How to Read a Film: Mark Schenker’s Hitchcock lectures continue with “Strangers on a Train” Sun., Jan. 11, at 2 PM

Mark Schenker discussing the historical context for the "Downton Abbey" series at a lecture in the Best Video Performance Space in August, 2014.

Mark Schenker discussing the historical context for the “Downton Abbey” series at a lecture in the Best Video Performance Space in August, 2014.

Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs in Yale College and frequent lecturer on film and literature topics at venues throughout Connecticut, presents four lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock on successive Sunday afternoons in January. The series began on Sunday, Jan. 4, with a talk to a packed room about Hitchcock’s 1946 thriller “Notorious,” starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Each lecture begins at 2 PM. The cost is $7 per lecture or $25 for the entire series.

Dean Schenker’s talks are both informative and fun, as attendees of his August lecture at Best Video on the historical context of the “Downton Abbey” TV series can attest.

The series continues with the next three movies in chronological order of their release:

Sun., Jan. 11: “Strangers on a Train” (1951), with Robert Walker as one of Hitchcock’s most impressive villains.

Sun., Jan. 18: “Rear Window” (1954), with James Stewart and Grace Kelly in a voyeuristic thriller.

Sun., Jan. 25: “North by Northwest” (1959), with Cary Grant as another of Hitchcock’s innocent men on the run in a movie that is a sophisticated blend of thriller, romance, and comedy.

The lectures will address aspects of the individual works, characteristics of Hitchcock’s art, and ways that participants can be better “readers” of film—more adept at what to look for and see in considering movies as work of art at no cost to their ability to entertain and enthrall us. Clips from each of the films will accompany the lectures.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, Jan. 9. MUSIC FROM “TWIN PEAKS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Sunday, Jan. 11. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “STRANGERS ON A TRAIN”

• Wednesday, Jan. 14. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Thursday, Jan. 15. SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Jan. 16: INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Sunday, Jan. 18. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “REAR WINDOW”

• Wednesday, Jan. 21. SONGWRITERS’ CIRCLE: MARK MIRANDO, DICK NEAL, REX FOWLER

• Thursday, Jan. 22. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Sunday, Jan. 25. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NORTH BY NORTHWEST”

• Friday., Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Friday, Feb. 6. AVANT-GARDE: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Thursday. Mar. 5. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Mar. 6. JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA WiRED

• Friday, April 3. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

Music: Jazz with Jeff Fuller & Friends Wed., Jan. 14, at 8 PM

Fuller_1_WebThe jazz group Jeff Fuller & Friends plays the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Jan. 14. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Whether performing on stage and in clubs, teaching jazz and coaching ensembles, or composing and arranging in his home studio, Jeff Fuller brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to all his musical endeavors.

An integral part of the Connecticut, New York and international jazz scenes, Fuller toured worldwide and recorded with saxophonists Lou Donaldson and Paquito D’Rivera. He has played with jazz masters from all styles and eras including such diverse artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Mose Allison, “Papa” Jo Jones, Gerry Mulligan, and Clark Terry.

Fuller is one of the most sought after jazz bassists in Connecticut, and currently leads his own ensembles in many jazz venues. In September, 2014, he was awarded the annual Jazz Haven Award, “For all you have done in presenting and preserving the culture and music of jazz.”  Fuller plays the Upton Hawkes Hybrid double bass, and a Ken Smith 6-string bass guitar.

Jeff Fuller’s latest CD, “The Call From Within,” will be released this month on his own. “The Call From Within” is Fuller’s first CD of all-original jazz tunes.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, Jan. 9. MUSIC FROM “TWIN PEAKS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Sunday, Jan. 11. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “STRANGERS ON A TRAIN”

• Wednesday, Jan. 14. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Thursday, Jan. 15. SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Jan. 16: INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Sunday, Jan. 18. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “REAR WINDOW”

• Wednesday, Jan. 21. SONGWRITERS’ CIRCLE: MARK MIRANDO, DICK NEAL, REX FOWLER

• Thursday, Jan. 22. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Sunday, Jan. 25. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NORTH BY NORTHWEST”

• Friday., Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Friday, Feb. 6. AVANT-GARDE: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Thursday. Mar. 5. SING-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Mar. 6. JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA WiRED

• Friday, April 3. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

Music: Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps to play “The Music of Twin Peaks” Fri., Jan. 9—shows at 7 and 8:30 PM; advance tix available at Best Video

Eclectic world music/folk band Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps will play the music of Twin Peaks on Friday, Jan. 9, at the Best Video Performance Space. Due to high demand, the group is performing two shows that evening to accommodate everyone who may wish to attend—an early (7 PM) and a late (8:30 PM) show.

