Music: Burning Sensations heat up Best Video Fri., June 21, at 8 PM

Burning Sensations play Best Video Performance Space on Friday, June 21. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

What would The Doors sound like if they met Weird Al in a brothel that they can’t afford? The Burning Sensations have cultivated their collective whimsy to beg the question. Scott Meikle sings in an uncanny sense of vaudeville pastiche beside Ronnie Demaio who delivers his own brand of enigmatic snarl on guitar. Joe Scialla anchors the quartet behind the drum kit while Will Iannuzzi simultaneously holds down the low end and endows his melodic wizardry on keys. The band relentlessly proves themselves live with their genre-bending compositions such as “Wanting More”, “Murky Waters”, and “Do Me” and on their upcoming debut album set for release in late summer 2019.

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Music: Indie rock group Wally plays Thurs., June 20

Wally plays Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, June 20, starting at 8 PM. The cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Wally began in Hamden, CT in the Winter of 2014, as the first step into collaborative pop music by a few high school friends studying music together. Initially under the name Nothing Special, these friends played a variety of covers, slowly building a repertoire of original material.

The band has since gone onto release their EP, “Fred’s Got Slacks,” on iTunes and Spotify. Since the release of this EP the band has progressed immensely musically delving into softer Rock and Roll with traces of The Beach Boys, The Beatles and more modern bands such as Wilco and Radiohead. Following the departure of lead guitarist Rody Conway the band has shifted more from blues driven sound to a more high-reverb tone combined with layered harmonies.

Lead Singer Alex Blair, and Guitarist and Singer Teo Hernandez have had a long history of writing and and performing together. They were veterans of the aforementioned Nothing Special, having performed at Toad’s Place New Haven, The Festival of Arts and Ideas, The North Branford POCO Festival, among many other venues and events.

Wally for this show will feature Blair (rhythm guitar, lead vocals), Teo Hernandez (lead guitar, vocals), Lucas Hernandez (synth, vocals), Jackson Roman (drums), Miles Keingstein (trumpet), Declan Sheehy-Moss (tenor sax, electric sax), and Matt Aranow (bass).

Samples of Wally’s music can be found on their website Wally.Band, on Spotify or iTunes still under Nothing Special or on Soundcloud and Facebook @Wallyusa and on Instagram @thoseguyswhoplaymusic.

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Music: Indie rock and pop punk from When In Doubt (NJ), Kim Normal, The Magnetic Sat., May 18, at 7:30 PM

A triple bill of indie rock/punk bands—When In Doubt (from New Jersey), Kim Normal, The Magnetic—play Best Video Performance Space on Saturday, May 18. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10—pay what you can in that range.

The pop punk/alternative rock band When in Doubt was formed in 2016 by the two brothers Mike & Pete Benigno and Richie Mandanici. When In Doubt released a song and music video for “Left Your Mark,” reaching just shy of 1.7k views on YouTube, which then followed the 2018 release of a new EP again with Rob Chiarappa named “History.” This release focused a lot on what the bandmates as good friends have gone through and incorporated more of a raw sound. With this new music they now feel completely connected with nothing holding them back. They have also played local shows with bigger bands like Belmont, 7 Minutes in Heaven, The Stolen, VISTA, Boys of Fall, and In Her Own Words.

Kim Normal—formerly called No Idea—was formed in late 2016 in Central CT. The band built a fan base by performing at local farmer’s markets and private parties along with filming covers of full Nirvana and other albums for YouTube. After having success with the covers, the band began writing original material. Their first recording was a cover of “I Saw Her Standing There” by The Beatles. Two EPs, entitled “Your Peril” and “Fungus” followed in late 2017. With the addition of bassist Conor McCarthy, the band is actively playing shows and is currently working on recording their debut LP.

The Magnetic is based out of Danbury CT, indie rock/pop with melodic guitars, anthemic builds & beautifully relatable themes. Their debut EP ‘Quarter Life’ (recorded in 2016/17 at Mother Brother studios) tracks angst through grunge tinged pop songs. These are songs about the things that break us down & then the things that build us back up again. The Magnetic is Courtney LePere on vocals and bass, Kevin McLain on lead/rhythm guitar, and Joe Pacelli on guitar.

