Archives for December 2017

BVFCC New Year’s holiday weekend hours

Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s holiday weekend hours:

Café: Saturday, 8 AM-6 PM; Sunday 8 AM-6 PM; Monday 8 AM-5 PM.

Video archive: Saturday 9 AM-10 PM; Sunday 9 AM-9 PM; Monday 9 AM-7 PM.

Have a Happy New Year’s, a great 2018, and please stay safe!

Music: Alternative/Americana by The Wyrd Brothers; singer-songwriter Rob Nelson Wed., Jan. 3

The Wyrd Brothers and Rob Nelson perform sets at Best Video Performance Space this Wednesday, Jan. 3, starting at 8 PM. The cover is $5.

Brian & Peter Wyrd played in various bands together starting out in 1967 as a Byrds cover band in Jr High school. They spent their youth playing music in the family barn or down in the basement breathing in concrete dust. After 30 years Brian received an email from Peter with the first round of lyrics to “Racing to the Bottom.” Brian sent back a guitar part and the idea of a reunion was born.

The Wyrd Brothers

Rob Nelson started writing songs in 1979 and has been performing in Connecticut and New York in various bands since 1981. He currently plays bass in Elegant Primates. Among his songwriting influences are Paul Weller, Lloyd Cole, and Elvis Costello. His music falls squarely in the pop-psych-punk-prog genre, which has yet to be enshrined as a choice on iTunes.

Rob Nelson

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

• Friday, Dec. 29. INDIE ROCK: WALLY

• Wednesday, Jan. 3. ROCK: THE WYRD BROTHERS; SINGER-SONGWRITER: ROB NELSON

• Friday, Jan. 5. AFRO-FUNK/ELECTRONICS: ENERGY

• Wednesday, Jan. 10, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Jan. 11. ROCK: TINY OCEAN

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

• Wednesday, Jan. 17. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: ALEXANDER; AVANT-GARDE: DONKEY NO NO, ZACH ROWDEN & WENDY EISENBERG

• Thursday, Jan. 18. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

• Friday, Jan. 19. BLUES ROCK: VANGE DURST

• Thursday, Jan. 25, 6:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: BONZO, BILGE RAT, PINFINGER, SHORT MONTH

• Friday, Jan. 26. BLUES ROCK: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Saturday, Jan. 27. AVANT-GARDE/PSYCH: RIVENER

• Tuesday, Jan. 30, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Thursday, Feb. 1. BLUES/FOLK: MATTHEW BENNETT

• Friday, Feb. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Tuesday, Feb. 6, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION: “LIFE ON PAROLE”

• Thursday, Feb. 8. BLUEGRASS: JOE K. WALSH & CELIA WOODSMITH, feat. BOBBY BRITT & ZOE GUIGUENO

• Wednesday, Feb. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Feb. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER/FUTURE SOUL: PAUL BRYANT HUDSON

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

• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

Music: Indie rock on Friday, Dec. 29, from Wally

Wally plays Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Dex. 29, starting at 8 PM. the cover is $5.

Wally began in Hamden, CT in the Winter of 2014, as the first step into collaborative pop music by a few high school friends studying music together. Initially under the name Nothing Special, these friends played a variety of covers, slowly building a repertoire of original material.

The band has since gone onto release their EP, “Fred’s Got Slacks,” on iTunes and Spotify. Since the release of this EP the band has progressed immensely musically delving into softer Rock and Roll with traces of The Beach Boys, The Beatles and more modern bands such as Wilco and Radiohead. Following the departure of lead guitarist Rody Conway the band has shifted more from blues driven sound to a more high-reverb tone combined with layered harmonies.

Lead Singer Alex Blair, and Guitarist and Singer Teo Hernandez have had a long history of writing and and performing together. Along with drummer Matt Murphy they are all veterans of the aforementioned Nothing Special, having performed at Toad’s Place New Haven, The Festival of Arts and Ideas, The North Branford POCO Festival, among many other venues and events.

Samples of Wally’s music can be found on their website Wally.Band, on Spotify or iTunes still under Nothing Special or on Soundcloud and Facebook @Wallyusa and on Instagram @thoseguyswhoplaymusic.

