Music: Zoo Front, Bill Arnold Thurs., Aug. 5, at 8 PM

The indie rock group Zoo Front and singer-songwriter Bill Arnold play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Aug. 5. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

The last year has been a busy one for Zoo Front. The new CD Red Stereo Dress is the beginning of a new era for the band, with Nancie Tief making her singing and songwriting debut. Adding to the fun, we adopted a new working philosophy we call ABM – “ambient background mischief”. The idea is to add a subliminal track to each song that somehow fills out the sound in a way that defies definition. We hope you like the results.

Zoo Front

Zoo Front

The personnel is Ed Ekendu (Guitar), Nancie Tief (Guitar),  Julie Riccio (Drums) and Ju Dee Luna.

Bill Arnold played guitar and wrote songs for The Wall Spiders for much of the 90’s. He is currently a singer and strings player for The Rude Mechanicals while he writes for theatre and film, including an upcoming film of his play, “Night of the Musical Dead.”

Bill Arnold

Bill Arnold

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, July 30. CABARET/CROONING/SPOKEN WORD: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Friday, July 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SAMUEL BASS, BELLA

• Thursday, Aug. 6. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT, BILL ARNOLD

• Friday, Aug. 7. INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Wednesday, Aug. 12. ELECTRONIC IMPROVISATION: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI & DEREK PIOTR

• Thursday, Aug. 13. INDIE FOLK: KINDRED QUEER

• Friday, Aug. 14. ROCK: THE FURORS, TOM HEARN

• Wednesday, Aug. 19. FOLK: WALKINGWOOD MANDOLIN QUARTET

• Thursday, Aug. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Friday, Aug. 21. BLUEGRASS: FIDDLE FOREVER

• Tuesday, Aug. 25. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Thursday, Aug. 27. AMERICANA: PATRICK DALTON & MIKE SKAGGS

• Friday, Aug. 28. FILM SCREENING: “HEAD” (CT-PRODUCED LIVE PUPPET HORROR FEATURE)

• Friday, Sept. 4. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Wednesday, Sept. 9. COMEDY OPEN MIC WITH JAKE NIETOPSKI

• Thursday, Sept. 10. INDIE ROCK: LA TUNDA

• Friday, Sept. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNW MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Sept. 16. CARIBBEAN/FOLK: LUKE RODNEY

• Friday, Sept. 18. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN

• Tuesday, Sept. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: HANNAH FAIR

• Wednesday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANGELA EASTERLING

• Thursday, Oct. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Friday, Oct. 23. ALT-COUNTRY: TANNERSVILLE

• Friday, Oct. 30. HALLOWEEN FILM SCREENING WITH LIVE SCORE: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

 

Movie-themed benefit for WPKN-FM radio on Fri., Apr. 17, at 7 PM

WPKN_benefit_WebBest Video has donated use of the Performance Space on Friday, Apr. 17, for a cool fundraiser for community-supported radio station WPKN-FM (89.5 on your radio dial). The long list of musicians participating in “Late Nite Double Feature Picture Show: Movie Songs”—presented by Tripeg Lobo and co-hosted by Elisa Flynn, Lys Guillorn and WPKN’s Valerie Richardson—will play a cover of a song from a movie (anything from the movie theme to a song playing in a scene), then do one original song about their favorite movie.

Tickets are $10 in advance at Best Video (cash only) or at the door. Doors open at 7 PM; the show starts at 7:30. One hundred-percent of the ticket price goes to support WPKN’s amazing free-form programming.

Based in Bridgeport, WPKN has been offering up an eclectic menu of free-form programming and public affairs since the 1960s. Originally affiliated with the university of Bridgeport, WPKN became independent in 1992.

The lineup of performers:

An Historic, Stephany Brown & Kriss Santala, Wendy Cahill, Chica non Grata, Elisa Flynn, Lys Guillorn, George Hakkila, Dave Hogan, Jesus & The White Russians (featuring Jon Schlesinger of No Line North), Ponybird, Spectral Fangs, The Sawtelles and Zoo Front.

Music: Zoo Front, Kevin MF KING on Thurs., Dec. 18, at 8 PM

Zoo Front

Zoo Front

Zoo Front plays the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Dec. 18. Singer-songwriter Kevin MF King opens. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Zoo Front has been playing its quirky art punk shows since 1991 including such venues as Brass City Records (Waterbury), The Oasis and The Bank Street Cafe (New London), Best Video Performance Space (Hamden), Two Boots (Bridgeport), Neverending Books (New Haven), Javapalooza, Eli Cannon’s and Kliekolo (Middletown)as well as Oobahs, Wrench In The Works, The Annex, Willimantic Records, The Willimantic Coop and various street fests (Willimantic).

Zoo Front music has been heard on WESU, WCNI, WNHU, WECU, and, WHUS.

The band has released 4 full length albums (Warble & Trill, Betty Luna, Blunt Trauma, & Open Up Your Cage), as well as 2 EPs (Edna 14:1 and Kevin 13).  Their next full length release is scheduled for the first half of 2015. Among their influences are Television, XTC, Ramones, Psychedelic Furs, Kinks, and of course, The Beatles.

Current performing members are:  Ed Ekendu, Nancie Tief, and Julie Riccio.

