Music: Happy Ending—featuring current & former Best Video executive directors Hank Hoffman & Richard Brown—play Sat., Feb. 15, with A Case of Space light show

Rock band Happy Ending—which features current and former BVFCC executive directors Hank Hoffman and Richard Brown—plays Best Video Performance Space on Saturday, Feb. 15. The cover is a sliding scale of pay-what-you-can between $5 and $10 and the show starts at 8 PM.

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’s music is influenced by 1960s pop, garage rock and psychedelia as well as punk and free jazz.

Writing about a Happy Ending show at Lyric Hall in June, 2017, New Haven Independent arts editor Brian Slattery observed, “With kaleidoscopic projections of faces, hands, drawings, and landscapes swirling behind the band, Happy Ending was at its best during its guitar freakouts, when [guest keyboardist Scott] Amore, Stone, and Smith created tossing waves of rhythm and Hoffman and Brown traded off solos and rhythm work seamlessly, giving the music a chance to fly.”

As they were last year, the group will be accompanied by an old school psychedelic liquid light show from A Case of Space.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Sid & Sonia, Gregory Frost play Best Video Sat., Feb. 1, at 7:30 PM

Sid & Sonia and Gregory Frost play Best Video Performance Space Sat., Feb. 1. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Sid & Sonia blend Sonia’s sweetly powerful voice and unique styling and Sid’s musical versatility (on electric and acoustic guitar, harmonica, and piano). Their shows feature an eclectic selection of rock, folk, country, jazzy, gospel-tinged, and bluesy songs from then and now, arranged in often original and always distinctive ways. Boston-based, join them at one of their infrequent Connecticut performances.

Gregory Frost is a multi-talented musician and multi-media artist, prolific songwriter, longtime leader of the innovative bands Ghost Radio and Ice Brothers, and architect of two legendary Beatles shows at Sacred Heart University.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

 

Music: The Black Lodge Quartet plays Thurs., Jan. 30

Black Lodge Quartet plays Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Jan. 30. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $10.

Black Lodge Quartet is a bluesy, jazzy, loungey rock band from Connecticut. Singer Lilly’s vocals range from sultry jazz club chanteuse to powerful blues/rock diva. Refined retro guitar, upright bass and jazzy drums provide the instrumental backdrop for this fun, surprising and sophisticated combo.

The seeds for Black Lodge Quartet were sown when Dan Surkis, founder and guitarist of surf instrumental band The Clams, was looking for a new challenge. One night he sat down with British blues legend Tim Elliot at a holiday party. Well into the deep musical dialog Tim said, of his daughter, “You know Lilly’s a great singer.” “Really!?” Dan replied nearly manifesting an illuminated light bulb over his head. Now Dan had met Lilly before, but knew the quiet and secretive Brit only as an artist. He had no idea she was also a singer. A patient but persistent string of offers to “try a couple of songs” with the band finally paid off. And she agreed to a one-off show as a guest vocalist with the Clams. By the time she finished belting out the first phrase of Blues favorite “Stormy Monday,” Dan knew he had found the challenge he was seeking.

That “one-off show” became Black Lodge Quartet. The Clams years of gigging and recording experience along with a healthy obsession for sound quality, allowed the group to quickly arrive at a sound complementary to Lilly’s powerful voice. The Line-up is completed by John Krawczyk who brings the depth with his five string fretless upright electric bass. And Paul Krampitz, a jazz/big band drummer who joined in late 2017, whose style adds an authentic jazz element that pulls together their unique sound. A sound that is part 30’s night club and part 60s house party.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Stomping garage rock by The 509ers, The Sparkomatics Fri., Sept. 13, at 7:30 PM

The 509ers and The Sparkomatics share a garage rock bill at Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Sept. 13. 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 509ers are a garage rock outfit from New Haven, CT. They have been kicking around the local music scene in various configurations for nearly thirty years and formed as The 509ers in 2009. Former angry young men, now grizzled and older, The 509ers still have something to say about the state of the world and it is not complimentary… but it is honest, loud, and raw.

The 509ers played as Thing’s Fingers from 1987-91 in New Haven, CT . Post ’91, they continued in various configurations including FU69, the Cryptones, and the Danglers. The original members of Thing’s Fingers reformed with one addition in ’08 as the 509ers. In 2010 Fatty Benny, of The Crabs fame, took on occasional drumming duties until Chuck Love stepped in and took on full time duty on the skins.