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

• Wednesday, Dec. 27. ROCK: THE 509ers

• Friday, Dec. 29. INDIE ROCK: WALLY

• Wednesday, Jan. 3. ROCK: THE WYRD BROTHERS; SINGER-SONGWRITER: ROB NELSON

• Friday, Jan. 5. AFRO-FUNK/ELECTRONICS: ENERGY

• Wednesday, Jan. 10, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Jan. 11. ROCK: TINY OCEAN

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

• Wednesday, Jan. 17. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: ALEXANDER; AVANT-GARDE: DONKEY NO NO, ZACH ROWDEN & WENDY EISENBERG

• Thursday, Jan. 18. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

• Friday, Jan. 19. BLUES ROCK: VANGE DURST

• Thursday, Jan. 25, 6:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: BONZO, BILGE RAT, PINFINGER, SHORT MONTH

• Friday, Jan. 26. BLUES ROCK: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Saturday, Jan. 27. AVANT-GARDE/PSYCH: RIVENER

• Tuesday, Jan. 30, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Thursday, Feb. 1. BLUES/FOLK: MATTHEW BENNETT

• Friday, Feb. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Tuesday, Feb. 6, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION: “LIFE ON PAROLE”

• Thursday, Feb. 8. BLUEGRASS: JOE K. WALSH & CELIA WOODSMITH, feat. BOBBY BRITT & ZOE GUIGUENO

• Wednesday, Feb. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Feb. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER/FUTURE SOUL: PAUL BRYANT HUDSON

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

• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

New releases 12/26/17

Top Hits
Stronger (drama based on 2015 Boston bombing, Jake Gyllenhaal. Rotten Tomatoes: 93%. Metacritic: 76. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “‘Stronger,’ the new movie directed by David Gordon Green, harks back to his work in the first decade of this century. His ‘All the Real Girls’ [2003] and ‘Snow Angels’ [2007] brought acute, cleareyed, compassionate consideration to trauma and tragedy as they affect intimate relationships. Unlike those pictures, though, ‘Stronger’ carries a separate weight. It’s also about an actual galvanic event in recent American history.” Read more…)

The Mountain Between Us (action/drama, Idris Elba & Kate Winslet. Rotten Tomatoes: 41%. Metacritic: 48. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review. Spoiler alert—she didn’t like it that much: “To watch the magnetic Idris Elba trudge through a monumental dud like ‘The Mountain Between Us’ is almost physically painful. Paired with an aloof Kate Winslet — with whom he has less chemistry than he did with Wood Harris, who played his business partner on ‘The Wire’ — he works very hard to appear oblivious to the script’s many idiocies. He does not succeed.” Read more…)

England Is Mine (bio/dram, Jack Lowden as Morrissey before The Smiths. Rotten Tomatoes: 49%. Metacritic: 45. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “With its bleak, yearning tone and defiantly cloudy color palette, ‘England Is Mine’ has a pleasingly granular feel for its era and location. But its imagining of Morrissey as a self-pitying narcissist, a curiously passive intellectual who can’t get out of his own way, soaks the movie in a wearying inertia. While we’re all waiting for greatness to find him, though, three hardy women are around to nudge things along: A punkish artist [Jessica Brown Findlay], a hectoring best mate [Katherine Pearce] and his empathetic Mum [Simone Kirby], whose support for her sulky son never wavers.” Read more…)

Manhunt: Unabomber (drama/thriller, Sam Worthington. Metacritic: 71. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times Critic’s Notebook article on this Discovery Channel mini-series: “During its recent rather frivolous annual shark-themed programming stunt, the Discovery Channel was heavily promoting as laudable a series as TV has offered this summer: ‘Manhunt: Unabomber,’ an eight-parter that begins on Tuesday night… It is a gripping and sophisticated account of how James R. Fitzgerald [Sam Worthington], then a newly minted F.B.I. profiler, upended a lot of the bureau’s assumptions in pursuing the suspect who became known in popular lore as the Unabomber [Mr. Bettany]. The supporting cast includes Chris Noth as Fitzgerald’s supervisor and Jane Lynch as Janet Reno, the attorney general in the mid-1990s.” Read more…)

Killing Gunther (action/comedy, Taran Killam. Rotten Tomatoes: 53%. Metacritic: 53.)

