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.”

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Music: The Elm City Ramblers play quarterly Best Video show Tues., Feb. 18, at 7:30 PM

The Elm City Ramblers, led by Phil Rosenthal, play Best Video Performance Space on Tuesday, Feb. 18. The music starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is $5.

The Elm City Ramblers are a talented group of bluegrass/folk musicians, led by local bluegrass legend Phil Rosenthal, playing an assortment of classic, contemporary and original songs. They meet weekly at the Neighborhood Music School, but make occasional appearances in the area, and are delighted to bring their music to Best Video! The group includes Mike Milano on banjo; Lenore Hammers on fiddle; Barbara Dobay Ljungstrom on autoharp; Bill Kaplan, Thom Peters, Rich Walser and Phil on guitar; Brian Funaro, Estelle Baik, Ruth Lively and Matt Light on mandolin; and John Jarvis on bass.

Phil Rosenthal was lead singer and guitarist in the seminal bluegrass band the Seldom Scene. His compositions have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Nick Cave and others. He was selected Connecticut State Troubadour in 1994, and has been called “a roots master” by Billboard Magazine and “one of the most expressive singers in traditional country music” by the Washington Post.

He has performed with Jerry Douglas, Bill Monroe, Emmylou Harris, Jonathan Edwards and many others in his career in folk and bluegrass music.

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Music: GuitarTownCT evening bluegrass jam Mon., Feb. 17, 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 5:30-9 PM. Admission to this jam is a suggested donation of $5. February’s jam is on Monday, Feb. 17.

Players of all abilities are welcome as well as those who just enjoy listening. Meet your fellow fans of traditional acoustic music and strum, pick and sing up a storm.

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Music: Irish/Celtic music jam Sun., Feb. 16, from 2-4 PM

Best Video Performance Space hosts a monthly acoustic Irish music jam. The February jam takes place on Sunday, Feb. 16, 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: Happy Ending—featuring current & former Best Video executive directors Hank Hoffman & Richard Brown—play Sat., Feb. 15, with A Case of Space light show

Rock band Happy Ending—which features current and former BVFCC executive directors Hank Hoffman and Richard Brown—plays Best Video Performance Space on Saturday, Feb. 15. The cover is a sliding scale of pay-what-you-can between $5 and $10 and the show starts at 8 PM.

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’s music is influenced by 1960s pop, garage rock and psychedelia as well as punk and free jazz.

Writing about a Happy Ending show at Lyric Hall in June, 2017, New Haven Independent arts editor Brian Slattery observed, “With kaleidoscopic projections of faces, hands, drawings, and landscapes swirling behind the band, Happy Ending was at its best during its guitar freakouts, when [guest keyboardist Scott] Amore, Stone, and Smith created tossing waves of rhythm and Hoffman and Brown traded off solos and rhythm work seamlessly, giving the music a chance to fly.”

As they were last year, the group will be accompanied by an old school psychedelic liquid light show from A Case of Space.

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Music: High energy rock ‘n’ roll of The Furors for Valentine’s Day, at 8 PM

The Furors.

The Furors shower Best Video Performance Space with love on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Comprised of guitarist Derek Holcomb and drummer Tom Dans—Holcomb sings lead and Dans harmonizes—The Furors have been playing together for over three decades. They have self-released numerous vinyl 45s, a vinyl LP and several compact discs. Their catalog is so beloved among local musicians that a tribute album, “Let’s Get Furious,” was released in 2003 featuring 38 Furors songs covered by 38 local musicians and groups.

The Furors’ music is joyful, quirky three-minute pop, like a cross between They Might Be Giants and early British Invasion rock ‘n’ roll.

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