Film Screening: Stephen Dest’s “My Brother Jack” on Thurs., Mar. 28, at 7 PM—reserve your seat now!

MBJ-onesheet_WebMake your reservations now to see local actor, director and filmmaker Stephen Dest’s first feature-length narrative film, the New Haven-based mystery “My Brother Jack.” “My Brother Jack” will be screened on the Best Video Performance Space’s 120″ projection screen on Thursday, Mar. 28. Admission is $10 and reservations are absolutely essential: Two showings of “My Brother Jack” at the Criterion Cinemas earlier this year sold out very quickly!

From Stephen Dest’s Facebook page:

From time to time, I am asked where I studied film. My response is always the same: Best Video. As a young man living in New Haven, Best Video was my introduction and long love affair with World Cinema. Simply put, the films that stocked those shelves showed me a world I had only imagined, but till then had never seen. So when [owner] Hank [Paper] approached me and asked if I would screen MY BROTHER JACK, I most humbly agreed. BV is a true independent business, and one of only a handful, of its kind, remaining in operation today.

From Dest’s Web site, a plot synopsis of “My Brother Jack”:

As young boys, found object sculptor Jack and his brother Vincent witnessed the brutal murder of their parents. Twenty years later, the man convicted of the crime is released from prison and is found stabbed to death shortly after his release.

Who Killed the Killer?

All signs point to Vincent who battles the demons of mental illness and sleep paralysis – a condition that blurs the line between the real and unreal. To protect his brother, Jack is forced to confront his own demons and uncover the painful truth of what really happened on the night of his parents murder.

From David Sepulveda’s New Haven Independent article on the Criterion screenings:

The film, a psychological thriller and murder-mystery, has some disturbing and graphic moments, but it is also filled with poignant vignettes of love; brotherly love, romantic love, and a dark, aberrant love that emerges as the plot unfolds. MBJ’s musical soundtrack, primarily by local composer-musician Jonny Rodgers, weaves magically through the scenes, adding an important sensory component to the mood and texture.

Viewers of the film were treated to many familiar scenes of the city; the New Haven Green, Audubon Street environs, Pitkin Plaza, the interiors of local bars, Diesel, Stella Luna, and Westville’s Kehler Liddell Gallery.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Apr. 3. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 4. CLASSICAL/BRAZILIAN: HAVEN STRING QUARTET with SAMBELEZA

• Wednesday, Apr. 10. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Thursday, Apr. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Apr. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

• Monday, Apr. 22. FILM SCREENING FOR “WHAT WOULD YOU DO?” SERIES: “WALK ON WATER”

• Thursday, Apr. 25. JAZZ: THE NICK Di MARIA QUARTET

• Sunday, May 5. FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION: “ALL ME: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF WINFRED REMBERT”

• Wednesday, May 8. INDIE ROCK: POOLS ARE NICE, BUCK McGRANE

Music: Ghost of Chance to play underground psychedelic rock Thurs., Mar. 21, at 8 PM

Ghost_of_Chance_WebGhost of Chance play the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Mar. 21. The cover charge is $5 and the music starts at 8 PM.

Rock music isn’t the cutting edge pop music it used to be; arguably, that label would apply to hip hop and electronic dance musics. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a vibrant rock underground. Indeed there is. Across the country there are hundreds of bands taking advantage of low-cost recording technology (both analog and digital) to crank out new records (and, yes, I do mean “records”) informed by rock’s past but performed with contemporary urgency. Ghost of Chance have released a couple of albums on CD-R (now available for purchase as downloads on Bandcamp) and, more recently, the 7″ EP “Paddle Boat.”

Ghost of Chance are an post-garage rock quartet based in New Haven, Connecticut. The group’s distinctive style is characterized by subtle time signature changes and sonically open experimentation set to surrealist lyrics. Ghost of Chance’s sound takes its influence from 1960s psychedelica and garage rock while maintaining the shimmer of classic pop sensibilities. All of this adds to the unique yet familiar sound that Ghost of Chance have cleverly cultivated. Engaging the audience with a anxious energy and the desire to communicate, Ghost of Chance share a sense of imperativeness with great pop predecessors like the 13th Floor Elevators and John Cale—sincerity combined with pop knowledge.

