Kingston After Dark: Mystics & Monsters

Darla Braquet. (Photo by Miss Megan Photography)

Darla Braquet. (Photo by Miss Megan Photography)

Just blown away by the anime Mushi-shi episode “A Sea Of Writings,” about an archivist infected with ink composed of creatures that live in her own body. Made me think about the upholding of traditions, curses or myths passed down through generations. This week we are going to embrace October by thinking about way back wisdom. Yes, there is a bad-ass DJ Mr. Chips old-school hip hop show at The Anchor playing classic cuts that you should go to on Saturday, Oct. 5, but I am talking more about animism, the spirit world and a love for ’60s psych/folk rock. Let’s talk to some true believers who dwell on the cutting edge of the id.

Little Earl, vocalist of funky Upstate band Voodelic, is a soothsayer, dervish and a scholar of true soul. He is capable of doing old-timey Appalachian music one minute with the Old Double-E or summoning spirits with a Voodelic black light show the next.

“I love our black light shows,” says Earl. “I get to take my prehistoric sensibilities out for a joyride.”

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I ask Earl what makes him strive to make good art with meaning and why he loves the HudsonValley.

“If you’ve experienced, and been touched by really great blues, or country or prog for that matter, I think if you’re influenced by the form, or emulate the form, you’re obligated to do your damnedest to honor it,” Earl adds. “Those are your ancestors in a sense. Show some respect. Let’s face it, from The Blues Breakers on [John Mayall’s band, where Clapton, Peter Green & Fleetwood Mac, and countless others started], the Brits were showin’ us the way. Of course, there’s Halloween, Samhain, or however you wanna rep. it. My son was born just before Hallows. You can guess what his birthday parties were like!”

BFF disco sister Darla

Blogger and fashionista Darla Braquet is Kingston-raised and now haunts New Orleans. She is also my BFF disco sister for life. Her popular and incredible blog Sororamystica.wordpress.com is celebrating its four-year anniversary!

“Sorora Mystica is a progressive female-run blog that I started in 2009,” Darla coos. “It reflects a personal perspective on art, fashion and celebrity culture. As opposed to most modern fashion/culture blogs, I try to showcase icons from the past as opposed to modern celebrities/models and I feature alternative writing photography pieces as well as reviews of current artists of all mediums. Over the years my readers have grown with me in their support of the free-style writing poetry, and alternative pieces I’ve posted as opposed to the singular popularity of posts featuring celebrities/fashion photos. Fashion, music and art are all personal self-reflections of our individual personal psyches and personas.”

As it is the time of year to think of the veil between this world and the next and the mysteries of the universe as a whole, Darla’s blog is a good place to explore the hidden. “History and the occult are a collective reflection of these intimate ideas and beliefs. They are linked because of their necessity to one another. The need to express leads to expression and these expressions are recorded via history and the formula for expression is embedded in the secret teachings of the occult.”

Mystica also discusses eating disorders in unflinching terms, rock n’ roll lust and the dissemination of zeitgeist iconography. A fan-fawned-over piece analyzed Illuminati references in popular Lady Gaga imagery. I ask Darla what she misses about her K-town days.

“I will always love Kingston! That’s my hometown,” she gushes. “I miss Le Canard Enchaine and Snapper McGee’s and Basement shows. I miss Dietz Diner on a daily basis, and Sunrise Bagels. I miss being close to my friends and family. I will also always love the Stalkers, and consequentially Andy Animal’s Family Band, the Ex Humans, The Felice Brothers, Daddy Long Legs and Antidote 8!”

Stoney, droney and cool

Guitar priest Dave Wyndorf of Monster Magnet is a stoner-rock legend who has straddled the gap between arena-rock rockstar status and edgy underground priest for many years. Monster Magnet has a new album, The Last Patrol, out soon on Napalm records. The spacey, Hawkwindy psychedelic influences have been ramped up this time!

“It’s my first love,” says Wyndorf of the album’s trippy sound. “As far as making music I can’t get away from it. Put some echo on that shit! I thought it was time to bring it back full force. The arrangements are a sketched out map for us to follow and improvise on top of. We used old amps, little Gibson amps, a lot of single speaker little mono guys. Fifties and ’60s amps with old guitars. They don’t sound as big or saturated as modern amps but they have a character you can’t beat. Get your sounds as original as you want and record on something as modern as possible. There are a lot of romantic notions that if you record to tape it sounds better or drugs will make you a better artist. It’ll never go away.”

A standout track on The Last Patrol is a cover of Donovan’s “Three Kingfishers.”

“The first time I heard it was sometime in the ’80s on a psych binge. That song stuck out as primal ’60s psych. That’s ’66! That and ‘Paint It Black.’ I just thought it was so delicate and perfect. Beautiful. Donovan is so drony and cool and it can stand up to volume. Love it.”

We close this week with Darla Braquet’s answer to my question “What should ‘We are the young generation and we’ve got something to say’ mean today?

“It should mean pausing and reflecting for a moment on where we’ve been, what we want and who we want to be before starting to speak,” she declares, before dissolving into a cloud of gold dust.

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