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Music: The Sawtelles return to Best Video Fri., May 3

The Sawtelles—including Best Video Film & Cultural Center Executive Director Richard Brown on sax and guitar—play Best Video Performance Space Friday, May 3. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

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. 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.

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Music: Left-of-center indie rock by Accidental Villain Wed., Apr. 24

Danbury group Accidental Villain plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Apr. 24. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Accidental Villain was formed in 2015 by composer Barry Seroff as an outlet for songs he was writing after dealing with a bitter divorce. Joined by bassist Justin Virga of Phoenix Tree fame, acclaimed visual artist Lindsey Howard Edwards and jazz/world drummer Yoni Olieski, the band recorded their debut self titled album over the course of a day in Brooklyn. The songs ranged from the dark mundanity of life with an ex to celebrations of sexual deviance, through a compositional voice that cannot be nailed down through genre. The connecting fibers are the musicians themselves, whose distinct voices can be heard through even the most disparate of sounds.

Since the release, the band has played through the Danbury area honing their energetic live show and adding new songs to the mix highlighting the healing process after tragedy and the beauty that eventually shows itself. Yoni was replaced by local drummer Jerry Louzada, whose addition gave the material a more rock flair. Accidental Villain continues to push boundaries with their distinct originals and inventive covers to audience delights everywhere.

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Music: Fleurs, Shy perform Fri., Apr. 19, at 8 PM

Fleurs and Shy play sets at Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Apr. 19. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Fleurs is a musical enigma. All shifty riffs and sticky words, Fleurs draws romance out of depravity, mining glitter out of gunk. Fleurs is the feeling of lighting a cigarette on a cold day, the smell of a one night stand, the sound of fine china shattering on concrete. Too smart to be rock, too hard to be pop, Fleurs’ music is a multi-headed serpent that strangles as it caresses.

From the music blog CT Scramble last December:

New Haven-based FLEURS is the gloomy indie rock project of musician Alexander Falconer. Earlier this year, FLEURS released the American Nothing EP, a short and sweet collection of nocturnal Americana tunes with a gothy electronic twist. Recently, FLEURS has released a new album Life of the Appetite.

Expanding on the styles of his earlier release, Life of the Appetite is an impressive full length debut from the New Haven artist, filtering numerous genres all through dark romanticism and heady electronic textures. Most songs have a rhythmic quality that range from midnight graveyard stomp to industrial garage thrash. Above all, the music is truly possessed by Falconer, whose exceptionally depraved vocal performance is something to be heard.

SHY is a local New Haven band, Their music is indie-rock, folk, driven by power drums and melodic singing. Shyanne is on vocals and guitar, Jon is on bass, and Quinn is on drums.

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Music: Zoo Front plays Thurs., Apr. 18, with special guest Mara & the Dead Batteries

Indie rock group Zoo Front plays Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Apr. 18. Mara & The Dead Batteries will be a special guest on some songs.  The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

The last couple of years have been busy ones for Zoo Front. Their CD Red Stereo Dress marked the beginning of a new era for the band, with Nancie Tief making her singing and songwriting debut. Adding to the fun, they adopted a new working philosophy they call ABM – “ambient background mischief.” The idea is to add a subliminal track to each song that somehow fills out the sound in a way that defies definition. The personnel is Ed Ekendu (Guitar), Nancie Tief (Guitar),  Lisa Tonner (Drums) and Ju Dee Luna (bass).

Laura from Mara & The Dead Batteries will be sitting in on cello on a couple of the songs.

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Music: Jellyshirts play rock Wed., Mar. 20

Rock trio Jellyshirts return to Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Mar. 20. The show starts at 8 PM.

Looking for a frame of reference for Jellyshirts’ music? Try the Velvet Underground and the Byrds. But the band–led by guitarist/vocalist Bret Logan for over 20 years, ably joined by drummer Scott McDonald and bass player Nick Appleby–has a sound determinedly their own.

