Daphne Lee Martin, Brian Ember offer solo sets Fri., Oct. 15

Singer-songwriters Daphne Lee Martin and Brian Ember play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Fri., Oct. 15. The show starts at 5:30 PM.

For her sixth album, “The Starter Wife (Pleasure Loves Company),” singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin swan dives into a maelstrom of divorce and rises from the wreckage weary, wiser, and ready to take herself a whole lot less seriously. This is cinema verite in song, boldly exploring the disposability of forever after. The intimate and elegant production aesthetic of “The Starter Wife” recalls Joni Mitchell’s early-to-mid 1970s album streak.

Classically-trained composer and singer, Brian Ember, hasn’t stopped making music since singing You Are So Beautiful to his mom as a toddler in the bathtub. He loved Elton John, Michael Jackson and Xanadu in a suburban ’80s neighborhood that tried to force KISS, Mötley Crüe and Stryper down his glammy, effeminate gullet.

With a host of works for string quartet, orchestra, and choirs under his belt, Ember started the string quartet-powered rock band, The Tet Offensive in New York City, fusing his love for counterpoint and gut-string with theatrics and thrashing.

Ember left the strings in the background for his first solo endeavour, The New Chastity, a full-on baroque pop album that takes inspiration from late ’70s musicians like Pink Floyd, Leonard Cohen, Eric Carmen and Electric Light Orchestra to deliver a deeply personal record about divorce and lost love.

The follow-up EP, “Tomorrow Looked Better Yesterday” and second LP are coming soon.

ABOUT OUR SHOWS:

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others. Masks are optional outside but required if you go inside Best Video.

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. (There will also be a Best Video tip jar for donations.)

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

St. Augustine’s Day, BlueRaspberry play Best Video Thurs., Oct. 14

Will Parker brings two of his musical projects, St. Augustine’s Day and BlueRaspberry, to the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Thurs., Oct. 14. The show starts at 5 PM.

St. Augustine’s Day (aka Folk Punk Dad) is Will Parker’s (mostly) solo project. His songs have been described as alt-folk, compassion core, and punk rock Mister Rogers. Highly prolific, Parker has written over a thousand songs throughout the last twenty years. His songs often openly relate his real-life experiences with mental illness, addiction, and grief. Lyrically, Parker navigates these topics with playfulness and an enduring sense of hope. Parker plays dynamic, fun, high-energy shows that also feel intimate and personal. At one moment, he is fast rapping lyrics like manic pressured speech, and the next he is getting the audience to sing along on a rousing chorus of resilience. Some of his greatest influences include Bob Dylan, the Mountain Goats, and WHY?. He has shared the stage with Days ‘N Daze, Rock Bottom String Band, Chris Conde, and Ceschi.

Will and Cecelia Parker combine their creative powers in their alt-folk duo project, BlueRaspberry. The married couple writes and sings songs about living life with each other and their occasional friendly visitors: anxiety, depression, and mania. Their songs explore these topics and others with a sense of humor paired with wisdom from lived experiences. Their influences include Belle & Sebastian, Kimya Dawson, Paul Baribeau, and the Front Bottoms. They’ve shared the stage with BK Peknik, Optic Arrest, Dylan Alley, and S. Reidy.

ABOUT OUR SHOWS:

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others. Masks are optional outside but required if you go inside Best Video.

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. (There will also be a Best Video tip jar for donations.)

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Mark Schenker’s “How to Read a Film” series continues with “Criss Cross” Sun., Oct. 10

Best Video Film & Cultural Center is pleased to bring back Mark Schenker for the tenth installment of his popular “How to Read a Film” series, starting on Sun., Oct. 3, at 2 PM. Admission to each lecture is $7.

The series continues on Sun., Oct. 10, as Schenker illuminates the 1949 film noir classic “Criss Cross.” (Schenker explored the screwball comedy “Bringing Up Baby” as the first film in this series.)

In previous installments of “How to Read A Film,” Schenker has zeroed in on a specific director’s oeuvre or focused on four films in a particular genre, like film noir. For this series, he will “focus more broadly on genre, and how a consideration of three great genres of American film can yield a greater understanding of one of Quentin Tarantino’s masterpieces, “Inglourious Basterds,” which audaciously combines aspects of screwball comedy, film noir, and western.”

