Youth XL, Stephen Friedland at Best Video Thurs., Sept. 30

Youth XL plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Thurs., Sept. 30. The show starts at 5 PM with Stephen Friedland opening.

Youth XL is a charmingly irreverent indie-rock group based out of New Haven, CT. Led by singer-songwriter Alex McGuire, their live shows are a lively mix of catchy originals, curious covers, and a healthy dose of general silliness. With songs about learning Yoga, swiping right on dating apps, and texting your friends, Youth XL strikes a balance between cynical social commentary and a sense of optimism for the future. Their debut EP Text Your Friends (2020) is available on all streaming platforms.

Stephen Friedland — the group Fat Randy’s principal songwriter, vocalist and guitarist — has also been a sound engineer and co-promoter with Tiny Box Booking, Connecticut’s premiere promotions vehicle, for nearly 5 years. During his time cutting teeth in the hottest local DIY venues the Nutmeg State has to offer, he has run sound for hundreds of bands, many of whom play music at the intersection of self-conscious indie rock and insular bedroom pop. In what amounts to some kind of gratuitous exercise in Musical FOMO and a totally epic test of being able to write songs that listeners without neckbeards can enjoy, (Randy) Alex G was born.

The album, recorded and mixed by Zack Abramo (Mesmer [fka Crag Mask], Vundabar) and Friedland, is surprisingly diverse in its scope, despite hewing to a more stringent stylistic theme than recordings past. The garage bombast of “Asymmetrical Bangs, Pt. I” and “Asymmetrical Bangs, Pt. II” pays homage to bands like LVL UP (and Friedland’s very brief tenure at SUNY Purchase College, where so much of this genre of music originated), while “Not Now, I’m on Island Time” fuses Sinatra-esque croons with relaxed Hawaiian slide guitar music. At present, the album is slated for mastering at Dog Year Studio in Ellington, CT by Phil Lord (also of Mesmer), with a formal release date TBA.

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: Tiny Box Booking presents Dougie Poole, Bong Wish, Leor Miller Thurs., Oct. 12

Tiny Box Booking presents Dougie Poole, Bong Wish, and Leor Miller at Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Oct. 12. The show starts at 7 PM and admission is a sliding scale of $5-$10.

Dougie Poole.

Dougie Poole is a non-traditional country singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn, New York. His debut album “Wideass Highway,” released in Feb 2017 on JMC Aggregate, explores heartbreak and loneliness in the digital age. Replacing pedal-steel guitar and fiddles with synths and samples, Poole re-contextualizes traditional country sounds, storytelling and song structures, creating tunes that are at once new and familiar.

Bong Wish.

Mariam Saleh began performing under the heady moniker of BONG WISH in the Massachusetts of yesteryear. Drawing from British folk and fantasy, Bong Wish skews to the far out lyrically, encouraging universal love and inner peace. The debut EP, out October 2017 on Beyond Beyond is Beyond, presents a patchouli-scented fantasia of pure, unsolicited rage. Mostly home-recorded, the eponymous EP sees Mariam and her mystical cohorts explore different moods, styles and vibes across four tracks, ranging from lush string arrangements and exotic flutes to shimmering guitars and earthy percussion.

Leor Miller.

Leor Miller plays dreamy intergalactic queer bedroom pop. From Daily Bandcamp in October, 2016 on Leor Miller:

[Leor] Miller’s transgender identity shapes how they interact with the world. Since coming out, Miller has felt alienated from some notion of “normal,” but they take solace in their perceived strangeness. So in song, Miller treats the normal both as unfamiliar, and as completely fine—even idyllic. “There are some songs like: ‘Damn, I feel really separate from everything that exists.’ And there are other songs where it’s like: ‘That’s really chill,’” Miller says.

Their bedroom pop, alternately melancholy and twinkling, requires no band and no collaboration; any further refinement would add unnecessary shine to the lo-fi patina of their work. They’ve got everything they need in the clutter of their dorm room: two guitars, two amps, a computer, a kit of software, and ample material from which to extract inspiration.