From the band’s press packet: “Letting the wash of live sound influence each song, without anybody thinking ‘jazz’ or ‘improvisation.’ Never doing covers of our songs. Trying to get you to levitate about one-and-a-half feet off your chair (willingly, of course).”

The short version: They’re loud and they play bars with a mystical need to reach the audience.

From a 2009 Shoreline Times article by late musician and WPLR Local Bands radio show host James Velvet: “The band has been held in awe by its fans over the years for its sometimes soaring, sometimes droning sound, always played with intensity and skill. A good example is the current lead tune on their MySpace page, a recent live recording of a song they first performed 15 years ago, ‘Disinclined.’ Ten minutes of dynamic live jamming. ‘Pick and soar’ is how their longtime champion Gary Vollono of describes the sound. To which I would add, ‘…and feedback sometimes.’”

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Music: Indie rock from Glambat, KEESH/Pheobe, & Soft Screams Fri., Mar. 8, at 7:30 PM

The indie rock acts Glambat, KEESH/Pheobe, and Soft Screams play Best Video Performance Space Friday, Mar. 8. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is $5.

Glambat is a New Haven indie-folk band lead by Emily Alderman (vocals, guitar), creating sultry tunes for your listening pleasure.

Pheobe is a newly formed New Haven Punk/Indie/Noise five-piece band. Their goal is to bring the ruckus with as many different styles as possible, and continuously create new ideas and performances. Influences would be: WEEN, Pavement, the Grateful Dead, Grizzly Bear, Black Sabbath—anything between “dark” and “hilarious.” The group is Peter Omalyev (guitar/vocals), Vic Pocz (bass/vocals), Laurie Abreu (synth), Derek Begley (lead guitar) and Reena Yu (drums).

Soft Screams is a power pop band from Connecticut. Their album Art Therapy was released in September and is reminiscent of artists such as Teenage Fanclub, Green Day, and Wavves. The band is currently playing as many live shows as possible and recording their next full-length album.

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Music: Christian Marrone Trio, Ghostwoods play Thrurs., Mar. 7

Christian Marrone brings his trio to Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Mar. 7, for a show with Ghostwoods. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you want in that range).

Originally from the New Haven, Connecticut area solo artist Christian Marrone fuses social commentary in the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan with the riffs and melodic hooks of The Ramones and The Replacements, to deliver urgent and anthemic message music. His forthcoming full length album “Don’t Sell Me Your Hate” (out in early April), is an 11-song adventure through his roots of Rock, Folk, Punk, and even Alt-Country. His lyrics shine for being honest and heartfelt, while carrying tongue in cheek humor and a healthy dose of snottiness; the emphasis always being on the message and the story.

From starting his first band at 12 years old and performing at the legendary Toad’s Place the same year, Christian has since fronted many original bands throughout his teenage years and twenties. In that time he’s shared the stage with international acts such as Murphy’s Law, nineties alt-rockers Local H, as well as members of Morphine, WEEN and Sound of Urchin. Playing first throughout southern Connecticut, he has since moved on to perform at the venues of New York’s East Village, as well as making festival appearances in the Catskills and the greater Boston area.

Now performing with a solid back-up band and solo acoustic, in his recent years he’s opened for punk rock legends Grant Hart (Husker Du), Jonny Two-Bags (Social Distortion), Tim Barry (AVAIL), Jesse Malin, as well as current folk/punk greats Dave Hause, Cory Branan, Two Cow Garage, Micah Schnabel, and Hamell on Trial. Keep an eye out for a music video for the title track of his album “Don’t Sell Me Your Hate” and 2019 tour dates.

Ghostwoods is a new project, from members of Breakthrough Frequencies, The Lively, and Yuppy Flu. Shows and music coming in 2019. Ghostwoods is an indie rock band from CT with influences all over the map. Their first single “New Leaves” will be out in early 2019 with a debut album to follow.

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