New Blu-Ray
The Mountain Between Us

New Foreign
4 Days in France (France, gay romance, Pascal Servo. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 73. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “Some of this story is mildly whimsical, and there are ramps into some kind of magical realism [a blizzard at the French-Italian border is a little far-fetched]. There are a lot of shots from behind a car windshield. These are more allied with Vincent Gallo’s ‘The Brown Bunny’ than with Monte Hellman’s more lyrical ‘Two-Lane Blacktop.’ While Mr. Reybaud has exemplary artistic confidence and an interesting vision, this is a movie that in many ways defines or justifies the “not for everybody” critical hedge.” Read more…)

New British
Acceptable Risk (legal drama/thriller, Elaine Cassidy)

New Music
England Is Mine (bio/dram, Jack Lowden as Morrissey before The Smiths)

Music: Garage rock from The 509ers Wed., Dec. 27

The 509ers play Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

The 509ers are a garage rock outfit from New Haven, CT. They have been kicking around the local music scene in various configurations for nearly thirty years and formed as The 509ers in 2009. Former angry young men, now grizzled and older, The 509ers still have something to say about the state of the world and it is not complimentary… but it is honest, loud, and raw.

The 509ers played as Thing’s Fingers from 1987-91 in New Haven, CT . Post ’91, they continued in various configurations including FU69, the Cryptones, and the Danglers. The original members of Thing’s Fingers reformed with one addition in ’08 as the 509ers. In 2010 Fatty Benny, of The Crabs fame, took on occasional drumming duties until Chuck Love stepped in and took on full time duty on the skins.

Among the 509ers influences: The Ramones, Social Distortion, The Replacements, The Cramps, The Damned, The Gun Club, X, The Reducers, The Droogs, The Butthole Surfers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Pixies, early 80s Boston hardcore, and, of course, Rick Springfield.

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

• Wednesday, Dec. 20. INDIE ROCK: WAR WAR WAR, REDUCTION PLAN, PINFINGER, ROSS MENZE

• Thursday, Dec. 21. SURF MUSIC: THE CLAMS

• Friday, Dec. 22. HOLIDAY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SHOW: DUST HAT, BRONSON ROCK

• Wednesday, Dec. 27. ROCK: THE 509ers

• Friday, Dec. 29. INDIE ROCK: WALLY

• Wednesday, Jan. 3. ROCK: THE WYRD BROTHERS; SINGER-SONGWRITER: ROB NELSON

• Friday, Jan. 5. AFRO-FUNK/ELECTRONICS: ENERGY

• Wednesday, Jan. 10, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Jan. 11. ROCK: TINY OCEAN

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

• Wednesday, Jan. 17. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: ALEXANDER; AVANT-GARDE: DONKEY NO NO, ZACH ROWDEN & WENDY EISENBERG

• Thursday, Jan. 18. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

• Friday, Jan. 19. BLUES ROCK: VANGE DURST

• Thursday, Jan. 25, 6:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: BONZO, BILGE RAT, PINFINGER, SHORT MONTH

• Friday, Jan. 26. BLUES ROCK: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Saturday, Jan. 27. AVANT-GARDE/PSYCH: RIVENER

• Tuesday, Jan. 30, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Thursday, Feb. 1. BLUES/FOLK: MATTHEW BENNETT

• Friday, Feb. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Tuesday, Feb. 6, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION: “LIFE ON PAROLE”

• Thursday, Feb. 8. BLUEGRASS: JOE K. WALSH & CELIA WOODSMITH, feat. BOBBY BRITT & ZOE GUIGUENO

• Wednesday, Feb. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Feb. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER/FUTURE SOUL: PAUL BRYANT HUDSON

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

• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

New releases 12/19/17

Top Hits
Dunkirk (World War II drama, Fionn Whitehead. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 94. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times revew: “One of the most indelible images in ‘Dunkirk,’ Christopher Nolan’s brilliant new film, is of a British plane in flames. The movie recounts an early, harrowing campaign in World War II that took place months after Germany invaded Poland and weeks after Hitler’s forces started rolling into the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France. The plane, having glided to a stop, has been defiantly set ablaze by the pilot to avoid its being captured. It’s an image of unambiguous defeat but also an emblem of resistance and a portent of the ghastly conflagrations still to come. It’s a characteristically complex and condensed vision of war in a movie that is insistently humanizing despite its monumentality, a balance that is as much a political choice as an aesthetic one. And ‘Dunkirk’ is big — in subject, reach, emotion and image.” Read more…)

