Good morning, my friends and neighbors. I am as usual browsing through press releases to see what’s the weirdest band name I can find in my inbox. I think the winner this week is a Japanese kind of Godflesh-meets-early-Swans percussive noise rock band called Oozepus. Is that supposed to be pronounced like two words or “uzi” puss? So many questions.
Anyway, while the garbage truck is hauling away my trash in a loud manner this morning, I can assure you that last weekend in Kingston was actually fairly quiet. The New moon solar eclipse in Pisces vibes were pretty darn strong and maybe it was also the mass hex being performed by witches across the world in honor of His Excellency Orange wanna-be Stalin in Chief, but it seemed like most people were kind of disoriented or just wanted to kind of stay home and watch the Academy Awards.
While I am pleased Moonlight won, as it should have (and despite the gaffe), on the local front locals are more concerned with making sure I have enough of an alcohol problem again by the time Thor: Ragnarok comes out in November to imitate Thor in the movie theater. By “locals are concerned with” this I really just mean my comedian friend Andrew Datoush. I reminded him that Justice League will also be out this year and he replied, “I’m afraid of Justice League, honestly. Batffleck has been the least offensive thing about the DC universe thus far. I really haven’t been a fan of any of the movies.”
Personally I think Aquaman is gonna be pretty dope as long as Zack Snyder doesn’t use such a dark color pallet that we need bioluminescent fish to be able to see Jason Momoa.
Speaking of navigating vast amounts of liquid, who would have thought Snapper Magee’s would make it to 15 years? Not that the little rock ’n’ roll bar that could wasn’t capable of it, but we’ve all had some pretty wild and usually fun times there. I stopped in to celebrate with bartender and old Woodstock pal of mine Lysa Sampson the other night, who was gracious enough to let us run her photo with the friendly Snapper’s mermaid this week. Friday, March 10 you should go celebrate there yourselves when Candy Ambulance, Exit 17 and up-and-comers Frances Dean bring a solid and punky alternative bill to the best dive bar for light years around. The show is only $5 and the beer shall flow into the night. Soon we can sing “I’m Eighteen” by Alice Cooper on Snapper’s behalf, but they already kind of “do what they want.”
Serendipity in Nashville
In cool Lara Hope and the Ark-tones news, the rockabilly prides of the Hudson Valley walked into gift shop of the world famous Sun Studios on a tour stop and the rising band’s own song “Whiskey Pick” was playing! Talk about an ego boost in the house of Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash!
Local artists James Martin and Kazuma Oshita will be having solo art show openings at the Lace Mill at 165 Cornell St. on Saturday, March 4 from 5-8 p.m. Music from Sean Cortright and a variety of other performers will mark the occasion.
“I’ll be showing black and white lithograph prints and drawings,” Martin tells me. “Many are from a series I call ‘Escalator People’ which are made up characters I place ascending escalators. I draw them quickly in a sketch book wherever I may be, then finish them off on my free time. I accumulated many over the years and decided to have some framed and shown and see if there would be any reaction. Kazuma Oshita will be showing paintings of figures and also his hammered metal sculptures where he changes the texture of metal by hammering and getting realistic results.”
I am feeling good artistically myself, having just about finished up my sophomore record Brave Hours for my solo project Walking Bombs. The last song to be finished is a ballad you’ll all get to hear soon called “Even When It Hurts” about overcoming depression, and the record will be out digitally April 14 via Bandcamp. Jay Andersen of local space grunge band Surmiser, who again engineered and played on a lot of my latest album, used a country Nashville tuning on the song but played a kind of Weezer-influenced arrangement and I loved it. I asked fellow Woodstock/Kingston-area man about town(s) James Felice of The Felice Brothers if he would be down to jam some accordion on it after a few beers one night and he agreed! Such a good guy and a great friend to have. It was awesome seeing Jay and James discuss cool ways of recording a more traditional instrument.
I also really wanted a strong female voice on it alongside mine to give it a more dramatic, almost gospel influence. I mean, the song is about me almost dying so it’s OK to get a little emotional with it, right? Elizabeth Le Fey, a.k.a. Globelamp, is like if a faerie was raised by unicorns then was adopted by Buffy Sainte-Marie and Lana Del Rey when she came to the human world, but then got really into riot grrrl and experimental bedroom folk. Over the last year she has become one of my very favorite artists, so I was thrilled she agreed to sing with me on a song about my battles with suicide attempts and depression over the years. Like me, she has often faced gaslighting, online harassment or verbal abuse. We are both outspoken Arieses who can be either super nice and sensitive or grumpy clouds shooting lightning, so obviously I adore her to death. Elizabeth’s actual human mom liked our voices together and said I should be in her band! I am so down! Thanks, Globelamp’s mom. Stay tuned, y’all.