RESCHEDULED! The Sawtelles play the Best Video deck Sun., Apr. 25, rather than Apr. 16 due to rain/cold forecast

UPDATE: The Sawtelles will play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Sunday, Apr. 25, at 5 PM. This show was rescheduled due to predicted rain and cold for the original date of Friday, Apr. 16.

The Sawtelles play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Friday, Apr. 16, starting at 5 PM.

Husband and wife duo Pete and Julie Riccio are the foundation of the Sawtelles. They have added a new texture to their palette in recent years with the addition of guitarist and saxophonist Richard Brown but will play this show as a duo. Their music is a balance of four elements: alternate-tuned guitar, stand-up drum kit (ala Velvet Underground’s Mo Tucker) and two voices. Peter plays guitar and Julie plays drums; they both sing. Their sparse but intricately arranged pop is as lush as it is captivatingly unique; what is played as important as what isn’t.

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.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

Click here for a complete listing of upcoming events.

RESCHEDULED! Shawn Taylor plays Wed., Apr. 28, instead of Apr. 15 due to rain forecast

Shawn Taylor.

UPDATE: Due to the strong expectation of rain on the originally scheduled date of Thursday, Apr. 15, the show by singer-songwriter Shawn Taylor on the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck has been rescheduled to Wednesday, Apr. 28, starting at 5:30 PM.

Singer-songwriter Shawn Taylor plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Thursday, Apr.15, starting at 5:30 PM.

With a thumping thumb, dancing fingers, wailing harp, deep, gritty, soul stirring vocals and poetic blue collar lyrics, Shawn Taylor’s songs ooze American roots; wandering roots. He’s drawn comparisons from Tom Waites to Ray Lamontagne, Bruce Springsteen to Chris Smither, but his original songs are colored by the experiences of his own working class, wandering roots. He’s been an oysterman, carpenter, hitchhiker, homeowner, familly man, Appalachian Trail ‘thru-hiker’ and a performing musician and song writer, for over twenty years.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Click here for a complete list of upcoming shows.

S.G. Carlson, Patrick Dalton, Alex Burnet share bill Sat., Apr. 24, on Best Video deck

S.G. Carlson, Patrick Dalton, and Alex Burnet play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Sat., Apr. 24, starting at 4:45 PM.

New Haven Connecticut’s S.G. Carlson writes with an acerbic punch. With incisive and often satirical lyrics he explores a fascination with the mundane, good and bad uses of time, and a fist full of bummers. He has worked in different capacities with a variety of bands including but not limited to: Ports of Spain, Laundry Day, The Proud Flesh, 10K Blades, Rob Carlson and Benefit Street, and Winter White.

According to a New Haven Independent writer, “(Carlson’s) unassuming demeanor masks a rich musical background and artistic presence.”

Patrick Dalton doesn’t simply play guitar or write songs, he absorbs music, breathes it in, digests it and assimilates it.

Dalton’s own music, while strikingly original and nuanced, has a familiarity to it—there’s Delta blues in his studied finger picking, folk and hip hop in his storied lyrics and powerful, breathy voice, big band in his trumpet playing, and classic American songwriting in his melodies. His songs come to terms with everything from death to macro-politics to economics, and while his subject matter may be heavy at times, Dalton’s songs leave you pensive rather than downtrodden, interested rather than pessimistic.

Dalton has lent his talents as both musician and sound engineer to many musical projects, including The Proud Flesh, Sidewalk Dave, Elison Jackson, Ports of Spain, and Ceschi.

Carlson and Dalton are co-owners of Sans Serif Recording Studio in New Haven.

Alex Burnet is a song writer from New Haven CT. Her work with The Proud Flesh and Laundry Day has gathered regional and nation eyes. Coming off quarantine with new songs and the owner of Free As Birds Records she is ready to stretch her legs; see faces; and play music.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Chet, David & Pete on the Best Video deck Fri., Apr. 23, at 5 PM

Chet, David, and Pete play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Friday, Apr. 23, 2021, starting at 5 PM.

Chet Duke, David Sasso, and Pete Kaufman are three multi-instrumentalists taking turns on guitar, mandolin, and banjo. They sing old country songs. They pick fiddle tunes. And they play original string band music in the acoustic folk tradition. They have previously played Best Video as members of Five ‘N Change, On the Trail, and the Wallace and Sasso Duo.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Dr. Caterwaul’s, Leg Up play Best Video deck Thurs., Apr. 22, at 5 PM

Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps and Leg Up share the bill on the Best video Film & Cultural Center deck on Thursday, Apr. 22. The music starts at 5 PM.

Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps plays music from around the world and uses it as a launching pad for improvisations that never lose their sense of groove—whether it’s Colombian cumbias, Ethiopian jazz, Romanian horas, Argentinian tangos, traditional music from the United States, or original songs by accordionist and singer Adam Matlock.

The members of Dr. Caterwaul’s are Adam Matlock, Brian Slattery, Chris Cretella, Mike Tepper, and Michael Paolucci.

Leo and Brian Slattery (Leg Up) are two musicians—son and father—who have used the quarantine as a chance to work up their swing repertoire with son on violin and father on guitar. Come hang for a happy hour of tunes ranging from Louis Armstrong and Cole Porter to Antonio Carlos Jobim and Django Reinhardt, in all likelihood punctuated by banter filled with outrageous puns.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Click here for a complete listing of upcoming events.

