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.

Dave Mazza & Friends jazz show this Fri., Sept. 3, at 5:30 PM

The sounds of jazz will enliven an early September evening on the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck as Dave Mazza & Friends take a tour through jazz standards. The show is this Fri., Sept. 3, starting at 5:30 PM.

(This show was scheduled to take the place of the previously scheduled Mega-Illegal Leg Farm show, which was canceled due to unforeseen circumstances.)

The group features accomplished local jazz musicians Dave Mazza on guitar, Mark Kaplan on saxophone, and Esdras Lubin on bass. (Mazza and Kaplan are both members of The Dave Mazza Group, formerly known as Badslax.)

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.

Jug band music from Washboard Slim & the Bluelights Sat., Sept. 11

Washboard Slim & The Bluelights play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Sat., Sept. 11, starting at 5 PM.

After 40 years of playing together, Washboard Slim and the Bluelights has evolved into one of the country’s most versatile and original of jug bands incorporating pure Americana instruments like tub bass, washboard, jug, banjo, harmonica, and fiddle.

Adding drums and powerful vocal harmonies, this band rocks sold-out concerts, dance halls and family shows. Playing their own compositions as well as original arrangements of traditional gospel, blues, country and early rock n’ roll, their music is by turns playful, haunted and uplifting.

The band for this show is Peter Menta (aka Washboard Slim), Howie Horn, John Pendergast, Brooks Barnett, and Mat Kastner.

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.

Dreamfield plays pop and jazz Sat., Aug. 14

Dreamfield plays the Best Video Film & Cultural deck Sat., Aug. 14, starting at 5:30 PM.

Dreamfield is a band consisting of Berklee College of Music and New School students—Ryan Peter Murphy on keyboard and vocals, Will Brennan on guitar, Max Pannella on bass, and Logan Sidle on drums! They play all genres and eras of music including Pop, American Standards, Broadway, Jazz and Original songs. They perform favorites ranging from the 50’s Era all the way up to 2020 Top 40 Pop. Their original music ranges from top 40 pop to Beach Boys, and 50’s inspiration.

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.

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 donation vase set out for Best Video.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

UPDATE 2—Rescheduled to 8/11: Rich Moran sings from the Great American Songbook

UPDATE 2: Well, here we go again! Due to the prediction of thunderstorms, we are rescheduling this show with Rich Moran singing tunes from the Great American Songbook to Wed., Aug. 11, at 5:30 PM. And it is likely that if there are weather concerns on that date, we will move the show inside—with appropriate cautions—rather than reschedule.

UPDATE! Due to the potential—if you can trust meteorologists, which you can’t—for possibly inclement weather at or near showtime today (June 19), Rich Moran’s performance of tunes from the Great American Songbook has been rescheduled to Wed., July 7, at 5:30 PM.

Rich Moran returns to Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Sat., June 19, with his longtime backing band of Judy Webber, Jeff Webber and Mike Bimonte to play popular and jazz music from the 1920s through the 1980s.

If you turn your radio dial on a Saturday evening at 6 and come across a Standard being performed by a classic artist such as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, there’s a very good chance that you are listening to the One Great Song program hosted by Rich Moran on WMNR. He also writes and produces many of the episodes for the popular series which focus on a particular song, singer, or songwriter from the Great American songbook era.

As a singer, Rich, has brought his neo-traditional take on that same Standards repertoire to venues throughout New Haven County. Just as he does on One Great Song, his performances feature entertaining anecdotes about the history behind the music being played. As a member and neighbor of Best Video, he has brought a variety of themed programs to our space including celebrations of different eras of movie music and the career of Frank Sinatra.

The performers are donating their tip jar proceeds to the Aid For Orphans Relief Foundation, a Connecticut-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to provide orphans and other at risk children around the globe and in Connecticut with proper healthcare, nutrition and wellness treatments that would otherwise be unavailable.

The Best Video cafe will be open from 4-8 PM, serving coffee drinks, beer, and wine.
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.

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 donation vase set out for Best Video.
Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

For a full list of upcoming events, click here.

Olive Tiger, Tall Trees play indie folk at Best Video Sat., July 17

Olive Tiger and Tall Trees play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Sat., July 17, starting at 5 PM.

Olive Tiger is an evolution of sound and texture: a nontraditional rock trio that lushly combines electronics with organic elements of chamber-pop, defying the boundaries of genre in favor of obsessive exploration. Grounded in stunning songwriting, Olive Tiger arcs continuously toward more meticulous, more rich and more seductive arrangements, creating hypnotic soundscapes in which captivating risks and unpredictable melodies are the norm.

Based in New Haven, Connecticut, Olive Tiger features an unusual collection of instrumentation featuring Olive (cello, guitar, vocals), Jesse Newman (violin, synths, electronics), and John McGrath (drums, percussion). In 2016, the group asserted its powers and range with their debut full-length record, Until My Body Breaks. Their sophomore collection Softest Eyes, divided into three EPs, begins with Softest Eyes: Side A, due out July 30.

Tall Trees began as a project to score a short film set in a dive bar amidst the dark woods of Connecticut. Drawing from that strange and mystical energy, Tall Trees began writing their own songs, attempting to merge their love of cinematic themes and early French pop with their post punk inclinations.

