Music: Pigeon English bring their classic harmony pop to Best Video Fri., Aug. 30; Brooke Dougan opens

Pigeon English plays Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Aug. 30. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range). Pigeon English is a collaboration between songwriters Brian Larney and Rob Nelson, exploring close harmony vocals and the mysterious paths of melody. Singer-songwriter Brooke Dougan opens the show.

What happens when two high school friends who love writing and performing music together grow up and drift apart? If they’re lucky, they reconnect years later at a nightclub and sing an Elvis song together at a birthday tribute to the King of Rock and Roll.

That’s how Pigeon English happened. Brian Larney and Rob Nelson rediscovered the magic sound of the close harmony vocals they had begun crafting as teenagers.

When Pigeon English released their 6-song debut EP “Coo” in January, Rick Allison of Cygnus Radio called it “one of the new treasures of 2019.” Brian Slattery of the New Haven Independent wrote that Pigeon English “melodies, chords, and lyrics consistently make clever turns that feel both unexpected, satisfying — and emotionally complicated…thanks to songwriting this fun and sharp, complicated, agonizing relationship troubles have rarely been so catchy.” Frank Critelli, singer, songwriter and co-host of WPLR’s Local Bands Show, called Pigeon English “one of the best bands to come out of New Haven in a very long time.”

In July, the band released its first full-length album, “Places, Everyone!” featuring 10 new songs. Around the same time, the readers of CT Now! chose Pigeon English as Runner Up for Best New Band. The close vocal harmonies of singer/songwriters Brian Larney and Rob Nelson have earned Pigeon English comparisons to the Everly Brothers and The Beatles. Their music has been described as “brand-new, yet instantly nostalgic.”

Brooke Dougan—a 16-year-old singer-songwriter who has played Infinity Hall in Norfolk, the Acoustic in Bridgeport, CJ Sparrows and the State House, as well as Best Video’s Second Wednesday Open Mic—will open for Pigeon English.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Youth XL, Rob Nelson perform Wed., Jan. 16

New band Youth XL plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Jan. 16. Solo artist Rob Nelson opens. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Youth XL is a kooky, garage-pop group from New Haven, CT. Their tunes are characterized by crunchy guitars, surprising harmonies, and charmingly irreverent lyrics about break-ups, acid reflux, and flirtatious gypsy women. Youth XL is Connecticut’s funnest band. The group features Alex McGuire (vox, guitar), Dom Gregoretti (lead guitar), Mike Saunders (bass), and Shaun Larson (drums).

Rob Nelson writes and performs original music in multiple genres. He began writing songs in 1979. Since 1981, he has performed as a singer and bassist in AQUA, The Mar-Tones, Out of the House, Up From Eden, The Wishing Years, The Hootchie Kootchie Cowboys and Elegant Primates.

With these groups and as a solo artist, Rob has played such Connecticut venues as The Levitt Pavilion, Café Nine, H.L.Wilfred’s, The Outer Space, The Kent Hollow Music Festival, Pumpernickel Pub, The Grotto, The Blackstone Library, Backstage, Best Video, Woofstock, Sean Patrick’s, The Trumbull Library, The Country Tavern, Two Boots, The Branford Festival and Whitney Cultural Commons. In New York, Rob has performed at the Electroharmonix Hall of Science, The Pyramid Club and Cake Shop, and in Paris, Rob twice performed at The Front Page on the Rue St. Denis. His music has been featured on WPLR’s Local Bands Show, as well as WESU and WSHU.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Monday, Jan. 7, 8 PM. TRIVIA 237—A MONTHLY BEST VIDEO MOVIE TRIVIA NIGHT

• Tuesday, Jan. 8, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE ELM CITY RAMBLERS

• Wednesday, Jan. 9, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Jan. 10, 7:30 PM. EXPERIMENTAL: KRISTINA WARREN, UNDERWEAR, ANNE RHODES

• Monday, Jan. 14. ONE MAN SHOW: SAL ANNUNZIATO—PART OF THE FAMILY: A MOB CHILDHOOD (SOLD OUT!)

• Tuesday, Jan. 15, 8 PM. REEL LIFE—A STAND-UP COMEDY SHOW HOSTED BY KENDRA DAWSEY

• Wednesday, Jan. 16. POP/ROCK: YOUTH XL, ROB NELSON

• Friday, Jan. 18. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE FURORS

• Sunday, Jan. 20, 2-4 PM. IRISH/CELTIC MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Jan. 21, 6-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Thursday, Jan. 24. ACOUSTIC FOLK/CONTRA DANCE TUNES: WRY BRED

• Friday, Jan. 25. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN

• Monday, Jan. 28, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING: NH DOCS—THE NEW HAVEN DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL & BVFCC PRESENT “TRAVEL LIGHT” with director LINDSAY THOMPSON

• Tuesday, Jan. 29, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Thursday, Jan. 31. JAZZ: PAUL SHANLEY

• Sunday, Feb. 3. GUITARTOWN SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Feb. 4. MONTHLY MOVIE-RELATED TRIVIA NIGHT: TRIVIA-237

• Thursday, Feb. 7. INDIE FOLK: PODUNK THROWBACKS; KLEZMER: KLEZMER FUSION COLLECTIVE

• Friday, Feb. 8. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Saturday, Feb. 9, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: MILE TWELVE (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Wednesday, Feb. 13. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Feb. 15. BRAZILIAN JAZZ: SAMBELEZA (REUNION!)

