Kingston After Dark: I truly will be home

Vajra's Annamaria Pinna.

Vajra’s Annamaria Pinna.

Hindustani crossover street rock sound like a change of pace? Vajra is the answer to your Vedic gutter-glam prayers. Formed by the intriguing vocalist Annamaria Pinna after a self-imposed exile in India, the band has been called a must-see act by Rolling Stone. Not bad for a band which has only been around a few years.

Vajra will headline the first 2016 installment of our Kingston After Dark-sponsored benefit concerts. Thrown from time to time in conjunction with Kingston Times, bands like The Grape and The Grain and Of The Atlas have participated before, with past sponsors including Victory Records and more. This latest benefit’s proceeds will go towards helping the folks at People’s Place (just off Broadway) who have helped so many stay warm over the years with affordable clothes and more.

The show this Saturday Feb. 27 at 9:30 p.m. It will feature opening-pedal-crazed, grunge/noise pop band Surmiser and my own solo project, Walking Bombs.


“We’ve got some fun stuff happening,” says Annamaria Pinna of Vajra. “We released the video for our single ‘3.14’ on February 12 — just in time for Valentine’s Day — which we wrote, directed, starred in, shot, art directed and edited ourselves. We are really proud of that video because we had complete creative control over every aspect of the artistic process. And the video is told from the perspective of someone whose story is rarely discussed.”

In addition to the video release, the band is just coming off of its Blood Witch Tour. Kingston will be the last date of the tour. “The show is a special homecoming because I grew up in Poughkeepsie,” says Pinna. “So I truly will be home. The Hudson Valley is and will forever be in my blood.”

Nimai Larson of tastemaking art mutants Prince Rama also checks in this week. I adore her. Prince Rama are doing a warmup set in Kingston on Wedsday, March 2. Our event is even a few days before their NYC album release show for latest record X-treme Now at Baby’s All Right. We are so spoiled, seriously.

Reigning scene queen Shana Falana is opening, and it is sure to be a crazy evening. Prince Rama escapes the timestream slavery of most pop and anti-pop acts to create a blur of sensation, pitch-shifted vocals and future-as-now dance music. One of my very favorites.

“Prince Rama, we’re going to keep playing in Kingston until our X-treme upstate fantasy becomes a reality,” Nimai assures me. Last I checked she was trying to find fencers for a music video, and has been building skate ramps for art exhibits when not busy saving the world. Who knows what the Kingston show has in store this time?

Prince Rama’s “Now Is The Time Of Emotion” might be the danciest single since the actual Prince wrote “1999.” Or maybe I just want them to throw glitter on me really bad.

Speaking of the word bad, Tidal’s livestream the other day of Kanye West’s fashion show at Madison Square Garden kept freezing up. One local bartender friend said it basically looked like “homeless people from the future,” so I don’t think I missed much. Learning a day or two later that Kanye tweeted “Bill Cosby Innocent” and then wrote some horribly sexist lyrics about Taylor Swift killed any interest from me, which had been actually considerable, for his new album.

Dude is kind of out of control lately, and it is sad. The sexism really kills his moments of actual greatness. No one with a brain and pulse is going to associate Justice Scalia with anything other than horrible homophobia, Kanye. Please don’t go down an equally treacherous and gross road.

Here is hoping everyone is surviving the actual winter chill we had been experiencing. We may be beyond it now. Here is also hoping you all blasted some Donna Summer “Last Dance” during the moment of silence for Scalia at the GOP debate on TV, like I did. What a bunch of clowns.

Anyway, there is a pool table at Two Ravens on Wall Street now as well as plenty of fun to be had in my personal immediate future. Kingston in upcoming March might actually be cold after all, but we are going to have a lot of fun.

Here is hoping all of you songbirds had a love-filled Valentine’s Day and that your hearts soar with more possibility for the world than sexism and divisiveness.

Let’s try to keep things warm between us.