Dr_Caterwaul_BV_060514_Web

Tickets are $5 and are available at Best Video or by phone with a credit or debit card. (Best Video’s phone number is 203-287-9286.) All tickets are general admission. There is no reserved seating so arrive early to claim your spot!

Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps is declaring war on winter with a very special presentation of the music of Twin Peaks. Composed by Angelo Badalamenti, the music featured in the series and film combines elements of film-noir style cool jazz, dream pop, and shimmering ambient in a tapestry that is a significant part of the show’s style.

For this appearance, Dr. Caterwaul’s is:
Nathan Bontrager – Cello
Chris Cretella – Guitar
Adam Matlock – Accordion, Clarinet, Voice
Michael Paolucci – Percussion
Brian Slattery – Trombone, Banjo, Fiddle, Voice
Mike Tepper – Bass

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, Jan. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES, HAPPY ENDING DUO (BEST VIDEO’S OWN HANK HOFFMAN & RICHARD BROWN)

• Sunday, Jan. 4. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NOTORIOUS”

• Wednesday, Jan. 7. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: CRISTINA HARRIS, PATRICK DALTON

• Thursday, Jan. 8. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Friday, Jan. 9. MUSIC FROM “TWIN PEAKS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Sunday, Jan. 11. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “STRANGERS ON A TRAIN”

• Wednesday, Jan. 14. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Thursday, Jan. 15. SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Jan. 16: INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Sunday, Jan. 18. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “REAR WINDOW”

• Wednesday, Jan. 21. SONGWRITERS’ CIRCLE: MARK MIRANDO, DICK NEAL, REX FOWLER

• Thursday, Jan. 22. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Sunday, Jan. 25. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NORTH BY NORTHWEST”

• Friday., Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Friday, Feb. 6. AVANT-GARDE: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Mar. 6. JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA WiRED

• Friday, April 3. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

Music: Bluegrass from Ragweed Thurs., Jan. 8, at 8 PM

Ragweed_BV_091814_WebRagweed plays Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Jan. 8. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

One Yale grad student, and four contractors with high school diplomas sounds like an unpredictable mix. Experienced pickers all, their shared love of bluegrass and wide ranging musical tastes make for an entertaining live show.

Ragweed is a bluegrass band loosely based in New Haven county. Band members are Amanda Gregg (mandolin), Bob Boettger (bass), Chris Wuerth (guitar), Jon Wuerth (guitar) and Paul Neri (banjo). All six members sing, but usually not all at the same time. They began in 2007 as a barn band. Not happy being stuck in barns, they began performing live at venues around the state, and quickly realized they loved performing. Among their many influences are Tim O’Brien, John Hartford, Tony Rice, and Bill Monroe. Traditional bluegrass, old country, fiddle tunes, and attempts at humor, are all part of their repertoire.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, Jan. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES, HAPPY ENDING DUO (BEST VIDEO’S OWN HANK HOFFMAN & RICHARD BROWN)

• Sunday, Jan. 4. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NOTORIOUS”

• Wednesday, Jan. 7. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: CRISTINA HARRIS, PATRICK DALTON

• Thursday, Jan. 8. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Friday, Jan. 9. MUSIC FROM “TWIN PEAKS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Sunday, Jan. 11. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “STRANGERS ON A TRAIN”

• Wednesday, Jan. 14. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Thursday, Jan. 15. SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Jan. 16: INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Sunday, Jan. 18. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “REAR WINDOW”

