Kingston After Dark: Come together

Lindsey Webster. (Photo by Franco Vogt.)

Lindsey Webster. (Photo by Franco Vogt.)

As both a singer and an entertainment writer I have learned to be fairly open-minded and as a result I have wide-ranging tastes. One week I could be interviewing Christian hard rock band Stryper and the next covering pig’s blood-spewing Swedish black metal horde Watain. You need to be a little flexible and a good listener. Everyone has a story to tell.

I was perusing The Lincoln Eagle the other day and reading some well-intentioned but rather rabid articles about gun legislation. A few of them entertained conspiracy theories that Obama was behind Sandy Hook and The Dark Knight Rises shooting in Colorado to help strengthen anti-gun laws. I wonder if the right-wing leaning people who actually believe this also have thoughts on why Bush let the Bin Laden family get flown out of the U.S. right after 9/11? Digression aside, it made me sad. Open-minded as I may be, I have a hard time even listening to Megadeth anymore since the formerly awesome Dave Mustaine started ranting about “false flag” school shootings. New song “Super Collider” also sucks.

Kingston, I love you. I want my column to be about culture exchange and community building regardless of beliefs, not paranoia. There is a certain nostalgia for the lost “innocence” of America. The ’50s are usually venerated by “family values” types, despite being one of the most socially tense decades ever. For the sake of argument, let’s simply get back to being neighborly. Then again, nowadays that means you might have to contend with previously unthinkable icky stuff like gay marriage, women voting, a black president. Uh oh!

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Let’s look at some happy, constructive stuff going on in the community.

Friday, May 31 at the Bearsville Theater you can catch local chanteuse Lindsey Webster with a 15-piece band! The show starts at 9 p.m. and is $10, a special CD release party for Lindsey. Webster is my best friend’s “little sister” and I have literally known her since she was 2. It is amazing to see her all grown up and such a powerhouse. Blending soul, R&B, funk and even a little alternative into her set, Webster has a soaring voice and is not to be missed.

“Making the record there were moments up pure ecstatic joy and all out tears,” says Lindsey. “We tracked most of the record at The Clubhouse in Rhinebeck. That all happened in about four to five days. We finally have our finished product.

“This is a very eclectic collection of music,” she continues. “It ranges from jazz to rocking songs with blistering guitar solos to slow ballads. The album is self-titled.”

Hargash not harsh

The other day I was pleased to randomly meet artist Stephen Hargash, who is unveiling six new works on Saturday, June 1 in the Senate Room at the Kirkland (2 Main Street at Clinton Avenue) from 6-9 p.m. I usually lean towards dark stuff like Jean-Luc Navette and Mike Mignola, a far cry from the Norman Rockwell-esque stuff Hargash showed me, but I was struck by his candid demeanor, expertise and heart.

“I began my artistic career as an 18-year-old in mid-Michigan,” said Stephen. “With an old pop-up camper which I transformed into a vending booth I traveled throughout Michigan selling airbrushed T-shirts. Putting myself through college this way I not only earned a living but developed my skills as an artist. I relocated to Kingston in 2005 continuing to paint murals in private homes and public spaces. In the past 18 years I have gone on to paint over 100 mural images.”

I asked Hargash to discuss the new pieces as well as the unveiling space and what her loves about the area.

“Each panel is created in the trompe l’oeil tradition,” the artist explained. “They are designed as murals for Rau’s Country Store in Frankenmuth, Michigan, and will be shipped there after the showing here in Kingston. They will appear like windows into the store once mounted onto the building. Capturing a stylized version of the store’s interior packed full of merchandise, from old fashioned candy and vintage signs to antiques and tiffany lamps hanging from the rafters. The charm is the characters within this setting.”

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