Tall Trees first 5 song EP “Mayday” was released on their bandcamp page and all streaming services on May 5th 2021 and are currently working on and recording a full length album.

Tall Trees are Joe Russo (Guitar, Vocals), Marthe Ryerson (Keys, Violin, Vocals), and Wes Cross (Drums, Percussion).

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.

For a full list of upcoming events, click here.

POSTPONED: Brooke Dougan, Justin Esmer play Best Video

UPDATE 6/30/21: Due to the likely threat of rain and possible thunderstorms, the Brooke Dougan/Justin Esmer show on the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck today, June 30, is being postponed. A new date will be announced soon.

Brooke Dougan and Justin Esmer play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Fri., June 4. The show starts at 5 PM.

Brooke Dougan is a singer songwriter who has been performing all over Connecticut since she was 14. She has a laid back sound with a smooth voice. Brooke sings with an understated vocal style and writes sweet, simply arranged songs that are accented by interesting chord changes. The result are songs that feel familiar but have unexpected twists.

Justin Esmer is a rising 17 year old Filipino indie pop artist from Hamden, Connecticut. When creating music, Justin is inspired by dreaminess, nature, and nostalgia. He’s the lead vocalist in his high school band “Bad Habits” and is a solo artist for his independent project “Esmer.”

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.

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.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Click here for a complete list of upcoming events.

UPDATE: Rescheduled to Sun., June 27, 3 PM— BEPW on the deck at Best Video, with Brian Larney

UPDATE: due to the near-certain threat of rain on the originally scheduled June 3 date, the BEPW show has been rescheduled to Sun., June 27, at 3 PM. Dan Carrano will not be part of the rescheduled show; Brian Larney has been added to the bill.

BEPW (Brian Ebin Parker Wolfe) has been playing original music on guitar, mandolin and tiple since the late 60’s. He earliest gigs at The Exit Coffeehouse shaped his ambition to do little more than hang out on the New Haven Green for most of his young adult life. Little has changed since then.He will be joined by his wife Rose on vocals and their compatriot Bobo Lavorgna on bass—the nucleus of the Ebin-Rose Trio.

Over the years he has played in many diverse bands including, The Wyrd Brothers, Pottery, The Name, Ebin-Rose Trio and Amalgamated Muck. This year of forced isolation inspired him to put together a solo set for the first time since he started playing guitar in 1963.

Singer-songwriter Brian Larney will share the bill on June 27. Haunted by hooks and good old fashioned song-craft, Brian Larney is an eclectic, non-stop music-making machine. The Connecticut native and New England Music Awards nominee splits his time performing as a solo acoustic act, as the front-man of his band Brian Larney and The Town Hall, and—until the recent tragic passing of his colleague Rob Nelson—as part of the harmony pop group Pigeon English. He’s an alternative folk-rock singer-songwriter with an honest and thoughtful style that has been described as “quirky, earnest, and vulnerable.” Larney’s music is as influenced by pop songs of the mid-1960s as it is by the contemporary artists he’s often compared to, such as Jason Isbell and The Decemberists.

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.

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 donation vase set out for Best Video.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Click here for a complete list of upcoming events.

Songs + Stories 12 on the Best Video deck Sun., June 20, at 5 PM

SONGS + STORIES returns to the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck, Sunday, June 20, starting at 5 PM. There is a suggested $5 donation to the tip jar for the performers.

The event is hosted by Saul Fussiner and this edition’s theme is “Mothers and Daughters.” Participating storytellers are Laura Hurwitz, Sharen McKay, Elisabeth Anton.

Stefanie Clark Harris and Sarah Dunn will offer the songs and music for the event.

The Best Video cafe will be open and serving coffee, wine, and beer.

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 required 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 donation vase set out for Best Video.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

UPDATE—Rescheduled to 6/16: Jeff Burnham, Brother Other play Best Video deck

UPDATE: Due to the high likelihood of rain for the originally scheduled time frame for this show (5/28, 5-7 PM) by Jeff Burnham and Brother Other, it has been rescheduled to Wednesday, June 16, from 5-7 PM. See you then!

Jeff Burnham plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Fri., May 28. The show starts at 5 PM with Litchfield band Brother Other opening.

Singer-songwriter Jeff Burnham takes listeners on a journey across a gritty, haunted landscape, where sunlight flickers through the rain, framed in the tradition of Americana and folk-rock with heartland rock elements.

Music journalist and author Chip McCabe describes Jeff’s first record, Hard Luck Town as “down home and soulful… the perfect complement to an album collection that includes acts like Son Volt and Wilco.” A 2019 track by track review of the “Lost and Found” EP by columnist Myemuisemo described various songs as “Americana … with a touch of 1990s-era alt-rock optimism” and “Outlaw workingman’s blues.”

“The Insiders” is a moniker for recording projects and live band shows. During the pandemic, Jeff has been writing and recording in his home studio. His latest single releases include “State of Mind,” “What You Learned,” “Jaded,” and “Doing Hard Time.”

“You and I and Everything,” Brother Other’s debut album, dives deep uncovering naked truth and raw emotion. It was recorded and mixed at Dirt Floor Recording & Production in 2020. Overcoming odds like COVID 19 interrupting sessions, Brother Other stayed the course and through great tenacity, completed their first album.

Click here for a complete list of upcoming events.