• Wednesday, Jan. 21. SONGWRITERS’ CIRCLE: MARK MIRANDO, DICK NEAL, REX FOWLER

• Thursday, Jan. 22. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Sunday, Jan. 25. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NORTH BY NORTHWEST”

• Friday., Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Friday, Feb. 6. AVANT-GARDE: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Mar. 6. JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA WiRED

• Friday, April 3. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

Music: Singer-songwriters Cristina Harris, Patrick Dalton on Wed., Jan. 7, at 8 PM

Singer-songwriters Cristina Harris and Patrick Dalton perform solo sets on Wednesday, Jan. 7. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Cristina_Harris_Web

Cristina Harris

Cristina Harris is a singer, musician and songwriter who mixes her haunting vocals with intelligent song writing. Her music will resonate with listeners who are fans of artists like Cat Power, Tori Amos, and Kate Bush.

This spring (April 2014) Cristina released her first album ‘Safer in the Dark’. With the release of the album and her first music video, ‘Chemical Feeling’, Cristina is building her fanbase and realizing her dream of making intelligent and original pop music for people to enjoy. Cristina is truly an artist just on the verge of breaking out into the mainstream.

A founding member of The Proud Flesh, Patrick culls from the murky corners of American popular song to amalgamate a sound all his own. Dalton’s own music, while strikingly original and nuanced, has a familiarity to it—there’s Delta blues in his studied finger picking, folk and hip hop in his storied lyrics and powerful, breathy voice, big band in his trumpet playing, and classic American songwriting in his melodies. His songs come to terms with everything from death to macro-politics to economics, and while his subject matter may be heavy at times, Dalton’s songs leave you pensive rather than downtrodden, interested rather than pessimistic.

Patrick Dalton

Patrick Dalton

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, Jan. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES, HAPPY ENDING DUO (BEST VIDEO’S OWN HANK HOFFMAN & RICHARD BROWN)

• Sunday, Jan. 4. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NOTORIOUS”

• Wednesday, Jan. 7. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: CRISTINA HARRIS, PATRICK DALTON

• Thursday, Jan. 8. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Friday, Jan. 9. MUSIC FROM “TWIN PEAKS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Sunday, Jan. 11. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “STRANGERS ON A TRAIN”

• Wednesday, Jan. 14. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Thursday, Jan. 15. SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Jan. 16: INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Sunday, Jan. 18. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “REAR WINDOW”

• Wednesday, Jan. 21. SONGWRITERS’ CIRCLE: MARK MIRANDO, DICK NEAL, REX FOWLER

• Thursday, Jan. 22. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Sunday, Jan. 25. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NORTH BY NORTHWEST”

• Friday., Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Friday, Feb. 6. AVANT-GARDE: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Mar. 6. JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA WiRED

• Friday, April 3. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

How to Read a Film: Four lectures by Mark Schenker on classic films by Alfred Hitchcock

Mark Schenker discussing the historical context for the "Downton Abbey" series at a lecture in the Best Video Performance Space in August, 2014.

Mark Schenker discussing the historical context for the “Downton Abbey” series at a lecture in the Best Video Performance Space in August, 2014.

Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs in Yale College and frequent lecturer on film and literature topics at venues throughout Connecticut, presents four lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock on successive Sunday afternoons in January. The series starts on Sunday, Jan. 4, and concludes on Sunday, Jan. 25. Each lecture begins at 2 PM. The cost is $7 per lecture or $25 for the entire series.

Dean Schenker’s talks are both informative and fun, as attendees of his August lecture at Best Video on the historical context of the “Downton Abbey” TV series can attest.

Dean Schenker will discuss the four movies in chronological order of their release:

Sun., Jan. 4: “Notorious” (1946), with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in what is perhaps the director’s most fully realized love story.

Sun., Jan. 11: “Strangers on a Train” (1951), with Robert Walker as one of Hitchcock’s most impressive villains.

Sun., Jan. 18: “Rear Window” (1954), with James Stewart and Grace Kelly in a voyeuristic thriller.

Sun., Jan. 25: “North by Northwest” (1959), with Cary Grant as another of Hitchcock’s innocent men on the run in a movie that is a sophisticated blend of thriller, romance, and comedy.

