Music: Rock from Straight 2 VHS, Slyne & The Family Stoned, Addy Edward Wed., Sept. 25, at 7:30 PM

Straight 2 VHS, Slyne & The Family Stoned, and Addy Edward play Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Sept. 25. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Formed in 2009, Straight to VHS has long been a staple of the vibrant music scene in New London.

Straight to VHS released “Weekend Weekend Weekend” in 2014 and watched it garner positive press and airplay on some of the top college radio stations along the east coast. The album helped earn the band a Connecticut Music Award and even caught the attention of CBS Connecticut, who named the trio one of its top five bands to watch in 2015. Straight to VHS released the “Landmind” E.P. in June, 2016. The 11 minute jaunt boasts a variety of styles, from poppy garage love songs to spacey psychedelic jams. Their 5th record, “Friend Music” is set for release in October 2019.

Slyne and The Family Stoned is a caravan of punk hippies from New London, CT. Remember when Neil Young and Sonic Youth toured together back in ’91? Imagine if Neil ditched Crazy Horse and took Sonic behind him instead?

Addy Edward is the musical moniker of Adam Bensen. Addy weaves traditional and electronic sounds into deeply personal songs. His self-recorded album “Picture of Youth,” a compilation of songs written and recorded over the span of 8 years, was released in April, 2018, followed quickly by his “Sedative Gentleman [EP].

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Literary Reading: Connecticut Poetry Society presents Kathleen McIntosh, Peter Ulisse Tues., Sept. 24, at 7 PM

The Connecticut Poetry Society presents a reading by poets Kathleen McIntosh and Peter Ulisse at Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Tuesday, Sept. 24. The event starts at 7 PM. Admission is free but donations to support BVFCC’s programming are encouraged.

The Connecticut Poetry Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and enjoyment of poetry. Its mission is to encourage a community devoted to poetry through chapter meetings, education and events. Laura and Victor Altshul co-Chair the New Haven branch of the CPS, which meets monthly to workshop poems and to encourage programs in the area.

Kathleen McIntosh grew up in various parts of the Midwest as well as Texas and California. Following this peripatetic childhood, she attended college in Massachusetts and then remained in the Northeast, anchored by graduate school, work and family, as three siblings also migrated to New England. In 1980 she received a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and thereafter was a professor of Hispanic Studies for over thirty years at Westfield State University. Beginning in the early 1980’s, she also helped to establish and taught in a Women’s Studies program. She began to write poetry when retirement opened up a space for this dormant passion, and has been pleased to discover on her Connecticut doorstep a large and welcoming community of lovers and writers of poetry.

Peter Ulisse has been writing poetry for over 40 years and has published over a hundred poems in literary magazines, journals, and books throughout out the country. He has read many of them in libraries, schools, and in the media, both radio and public television. In addition, he has turned out several chapbooks and the Edwin Mellen Press published hardcovers of his Memory Is An Illusive State and the very well reviewed Vietnam Voices.

Peter is a former President of the Connecticut Poetry Society and editor of the Connecticut River Review as well as having reviewed poetry for Small Pond of Literature. A retired English professor at Housatonic Community College, he also chaired the Humanities Department there for 20 years twice serving as Acting Academic Dean. He is married to former colleague Sheila Anderson and has three adult children-Chris, Rebecca, and Justin—as well as three grandchildren—Tyler, Austin, and Naomi. He practices daily meditation and enjoys tai chi, yoga, pickle ball, painting, movies, and just about anything to do with nature.

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Music: Fernando Pinto Presents the Nordic folk of SVER, Americana by local duo Kat Wallace & David Sasso Sat., Sept. 21, at 7:30 PM


Promoter Fernando Pinto presents the Norwegian/Swedish Nordic folk act SVER at Best Video Performance Space on Saturday, Sept. 21. Doors are at 7:30 PM and the show starts at 8 PM. Local Americana duo Kat Wallace & David Sasso open. Advance tickets are $20 and tickets are $25 the day of the show.

SVER play epic Nordic folk music with relentless energy and seductive spark taking you on a fantastic musical journey guaranteed to excite you. Ranging from fiddle-driven tunes from Norway and Sweden and melds them with wild, lonesome songs from old Scandinavia and the Appalachians and fiery, inventive force of SVER’s fiddles, accordion, guitar and drums, to a swinging, pounding and sweaty madness – you are invited to the party, greeted by a welcoming primal force that pulls you into the dance. Since the group’s inception, SVER has gone from strength to strength, playing extensively throughout Europe and the US, gaining a reputation as one of the most acclaimed live acts in the Nordic folk scene.

