Kath Bloom, Steve Hartlett play Best Video Thurs., Oct. 21

Avant-folk legend Kath Bloom plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck with her trio on Thurs., Oct. 21. Steve Hartlett, leader of the indie rock group Ovlov, opens at 5 PM with a solo set.

“Bye Bye These Are The Days” is the latest release by luminary songwriter Kath Bloom. Born to a musical family, Kath moved through an early life absorbed and in love with the 60s/70s sea change of musical expression, into developing of her own singular voice that would age to cast a wide net of influence. Her prolific relationship with Loren Mazzacane Connors in the 80s produced a body of work held sacrosanct by generations of avant-folk luminaries. In 2007 Chapter Music released a tribute album to her songs from that time recorded by Bill Callahan, Meg Baird, Mark Kozelek and others, and her song “Come Here” was featured memorably in Richard Linklater’s 1995 film “Before Sunrise”, in a scene which Ethan Hawke claims was “my favorite scene I ever filmed.” Two would-be lovers listen to Bloom hanging on the edge of a kiss, tense and present for a moment just out of sight.

Although performing this strange and yearning body of work at the time made her nervous and withdrawn, she continued to write and perform quietly all the while. She developed happy careers in music therapy for children and horse training, learning new forms of connection that channeled back into her music and healed her relationship with performing.

In recent years she has toured regionally from her home in Connecticut and has been invited several times to tour internationally, honing her current musical partnerships with David Shapiro (guitar, vocals) and Flo Ness (percussion, vocals). While she has been encouraged to release several new records for a new generation of fans, “Bye Bye These Days” is the first to document her current band’s sound. The group interplay and daring here parallels her storied early work but carries a more palpable joy and warmth. This is the sound of a practiced life, learned in all stages of love and loss, and resolute to keep going, like a locomotive deep into the night.”

Raised in Newtown, CT, currently in New Haven, single and ready to jingle. Over the past decade, Steve Hartlett has fronted various bands such as Ovlov, Stove, and a handful of others. Since the start of quarantine there have been 5 solo releases with many more to come.

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.

Music: Pigeon English Valentine’s Day EP release, Nathaniel Hintz Thurs., Feb. 14

Pigeon English plays Best Video Performance Space Thursday, Feb. 14, for an EP release party. Nathaniel Hintz opens. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Pigeon English is a collaboration between songwriters Brian Larney (of Lines West) and Rob Nelson (of Elegant Primates), exploring close harmony vocals and the mysterious paths of melody. Drawing inspiration from The Everly Brothers and The Beatles, Larney and Nelson craft songs about love and misunderstanding. In his review of their debut EP “Coo!,” Brian Slattery of The New Haven Independent writes, “melodies, chords, and lyrics consistently make clever turns that feel both unexpected, satisfying–and emotionally complicated…thanks to songwriting this fun and sharp, complicated, agonizing relationship troubles have rarely been so catchy.” Rick Allison of Cygnus Radio.com called the EP “one of the new treasures of 2019…clearly!” Come help Pigeon English celebrate the release of “Coo!” with a swinging Valentine’s Day dance party!

Nathaniel Hintz is a country and western artist from Watertown, Connecticut. Nathaniel incorporates a Rockabilly style of guitar playing, blending with a lively punk attitude. Putting a modern twist on the Sun Records sound of the 50s.

Music: Indie folk Sat., Mar. 18, with James A.M. Downes, Brooms, Gabe Mortali

Three indie folk acts spearhead an early show at Best Video Performance Space on Saturday, Mar. 18. James A.M. Downes, Brooms, and Gabe Mortali play in a show that starts at 7 PM. The cover is $10.

James A.M. Downes

James A.M. Downes’ statement:

One time this snake pit of a lady spit on me in a New York subway station when I was on my way to work. Another time I got lucky and married a hopelessly wonderful girl in my hometown of Old Saybrook, CT. In a fever, I’ve been repeatedly trying to write my favorite song all my life. The only tattoo I have is my deceased dog’s name written in Old English across my shoulders. I cried and cried. I have no idea how, but I haven’t been arrested yet. The soundtracks to Homeward Bound and Jurassic Park changed my life. Then The Beatles did. Then Weezer did.

On March 17th, I’ll be releasing my debut EP, Prison Font. I’m excited to share it and it’s my hope that you’ll dig it. If you enjoy musical stories of naked insecurity and self-reflection/depreciation in the service of getting someone to crack a little smile, then I think I have half a chance.

Brooms formed in the summer of 2012. In a crumbling apartment in Gowanus, Brooklyn, pianist Brett Crudgington and vocalist Matt Cascella conspired to combat boredom and create music. Whether it was the syncing of their musical minds, or just the toxic fumes of the Gowanus, there was chemistry, and in just a couple months they had enough songs to record and release their first album, “In the Backyard.” An anonymous iTunes reviewer used words like “distinctive, raspy tenor,” “atypical sounds,” “Frank Zappa,” “charming,” and “not kazoo-free.” Fair enough.

