Kingston After Dark: Doozy of coolness

Kurt Vile. (Photo: Shawn Brackbill)

Kurt Vile. (Photo: Shawn Brackbill)

This week we have dirt rock, cannibals and comedy gold on the docket. Much to discuss, Kingston. Friday, Oct 18, will find soft porn rocker/media mogul Andy Animal encamp in BSP Lounge with his Cannibal Tribe band and their bluesy friends. The show is $8, 21 and over and starts at 10 p.m.

I ask Andy (former Stalkers/Wolfsblood frontman) what he likes about Kingston, how long he has been wearing boots and why he looks like Syndrome from The Incredibles.

“I love playing Kingston ’cause people seem to have more fun than the NYC crowd,” says Andy. “I really love exploring the underground ruins of BSP Lounge and the staff is super cool. I’ve been wearing boots since I was about 12. I’m the president of Disney Pixar. The wonderful team of designers based Syndrome off of me as kind of an inside company joke.”

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Daddy Long Legs also are on the bill and feature mad harpist Brian Hurd.

“Andy Animal is like the Elvis to my Jerry Lee and Kingston is the perfect place for a rock ’n’ roll summit meeting,” says Hurd. “Daddy Long Legs is a mix of stompin’ blues and primitive roots music. It’s as savage as it is spiritual.”

Standup comic JT Habersaat, a local product and former Ulster Publishing guy who decamped to Austin, Texas, a few years back, hosts The Altercation Punk Comedy Tour on Sunday, Oct. 20 at The Anchor. The show, which starts at 7 p.m. and has an $8 cover, finds Altercation comics Jay Whitecotton and Nicholas Lavallee joining Habersaat, plus special guest Kevin A. Smith and musical guests The Gold Hope Duo. JT started his career and popular punk label Altercation records while a resident of these parts, so it’s always great when he gallops back into town on a white horse.

“It’s always fun to return to the scene of the crime. I still have a hard time believing that it has been eight years since I moved to Austin. I still have lots of very close friends and family here, so it is a great chance to catch up and also horrify the locals with new material,” laughs Habersaat. “I never really come in with an agenda, although this time around I have a new album out on Stand Up! Records. So far so good.”

I ask JT about the staying power of Altercation records, the punk label he’s co-run with Travis Myers since 2005.

“Altercation’s longevity can for sure be traced to the fact that Travis and I are simply stubborn bastards,” JT admits. “We refuse to quit and are arguably workaholics. I’m proud we are still out there kicking. Born To Lose are still one of my favorite punk bands ever.”

Vile and The Violators

The day before he slinks into the massive Terminal 5 in NYC to open for Sonic Youth’s quixotic guitarist Lee Ranaldo, laconic dreamer and indie axe-man Kurt Vile will hit the stage at BSP with his gnarly band The Violators. Vile is excited to play the Oct. 24 Kingston show but hadn’t realized Kingston was so close to Dreamland Studios and Woodstock!

“My geography is terrible,” Vile sighs. “I recorded the title track of Wakin On A Pretty Daze and a ton of stuff in that neck of the woods. We stayed at Kate’s Lazy Meadow, Kate Pierson from the B-52’s place. She has all these vintage trailers all B-52’d out! That’s like, my temple.”

Vile’s latest Matador Records release Wakin On A Pretty Daze can transport you effortlessly into lucid dreaming, with tracks like “A Girl Named Alex” and the nine-minute title track ripe with wistful charm.

“That’s always the thing, following where your guitar is taking you. Trying to do something you haven’t done before,” says Vile of his work.

There is still urgency in Vile’s sound, even when it’s laid back. I tell him he reminds me a bit of Mick Taylor — not the most flamboyant guitarist for the Stones, but considered by many to be the best. (Editor’s note: This is in fact the editorial position of this newspaper.)

“The people who know give Mick Taylor tons of credit, whereas the Stones would squash a shy person like that … but he was all about the sound,” Vile says, before adding, “Sweet. Thanks, man.”

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