SVER has often been described as “sounding electric without electricity”, and their flexible musicianship has also made them an attractive backing band for some of Scandinavia’s leading singers in different genres. That has lead to them playing on TV-shows, at large festivals, as well as securing positions on radio charts with the music ranging from folk to reggae/dancehall and rap. Their imaginative soundscapes, grooves, and melodies will take you on a journey over the Norwegian fjords and mountains, into the lively pubs and back out into the deep forest of their musicality.

Kat Wallace and David Sasso met playing hard and fast bluegrass with New Haven string band Five in the Chamber. Their shared background in classical music and affinity for all things trad brought them together to form an intimate and virtuosic duo. Both singers and multi-instrumentalists, Wallace and Sasso orbit around traditional folk, original songwriting, and the ever-evolving Americana movement. Their effortless vocal lines and innovative harmonization command the stage while allowing space for each song to tell its story. Their debut album, Stuff of Stars, is set to release in August 2019.

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Music: GuitarTownCT Concerts presents John Reischman & the Jaybirds Fri., Sept. 20, at 7:30 PM

GuitartownCT presents John Reischman and The Jaybirds on Friday, September 20, at 7:30 PM, at Best Video Film & Cultural Center, 1842 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT. Tickets are $30 at

John Reischman was a member of the legendary Tony Rice Unit for 7 years in the 1980’s, recording the albums Mar West, Backwaters, and Still Inside. He has been based in Vancouver for twenty-five years, and an appearance on the East Coast is a rare treat! With a fifth critically-acclaimed album and expanded touring schedule, John Reischman and the Jaybirds are a top-flight band delivering a truly fresh blend of original songs and instrumentals, old-time heritage, and bluegrass power.

In a marketplace flooded with virtuosic bluegrass ensembles, John Reischman & The Jaybirds have found a recipe to stand out from the rest; they go back to the roots of bluegrass and old-time music for their inspiration, then spin these roots into a new sound.

On their new album, Vintage & Unique, this twice Juno Nominated band covers songs and tunes from Bill Monroe, Hobart Smith, and Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard, but the real gems of the album are the band’s originals. While these songs and tunes are clearly informed by the tradition, John Reischman & The Jaybirds have an eclectic creativity that guides their refreshing excursions in acoustic roots music. Throughout, the bluegrass harmonies are spot-on, and each instrumental break crackles with energy. Being such a tight band, John Reischman & The Jaybirds don’t need to play fast to show off. They vary tempos, and some of the most compelling tracks on the album are the slower tunes, where they can really get at the heart of the music. This is bluegrass done right, true to the roots but not afraid to look forward to new ideas.

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Music: The blues rock of Parker’s Tangent Thurs., Sept. 19

Parker’s Tangent plays Best Video Performance Space on Thursday., Sept. 19. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale $5-10 where people pay what they can in that range.

Parker’s Tangent based out of New Haven, CT plays blues and roots based original art rock. The music can be poetic, quiet and touching to bluesy to out and out rocking. This is a professional group that has a lot of fun performing and that fun is picked up by the audience.

The band’s lineup is comprised of a female lead singer whose wonderful, warm sultry voice has been compared to Grace Slick and Norah Jones, drums [also female] guitar, bass, and violin! This is a professional all-star group with each of the musicians having many, many years of experience in other local bands. While the group plays primarily electric they are able to perform acoustically [“unplugged”] as well.

The group for this show is Leslie Broatch (lead vocals), Ken Ryu (violin), Joseph Battad (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Joe Rosano (drums, backing vocals,) “Malibu” Ken Ahlstrom (piano/keyboards), Thomas Fortuna Sr. (percussion), James Baldoni (bass, backing vocals), Arthur Bargar (lead/rhythm guitar, backing vocals, songwriter).

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JCC of Greater New Haven presents a talk & book signing by Saul Austerlitz, author of book on “Friends” TV show, Wed., Sept. 18, at 7 PM

In September 1994, six friends sat down in their favorite coffee shop and began bantering about sex, relationships, jobs, and just about everything else. A quarter of a century later, new fans are still finding their way into the lives of Rachel, Ross, Joey, Chandler, Monica, and Phoebe, and thanks to the show’s immensely talented creators, its intimate understanding of its youthful audience, and its reign during network television’s last moment of dominance, “Friends” has become the most influential and beloved show of its era. “Friends” has never gone on a break, and this is the story of how it all happened.

Please join the JCC of Greater New Haven in welcoming author Saul Austerlitz for a discussion of his new book, “Generation FRIENDS: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Tele­vi­sion Era”, featuring clips from the show and a “nostalgic, fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at the blockbuster success of NBC’s Friends, including brand-new interviews with the series creators, published for the 25th anniversary of the show’s premiere.”

Austerlitz is a pop culture historian who has written for many publications (the Boston Globe, NYT Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Slate and the LA Times), as well as authoring such books as “Sitcom: A History in 24 Episodes” and “Money for Nothing: A History of the Music Video from the Beatles to the White Stripes.”