Victoria & Abdul (period historical drama, Judi Dench. Rotten Tomatoes: 65%. Metacritic: 57. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “This is the second movie in 20 years in which Judi Dench plays Queen Victoria. And this is the second movie in 20 years in which Queen Victoria, played by Judi Dench, has a life-enhancing relationship with a man not of her station. This movie, ‘Victoria and Abdul,’ directed by Stephen Frears from a script by Lee Hall, goes 1997’s ‘Mrs. Brown’ one better in the Relevant to Contemporary Concerns department by depicting a friendship between the second-longest-reigning monarch of England and an Indian Muslim.” Read more…)

Tulip Fever (periods drama,. Alicia Vikander. Rotten Tomatoes: 9%. Metacritic: 38. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “Harvey Weinstein, the co-chairman of the Weinstein Company, the film’s distributor, took the extraordinary step of defending the movie in advance with a column for Deadline Hollywood, though it is laced with passive-aggressive barbs like ‘I know this film’s not perfect, very few are, but it’s a perfectly good time in a movie theater.’ Plenty of movies fit that description — and considering the hoopla, the most disappointing thing about ‘Tulip Fever,’ directed by Justin Chadwick [‘The Other Boleyn Girl’] and set in 17th-century Amsterdam, is that it’s neither a secret masterpiece nor a laughable disaster.” Read more…)

Mother! (psychological thriller, Jennifer Lawrence. Rotten Tomatoes: 68%. Metacritic: 74. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: Though this extravagant conversation piece of a movie, written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, feints toward psychological thriller territory and spends a delicious half-hour or so in the realm of domestic farce, it plants its flag defiantly on the wind-swept peak of religious [and ecological] allegory.” Read more…)

The Trip To Spain (culinary comedy, Steve Coogan. Rotten Tomatoes: 83%. Metacritic: 66. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ new York Times review, with Catsoulis dussenting from the generally positive critical consensus: “Like ‘The Trip’ in 2011 and ‘The Trip to Italy’ three years later, this latest cushy assignment sends the lads — once again playing Steve [Coogan] and Rob [Brydon], mildly fictionalized versions of themselves — tootling around a randomly chosen region, sampling menus and trading banter. I hesitate to say jokes, because, unlike the bounce and zing of the first movie, the tone here is more sober and the humor more strained.” Read more…)

Solace (thriller, Anthony Hopkins. Rotten Tomatoes: 25%. Metacritic: 36. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “‘Solace’ was filmed before either of its primary leads, Anthony Hopkins and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, had become highly visible fixtures on two of this fall’s most hyped television shows. And after seeing Mr. Morgan strut and slaughter as the latest big bad on ‘The Walking Dead,’ and Mr. Hopkins sneak and scheme as the spider at the center of ‘Westworld,’ accepting them as this movie’s white-hat heroes is quite the challenge.” Read more…)

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (action, Taron Egerton. Rotten Tomatoes: 51%. Metacritic: 44. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times revew: “‘Kill Elton John!’ is a line you’re unlikely to hear in the average spy caper, but ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ aims far above average. Like its 2015 predecessor, this latest visit with the British agents-cum-Savile Row tailors swings for the fences without caring whose head — or torso, or dignity — is shredded en route. Even if it belongs to Sir Elton.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Dunkirk
Victoria & Abdul
Mother
Kingsman: The Golden Circle

New American Back Catalog (post-1960)
Etoile (1989, drama, Jennifer Connelly)

New Documentaries
Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary (philosophy, bio, hallucinogens, Ram Dass. Rotten Tomatoes: 78%. Metacritic: 69. From Ben Kenishsberg’s New York Times review: “‘Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary,’ directed by Gay Dillingham, charts the relationship between Mr. Leary [who died in 1996] and Ram Dass, formerly Richard Alpert — onetime Harvard professors who advocated for their own forms of expanded consciousness. Mr. Leary conducted experiments with psilocybin [a component of psychoactive mushrooms] and LSD. Mr. Alpert later went to India, grew spiritual and became Ram Dass.” Read more…)

