It’s a particularly icy day after Christmas as I write, freshly back home from a semi-treacherous short trail walk with my dog. From the death of one of my first big musical inspirations, George Michael, to a solitary holiday this year, it was far from an ideal weekend. Still, I am focusing on the deeper message of peace and hope that is supposed to be at the heart of the holiday, and taking some time for quiet reflection as the rest of this year sputters to a halt. As exhausting as it has been for many of us, let’s also remember that we are still here and made it through. I’m in bed right now streaming the last few episodes of The Shanarra Chronicles’ first season and besides just realizing the actress who plays Eretria was the little girl from Pan’s Labyrinth, I’m taking in the post-apocalyptic messages of the fantasy and musing on how the best fiction, the best music and the best art is that which is intended to hold up a mirror to our shared humanity. It’s kind of fitting that the sad and soothing sounds of George Michael’s “Praying For Time” will undoubtedly be heard by a lot of people again this last week of 2016, as people reflect on his amazing life and the loss of his gentle-yet-sassy energy.
Don’t think that I will let all of my readers down by solely focusing on the somber this week. I might be in a quiet mood today but it doesn’t mean I can’t recommend some serious fun for the nights ahead. Plenty of you are already heading to BSP and the Uptown Ball Drop this year, as it is hard to beat as ways to usher in a new year go. But I’m gonna shine some light on another, smaller celebration for those who want some great music but not as many bodies to navigate.
“Guilty Pleasure is excited to announce our New Year’s Eve show at the Fernwood in Palenville,” announces bassist AJ Ricci. The crowd-pleasing cover group plays all over and often and sports a varied repertoire of classic and modern rock, pop, country and R&B. The $20 cover includes live music, noise toys, a champagne toast and a late night breakfast buffet. That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. For reservations and more info, call The Fernwood at (518) 678-9332.
2017 starts strong
Let’s all assume the rest of the year will go off without a hitch (yeah, right) and fast forward a bit ahead into January. No, I am not talking about the likely absurdity of whatever D-list performer actually performs for Dump’s inauguration. All the big names are refusing, with good reason. I am placing bets right now on Tila Tequila singing the national anthem in German. It must be confusing for whoever is booking the event now that the GOP are supposed to appease Nazis, coal miners and the Russians at the same time, all while pretending the common goal isn’t just naked greed and fossil fuels. Thankfully some greedy and unhinged celebs like Yeezy are down to ignore racism, so maybe Kanye will sing “The Good Life” for the biggest billionaire cabinet of Klan-supported kleptocrats in history before we usher in the new Great Depression (if the similar direction of the late-1920s political spectrum is any indication). I’ll be boycotting the whole thing.
Let’s talk punk! Thursday, Jan 5 at Snapper Magee’s is Comezik, an all-girl Japanese garage band. They will be joined by The Asterplace, pop-punkers from Tokyo.
Says Snapper’s owner Travis Myers, “As you know over the years we have been the place for Japanese punk and indie bands. How this happened, I don’t really know. We helped one out many years ago and we must be on some list because every year we host a couple, and they always make for interesting shows!”
Saturday, Jan. 7 is Snapper’s can’t-miss 15th Anniversary Party. Expect live music from new-wavers The Fantastic Plastics, melodic punks White Knuckle Rodeo, noise rockers NCM and Kyle Trocolla (who will have a full backing band this time around).This is a killer, killer lineup of acts who have all headlined in the past, and are all nationally touring acts. Add in that it’s the 15th anniversary of the beloved Uptown watering hole, and you’re certain to partake in some mischief. There will be free T-shirt and free beers giveaways throughout the night.
Thank you to the Kingston Times and everyone who continued to support this column the past year. I enjoy talking to residents and various artists for you folks as well as getting to share my two cents on different topics or just trying in vain to get more locals to dig weird black metal bands like Winterfylleth or Vattnet Viskar in between my plugs for artisanal coffee and local dining.
May you all finish this year surrounded by friends, loved ones or even just sympathetic house plants. May the Dagda Mor or other demons be sent howling back whence they came and tomorrow’s fears turn out to be but a fleeting speed bump to a brighter future.