The songs on the “Paddle Boat” EP evoke such frenzied guitar-strumming combos as the Velvet Underground, Luna, The Feelies, Galaxie 500. Pop hooks—particularly in the song “Wooden Tambourine”—swim in a 21st-century haze of guitar overtones and cavernous reverb.

The group is J. Adirondack on guitar and vocals, Mike Mindpilot on drums, Dan on guitar and Jake Ryder on bass.

Some press commentary on recent Ghost of Chance releases:

From the Hartford Courant on the group’s “I Feel Fine” single:

It’s a fast, jangling tune, with a bright guitar part reverberating in what feels like a cavernous, dark space that washes over Jayson Munro’s vocals, which take on an insistent, almost urgent cast as he repeats the refrain. The song has a classic feel that calls to mind alt-rock in the late ’80s and early ’90s: edgy, a little twitchy and definitely compelling.

Ghost of Chance’s “Paddle Boat” 7″ EP made the blog Styrofoam Drone’s list of “Top 30 7″ Records of 2012”:

Ghost of Chance came bearing a peculiar 7″ that blended elements from both garage rock and frothy dream pop, a combination we don’t hear very often. They also mess around with rhythm and tempo mix-ups, making for sudden changes in tracks that occur within moments, requiring close, careful listening.

Check out a couple of Ghost of Chance videos on YouTube. “Go Away”:

Ghost of Chance’s “New Carthage” set to a public domain silent movie:

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Sunday, Mar. 24. READINGS: JOEANN HART & MATT DEBENHAM

• Wednesday, Mar. 27. PUNK ROCK: STARK RAVING LULU

• Thursday, Mar. 28. FILM SCREENING: STEPHEN DEST’S “MY BROTHER JACK”

• Wednesday, Apr. 3. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 4. CLASSICAL/BRAZILIAN: HAVEN STRING QUARTET with SAMBELEZA

• Wednesday, Apr. 10. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Thursday, Apr. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Apr. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

• Monday, Apr. 22. FILM SCREENING FOR “WHAT WOULD YOU DO?” SERIES: “WALK ON WATER”

• Thursday, Apr. 25. JAZZ: THE NICK Di MARIA QUARTET

• Wednesday, May 8. INDIE ROCK: POOLS ARE NICE

Music: Sidewalk Dave to perform Thurs., Mar. 7, at 8 PM

Sidewalk_Dave_72dpiSidewalk Dave bring their psychedelic-inflected indie rock to the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Mar. 7. The cover charge for this show is $5 and the music starts at 8 PM.

Sidewalk Dave is led by singer/guitarist/songwriter Dave Van Witt. Van Witt resists describing his music, preferring to that the listener “lis­ten and decide for your­self. There has never been an over­ar­ch­ing influ­ence or ‘you sound like’ that has been con­sis­tent or mean­ing­ful to me, so I will not mis­lead you with my own opin­ions of myself.”

He is willing to divulge some biographical info, including the origin of the name “Sidewalk Dave”:

In sev­enth grade I was kicked out of band class for impro­vis­ing dur­ing con­certs we would put on for all the par­ents. After a few failed punk bands (one aptly named For­mula For Fail­ure) I began writ­ing my own songs on a cheap gui­tar. Learn a chord, write a song, learn a sec­ond chord, write two songs, and on and on. I used to burn the nerves out of my play­ing fin­gers to strengthen my cal­louses and allow me to prac­tice longer each day. Right after my six­teenth birth­day my mother moved to Kansas City to get re-married. After liv­ing in seven dif­fer­ent towns between Bel­gium, Switzer­land, Iowa, North Car­olina, and Con­necti­cut, I decided to stay put and ride out high school on the grace of friends and their fam­i­lies. Often, I would get some beer and play on the side­walks to keep from both­er­ing my hosts. One fate­ful evening a friend yelled from a passenger-side win­dow, “Side­walk Dave!” The name some­how fol­lowed me to col­lege, and after my pre­ten­tious prog-rock band fell apart (due to my arrest for pos­ses­sion of LSD), I needed a name to release the music I con­tin­ued to work on by my lone­some. Four albums later, I’m still learn­ing what it is to become a man through the per­sona and stage name, Side­walk Dave.