Mully (bio, inspiration, poverty. From Ken Jaworowski’s New York Times review: “‘Mully’ isn’t much in the way of cinema. But its courageous subject makes this documentary’s shortcomings easier to overlook. Charles Mully was born in Kenya and abandoned by his family at 6; he later stole and begged on the streets. Through the generosity of strangers, hard work and some prayer, he not only found a job but became wealthy by running several companies, including a bus service and oil and gas ventures. To the surprise of his wife and eight children, Mr. Mully one day decided to give up business and devote his resources to Nairobi’s orphans.” Read more…)

Music: Holiday rock ‘n’ roll rave-up with Dust Hat, Bronson Rock Fri., Dec. 22

Party rock ‘n’ roll band Dust Hat and roots quartet Bronson Rock will power up some holiday spirit on Friday, Dec. 22, at Best Video Performance Space. The shindig starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Dust Hat

Garage-y rock ‘n’ roll party band Dust Hat dubs itself a rock ‘n’ roll affront for modern times on its Bandcamp page. The group features Robin Woerner (Vox, Maracas, Vibes); Brendan Toller (Vox, Guitar, Tambourine Man); Jeff Slocum (Guitar, Fire Extinguisher); Dan Soto (Thunderstick); and Rob Ruby (Beat of The Traps).

Bronson Rock is a four piece rock and soul band featuring Buzz Gordo (aka Gary Mezzi) on guitar and lead vocals, Eric Bloomquist on bass, Lou St. John on organ, and Tom Smith on drums. Individually, the seasoned musicians in Bronson Rock have performed with a “who’s-who” of Connecticut artists, and continue to maintain busy schedules as players. The band featured the songwriting talents of Gordo, who was the main songwriter for New Haven’s illustrious Big Bad Johns. Two of his songs from those days have been featured in a recent season of HBO’s True Blood.

Bronson Rock.

The band plays a tight, danceable mix of original garage soul sounds, with some choice obscure covers thrown in, owing a debt to groups like the Rascals and Booker T. and the MG’s.

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

• Wednesday, Dec. 20. INDIE ROCK: WAR WAR WAR, REDUCTION PLAN, PINFINGER, ROSS MENZE

• Thursday, Dec. 21. SURF MUSIC: THE CLAMS

• Friday, Dec. 22. HOLIDAY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SHOW: DUST HAT, BRONSON ROCK

• Wednesday, Dec. 27. ROCK: THE 509ers

• Friday, Dec. 29. INDIE ROCK: WALLY

• Wednesday, Jan. 3. ROCK: THE WYRD BROTHERS; SINGER-SONGWRITER: ROB NELSON

• Friday, Jan. 5. AFRO-FUNK/ELECTRONICS: ENERGY

• Wednesday, Jan. 10, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Jan. 11. ROCK: TINY OCEAN

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

• Wednesday, Jan. 17. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: ALEXANDER; AVANT-GARDE: DONKEY NO NO, ZACH ROWDEN & WENDY EISENBERG

• Thursday, Jan. 18. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

• Friday, Jan. 19. BLUES ROCK: VANGE DURST

• Thursday, Jan. 25, 6:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: BONZO, BILGE RAT, PINFINGER, SHORT MONTH

• Friday, Jan. 26. BLUES ROCK: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Saturday, Jan. 27. AVANT-GARDE/PSYCH: RIVENER

• Tuesday, Jan. 30, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Thursday, Feb. 1. BLUES/FOLK: MATTHEW BENNETT

• Friday, Feb. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Tuesday, Feb. 6, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION: “LIFE ON PAROLE”

• Thursday, Feb. 8. BLUEGRASS: JOE K. WALSH & CELIA WOODSMITH, feat. BOBBY BRITT & ZOE GUIGUENO

• Wednesday, Feb. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Feb. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER/FUTURE SOUL: PAUL BRYANT HUDSON

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

• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

Music: Surf the breakers with The Clams Thurs., Dec. 21

The Clams with go-go dancers at Best Video Performance Space.

Surf’s up! Instrumental rockers The Clams play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, De. 21. The waves of reverb start crashing at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Every time The Clams—Dano Clam on guitar, Clammy Davis Jr. on drums, and Deep C Clam on bass—have played Best Video Film & Cultural Center, audience members couldn’t keep themselves from dancing. Maybe we’ll truck in a foot deep’s worth of sand for the floor and really make it authentic!