Brooms

Brooms’ second album, a twelve-track rumpus called “Fuzzy Waters,” was released in fall of 2013. It made waves in the shallow end of the pool, with The Deli nominating it for “Best Alt Folk” album of the year. The tune “Lazy Ass” was later featured in a Buzzfeed video for Purina Puppy Chow that garnered 75 million views worldwide.

Rejecting their newfound fame and fortune (or not), Brooms continued to blaze their own musical trail, releasing their third album, “Brooms Blooms, “a seven-song sandwich presenting a more straightforward rock approach, in 2015. The momentum continues in 2016, with an EP entitled “Bought A Friend” and several new tunes under construction. Their sound is best summed up by The Deli: “This is singer-songwriter music for fans of early Randy Newman, or late Tom Waits, operating by a simple and effective policy: just because you’re baring your soul, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun.”

Gabriel Dylan Mortali

Gabriel Dylan MortaliGabriel Dylan Mortali is a singer-songwriter from Old Saybrook, CT. His musical endeavor has been greatly influenced by the regular titans of acoustic guitar and rock-and- roll, but has also been pitched in one direction or another by those of smaller stature and recognition in genres which are not as defined. His approach is simple and soulful, and his words are often cryptic and sparse; there to reach the listener perhaps only in phrases which then may become their own– something to bring home.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, Mar. 10. JAZZ GUITAR: THE COPPOLA JAZZ GUITAR DUO

• Saturday, Mar. 11. JAZZ: THE FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE PLAYS “BLACK, BROWN AND BEIGE; YELLOW, TRANS AND QUEER: MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THIS (A PROTEST SUITE COMPOSED BY ALLEN LOWE)

• Monday, Mar. 13. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “MOONLIGHT”

• Wednesday,  Mar. 15. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SHULA WEINSTEIN & BEN ROSS

• Thursday, Mar. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM, KATHY MUIR

• Friday, Mar. 17. INDIE ROCK: DISCO TEEN 66

• Saturday, Mar. 18. INDIE FOLK: JAMES AM DOWNES, BROOMS, GABE MORTALI

• Wednesday, Mar. 22. CLASSICAL: 4-3-2-1: A EUPHONIUM AND FRIENDS PRODUCTION

• Friday, Mar. 24. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH; SINGER-SONGWRITER: BELLE OF THE FALL

• Saturday, Mar. 25. JAZZ: : THE FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE PLAYS “BLACK, BROWN AND BEIGE; YELLOW, TRANS AND QUEER: MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THIS (A PROTEST SUITE COMPOSED BY ALLEN LOWE)

• Sunday, Mar. 26. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “REPO MAN”

• Wednesday, Mar. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: LAMONT

• Thursday, Mar. 30. ALTERNATIVE/AMERICANA: THE WYRD BROTHERS; SINGER-SONGWRITER: JACK ROLLINS

• Friday, Mar. 31. ACOUSTIC ROCK: EDNA

• Saturday, Apr. 1. CULT FILM SCREENING: TBA

• Sunday, Apr. 2. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “PHILADELPHIA”

• Thursday, Apr. 6. AVANT-GARDE: ELM FICTION

• Friday, Apr. 7. ROCK: GHOST RADIO, SONIA & SID

• Saturday, Apr. 8. CLASSICAL GUITAR: MAX LYMAN; AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: ALEXANDER

• Sunday, Apr. 9. REDSCROLL RECORDS SCREENING AND MUSIC

• Thursday, Apr. 13. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Friday, Apr. 14. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Sunday, Apr. 16. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “BLUE VELVET”

• Wednesday, Apr. 19. FOLK ROCK: WE HAPPY FEW

• Friday, Apr. 21. ROCK ‘N” ROLL: DUST HAT

• Saturday, Apr. 22. JAZZ: ALLEN LOWE & THE FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE

• Sunday, Apr. 23. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “DO THE RIGHT THING”

• Friday, Apr. 28. BLUEGRASS: THE SLOCAN RAMBLERS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Sunday, Apr. 30. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “THELMA AND LOUISE”

• Thursday, May 4. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB

• Friday, May 5. SINGER-SONGWRITERS IN  THE ROUND: JENNIFER DAUPHINAIS, CHRISTOPHER BOUSQUET, FRANK CRITELLI

• Saturday, May 6. CULT FILM SCREENING: TBA

• Sunday, May 7. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDERETTE”

• Thursday, May 11. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Friday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SHAWN TAYLOR & WANDERING ROOTS (CD Release)

• Saturday, May 13. JAZZ: ALLEN LOWE & THE FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE

• Friday, May 19. INDIE ROCK: LA TUNDA

• Friday, June 2. JAZZ VOCAL: LINDA SATIN & JOE CARTER DUO

• Friday, June 16. BLUEGRASS: MILE TWELVE (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, June 23. CHAMBER ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Friday, Aug. 4. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, Sept. 15. BLUEGRASS: ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Thursday, Nov. 16. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN