Music: Christopher Mir plays rock Wed., Oct. 14, at 8 PM

Christopher_Mir_Scott_McDonald_WebChristopher Mir, joined by drummer Scott McDonald, plays his rock songs at Best Video on Wednesday, Oct. 14. The cover is $5 and the music starts at 8 PM.

Mir is well-known locally as an accomplished visual artist but as a hobby he he writes and performs his own lively, catchy music. Mir has previously performed at Best Video Performance Space in solo acoustic troubadour mode and fronting his indie rock trio Sozio.

This time, Mir will be playing rock style, having been urged by McDonald to perform live a raft of recent new songs Mir had recorded at home.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Monday, Oct. 5. FILM SCREENING: ELIHU RUBIN’S & ELENA OXMAN’S “ON BROADWAY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 7. ROCK ‘N” ROLL: THE BUTTONDOWNS; SINGER-SONGWRITER: GARY HERIOT

• Thursday, Oct. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI, BEN PARENT with DANA TAKAKI

• Friday, Oct. 9. JAZZ: THE JOVAN ALEXANDRE TRIO

• Wednesday, Oct. 14. INDIE ROCK: CHRISTOPHER MIR

• Thursday, Oct. 15. SOLO GUITAR/CD RELEASE: GLENN ROTH

• Friday, Oct. 16. TOURING SINGER-SONGWRITERS: LINDA WATERFALL, DEAN STEVENS

• Wednesday, Oct. 21. ROOTS ROCK: BRONSON ROCK

• Thursday, Oct. 22. GARAGE SOUL: ELISON JACKSON

• Friday, Oct. 23. ALT-COUNTRY: TANNERSVILLE

• Thursday, Oct. 29. SYNTH POP/ROCK: MISSION ZERO

• Friday, Oct. 30. HALLOWEEN SILENT FILM SCREENING WITH LIVE SCORE: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Wednesday, Nov. 4. OLD TIMEY/SWING: THE ZuZAZZ STRING ORKESTRA

• Friday, Nov. 6. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Friday, Nov. 13. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Wednesday, Nov. 18. FILM SCREENING: THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)

• Thursday, Nov. 19. DARK FOLK: ELISA FLYN; SOUL PUNK: AN HISTORIC

• Thursday, Dec. 3. ELECTRONIC: AVMUS

 

Mark Your Calendar: Best Video fundraiser on Sun., June 29, from 3—6 PM (UPDATED 6/27—Silent Art Auction, Performers, Premiums for Larger Donations)

Fundraiser_color_alt version_rev_062714_WebUPDATED 6/27: Silent art auction! Details below.

UPDATED 6/26: Premiums for different donation levels posted!

UPDATE 6/23: Performers names and times posted below!

Best Video is holding a fundraiser on Sunday afternoon, June 29, from 3—6 PM to help defray the costs of our renovations. Donation levels for attending are Friend ($25 and up), Patron ($50 and up), Movie Star ($100 and up), Oscar Winner ($500 and up) and Mogul ($1,000 and up)There will be special premiums for Patron, Movie Star, Oscar Winner and Mogul donors.

Patron donors ($50) will receive one monthly free rental for a year as well as a Best Video coffee mug. For the Movie Stars among you ($100 donation), expect the monthly free rental, the coffee mug and a Best Video t-shirt. Oscar Winners get the mug and t-shirt as well as two free movies per week for a year. If you’re a Mogul, you’re entitled to the mug, the t-shirt and four free movies per week for a year.

The event will feature music, delicious snacks (from baker Carol Merriman, renowned New Haven restaurant Caseus and others). The store may be closed during the event, which will be a fun time where members and supporters of the store can relax, chat, network and enjoy the music. Let’s all celebrate the continued vitality of our contribution to the local cultural community. And learn more about our plans for expanded programming in our beautiful new Performance Space.

Cellist Ravenna Michalsen will perform works from the English/Scottis/Irish cello canon from 3:05—3:30 PM with accompaniment by cellist Lynne Bonnett. Brazilian music with jazz inflections will be offered from 3:50—4:15 by bassist Jeff Fuller and guitarist Joe Carter. Local singer-songwriter and proponent of Local Bands on WPLR-FM James Velvet takes a turn from 4:35—5 PM, joined by his guitar-playing compatriot Johnny Memphis. And from 5:20—5:45 PM, trumpeter Nick Di Maria will offer up some swinging modern jazz sounds with his quintet.

There will also be a silent art auction as part of this event. Among the respected local artists and photographers who have donated or will be donating works are Gerald Saladyga, Marjorie Wolfe, Keith Johnson, Christopher Mir, Steven DiGiovanni, William McCarthy, Nancy Eisenfeld, Tony Juliano, Graham Honaker and Best Video owner Hank Paper.

Make your reservation in advance at the store or by phone (203-287-9286) or contribute at the door on June 29.

If you want to contribute but can’t make it on Sunday, you can still support us! You can drop by the store and contribute, or call and use a card (203-287-9286) or send a check to Best Video, Attention: Best Video Fundraiser, 1842 Whitney Ave., Hamden, CT 06517.