Songs + Stories 11 on the Best Video deck Sat., Apr. 17, at 4:30 PM

SONGS + STORIES returns to live performance (but outdoors, with masks + social distance), Saturday, April 17th from 4:30 to 6:00 PM. There is a suggested $5 donation to the tip jar for the performers.

The event is hosted by Saul Fussiner and this edition’s theme: is “Friendship Stories.” Paticipating storytellers are Laconia Therrio, Wendy Dalton Marans, Val McKee, and Saul Fussiner. Singer-songwriter Brian Larney will provide the songs this evening.

Beer, wine, and coffee are available at the Best Video Cafe Window.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Click here for a complete listing of upcoming events.

Best Video co-sponsors virtual panel on “Hip Hop & Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline” Thurs., Feb. 25, 6:30 PM

Join us for an evening of thoughtful discussion on using Hip Hop as a tool to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, hosted by Hamden author and Quinnipiac University Sociology Professor, Dr. Don C. Sawyer III.

You can register for the Zoom event here.

This panel will feature themes, real stories and research from Dr. Sawyer’s book, “Hip-Hop and Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline” as well as input and community conversation with local community experts and academic researchers in the field of Hip Hop including Frank Brady, Lauren Kelly, Frederick Douglas Knowles, Dr. Tasha Iglesias, and Devon Glover (aka Sonnet Man).

“’Hip-Hop and Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline’ was created for K–12 students in hopes that they find tangible strategies for creating affirming communities where students, parents, advocates and community members collaborate to compose liberating and just frameworks that effectively define the school-to-prison pipeline and identify the nefarious ways it adversely affects their lives.”

Sponsoring Organizations: Ignite the Light, Best Video Film and Cultural Center, Spring Glen Church, Elm City Lit Fest, Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Hamden Dept. of Arts and Culture.

Richard Neal to play the Best Video deck Sat., Nov. 21, in final outdoors music show of the year

Richard Neal.

Singer-songwriter Richard Neal plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck in what is likely the last outdoors show of 2020. (It’s getting colder and darker.)

Richard Neal is a student of music, songwriting, record production, and live performance. A multi-instrumentalist (guitar, 5-string banjo, mandolin, dobro, slide), he has been privileged to make a living as a musician and to work in a wide variety of musical settings and styles.

Neal appears regularly in concert as a sideman for any number of acts, and also as a regular member of the bluegrass band HOE. As a solo artist and songwriter, he has released 2 CD’s of original music, HOE and Beacon. Several of his compositions have been recorded by other singers.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Shellye Valuaskas & Dean Falcone play the deck Fri., Nov. 20, at 5 PM

Shellye Valauskas and Dean Falcone return for an acoustic performance on the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Friday, Nov. 20, starting at 5 PM.

The Shellye Valauskas Experience is led by vocalist/guitarist Shellye Valauskas. By the time she formed the band, she was an established solo performer, winning the New Haven Advocate’s Grand Band Slam readers’ poll and rating a slot in New York’s CMJ Marathon. As her songwriting collaborator and bandmate, she enlisted ace guitarist Dean Falcone, who has earned a stellar reputation in the Connecticut music scene since starting out in the early 1980s with Jon Brion in The Excerpts.

Valauskas’ and Falcone’s shared love for the intelligent, heartwarming yet punchy pop of Crowded House, The Posies and Aimee Mann, as well as the burgeoning Americana movement, helped them nail a distinctive yet accessible radio-friendly sound from the start.

Their most recent release, 2018’s “History of Panic,” garnered a rave review at the online blog Pop Dose:

This is really good. I mean REALLY GOOD. This second album from The Shelleye Valauskas Experience, History Of Panic, which is anchored by singer-guitarist Ms. Valausakas and Mr. Dean Falcone on second guitar, took almost a decade to make and release, but it’s damned well worth the wait. Ten perfectly, meticulously crafted power pop (emphasis on “power”) tracks that shimmer and shine.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

(UPDATE: Thurs. show cancelled due to weather) Music on the deck Thurs. & Sat. (weather permitting) with Dr. Caterwaul; Mat & Erik from Goodnight Blue Moon

(UPDATE Nov. 12, 2020: Due to the uncertainty over the weather, tonight’s scheduled show with Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps has been cancelled. We hope, if possible to reschedule it for the near future.)

Best Video Film & Cultural Center has gotten a great response from the community of local musicians to the use of our new deck as a venue. While weather permits, we will be hosting shows Thursday-Saturday during happy hour time with music usually occurring between 4:30 and 7 PM (but exact time varies according to the act).

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

Thursday, Nov. 12, 6 PM. Eclectic World Folk: Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps. Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps plays music from around the world and uses it as a launching pad for improvisations that never lose their sense of groove—whether it’s Colombian cumbias, Ethiopian jazz, Romanian horas, Argentinian tangos, or traditional music from the United States.

Saturday, Nov. 14, 4:30 PM. Americana: Mat Crowley & Erik Elligers from Goodnight Blue Moon. Goodnight Blue Moon is an Americana/indie-folk band that writes great songs and puts on an outstanding show. Whether it’s traditional sea chanties or through composed orchestral pop, their arrangements are thoughtful and their melodies are contagious. Mat plays mandolin and Erik plays acoustic guitars; both of them write songs, sing, and harmonize. (The full GNBM also features cello, bass, drums, electric guitar, and violin.)