What is the difference between psychedelic music and that genre now simply called psyche? Some would argue, “Nothing, and would you please stop splitting genre hairs?” But I think that the distinction can be appreciated onomatopoeically, in the difference between the two words: Psychedelic is mellifluous, sunny and occasionally inclined toward the silly. Psyche, on other hand is darker, heavier, occult, droning and not at all mellifluous or sunny, often sounding like a species of high-reverb metal but without metal’s tendency toward the mechanical.
The Hudson Valley Psyche Fest, now in its second year, was modeled after the more famous Austin Psyche Fest by its organizers, perhaps the premier “dark psyche” band of the Hudson Valley: New Paltz’s It’s Not Night: It’s Space (INNIS), the instrumental trio of guitarist Kevin Halcott, drummer Michael Lutomski and bassist Tommy Guerrero. The Psyche Fest seizes control at BSP in Kingston on Friday, April 18 at 8 p.m.
This year, Lutomski asserts, the Hudson Valley Psyche Fest sports a lineup that approaches the quality of its Texas model. INNIS will be joined on the bill by New York City’s White Hills, purveyors of a kinetic “fuzzed-out motorik spacerock” and veterans of the Austin fest; by Brooklyn’s the Golden Grass, who fuse psyche values with some good old guitar solo-laden boogie; by Eidetic Seeing, another Brooklyn concern whose recent album Against Nature (J. K. Huysmans fans?) punishes as it pleases; and by Queen Elephantine, a large multinational concern whose self-descriptive language – “meditative blues of whirlwind ghost ships forced down hopeless maelstroms of the Nile. Modal psychedelic doom.” – simply can’t be beat.
Tickets for the Psyche Fest are available locally at Outdated in Kingston, Jack’s Rhythms in New Paltz, Darkside Records & Gallery in Poughkeepsie and the Woodstock Music Shop.
Hudson Valley Psyche Fest, Friday, April 18, 8 p.m., 18+, $8, BSP, 323 Wall Street, Kingston; (845) 481-5158, www.bspkingston.com.