This will be an indoors event with the following covid protocols in place:

• 30 attendees max
• proof of vaccination required
• masks required (they can be lowered to take drinks or eat popcorn but should be raised back up when done)

The remaining schedule for the series:

Sun., Oct. 10, 2 PM: “Criss Cross” (1949, film noir, dir. by Robert Siodmak)

Sun., Oct. 24, 2 PM: “The Searchers” (1956, western, dir. by John Ford)

Sun., Oct. 31, 2 PM: “Inglourious Basterds” (2009, dir. by Quentin Tarantino)

In a capsule review in The New Yorker, Richard Brody writes:

Robert Siodmak’s grimly romantic film noir, from 1949, set in Los Angeles, offers a hectic fusion of on-location texture and stylish artifice. Burt Lancaster stars as Steve Thompson, an armored-car driver whose barroom brawl with a gangster, Slim Dundee (Dan Duryea), is staged to throw police off the trail of their criminal conspiracy. Yet their mutual hatred is real; it’s based on their rivalry for the love of Anna (Yvonne De Carlo), Steve’s ex-wife. Working with a script by the novelist Daniel Fuchs that features long flashbacks and interior monologues, Siodmak builds Steve’s morbidly subjective tale with startling visual flourishes, gestural details, and erotic tensions.

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by screenings of the films to illustrate the points he is making—it’s like a live commentary track! His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Guitarists Glenn Roth, Anthony Troy play Sat., Oct. 9

Solo guitarists Glenn Roth and Anthony Troy play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Sat., Oct. 9. the show starts at 5 PM.

Glenn Roth is not your typical commuter from Connecticut. Instead of a briefcase, he carries a gig bag. His workspace is the vaulted splendor of Grand Central Terminal or the tunnels and platforms of the New York City subway system. A literal underground sensation, Glenn is a licensed performer in the MTAs Music under New York program, playing for the most distracted and demanding audience in the world: legions of workers rushing to jobs throughout the Big Apple. And his fingers work magic, creating a soundscape of compelling melodies that invite them to leave the city rush behind on an aural escape.

An award-winning composer who is equally acclaimed for his technique on the guitar, Anthony Troy is known for his compelling compositions, diversity in styles and versatility across all genres on the instrument. Anthony is a recording artist for international label FRETMONKEY Records, an alum of the B.F.A. Fingerstyle Degree program at UWM and one of very few GRAMMY Awards Recording Academy members. When Anthony is off stage, he is found teaching students world-wide through his online music school ART Guitar School and online courses.

ABOUT OUR SHOWS:

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others. Masks are optional outside but required if you go inside Best Video.

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. (There will also be a Best Video tip jar for donations.)

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

The Living Daylights —aka Alison Farrell & friends—play Best Video Oct. 8

Award-winning singer-songwriters Alison Farrell, Ginny Bales, Cb Sheehan, Cyd Slotoroff and Diane Chodkowski—aka The Living Daylights—share the stage at Best Video Film and Cultural Center Friday, October 8, 2021 at 4:30 PM.

Great songs, great voices, excellent musicianship. Alison was named “Best Singer-Songwriter” by the New Haven Advocate, Ginny won “Songwriter of the Year” from the CT Songwriters Association, Cb Sheehan’s band Go Van Gogh won “Best Pop Band” from the New Haven Advocate, Cyd was called “a wonderful singer and songwriter and song leader” by Pete Seeger and Diane is a sought-after vocalist and has sung with David Roth and Hugh Blumenfeld.

ABOUT OUR SHOWS:

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others. Masks are optional outside but required if you go inside Best Video.

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. (There will also be a Best Video tip jar for donations.)

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Restless Mountain Bluegrass Band plays Best Video Thurs., Oct. 7

Restless Mountain returns to Best Video. The band plays on Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s deck at an outdoor show on Thurs., Oct. 7. The music starts at 5 PM.

Restless Mountain Bluegrass Band is a Connecticut-based bluegrass band that always offers a fun mix of traditional standards, entertaining classics and originals that bring fond memories and a smile. In the tradition of bluegrass, Restless Mountain is an all-acoustic band, serving up heartfelt vocals, 3-part harmonies and spicy instrumentals. Restless Mountain Bluegrass Band has been active in Connecticut for over a decade, featuring veteran musicians who love to play and entertain.

Band members are Matt Fleury (vocals, banjo), Jerry Devokaitis (vocals, guitar), Gracin Dorsey (vocals, mandolin), Scott Camara (resophonic guitar), and Dave Aston (bass).

ABOUT OUR SHOWS:

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others. Masks are optional outside but required if you go inside Best Video.

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. (There will also be a Best Video tip jar for donations.)

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

UPDATE: Norman & the Rockwellians get in the swing Wed., Oct. 6

UPDATE: Norman & The Rockwellians play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Wed., Oct. 6. The show starts at 5:30 PM. (This show has been rescheduled due to the expectation of rain on its original date of Sept. 23.)