This is not to say the songs go unvetted. Miller crafts carefully; many of their songs drift from dead-ahead guitar pop into inventive and precise noise—electronic clatter and samples woven into the songs’ very fabric, layered so that the noise is often imperceptible.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Saturday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOHN GORKA (FERNANDO PINTO PRESENTS) SOLD OUT!

• Sunday, Oct. 1, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Friday, Oct. 6. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE; POWER POP: TEMPEST O’BRIEN (DEBUT!)

• Wednesday, Oct. 11, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Oct. 12. INDIE ROCK: BONG WISH, DOUGIE POOLE, LEOR MILLER (PRESENTED BY TINY BOX BOOKING)

• Friday, Oct. 13. LITERARY READING—FLASH FICTION: TOM HAZUKA, APRIL BRADLEY, DOUG MATHEWSON, PAUL BECKMAN

• Saturday, Oct. 14. ROCK ‘N” ROLL COVERS: THE DENZ

• Sunday, Oct. 15. POWER POP: JON HARRISON & THE HARRISONICS

• Wednesday, Oct. 18. ANNIE LISA: PSYCH-K

• Thursday, Oct. 19. AFRO-FUNK FUSION: THE LOST TRIBE

• Friday, Oct. 20. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Saturday, Oct. 21, 7:30 PM. VIDEO STORE DAY SCREENING OF “PSYCHOS IN LOVE” WITH WRITER/DIRECTOR GORMAN BECHARD & WRITER/LEAD ACTOR CARMINE CAPOBIANCO

• Wednesday, Oct. 25. NEW ORLEANS-STYLE FUNK: BAND OF DRUTHERS

• Thursday, Oct. 26. INDIE ROCK: SEAN HENRY, RYXNO

• Friday, Oct. 27. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: THE BOSSA NOVA PROJECT

• Saturday, Oct. 28. LIGHT UPON BLIGHT HALLOWEEN SHOW: “CARNIVAL OF SOULS” with LIVE IMPROVISED MUSICAL SCORE

• Wednesday, Nov. 1. OLD-TIMEY/BLUES: THE ZuZAZZ STRING ORKESTRA

• Thursday, Nov. 2. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: JOE MILLER

• Friday, Nov. 3. AMERICANA: FYFE AND STONE

• Saturday, Nov. 4. SOLO MODERN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Sunday, Nov. 5, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Nov. 9. GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK: RICH MORAN

• Friday, Nov. 10. MODERN ROCK: NALANI & SARINA, CHASER EIGHT NAKED (PRESENTED BY AIM PRODUCTIONS)

• Sunday, Nov. 12, 7 PM. FOLK: MINK, SOCK & LUTIE

• Wednesday, Nov. 15, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN (SOLD OUT!)

• Friday, Nov. 17. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Saturday, Nov. 18. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY GALA AT THE BALLROOM AT THE OUTER SPACE: 5 IN THE CHAMBER, OLIVE TIGER, NU HAVEN KAPELYE, THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 3 PM. JAZZ: TRIO 149

• Monday, Nov. 20, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING: “SON OF SAUL” (WITH TALK BY PROF. CHRISTOPHER SHARRETT)

• Thursday, Nov. 30. BLUEGRASS: EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

• Friday, Dec. 1. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & TONY PURRONE

• Sunday, Dec. 3, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Thursday, Dec. 7.ART SONG/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: OLIVE TIGER (SOLO), AN HISTORIC

• Friday, Dec. 8. BLUEGRASS: TWISTED PINE (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Friday, Dec. 22. HOLIDAY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SHOW: DUST HAT, BRONSON ROCK

• Friday, Jan. 12, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: BEPPE GAMBETTA (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Feb. 9. BLUEGRASS: JOE WALSH & SWEET LOAM

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)