Enlist your neighbors and encourage your friends to sign up for our email list at our BestVideo.com Web site or at the front counter in the store.

Stay tuned for more details!

Music: Indie rock by Sozio on Wed., Jan. 29, at 8 PM

Indie rock band Sozio makes its live debut in the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Jan. 29. The cover is $5 and the music starts at 8 PM.

Sozio_photo_Web

Sozio is the live performance vehicle for songwriter Christopher Mir. A renowned visual artist, Mir also has a prolific musical imagination, regularly recording (unreleased) albums at home in rock, folk and avant-garde styles. Sozio is a project more in the pop mode, with sharp hooks and clever lyrics. Mir sings and plays guitar, backed by the rhythm section of Scott McDonald (drums) and Anthony Florio (bass).

Or, as Mir puts it:

Planck scale geometries and psi phenomenon merge to form the sonic bliss that is Sozio.  Sozio is—according to the most recent evidence—Scott McDonald (hitting on drums and flagons of wine), Christopher Mir (singing and guitarring in quantum super position), and Tony Flowers (playing anti-bass for the masses). Do the world a big favor—love Sozio right now. Yolo punks!

Well, I told you he is an artist.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Thursday, Jan. 23. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ILANA ZSIGMOND

• Wednesday, Jan. 29. INDIE ROCK: SOZIO

• Thursday, Jan. 30. PSYCHO-FOLK: MILKSOP: UNSUNG

• Wednesday, Feb. 5. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: JENNIFER DAUPHINAIS, CHRISTOPHER BOUSQUET

• Thursday, Feb. 6. CHORAL QUIRK POP: THE DRESS-UPS

• Wednesday, Feb. 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS PAT STONE

• Thursday, Feb. 13. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

• Thursday, Feb. 20. BLUEGRASS: 5 IN THE CHAMBER

• Wednesday, Feb. 26. DECONSTRUCTING POP: THE LUCK PUSHERS

• Thursday, Feb. 27. SINGER-SONGWRITER POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Wednesday, Apr. 2. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Thursday, Apr. 17. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE LONESOME SPARROWS

Performances this week: Chris Mir, Paul Panamarenko on Wednesday, Doctor Dark on Thursday

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, SEATING—7 PM, MUSIC—7:30 PM. INDIE FOLK: CHRISTOPHER MIR, PAUL PANAMARENKO

Christopher Mir (left) and Paul Panamarenko (right) are known around the area as highly regarded painters. But their artistry also extends to music-making. Mir and Panamarenko each will perform a solo acoustic set.

Mir’s music combines intertwined strands of folk music, murder ballads and indie rock. Or, as he tells me in an email: “Roll the stone up the hill, and it rolls back down. That’s what writing songs is all about. Also it’s about stealing lyrics from old Baptist hymns. The gods command!!!”

Here is Mir in rocker mode with “All the Snowflakes Are the Same”:

Paul Panamarenko is a Texas-born musician who immigrated to New Haven via Oakland, CA. He plays in the vein of Hank Williams, Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash.

A sample of Panamarenko’s music, the song “Last Call”:

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, SEATING—7:30 PM, MUSIC—8 PM. THE MUSIC OF CAPTAIN BEEFHEART: DOCTOR DARK

The critically acclaimed—and immensely influential—Captain Beefheart flew under the Radar Station during his 22 year musical career. Styles and tastes have evolved since his retirement in 1982, and as a direct result of his vision, what was once viewed as “chaotic” and “weird” is now considered strangely accessible.

In 2002, Doctor Dark formed as a one-off musical experiment, performing Beefheart’s music at Ideat Village, New Haven’s Annual Alternative Art and Music Festival.

Later that summer, drummer Steve Chillemi attended Zappanale, the annual Frank Zappa tribute Festival held in Bad Doberan, Germany. Upon returning, he called singer Saunders and excitedly said, “Hey kid, I have found our audience. We need to keep doing this… No one else is… This music is important!”

And so the journey began….

One year later, Doctor Dark performed at Zappanale. The audience had no idea what was in store for them. The band’s rampaging performance, coupled with Saunder’s powerful voice, immediately cemented Doctor Dark as a crowd favorite, garnering a fifteen minute ovation from their new European fans, as well as high praise from Zappa/Beefheart alumni, including Jimmy Carl Black (from the original Mothers of Invention, who performed “Sure Nuff, Yes I Do” with the band), Napoleon Murphy Brock, and Mike Kenneally.

Over the next several years, Doctor Dark continued to play in the Northeastern U.S., opening for Project/Object, The Paul Green School of Rock, The Voice of Cheez, and collaborating with renowned American improvisor Eugene Chadbourne. In 2007, the group went on hiatus to allow individual members to pursue their other projects. But the death of Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart, of multiple sclerosis at the end of 2010 provided impetus for the band to regroup.

Doctor Dark strives to accurately recreate the live Beefheart experience. Whether you are familiar with his catalog, or not, Doctor Dark will either take you back in time, or introduce you to a phenomenal and legendary American composer.

The Best Video Coffee & Wine Bar will be open with a fine selection of delicious snacks and refreshments, including Willoughby’s coffee. Admission—as for most Best Video Performance Space events—is free.