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.

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

• Thursday, Dec. 14, 8 PM. JAZZ: PAUL SHANLEY

• Friday, Dec. 15. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE FURORS (CD RELEASE!); SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Wednesday, Dec. 20. INDIE ROCK: WAR WAR WAR, REDUCTION PLAN, PINFINGER, ROSS MENZE

• Thursday, Dec. 21. SURF MUSIC: THE CLAMS

• Friday, Dec. 22. HOLIDAY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SHOW: DUST HAT, BRONSON ROCK

• Wednesday, Dec. 27. ROCK: THE 509ers

• Friday, Dec. 29. INDIE ROCK: WALLY

• Wednesday, Jan. 3. ROCK: THE WYRD BROTHERS; SINGER-SONGWRITER: ROB NELSON

• Friday, Jan. 5. AFRO-FUNK/ELECTRONICS: ENERGY

• Wednesday, Jan. 10, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Jan. 11. ROCK: TINY OCEAN

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

• Wednesday, Jan. 17. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: ALEXANDER; AVANT-GARDE: DONKEY NO NO, ZACH ROWDEN & WENDY EISENBERG

• Thursday, Jan. 18. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

• Friday, Jan. 19. BLUES ROCK: VANGE DURST

• Thursday, Jan. 25, 6:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: BONZO, BILGE RAT, PINFINGER, SHORT MONTH

• Friday, Jan. 26. BLUES ROCK: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Saturday, Jan. 27. AVANT-GARDE/PSYCH: RIVENER

• Tuesday, Jan. 30, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Friday, Feb. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Tuesday, Feb. 6, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION: “LIFE ON PAROLE”

• Thursday, Feb. 8. BLUEGRASS: JOE K. WALSH & CELIA WOODSMITH, feat. BOBBY BRITT & ZOE GUIGUENO

• Wednesday, Feb. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Feb. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER/FUTURE SOUL: PAUL BRYANT HUDSON

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

• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

 

New releases 12/12/17

Top Hits
Detroit (historical drama, John Boyega. Rotten Tomatoes: 83%. Metacritic: 78. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘Detroit’ is set mainly during the rioting that convulsed that city in the summer of 1967, and in it ‘them’ is most often used — along with cognates like ‘those people’ and ‘you people’ — by white soldiers and police officers to refer to African-American citizens. [Nearly every white character with a speaking role wears a uniform of some kind.] Occasionally things go in the other direction, with ‘they’ referring to the white authorities, but the reversal doesn’t indicate any kind of symmetry. The movie, which paints a sometimes muddled picture of a chaotic and contested moment in history, is admirably clear in this regard. It understands and strives to dramatize racism not as a matter of bad personal attitudes or equal and opposite prejudices, but rather as a structuring fact of American life, an apparatus of power, exclusion and control wielded against ‘them.'” Read more…)

Princess Cyd (gay & lesbian/drama/romance, Jessie Pinnick. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%. Metacritic: 71. From April Wolfe’s Village Voice revew: “In his tranquil drama ‘Princess Cyd,’ director Stephen Cone seems to be asking the question: What if a movie featured a girl who lived through unthinkable trauma and somehow became the most well-adjusted kid on the planet? The answer is that the story would float along like a feather in the wind — a nice counter to heavier grief dramas — but also never achieve the heights it could if that feather were attached to the hard-working wing of an actual bird. But enough of the ornithology metaphors.” Read more…)

American Assassin (action thriller, Michael Keaton. Rotten Tomatoes: 34%. Metacritic: 45. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “The movie, directed by Michael Cuesta from a script by a team of blue-chip writers [Stephen Schiff and Michael Finch are credited, along with Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz], shows more skill than personality. There are fights and chases, punctuated by tense meetings and bouts of intense laptop and cellphone use. We hop from one camera-friendly hot spot to another before settling in Rome for the final round of fights and chases.” Read more…)

Game of Thrones: Season 7 (HBO fantasy series, Emilia Clarke. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%. Metacritic: 77.)

