Kingston After Dark: Live easy

“Kingston” by Jessie Madera.

“Kingston” by Jessie Madera.

“When you create, not just because you desire to but because the need to is so prevalent for your own sanity, people gravitate toward it more than you could ever imagine,” declares artist Jessie Madera. A dedicated and kind of punky freelance visual artist, Madera is a Hopewell Junction-based local who tackles rock ’n’ roll, tattoo and celebrity culture in her work. Oh, and lots and lots of skulls and flowers! Madera is also developing an inspiring apparel line called Live Easy.

“Struggling with chronic illness gave me my start into the arts which has progressed into my every day business,” says Madera. “Fluent in various different styles from realism to lowbrow street, the decision to create wearable art was one without question. After even years of battling illness and over 17,000 followers strong, Live Easy was developed in early 2013. Simply put, ‘live easy’ is a motto I consciously live by in order to get through the day with the least amount of negativity possible. Live Easy is still in its early stages of creative development yet we have seen great consumer response so far as we have nearly sold out of the first three products. The latest tee, ‘Struggle Is a Privilege’ is currently still available though my web store along with many original works.

I vibe with Jessie’s positive outlook and self-starter status and recommend that you see her works and apparel by visiting


We’re gonna take our cue from Jessie this week and stay positive. I want to send a special shout out to the vendors and locals who participated in 2013’s outdoor Farmer’s Market. The outdoor market just wrapped up and will be moving indoors to the OldDutchChurch real soon (so you can still get lots of local goodies). Shout outs to the nice folks at Hudson Coffee Traders and everyone else who has really pushed for the market to grow, as it is a vital part of Kingston’s renaissance.

Hey Uma Thurman!

Tangent alert … I was watching an old Batman: The Animated Series episode called “Eternal Youth” the other day. It’s an episode where Poison Ivy punished all these polluting industrialists by turning them into trees after luring them to a pricey vacation spa, posing as “Dr. Demeter” and giving them a special tonic. I am especially liberal, so this sounds like a pretty generous act on Poison Ivy’s part. Uma Thurman, I adore you and if you are reading this, maybe we could re-enact this at the River Rock Health Spa soon? Anyway, my roundabout point is that local produce and small business growth is important.

Well, some of you may have noticed it is getting cold. Let’s try and stay positive anyway. Moody Scottish post-rockers Mogwai have a pending new album Rave Tapes (on Sub Pop/Rock Action) and a 2014 North American tour. Even guitarist Stuart Braithwaite has upbeat words for us this week and about the state of the music industry, no less!

“There’s a lot of noise of people saying today is the death of the album and I’ve just seen no evidence of it,” says Braithwaite. “I think maybe digital has given a rebirth to singles but I think that’s a good thing. People maybe get into albums by hearing tracks and songs on the radio. I think the state of music is great, dude. The record industry is in a flux but I think it’ll all come out in the wash.”

Rave Tapes is killer, pure Mogwai but with a more electronic element sneaking in. I also recommend Les Revenants, an original soundtrack album Mogwai put out in February of 2013 for the French TV series of the same name. The show is called The Returned in the U.S. and just started airing on The Sundance Channel, a melancholy look at the dead coming back to life and trying to reintegrate into society. Mogwai’s soundtrack work has previously been part of Darren Aronofsky’s stunning 2006 film The Fountain, and Les Revenants music is stirring, bleak but overall uplifting and perfect for a somber winter day. I ask Stuart about what he likes about playing shows stateside.

Cities & Years. (Nikki Mayone)

Cities & Years. (Nikki Mayone)

“I’m not keen on traveling but I always like coming to America in May,” Braithwaite says. “Basketball and the NBA finals are on. We don’t plan it but it just seems to happen that way. I like the constant spectre of American sports.” New York fans will have to wait until May yet again to see Mogwai but you are going to want to get tickets real early. I told Grasshopper from Mercury Rev the other night at Stockade Tavern that I had talked to Stuart and he laughed, said they were friends and have had “lots of fun together.” Makes sense, since Mogwai once recorded their crucial CODY record Upstate with Rev producer Dave Fridmann back in the day.

Our own showcase

OK, lastly this week we are gonna plug the Kingston After Dark sponsored Kingston Cares show at The Anchor this Saturday, Nov. 30, one more time! We’ve got Cities & Years, Pitchfork Militia, The Grape & The Grain and Of The Atlas playing and you all need to come out at 8 p.m. and support.

“Cities & Years has been pretty busy lately revamping for a whole new style,” says drummer (and Yum Yum chef) Kyle Rox. “It’s completely more heavy punk with a spacey feeling while still being upbeat. The core members are still Dan Carrion and myself, but now we have local celeb Kyle Mcdonough playing guitar. Also we hope to keep our vocalist Dan Sheehan if his schedule is willing. We all are excited and honored to be playing with such great and diverse bands. C&Y are such huge fans of Pitchfork Militia. We grew up listening to these guys and now we are playing with them. We are happy. This is our first show back, refreshed and ready to rock. Thank you.”

Happy Thanksgiving Week, Kingston!