The Sparkomatics are a heady brew of fuzz guitar, screaming organ, and a rock solid rhythm section. Taking a cue from the garage bands of the past, The Sparkomatics weave high energy original stompers with classic garage nuggets for a high energy show you won’t forget! The Sparkomatics are alive, plugged in, and ready to crawl out of the basement! Garage Rock n’ Roll from Bristol.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Semaphora, Them Airs play Thursday, Aug. 15, at 7:30 PM

Semaphora and Them Airs play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Aug. 15. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Semaphora is the musical project of composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Lydia Arachne, whose songs draw inspiration from the peculiar lyrical insights of Kate Bush and the harmonic textures of Steely Dan. At its foundation, Semaphora is rock music, but with patches of jazz, reggae, and folk sewn in, all guided forward by dense, poetic lyrics about unconventional subjects.

Arachne (drums) will be joined for this show by Gina Rizzo (vocals), Jess Plude (keyboard), Ace Carlson (guitar), Kelly L’Heureux (bass), and making her debut as a part of the Semaphora family, Sarah Golley, whom the Connecticut scene will recognize from Tyrone Shoelaces, as well as her own incredible keyboard-and-voice solo performances.

Them Airs—formerly known as Mirror Waves—are an amorphous squadron of musical hotboys that include a wayward levee wash boy, a hypocritical graphic designer and a modernist architecture curator. Using a variety of pre-millennium gear, they make a big filthy mess influenced equally by the Canadian post-punk underground and childhood fever dreams.

What is it? Noise rock, post-punk, janglegaze, hip earth, antifa, you name it. Band members are Cade Williams, Evan Nork, Adam Cohen, and Nate Johnston.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Power pop from Lucy’s Neighbor Thurs., July 18

Lucy’s Neighbor plays Best Video Performance Space Thursday, July 18. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Lucy’s Neighbor—named after the Mrs. Matilda Trumbull character in the “I Love Lucy” Sitcom—is an original indie rock/power pop band from New Haven. The members are Derek Di Fronzo (vocals); Dave Esposito (guitar); Tom Quagliano (drums) and Ed Flynn (bass). They will be playing songs from their two self-released CDs, the self-titled “Lucy’s Neighbor” (2011) and “Over Easy” (2018).

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

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.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: The Lost Weekend, Floating Lanterns share bill Fri., May 10

Rock groups The Lost Weekend and Floating Lanterns play Best Video Performance Space Friday, May 10. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can).

The Lost Weekend is an independent alternative rock band based out of central and southern CT. Formed in Summer 2013, The Lost Weekend just released their first full-length LP “Denial,” recorded over the last three years. Fourteen original songs produced by The Lost Weekend. Singles: “Nothing Concrete” and “Different Than You Are.”

Art rock group Floating Lanterns was born in a bleak world during uncertain times. Searching for answers through art. The compositions are influenced by the experimental and truth seeking nature of the ’60s, and ’70s, with the ideals of a once promised, hopeful future. Art and melancholy under darkening skies.

Players are Jeff Cedrone (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Chris Serapiglia (bass, vocals), John C. Miller (synthesizers, electronics) and Joe Mignosa (drums).

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Power pop rock from Shellye Valauskas Experience, Tempest O’Brien Sat., Mar. 2

The Shellye Valauskas Experience play Best Video Performance Space on Saturday, Mar. 2. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10. Tempest O’Brien, a trio, opens.

The Shellye Valauskas Experience is led by vocalist/guitarist Shellye Valauskas. By the time she formed the band, she was an established solo performer, winning the New Haven Advocate’s Grand Band Slam readers’ poll and rating a slot in New York’s CMJ Marathon. As her songwriting collaborator and bandmate, she enlisted ace guitarist Dean Falcone, who has earned a stellar reputation in the Connecticut music scene since starting out in the early 1980s with Jon Brion in The Excerpts.

Valauskas’ and Falcone’s shared love for the intelligent, heartwarming yet punchy pop of Crowded House, The Posies and Aimee Mann, as well as the burgeoning Americana movement, helped them nail a distinctive yet accessible radio-friendly sound from the start.