The lectures will address aspects of the individual works, characteristics of Hitchcock’s art, and ways that participants can be better “readers” of film—more adept at what to look for and see in considering movies as work of art at no cost to their ability to entertain and enthrall us. Clips from each of the films will accompany the lectures.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, Jan. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES, HAPPY ENDING DUO (BEST VIDEO’S OWN HANK HOFFMAN & RICHARD BROWN)

• Sunday, Jan. 4. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NOTORIOUS”

• Wednesday, Jan. 7. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: CRISTINA HARRIS, PATRICK DALTON

• Thursday, Jan. 8. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Friday, Jan. 9. MUSIC FROM “TWIN PEAKS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Sunday, Jan. 11. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “STRANGERS ON A TRAIN”

• Wednesday, Jan. 14. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Thursday, Jan. 15. SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Jan. 16: INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Sunday, Jan. 18. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “REAR WINDOW”

• Wednesday, Jan. 21. SONGWRITERS’ CIRCLE: MARK MIRANDO, DICK NEAL, REX FOWLER

• Thursday, Jan. 22. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Sunday, Jan. 25. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NORTH BY NORTHWEST”

• Friday., Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Friday, Feb. 6. AVANT-GARDE: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Mar. 6. JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA WiRED

• Friday, April 3. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

Music: The Sawtelles, Happy Ending Duo (Best Video’s Richard Brown and Hank Hoffman) on Fri., Jan. 2, at 8 PM

Best Video Performance Space kicks off its 2015 programming on Friday, Jan. 2, with a show featuring husband and wife duo The Sawtelles and the Happy Ending Duo, comprised of Best Video’s own Richard Brown and Hank Hoffman. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

The music of husband and wife duo the Sawtelles is a balance of four elements: alternate-tuned guitar, stand-up drum kit (ala Velvet Underground’s Mo Tucker) and two voices. Sparse but intricately arranged pop that is as lush as it is threadbare makes what is played as important as what isn’t. Peter plays guitar and Julie plays drums; they both sing. Their sparse but intricately arranged pop is as lush as it is captivatingly unique.

The Sawtelles

The Sawtelles

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. They have released 6 CDs.

Happy Ending usually plays electric rock ‘n’ roll, mixing original compositions influenced by garage rock, folk rock and psychedelia—oftentimes with a political slant—with cover songs from the 1960’s and 1970’s. But for this show, band members Hank Hoffman and Richard Brown will play in a more stripped down, semi-acoustic mode.

Happy Ending Duo: Richard Brown, left, and Hank Hoffman, right

Happy Ending Duo: Richard Brown, left, and Hank Hoffman, right

Happy Ending has released three albums. The most recent, “Electricity for the Youth of Today,” was recorded live at Best Video Performance Space in December of 2013. The vinyl LP and 45 “Have A Nice Day” came out in 1984 and the compact disc “Smile for the Camera” in 1996. John Foster, editor of Op Magazine, described “Have A Nice Day” as a “future cult item for the collectors.” Hank Hoffman sings and plays guitar; Richard Brown plays guitar and alto saxophone. Tom Smith is on drums and Randy Stone plays bass. Happy Ending also has a Facebook page.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Dec. 18. POST-PUNK: ZOO FRONT, KEVIN MF KING

• Friday, Dec. 19. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Friday, Jan. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES, HANK HOFFMAN & RICHARD BROWN

• Sunday, Jan. 4. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NOTORIOUS”

• Wednesday, Jan. 7. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: CRISTINA HARRIS, PATRICK DALTON

• Friday, Jan. 9. MUSIC FROM “TWIN PEAKS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Sunday, Jan. 11. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “STRANGERS ON A TRAIN”

• Wednesday, Jan. 14. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Thursday, Jan. 15. SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Jan. 16. INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Sunday, Jan. 18. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “REAR WINDOW”

• Sunday, Jan. 25. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NORTH BY NORTHWEST”

• Friday, Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Friday, Feb. 6. EXPERIMENTAL: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Mar. 6. ELECTRIC JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA’S WiRED