Kevin MF King

Kevin MF King

Kevin MF King’s songs run amok with topics such as work drudgery, self-reflection, escapism, the debauchery displayed in modern politics and the process of human interaction, at times using fictional folk tales to tell a story, others just beautiful instrumentals. KMFK has more than 100 self-recorded songs regularly distributed on self-released hand-stamped cds.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Dec. 11. BLUEGRASS: FIVE IN THE CHAMBER

• Monday, Dec. 15. FILM SCREENING: “VISION”

• Wed., Dec. 17. HOLIDAY/NEO-SOUL: THE HUMAN RACE

• Thursday, Dec. 18. POST-PUNK: ZOO FRONT, KEVIN MF KING

• Friday, Dec. 19. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Friday, Jan. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES, HANK HOFFMAN & RICHARD BROWN

• Sunday, Jan. 4. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NOTORIOUS”

• Wednesday, Jan. 7. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: CRISTINA HARRIS, PATRICK DALTON

• Friday, Jan. 9. MUSIC FROM “TWIN PEAKS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Sunday, Jan. 11. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “STRANGERS ON A TRAIN”

• Wednesday, Jan. 14. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Thursday, Jan. 15. SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Jan. 16. INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Sunday, Jan. 18. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “REAR WINDOW”

• Sunday, Jan. 25. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NORTH BY NORTHWEST”

• Friday, Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Friday, Feb. 6. EXPERIMENTAL: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

Music: Zoo Front to play Thurs., Oct. 17, at 8 PM

Zoo_Front_webZoo Front play the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Oct. 17. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Zoo Front’s original line up included:  Ed Ekendu, Ju Dee Luna, Ariane Roedel, and Bob Bessette.  They debuted with a show at Waterbury’s Brass City Records in July 1991.  The lineup  was intact through 1995 recording the cassette release “Open Up Your Cage” in August 1992 which featured 10 tracks many of which are still staples of their live show to this day.  They played numerous venues including 2 more Brass City Records shows (1993 in costume on Halloween), Eli Cannon’s in Middletown, The Tube in Hartford, as well as many private shows.

After the departure for Florida of Ariane and Bob, Ed and Ju Dee took a year off before deciding to try to continue as a duo.  Using drum machines and MIDI synths, they set out to write a new collection of songs and program everything for live performance.

The band played one show in 1996 as a duo supported by these sequenced backtracks and then retired from live performance to continue working on new material.  This resulted in the release of the “Blunt Trauma” CD and cassette in 1999.

2001 and 2002 were spent recording the unreleased album “Penitence and Zeal.”  This collection reflected the mood of the post 9/11 era and the band decided that it was too dark and went back into the studio for most of 2003 to rework some of the songs and write and record others culminating in the issue of “Betty Luna” in 2004.  This release led to an hour of interview and performance on WHUS FM in Storrs.  3 Songs from this show were included on the 2008 EP Kevin 13.

Listener reaction to this set was very good with many saying it was time to start playing shows again.  The first one was booked at Oobahs (Shaboo spelled backwards) in Willimantic in July 2004 and the band continued regular appearances thru 2010.  In 2008 Kael Dunnack joined on drums and the backing tracks (dubbed Hal) were retired.  Kael brought a slightly harder edge to the music and the band brought their act to many diverse settings including:  The Willimantic Coop, The Annex at Windham Arts, Two Boots in Bridgeport, New London’s Bank Street Cafe and Oasis as well as a Saturday morning show in the window at Fiddleheads.  There were numerous shows at Middletown’s Javapalooza as well as regular appearances at Against All Odds’ performance series at Wrench In the Works in Willi. Summers were capped off with shows on Main Street during Willimantic’s Third Thursday street festival.

Kael left to pursue a career in the summer of 2010 and Julie Riccio from The Sawtelles offered to fill in on drums for the remainder of booked shows.  Things were looking good until real life stepped in and we were forced to go on hiatus in 2011 to deal with real life emerging in early 2012 to help the Willi Coop celebrate its birthday. The rest of 2012 was spent with Ed and new guitarist Nancie Tief working on what would become the “Warble & Trill” album. 2013 has been kinder and we have been playing about once a month lately. We are also working steadily on the follow-up to W&T and promise it won’t be 9 years between albums this time.

See Zoo Front play a song at Willimantic Records this past May:

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE SPACE EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Oct. 2. ACOUSTIC BLUES: CORNBREAD

• Thursday, Oct. 3. PARKER’S TANGENT: ROCK

• Monday, Oct. 7. FILM SCREENING: “THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES”

• Wednesday, Oct. 9. ACOUSTIC ROCK: HENRY SIDLE

• Thursday, Oct. 10. GARAGE SOUL: BRONSON ROCK

• Monday, Oct. 14. FILM SCREENING: “PARADISE NOW”

• Wednesday, Oct. 16. ACOUSTIC ROCK: JAMES VELVET & THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Thursday, Oct. 17. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Monday, Oct. 21. FILM SCREENING: “FURY”

• Wednesday, Oct. 23. CLASSICAL: RAVENNA MICHALSEN & ALEXANDER SMITH

• Thursday, Oct. 24. INDIE ROCK: THE STREAMS

• Monday, Oct. 28. FILM SCREENING: “CAPE FEAR” (Original version)

• Wednesday, Oct. 30. LOCAL LEGENDS/NEW WAVE: THE FURORS

• Monday, Nov. 4. FILM SCREENING: “IN THE BEDROOM”

• Wednesday, Nov. 6. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ESTHER GOLTON

• Thursday, Nov. 7. GARAGE FOLK: ELISON JACKSON

• Wednesday, Nov. 13. WINE TASTING with BOB FEINN FROM MT. CARMEL WINE & SPIRITS

• Monday, Nov. 11. FILM SCREENING: “THE SEARCHERS”

• Wednesday, Nov. 20. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Thursday, Nov. 21. APOCALYPTIC POP: THE GRIMM GENERATION