Their most recent release, 2018’s “History of Panic,” garnered a rave review at the online blog Pop Dose:

This is really good. I mean REALLY GOOD. This second album from The Shelleye Valauskas Experience, History Of Panic, which is anchored by singer-guitarist Ms. Valausakas and Mr. Dean Falcone on second guitar, took almost a decade to make and release, but it’s damned well worth the wait. Ten perfectly, meticulously crafted power pop (emphasis on “power”) tracks that shimmer and shine.

Tempest O’Brien, who debuted at Best Video in 2017, features veteran power pop musicians Dean Falcone, Brian Stevens, and Jim Balga. They will be offering up a set of new originals for your listening pleasure.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Happy Ending—with Best Video’s Hank Hoffman & Richard Brown—play rock Fri., Feb. 8

Rock band Happy Ending—which features BVFCC staffers Hank Hoffman and Richard Brown—plays Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Feb. 8. The cover is a sliding scale of pay-what-you-can between $5 and $10 and the show starts at 8 PM.

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’s music is influenced by 1960s pop, garage rock and psychedelia as well as punk and free jazz.

Writing about a Happy Ending show at Lyric Hall in June, 2017, New Haven Independent arts editor Brian Slattery observed, “With kaleidoscopic projections of faces, hands, drawings, and landscapes swirling behind the band, Happy Ending was at its best during its guitar freakouts, when [guest keyboardist Scott] Amore, Stone, and Smith created tossing waves of rhythm and Hoffman and Brown traded off solos and rhythm work seamlessly, giving the music a chance to fly.”

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

• Thursday, Jan. 31. JAZZ: PAUL SHANLEY

• Friday, Feb. 1. SPACE JAZZ: RETROUVAILLE & VIVIENNE AERTS; SOLO GUITAR w/FX/LOOPS: IAN C. BOURAS

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

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

• Thursday, Feb. 7. INDIE FOLK: PODUNK THROWBACKS

• Friday, Feb. 8. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

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

• Sunday, Feb. 10, 3 PM. FILM SCREENING: “A LITTLE CHAOS” presented by ERIC LARSON

• Wednesday, Feb. 13. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Feb. 14. ALT-FOLK CLOSE HARMONY: PIGEON ENGLISH; COUNTRY & WESTERN: NATHANIEL HINTZ

• 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

• Wed., Feb. 20. JUGBAND: THE HOWLING HOUND DOGS

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

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

• Sunday, Feb. 24, 12-3 PM. BEST VIDEO PRE-OSCARS CELEBRATION

• Sunday, Feb. 24, 4 PM. FILM SCREENING: “SAVING GRACE” presented by ERIC LARSON

• Wednesday, Feb. 27. AVANT-GARDE: WW (from NYC); CRETELLA/MATLOCK/PAOLUCCI

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

• Friday, Mar. 1. IMPROVISATION/PSYCHEDELIC: NO KLEMENTINES, HENRY BIRDSEY

• Saturday, Mar. 2. INDIE POP ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE, TEMPEST O’BRIEN

• 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: KEESH/PHEOBE, GLAMBAT, SOFT SCREAMS

• Sunday, Mar. 10, 3 PM. FILM SCREENING: “THIS BEAUTIFUL FANTASTIC” presented by ERIC LARSON

• Wednesday, Mar. 13. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

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

• Saturday, Mar. 16. AMERICANA/BLUE-EYED SOUL: FRANK VIELE

• 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, SETH ADAM

• Friday, Mar. 22. AFRICAN JAZZ: MANDINGO AMBASSADORS

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 27. SINGER-SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: BOB CSUGIE, FRANK CRITELLI, MARK MIRANDO, RICHARD NEAL

• Thursday, Mar. 28. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• 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. GYPSY JAZZ: DJANGO’S RESERVE

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

• Tuesday, Apr. 9, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE ELM CITY RAMBLERS

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

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

• Saturday, Apr. 13. FOLK/COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS: THE GRAY SKY GIRLS

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

• Thursday, Apr. 18. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Friday, Apr. 19. POP: FLEURS

• Wednesday, Apr. 24. INDIE ROCK: THE ACCIDENTAL VILLAIN

• Thursday, Apr. 25. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JIM PARADIS

• 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

• Friday, May 31. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH

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

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