Writing at CT.com, Chip McCabe listed Sidewalk Dave’s 2012 album “Hard On Romance” among his albums of the year. According to McCabe:

This album just seethes a nasty vibe and sound that you would expect to hear emanating from the best dive bars in the bowels of the most artistic cities.  I hate calling a band’s efforts “mature” because that implies their previous work is, what, “immature”?  But this really is a band that continues to grow and expand their sound so that every new album is their best.  The Blues play a big influence here but it’s just one coat of paint over a canvas of sounds that draw from such varied artists as The Stooges, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, Sonic Youth, Weezer and even moments of Pink Floyd just to name a few.  However you want to classify it though (I’ve seen “rock”, “folk rock”, “alt rock”, etc.) doesn’t really matter because whatever label you try to put on this band they will always transcend it.  This album is no exception.

Check out Sidewalk Dave’s video for their song “Sinister Things”:

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Saturday, Mar. 9. ACOUSTIC CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC: HADE & WILLIAMS

• Wednesday, Mar. 13. ACOUSTIC BLUES & ROCK: NOAH KESSELMAN

• Thursday, Mar. 14. WINE TASTING with KARL RONNE from THE WINE THIEF

• Wednesday, Mar. 20. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN

• Thursday, Mar. 21. INDIE GARAGE ROCK: GHOST OF CHANCE

• Sunday, Mar. 24. READINGS: JOEANN HART & MATT DEBENHAM

• Wednesday, Mar. 27. PUNK ROCK: STARK RAVING LULU

• Thursday, Mar. 28. FILM SCREENING: STEPHEN DEST’S “MY BROTHER JACK”

• Wednesday, Apr. 3. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 4. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Wednesday, Apr. 10. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Thursday, Apr. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Apr. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

• Monday, Apr. 22. FILM SCREENING FOR “WHAT WOULD YOU DO?” SERIES: “WALK ON WATER”

Music: Sambeleza with Jeff Fuller and Isabella Mendes Wed., Mar. 6, at 8 PM

Sambeleza will play the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Mar. 6. the cover charge is $5 and the music begins at 8 PM.

Sambeleza—featuring Isabella Mendes, Jeff Fuller, Joe Carter and Asher Delerme—performs a wide variety of Brazilian songs, both old and new, with a jazz twist. Featured composers include Tom Jobim and Ary Barroso, as well as younger composers like Djavan, Debora Gurgel and Arlindo Cruz. A few originals by group members are added to the mix.

Brasil (spelled with an “s” in Portuguese) is well known for its rich heritage—a blend of indigenous, African and European cultures—from which the music has risen with fascinating rhythms, soaring melodies and colorful harmonies. The musicians of Sambeleza are outstanding U. S. and Brazilian interpreters of the great songs of the bossa nova and samba traditions, as well as outstanding jazz artists in their own right. Sambeleza derives its name from two words: samba, the national dance of Brasil, and beleza, Portuguese for “beauty.”

A YouTube video of Sambeleza performing the cover song “Outra Vez”:

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Thursday, Mar. 7. INDIE ROCK: SIDEWALK DAVE

• Saturday, Mar. 9. ACOUSTIC CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC: HADE & WILLIAMS

• Wednesday, Mar. 13. ACOUSTIC BLUES & ROCK: NOAH KESSELMAN

• Thursday, Mar. 14. WINE TASTING with KARL RONNE from THE WINE THIEF

• Wednesday, Mar. 20. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN

• Thursday, Mar. 21. INDIE GARAGE ROCK: GHOST OF CHANCE

• Sunday, Mar. 24. READINGS: JOEANN HART & MATT DEBENHAM

• Wednesday, Mar. 27. PUNK ROCK: STARK RAVING LULU

• Thursday, Mar. 28. FILM SCREENING: STEPHEN DEST’S “MY BROTHER JACK”

• Wednesday, Apr. 3. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 4. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Wednesday, Apr. 10. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Thursday, Apr. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Apr. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

• Monday, Apr. 22. FILM SCREENING FOR “WHAT WOULD YOU DO?” SERIES: “WALK ON WATER”