Originally formed as the house band for the Institute Library, Norman and the Rockwellians is comprised of members of Swing du Jour, Dr Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps, the Brooklyn Swing Ensemble, and the Galvanized Jazz Band.

Collectively they play the music they love, from the heyday of the American songbook, highlighting Duke Ellington, Hoagy Carmichael, Fats Waller, George Gershwin, and more! The players are Norman Plankey (guitar), Brian Slattery (trombone & violin), Daniel Elias (clarinet), and Art Hovey (tuba).

Dancing may spontaneously occur. Music you can whistle on your way home.

ABOUT OUR SHOWS:

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others. Masks are optional outside but required if you go inside Best Video.

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. (There will also be a Best Video tip jar for donations.)

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Singer-songwriters Brooke Dougan, Justin Esmer play Sat., Oct. 2

Brooke Dougan and Justin Esmer play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Sat., Oct. 2. The show starts at 5 PM.

Brooke Dougan is a singer songwriter who has been performing all over Connecticut since she was 14. She has a laid back sound with a smooth voice. Brooke sings with an understated vocal style and writes sweet, simply arranged songs that are accented by interesting chord changes. The result are songs that feel familiar but have unexpected twists.

Justin Esmer is a rising 17 year old Filipino indie pop artist from Hamden, Connecticut. When creating music, Justin is inspired by dreaminess, nature, and nostalgia. He’s the lead vocalist in his high school band “Bad Habits” and is a solo artist for his independent project “Esmer.”

ABOUT OUR SHOWS:

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others. Masks are optional outside but required if you go inside Best Video.

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. (There will also be a Best Video tip jar for donations.)

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Children’s music with Val McKee Sat., Oct. 2, at 10:30 AM

Val McKee plays music for kids in the Best Video Film & Cultural Center parking lot on Saturday morning, Oct. 2, at 10:30 AM.

Val McKee is a writer, musician, and teacher of both. While Val fronts the band “Junebug Saddle” and has been lucky enough to share a stage or two with some of the area’s finest musicians, she is far more popular with the toddler and preschool audience.

To see just how many little friends Val has made in her ten years of teaching Music Together, join her for a trip to Stop & Shop and wait for the inevitable toddler squeal down an aisle “It’s MISS VAL!” According to Val, being a children’s musician in New Haven is the greatest version of rock star status–like an adorable, fun-sized Beatlemania.

A Tennessee native and mom of three boys, Val’s performances are full of folk and children’s music classics, with plenty of play, education, and humor–heavy on the silly.

Suggested donation is $5-10 per family but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds.

ABOUT OUR SHOWS:

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others. Masks are optional outside but required if you go inside Best Video.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Mark Schenker returns with 10th “How to Read a Film” series Sun., Oct. 3, at 2 PM

Best Video Film & Cultural Center is pleased to bring back Mark Schenker for the tenth installment of his popular “How to Read a Film” series, starting on Sun., Oct. 3, at 2 PM. Admission to each lecture is $7.

In previous installments of “How to Read A Film,” Schenker has zeroed in on a specific director’s oeuvre or focused on four films in a particular genre, like film noir. For this series, he will “focus more broadly on genre, and how a consideration of three great genres of American film can yield a greater understanding of one of Quentin Tarantino’s masterpieces, “Inglourious Basterds,” which audaciously combines aspects of screwball comedy, film noir, and western.”

This will be an indoors event with the following covid protocols in place:

• 30 attendees max
• proof of vaccination required
• masks required (they can be lowered to take drinks or eat popcorn but should be raised back up when done)

The schedule for the series:

Sun., Oct. 3, 2 PM: “Bringing Up Baby” (1938, screwball comedy, dir. by Howard Hawks)

Sun., Oct. 10, 2 PM: “Criss Cross” (1949, film noir, dir. by Robert Siodmak)

Sun., Oct. 24, 2 PM: “The Searchers” (1956, western, dir. by John Ford)

Sun., Oct. 31, 2 PM: “Inglourious Basterds” (2009, dir. by Quentin Tarantino)

Of “Bringing Up Baby,” the inaugural film in this series, Brian Tallerico wrote at RogerEbert.com:

Movies don’t get much more delightful and joyous than “Bringing Up Baby,” a film that honestly shaped my youth. Raised on classic musicals, my mother also loved classic comedies, and comedies don’t get more classic than this 1938 screwball masterpiece from Howard Hawks. Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant star in a film that was reportedly so much fun to make that the production had to regularly stop for laugh breaks.

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by screenings of the films to illustrate the points he is making—it’s like a live commentary track! His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.