A wise man (and Hyde Park resident) once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” FDR was talking about overcoming the Great Depression, but the words still ring true today. I was listening to the awesome indie band Titus Andronicus’ album Local Business and was inspired to write a positive column about the strengths of our area. Let’s buck up and try to feel a sense of possibility. While mostly concerned with concerts and nightlife, I also want Kingston After Dark to focus on creative people and businesses who are stemming the tide and pushing back against economic woes. America can still be a land of opportunity if you have vision.
Let’s start with Boneshaker Print Shop. The small but ambitious Cornell Street operation was started by local drummer Steven Markota and his friend Emmanuel Gerondaras last year. Gerondaras helped Steve get started before bowing out. Markota is soft-spoken and affable, a far cry from the cliché of the egotistical drummer. His hard-charging beats can be regularly heard as the backbone for national underground alt-punk darlings Nightmares For A Week, but Boneshaker is his other baby.
“I have always loved graphic design and the challenge of putting it on shirts,” says Steven. “I used to have one press in my mom’s basement about seven years ago. It was frustrating not having enough equipment. We got all the stuff last August and found the spot here at 77 Cornell Street. I like to take ideas and mold them into something our clients love.”
Boneshaker emphasizes community and has already done work for numerous bands as well as businesses like Emmanuel’s Marketplace, The Devereux School and Signature Fitness. They are even sponsoring the “Coaches against Cancer” hockey tournament on March 30th at the Kiwanis Ice Arena in Saugerties. Markota has a day job but comes to Boneshaker as soon as he gets done in the afternoons.
“All my free time is here but I really want to see this flourish,” says Markota. “We just did shirts for Tony Levin’s band Stick Men!”
Steven’s assistant at the shop is Daniel Grimsland, bass player for the acclaimed progressive rock band Three.
“Steve and I have been friends for quite some time,” says Daniel. “He did some work for me for Three and for my solo project The Grape And The Grain. Some shirt designs and my album artwork. It seemed like a really cool thing I wanted to get involved in. This is an extension of our art. We’re musicians half the time but we enjoy so many forms of art that this is another way to express that.”
It is cool to see these guys taking the design aspect of things into their own hands and also supplementing musical endeavors with other creative enterprises. It is a lot of schedule juggling, especially since Nightmares For A Week’s new album Civilian War was just streamed on popular punk site Alternative Press. The record sounds huge, big production managing deftly not to step on the raw core of the band’s sound. Civilian War reflects maturity and growth for the band.
“This is our best work yet,” says Markota. “It captures our essence pretty well. I’m proud of it. We tried to hone in on our live energy. John Naclerio at Nada Studios engineered and it’s out on Broken English and Suburban Home Records as of March 26th. We’ve got two record release shows … April 12th at BSP Lounge and one April 6th at Snugs in New Paltz. Boneshaker limited shirts are gonna be at the shows.”
Let’s move on to the newly renovated Stockade Tavern! The 313 Fair St. specialty drink bar really has helped start the rebirth of Kingston’s Uptown district. I am biased since I am an occasional door guy there, but Stockade’s pre-Prohibition vibe would make it my favorite bar anyway.