• Sunday, Feb. 17, 2-4 PM. IRISH/CELTIC MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Feb. 18, 6-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Tuesday, Feb. 19, 8 PM. REEL LIFE—A STAND-UP COMEDY SHOW HOSTED BY KENDRA DAWSEY

• Thursday, Feb. 21, 7:30 PM. SURF MUSIC: RENEGADE LOUNGE; POST ROCK/FUTURE SURF: PANGALACTIC

• Friday, Feb. 22. BLUEGRASS: FIVE IN THE CHAMBER

• Thursday, Feb. 28, 7:30 PM. SYNTH POP: FALCONEER

• Saturday, Mar. 2. INDIE POP ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Sunday, Mar. 3. GUITARTOWN SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Mar. 4. MONTHLY MOVIE-RELATED TRIVIA NIGHT: TRIVIA-237

• Tuesday, Mar. 5, 7 PM. LITERARY: A READING FOR AL-MUTANABBI STREET—DAISY C. ABREU & STEPHEN VINCENT KOBASA

• Wednesday, Mar. 6. IMPROVISED MUSIC: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Thursday, Mar. 7. ROCK/PUNK/ROOTS: THE CHRISTIAN MARRONE TRIO; INDIE: GHOSTWOODS

• Friday, Mar. 8. INDIE ROCK: PHEOBE

• Wednesday, Mar. 13. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Mar. 15. BLUES/ROCK: VANGE DURST

• Sunday, Mar. 17, 2-4 PM. IRISH/CELTIC MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Mar. 18, 6-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Tuesday, Mar. 19, 8 PM. REEL LIFE—A STAND-UP COMEDY SHOW HOSTED BY KENDRA DAWSEY

• Wednesday, Mar. 20. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Thursday, Mar. 21. SINGER-SONGWRITER: BRIAN DOLZANI TRIO

• Tuesday, Mar. 26, 7:30 PM. POETRY READING: CONNECTICUT POETRY SOCIETY

• Friday, Mar. 29. AMERICANA: RIVER RUN

• Tuesday, Apr. 2, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING: “JOURNEY OF THE UNIVERSE” (PRESENTED BY HAMDEN LAND TRUST)

• Thursday, Apr. 4. GUPSY JAZZ: DJANGO’S RESERVE

• Friday, Apr. 5. SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: ANNE MARIE MENTA, LYS GUILLORN, SHELLYE VALAUSKAS, KIERSTIN SIESER

• Thursday, Apr. 11. ACOUSTIC SOUL: CHRISSY GARDNER & ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Apr. 12, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY & JIM HURST (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Wednesday, April 17. ACOUSTIC FOLK ROCK: PAUL DECOSTER, EXPERIMENTAL ACOUSTIC: KAREN HOGG

• Friday, Apr. 26. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SABRINA TRUEHEART

• Tuesday, May 7, 7:30 PM. FILM SCREENING: “THE VILLAGE”

• Friday, May 24. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Thursday, May 30. IMPROVISED MUSIC: URS LEIMGRUBER, ADAM MATLOCK

• Tuesday, June 25, 7:30 PM. POETRY READING: CONNECTICUT POETRY SOCIETY

• Friday, Aug. 16, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: PHILLIPS, GRIER & FLINNER (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

Music: Alternative/Americana by The Wyrd Brothers; singer-songwriter Rob Nelson Wed., Jan. 3

The Wyrd Brothers and Rob Nelson perform sets at Best Video Performance Space this Wednesday, Jan. 3, starting at 8 PM. The cover is $5.

Brian & Peter Wyrd played in various bands together starting out in 1967 as a Byrds cover band in Jr High school. They spent their youth playing music in the family barn or down in the basement breathing in concrete dust. After 30 years Brian received an email from Peter with the first round of lyrics to “Racing to the Bottom.” Brian sent back a guitar part and the idea of a reunion was born.

The Wyrd Brothers

Rob Nelson started writing songs in 1979 and has been performing in Connecticut and New York in various bands since 1981. He currently plays bass in Elegant Primates. Among his songwriting influences are Paul Weller, Lloyd Cole, and Elvis Costello. His music falls squarely in the pop-psych-punk-prog genre, which has yet to be enshrined as a choice on iTunes.