The program takes place from 7-9 PM on Wednesday, Sept. 8, at Best Video Film & Cultural Center. Advance tickets are $10 for JCC members and $15 for non-members. They are available through the JCC’s Web site.

The program is part of the JCC’s Jewish Author Series. The JCC previously presented Mike Reiss, a writer for “The Simpsons,” at Best Video Film & Cultural Center last November.

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Music: GuitarTownCT evening bluegrass jam on Mon., Sept. 16, at 5:30 PM

The monthly first Sunday GuitarTownCT bluegrass jams became so successful that Chris Wuerth added a new jam to the schedule. For those who need to twang community-wise more than once a month—or can’t make the Sunday afternoon events—we now have a bluegrass jam (usually) on the Third Monday of every month from 6-9 PM. Admission to this jam is a suggested donation of $5. September’s jam is on Monday, Sept. 16, from 5:30-9 PM.

Players of all abilities are welcome as well as those who just enjoy listening.

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September Irish/Celtic music jam takes place Sun., Sept. 15, from 2-4 PM

Best Video Performance Space hosts a monthly acoustic Irish music jam. The September jam takes place on Sunday, Sept. 15, from 2-4 PM. The jam, organized by musicians Jim & Willow Sirch, takes place on the third Sunday of each month (unless it needs to be rescheduled due to other Best Video Film & Cultural Center programming).

As with our bluegrass jams, feel free to come and join in or just sit and listen.

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Music: Mercy Choir CD release show for new “Upturned in Everest” Sat., Sept. 14, with accompaniment by Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps

Paul Belbusti of Mercy Choir (along with some special guests) will perform his new album “Upturned In Everest” with New Haven shapeshifters Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps at Best Video Performance Space on Saturday, Sept. 14. This is the only scheduled performance, so mark your calendars. The show starts at 8 PM. Advance tickets are $8 (plus service charge) at; tickets at the door are $12.

Pre-order the album at Mercy Choir’s Bandcamp page.

Weeks before his 40th birthday, Belbusti will release his most fully realized and strongest album yet, Upturned in Everest (out August 16, Dead Language Records). The first single is the hand-clapping, existential rave-up “Do You Know What I Mean?” and features contributions from Erik Elligers (Goodnight Blue Moon), Lys Guillorn (Lys Guillorn & Her Band), and Kierstin Sieser (Tiny Ocean).

Other highlights include the dark and humorous walk on the wild side, “A Weight Has Been Lifted,” the perfect pop nugget “Needles and Vinegar,” the electro–acoustic epic “The Muted,” and the hypnotic closer “My Own Sort of Bargain.”

Aside from contributions from those mentioned above, the 12 track album was written, performed, recorded, and mixed by Belbusti. It was mastered by Todd Tobias (Guided By Voices, Circus Devils). For the twelve track collection, Belbusti reflects on aging, loss, love, and navigating the 21st Century as an artist who began his work in the 20th.

Belbusti frantically worked on the album for about a year in his new home studio, which is a shed/art studio in his back yard in Guilford, CT. In between recording, he watched baseball, painted approximately 100 paintings, and ruminated on the deaths of several of his songwriting peers. Explains Belbusti, “I feel thankful to be here making the work I want to make. A long time ago, I made my own sort of bargain with something, somewhere. I promised to behave and to be kind as long as I would always be able to write songs until my days were done. Something like that. So far, so good.”

New Haven’s Mercy Choir is the musical outlet of singer-songwriter, poet, and painter Paul Belbusti. Since the inception of his project in the mid-2000s, Belbusti has been exceptionally prolific with his main act (never mind his work as one-half of the experimental group Rivener), releasing of albums and EPs that dabble in various genres like Americana, baroque pop, and lo-fi experimentation.

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Children’s Music: Liz McNicholl plays Saturday morning, Sept. 14, at 10:30 AM

Join Liz McNicholl for her fun and interactive “Drum and Sing Jamboree family concert” at Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Saturday, Sept.14, at 10:30. Suggested donation is $5-10 per family but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds.

During this fun interactive concert, Liz leads the audience in drumming & singing and also intertwines her wide range of musical instruments including guitar, ukulele, banjo, and even a traditional Irish drum called a Bódhran. Audiences will sing, jam along on drums & other instruments and are such an integral part of this fun show! Great for all ages.

Liz McNicholl, originally from Co. Meath Ireland, immigrated to the United States in 1985. She is a well known performer in CT and around the United States. Liz has owned Musical Folk, offering the Music Together program, in New Haven County since 2008 with thousands of families sharing the joy of music over the years.

Liz believes that we all have music within us and that making music makes you feel better, gives you confidence and engages your brain like no other activity. Liz loves to have the audience take on the role of the performer by engaging them and encouraging them to bring out their inner musician by singing along, drumming and interacting with other instruments and movement.

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