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.

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)