Rob Nelson

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Friday, Dec. 29. INDIE ROCK: WALLY

• Wednesday, Jan. 3. ROCK: THE WYRD BROTHERS; SINGER-SONGWRITER: ROB NELSON

• Friday, Jan. 5. AFRO-FUNK/ELECTRONICS: ENERGY

• Wednesday, Jan. 10, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Jan. 11. ROCK: TINY OCEAN

• Friday, Jan. 12, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: BEPPE GAMBETTA (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Wednesday, Jan. 17. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: ALEXANDER; AVANT-GARDE: DONKEY NO NO, ZACH ROWDEN & WENDY EISENBERG

• Thursday, Jan. 18. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

• Friday, Jan. 19. BLUES ROCK: VANGE DURST

• Thursday, Jan. 25, 6:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: BONZO, BILGE RAT, PINFINGER, SHORT MONTH

• Friday, Jan. 26. BLUES ROCK: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Saturday, Jan. 27. AVANT-GARDE/PSYCH: RIVENER

• Tuesday, Jan. 30, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Thursday, Feb. 1. BLUES/FOLK: MATTHEW BENNETT

• Friday, Feb. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Tuesday, Feb. 6, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION: “LIFE ON PAROLE”

• Thursday, Feb. 8. BLUEGRASS: JOE K. WALSH & CELIA WOODSMITH, feat. BOBBY BRITT & ZOE GUIGUENO

• Wednesday, Feb. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Feb. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER/FUTURE SOUL: PAUL BRYANT HUDSON

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

Music: Elegant Primates play Best Video Thurs., June 8

Elegant Primates play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, June 8. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Elegant Primates make original music drawing on pop, ska, Afro-pop, soul, jazz and bossa nova influences.  The band began as a duo founded by guitarist Dave Provolo and bassist Rob Nelson in 2006, when they released their first CD “Swimming Since Birth,” an ambitious 26-song set. The band became a trio when they were joined by drummer Christian Ponce, a founding member of Ecuadorian punk pioneers El Retorno de Exxon Valdez. This trio made its live debut in 2012 at the legendary Cake Shop on Ludlow Street in Greenwich Village.

In 2014, the trio was joined by multi-instrumentalist Yotisse Williams, son of Bridgeport jazz icon Ralph Yohuru Williams.  Yotisse sings and plays marimba, piano, cuica, congas and guiro.  The group added the astonishing Argentinian-born trumpeter Gaston Kasin in 2016.  This year, Elegant Primates were joined by Haitian-Dominican singer and songwriter Kathianna Celestin, who adds her electric and charismatic vocals to the mix.

Elegant Primates have appeared at Terminal 110 and Stella Blues in New Haven, the 2013 Kent Hollow Music Festival, Branford’s Blackstone Auditorium, Two Boots in Bridgeport, the 2015 Sidewalk Art Festival in Bridgeport, the Country Tavern in Guilford and the 2016 Branford Festival.  For one night only in 2016, they shared the stage with Talking Heads percussionist Steve Scales, who brought his signature energy and funk to their original music.  They have also been featured on WPLR’s Local Bands show.

With exciting polyrhythms and lush harmonies, Elegant Primates make pop music for the 21st century.  Come ready to groove.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Thursday, June 1. INDIE ROCK: IF JESUS HAD MACHINE GUNS

• Friday, June 2. JAZZ VOCAL: LINDA SATIN WITH JOE CARTER & TIM MORAN

• Sunday, June 4, 3 PM. CAMERA! ACTION! FILMMAKING WORKSHOP FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: LIGHTS

• Wednesday, June 7. ALT-COUNTRY: LEFT ON SCARLET STREET, SINGER-SONGWRITER: RON SPEARS

• Thursday, June 8. WORLD MUSIC: ELEGANT PRIMATES

• Friday, June 9. ALT-COUNTRY: PAT STONE, BOX OF BIRDS, THE PROUD FLESH

• Saturday, June 10. JAZZ: ALLEN LOWE

• Sunday, June 11. 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, June 14. INIDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE

• Thursday, June 15. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DAVID BROOKS (OF THE STREAMS)

• Friday, June 16, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: MILE TWELVE (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Wednesday, June 21. PROGRESSIVE FOLK: FE FI FO, SINGER-SONGWRITER: KRIZTA MOON

• Thursday, June 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND; CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL MUSIC: THE CHRIS CHILDS TRIO

• Friday, June 23. CHAMBER ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Wednesday, June 28. ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC IMPROVISATION: NOAH & DAVID CHEVAN

• Thursday, June 29. POST-MODERN JAZZ/VOCALS: MÉLANGE À TROIS

• Friday, June 30. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARMS STRING BAND

• Friday, July 7. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE RIGHT OFFS

• Friday, July 14. ROCK: ROPE

• Friday, July 21. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH; SINGER-SONGWRITER: DANA MERRITT

• Wednesday, July 26. MUSIC FROM “THE SIMPSONS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRES OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Friday, July 28. WORLD MUSIC: NEELA

• Wednesday, Aug. 2. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Wednesday, Aug. 9. EXPERIMENTAL: HUMAN FLOURISHING

• Friday, Aug. 4, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, Aug. 11. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN & HER BAND

• Friday, Aug. 25. POP ROCK: OBERON ROSE

• Friday, Sept. 8. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Friday, Sept. 15, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Wednesday, Sept. 20. BLUEGRASS: BAIT AND SWITCH

• Friday, Sept. 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Saturday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOHN GORKA (ODDBALL PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, Oct. 20. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN