio, Ish Gupta, and BJ Kwaygen.

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Music: Vicki F, Brian Larney perform Fri., Feb. 21, at 7:30 PM

Singer-songwriters Vicki F and Brian Larney play sets Friday, Feb. 21. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Vicki F is a rock musician and songwriter who was the lead singer and founder of The Dini Band from 2010 to 2016, and was one of the the lead singers and guitar players for the 80s post-punk band, Troupe DiCoupe, that headlined at CBGBs, Max’s Kansas City, other NYC venues and also Ron’s Place, New Haven. She is now performing originals in and around Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Haunted by hooks and good old fashioned song-craft, Brian Larney is an eclectic, non-stop music-making machine. The Connecticut native and New England Music Awards nominee splits his time performing as a solo acoustic act, as the front-man of his band Brian Larney and The Town Hall, and as part of the harmony pop group Pigeon English. He’s an alternative folk-rock singer-songwriter with an honest and thoughtful style that has been described as “quirky, earnest, and vulnerable.” Larney’s music is as influenced by pop songs of the mid-1960s as it is by the contemporary artists he’s often compared to, such as Jason Isbell and The Decemberists.

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Music: Tiny Ocean plays Thurs., Feb. 20

Tiny Ocean plays Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Feb. 20. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Tiny Ocean is dreamy indie Americana. Front woman and songwriter, Kierstin Sieser’s songs are beautiful and strangely haunting dioramas that somehow feel familiar. They released their first album “Sometimes You’re Right” at the beginning of September. The group is Kierstin Joy Sieser, Jeremy Coster on guitar, Jon Morse on drums and Keith Newman on bass.

In a New Haven Independent report on a May, 2018 show, arts editor Brian Slattery wrote:

Coster, Neuman, and Morse together proved to be a subtle and supple band, always keeping the rhythm breathing. They sounded relaxed and confident, musicians making exactly the sound they wanted to hear. But the real hook was Seiser’s songwriting, an evocative Americana that was somehow frank and elusive, bitter and funny, all at the same time. She could take the vibe from dreamy to gritty in the space of a song or two, sometimes within a beat or two, the band always moving with her.

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Music: Indie rock triple bill featuring Pheobe, The Lost Weekend, Ghostwoods Wed., Feb. 19, at 7:30 PM

There is an indie rock triple bill at Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Feb. 19. The featured groups are Pheobe, The Lost Weekend, and Ghostwoods. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Pheobe is a newly formed New Haven Punk/Indie/Noise trio. Their goal is to bring the ruckus with as many different styles as possible, and continuously create new ideas and performances. Influences would be: WEEN, Pavement, the Grateful Dead, Grizzly Bear, Black Sabbath—anything between “dark” and “hilarious.” The group is led by Peter Omalyev (guitar/vocals).

The Lost Weekend is an independent alternative rock band based out of central and southern CT. Formed in Summer 2013, The Lost Weekend just released their first full-length LP “Denial,” recorded over the last three years. Fourteen original songs produced by The Lost Weekend. Singles: “Nothing Concrete” and “Different Than You Are.”

Ghostwoods is a new project, from members of Breakthrough Frequencies, The Lively, and Yuppy Flu. Ghostwoods is an indie rock band from CT with influences all over the map. They have released two songs on Bandcamp, “New Leaves” and “Dead Wax.”

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.