New Blu-Ray
Detroit
Stranger Things: Season 1
Endless Poetry

New Foreign DVDs
The Unknown Girl (Belgium, Dardennes Broters-directed drama, Adèle Haenel. Rotten Tomatoes: 71%. Metacritic: 65. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “‘The Unknown Girl,’ the latest film by the Belgian writer-directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, is about the consequences of trying to do the right thing. By a logic at once elusive and meticulous, it is also, therefore, about the consequences of inaction. Moral indifference is an easy path, and it leads to other, graver sins, including cruelty and dishonesty. But the harder road of decency has its own traps and byways, as a young doctor named Jenny Davin discovers.” Read more…)

Karl Marx City (Germany, documentary, political repression, surveillance, German history. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 73. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “‘Karl Marx City,’ Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein’s unsettling new documentary, is a smart, highly personal addition to the growing syllabus of distressingly relevant cautionary political tales. The volumes currently crowding bookstore front tables — George Orwell’s ‘1984,’ Sinclair Lewis’s ‘It Can’t Happen Here,’ Hannah Arendt’s ‘The Origins of Totalitarianism’ — offer time-tested prophecies and autopsies of dictatorship. ‘Karl Marx City’ supplements their theories and speculations with everyday facts about life in the supposed workers’ paradise of the German Democratic Republic.” Read more…)

Ma’ Rosa (Philippines, drama, Jaclyn Jose. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. Metacritic: 62. From Peter Bradshaw’s Guardian review: “The Filipino director Brillante Mendoza is one of Cannes’ established auteur film-makers, and his new movie here, entitled ‘Ma’Rosa,’ returns us to the themes of his violent shocker Kinatay from 2009 — the cynicism and corruption of the police and the city authorities, the casual violence and the desperation of the ruled-over who must make what accommodation they can with those in power. It is a tough social realist slice of life at ground level in Manila, unfolding in what feels like real time: violent, though perhaps less so than in that notorious earlier movie and with a droll habit of transcribing the banal conversations of police officers as they deal what they consider to be their paperwork. I wonder if Mendoza hasn’t taken something from the new Romanian cinema, with its similar satire of the red-tape world.” Read more…)

Endless Poetry (Chile, Alejandro Jodorowsky-directed drama/surrealism, Adan Jodorowsky. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%. Metacritic: 78. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “Alejandro Jodorowsky has had a long and productive life. In addition to directing midnight-movie classics like ‘El Topo’ and ‘The Holy Mountain,’ he has composed music and written many books. He is an expert on the tarot and psychotherapy. But in his two recent autobiographical films — ‘The Dance of Reality’ and now ‘Endless Poetry’ — Mr. Jodorowsky, at 88, shows the irrepressible energy of a man who is just getting started.” Read more…)

Black Coal, Thin Ice (China, thriller, Fan Liao. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 75. From Scott Foundas’ Variety review: “The spirits of Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain course through ‘Black Coal, Thin Ice,’ a bleak but powerful, carefully controlled detective thriller in which — as with all the best noirs — there are no real heroes or villains, only various states of compromise. A most curious hybrid of genre movie and art film, drenched in neon and wintry industrial bleakness, this third feature by the gifted mainland Chinese director Diao Yinan reps a significant advance in scale and craftsmanship over his festival favorites ‘Uniform’ [2003] and ‘Night Train’ [2007], with the potential to penetrate modestly further into the commercial sector.” Read more…)

New British
Doc Martin: Series 8 (comedy/drama series, Martin Clunes)

New Television
Game of Thrones: Season 7 (HBO fantasy series, Emilia Clarke)
Stranger Things: Season 1 (fantasy/horror series, Winona Ryder. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%. Metacritic: 76.)

