A brutal migraine ruined my attempt at seeing Holly Miranda play her birthday concert at BSP last weekend, but it was an action-packed weekend nonetheless.
Local sweethearts Lara Hope and Matt Goldpaugh had the most beautiful, fun and romantic outdoor wedding in Rosendale with an after-party at BSP Kingston that damn near brought the house down when Lara’s mom, in a red sequined dress, sang “Hava Nagila” and everyone went totally crazy. I was standing by Kingston’s Bri Olsson clapping and we couldn’t help grinning and saying, “There’s our homegirl, wooo!” as Lara was, in accordance with tradition, hoisted into the air on a chair amidst the celebrants. I don’t think I’m alone in wishing Matt and Lara many happy years together. They have both been in the punk scene a long time and have managed to create awesome, creativity-centric lives for themselves and found the right partner in each other. That is a minor miracle in these days of disposable dating and Tinder swipes, and just goes to show sometimes you shouldn’t bail out early. We all have some bumps and bruises and obstacles to overcome in this life, but love can really conquer all.
All the swing-dancing happy people eventually tired me out (or maybe it was something I smoked with Peter Head from Pitchfork Militia). I spend most days as a hermit and my love life is currently anemic. I’m OK with being alone though, other than admittedly nursing a massive actual crush on Yasmine Kittles of the avant garde synth group Tearist (who I am happy to call friend and who is somewhere in Eastern Europe right now on tour being the awesomest person I know). She’s got a new video out with a reworking of her track “Headless” with David Sitek from TV on the Radio and comes more than highly recommended.
The theme of this week’s column is not bailing out, unless it is water in a sinking ship in which case you might as well face the inevitable and go down with it or start swimming if you can’t plug the hole. If Kingston had given up in leaner times, however, we wouldn’t have Grasshopper from Mercury Rev retweeting out Huffington Post articles on how great our city is, though they said we are a bit “scrappy.” I’ll take it. I like to scrap and it’s good to have a little character. Or a lot of character depending on what time of night you walk past Uncle Willy’s, which has a little bit too much. Can people please stop trying to fight other people just for walking by on that corner? That said, Willy has some sweet jam bands playing there of late.
Seriously though, we can’t take one another for granted. God has not turned his back on our city and general region. Seeing Ralph Nader at Occupy Peace over the weekend discussing how the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 outlawed war as an instrument of national policy was truly inspiring. As Nader said, just 1 percent of the population can change things- and he wasn’t talking about the “1 percent” we all like to scowl at for not paying their fair share of taxes.
Here’s a non political example of staying the course, in a good way. U.K. punk legends The Adicts were supposed to play a show at The Loft in Poughkeepsie this last weekend. I missed eating some of Matt and Lara’s wedding cake because I left early feeling lonesome and also Travis from Altercation Records had given me a free ticket, as Kyle Trocolla and New Red Scare from his label roster were opening. Well, the Adicts got to the club and were too punk apparently to play the smaller room and so bailed out. Fans had driven from as far as New Hampshire and Rochester to see the show, so this was a real dick move on their part. I know they are older and a classic band who’ve paid their dues, but I’ve seen Watain and Sister Sin both play The Loft and those are bands who play to huge crowds on a regular basis.
Well, thankfully Toronto’s awesome psychobilly band The Creepshow played a longer set and rocked the house down. In the process they made everyone there a bigger fan, sold more merch and saved the day.
“We are here to have fun with you first,” said singer Kenda Legaspi before a crowd participation-heavy version of their older hit “Run For Your Life.” Kenda’s melodic voice and whirling, tatted-up stage presence combined with her bands melodic oohs and ahhs kept things rowdy and fun, despite numerous broken strings and technical difficulties. A lot of other bands would have been derailed by any of what The Creepshow faced that night, from problems with their own instruments to the headliner leaving the fans high and dry, but they grinned through it all and adapted. That is my best advice for any band worth their salt in these times and it made me, a friendly-but-snobby music guy, walk right up and slap down $20 for a Creepshow shirt that cost $15 and let them keep the change towards gasoline.
We’re really lucky around here to finally be seeing the fruits of a lot of people’s efforts over the last five years really paying off when it comes to higher standards of local businesses and nightlife. “It’s not even the same place it was even five years ago,” said my friend Stacy Lessig from The Anchor this past weekend. She’s totally right, but what it has become is far more special. With that in mind, you’ll all be happy to know I am never giving up on music and writing for as long as I live. I might not be the richest man and might have a high rate of partner turnover as a result of people wanting some notion of “mid-life security,” but humans plan and God laughs anyway so we might as well rock ’n’ roll.