New Documentaries
Karl Marx City (political repression, surveillance, German history. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 73. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “‘Karl Marx City,’ Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein’s unsettling new documentary, is a smart, highly personal addition to the growing syllabus of distressingly relevant cautionary political tales. The volumes currently crowding bookstore front tables — George Orwell’s ‘1984,’ Sinclair Lewis’s ‘It Can’t Happen Here,’ Hannah Arendt’s ‘The Origins of Totalitarianism’ — offer time-tested prophecies and autopsies of dictatorship. ‘Karl Marx City’ supplements their theories and speculations with everyday facts about life in the supposed workers’ paradise of the German Democratic Republic.” Read more…)

Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back (art, provocation, Maurizio Cattelan. Rotten Tomatoes: 83%. Metacritic: 70. From Ken Jaworowski’s New York Times review: “‘I think he’s one of the greatest artists that we have today — but he could also be the worst,’ a collector says in ‘Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back.’ It’s one of several bits of hyperbole in a documentary that works best when it stops overanalyzing its subject and instead focuses on his mischievous art.” Read more…)

Music: Reduction Plan, War War War, Pinfinger, Ross Menze Wed., Dec. 20, at 7 PM

BVFCC presents a big bill on Wednesday, Dec. 20, featuring War War War, Reduction Plan, Pinfinger and Ross Menze. The show starts at 7 PM. The cover is a sliding scale of $5-10—give what you can within that range.

Samuel Boyhtari of War War War.

War War War hails from Flint, Michigan and play “dreamy Americana from the Midwest.” On their 2017 album “I Saw an Angel, I Buried Its Body, ” all songs were written by Samuel Boyhtari (pictured), with contributions from: Anthony Spak (Drums), Zane Smith (Bass), Travis Kerton (Piano and Synths), Shea Socrates (Auxiliary Guitar), Ally Evenson (Vocals on tracks 5, 6, and 8) and Jess Duncan (Cello on track 5).

Pinfinger.

Pinfinger, from West Haven, plays “real life guitar rock from the old country,” according to their Bandcamp page. Band members are Marty Laydon, Shane Williams, Chwas Torok and Chwas Davidson.

Reduction Plan.

Reduction Plan’s music comes from within solitude’s frigid embrace. “I will never get what I want,” broods frontman Daniel Manning on self-released debut, Paradise. The heavily reverberated breaths and ominous atmosphere that open Reduction Plan’s latest full-length album, Somewhere, evoke that same sense of solitude, one that is almost palpable. Pulling from 80s goth, 90s shoegaze and industrial, and the anti-folk tendencies of acts like Grouper and Mount Eerie, Reduction Plan uses both noise and space to illustrate the power of silence. A swell of synths, pulsing drum machines, and haunting murmurs is the foundation upon which the project draws its sound.

Ross Menze.

Ross Menze, who drums for The Mountain Movers, will open the night with a short set of electronic loops and ambent noise.

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

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

• Thursday, Dec. 14, 8 PM. JAZZ: PAUL SHANLEY

• Friday, Dec. 15. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE FURORS (CD RELEASE!); SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Wednesday, Dec. 20. INDIE ROCK: WAR WAR WAR, REDUCTION PLAN, PINFINGER, ROSS MENZE

• Thursday, Dec. 21. SURF MUSIC: THE CLAMS

• Friday, Dec. 22. HOLIDAY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SHOW: DUST HAT, BRONSON ROCK

• Wednesday, Dec. 27. ROCK: THE 509ers

• Friday, Dec. 29. INDIE ROCK: WALLY

• Wednesday, Jan. 3. ROCK: THE WYRD BROTHERS; SINGER-SONGWRITER: ROB NELSON

• Friday, Jan. 5. AFRO-FUNK/ELECTRONICS: ENERGY

• Wednesday, Jan. 10, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Jan. 11. ROCK: TINY OCEAN

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

• Wednesday, Jan. 17. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: ALEXANDER; AVANT-GARDE: DONKEY NO NO, ZACH ROWDEN & WENDY EISENBERG

• Thursday, Jan. 18. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

• Friday, Jan. 19. BLUES ROCK: VANGE DURST

• Thursday, Jan. 25, 6:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: BONZO, BILGE RAT, PINFINGER, SHORT MONTH

• Friday, Jan. 26. BLUES ROCK: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Saturday, Jan. 27. AVANT-GARDE/PSYCH: RIVENER

• Tuesday, Jan. 30, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Friday, Feb. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Tuesday, Feb. 6, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION: “LIFE ON PAROLE”

• Thursday, Feb. 8. BLUEGRASS: JOE K. WALSH & CELIA WOODSMITH, feat. BOBBY BRITT & ZOE GUIGUENO

• Wednesday, Feb. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Feb. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER/FUTURE SOUL: PAUL BRYANT HUDSON

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

• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND