There are a lot of interesting bands and solo performers these days. It can be both hard to stand out as an artist and hard as a fan to keep up with all of them. Heck, just today I found out about Kikagaku Moyo’s buzzing-bee sitar distorted psych-rock and I guess that Tokyo-based group has been around a few years now and did a split with Kinski & Kiwabata awhile ago. So my point is even for a music addict like me there is always more to learn about and reason to keep your ear to the ground or head in the clouds.
Newly christened “local musician” Luis Mojica, who has toured internationally both as a solo artist and with beloved alternative cello-based band Rasputina, is a semi-fresh addition to our parts. An interesting character, Mr. Mojica will have no problem sticking out from the pack, as he blends piano and beat boxing with pop-bop precision and some otherworldly looping. In his “day job,” he’s also an alternative medical practitioner based in Woodstock, but Mojica also likes to heal through sound. Yes, it does make perfect sense that he has also been part of the O+ Festival (if that was your next question) nut he is playing BSP this Saturday, March 25 with the expressive and vibrant Scarlet Sails, featuring Brian Viglione of Dresden Dolls fame (who also played on Mojica’s recent solo album Wholesome).
“Moving from Brooklyn to Woodstock was the best choice I ever made,” Mojica reveals. “I felt like a lost, lonely artist in the city amongst all the clamor of commerce. Even the artists were becoming so commercialized. I wanted to go deep and make new music that’s never been made before. Who knew these mountains were hiding some of the most brilliant artists I would ever meet? I’ve met some real pioneers in music and I’m happy to call them my friends and collaborators. This open-minded, supportive community gave me the space I needed to stretch out my arms and my mind. My music and my family can truly call these enchanted landscapes our forever home.”
Well, that certainly is the kind of positive attitude and glowing endorsement for our beloved area that we can use and get behind around these parts. It is true that the Catskill Mountains do have some very amazing and unique energies coursing through them, the full moon parting the veil to reveal grinning satyrs like Paul McMahon, Peter Head and Simone Felice, or nymphs like Adrien Reju and Donna Lewis every so often. Mojica admits that the Hudson Valley has also affected the sound of his music, let alone general state of happiness.
“The music has gone from cold, solo piano work to really vibrant, warm melodic pieces with many moving parts and layers,” he says. “The change definitely reflects my inner landscape as I left a major city of strangers for a small community where everyone feels like family. Music for me is like a ritual. Every time I perform it feels like a new invocation, a resurrection. It’s what I love most about touring. Performing in Kingston is so special because of its rich history and current resurrection. I like being part of the cog that turns and churns out the new art and music scene in the Kingston area.”
Check out more at luismojica.com.
And now, the adventure
Well, gather round for a literal Kingston After Dark adventure. I had a very interesting time last weekend. Leaving Uptown Kingston for home around 3 a.m., I noticed my car starting to rattle while some cops were right behind me. I sort of swerve over into the Lucas Pet Supply parking lot and the cops turn on their lights and follow me in. Of course this was St. Patrick’s weekend and I felt bad because I know these guys had a lot to do and I was completely sober when they could be out catching some wasted people. Anyway, I explain to the cops that something is wrong with my tire and once they realize I am sober and not a total weirdo despite my purple car from 1997, they stuck around to help. It was a really cold night and so I appreciated them being cool.
We then go around to open up my trunk and see if I still have a spare and I forgot that my car trunk had a machete and various old sharp garden tools from cleaning out my parents old farm house, a pile of torn Spawn comics, an actual old pair of underwear of mine (don’t ask), several broken dolls, a Cannibal Corpse CD and a deflated toy giraffe. Suffice to say, it looked very much like I was a serial killer in training. I could sort of see the cop wondering as I rifled around but they didn’t arrest me. I eventually had to bother some poor chap on call from Perry’s Towing to save my ass at close to 4 a.m. since I couldn’t find my lug wrench, so big shout out to that dude and anyone who is genuinely willing to help people whether they are getting paid or not. The next day my spare wobbled off the rotor while I was en route to put the air pressure up to 60 and I walked three miles home but I eventually got a new set of tires and someone bought me sushi after seeing me fall down exhausted in a snow bank laughing. Oh, at some other delirious sleep-deprived point I also cracked an egg on myself that I thought was hard boiled and it most certainly wasn’t. At that point I had to laugh.
The moral? Well, I could have called that a streak of bad luck on St. Patrick’s weekend (I am Welsh, not Irish), but in the end it all seemed lucky to me that nothing worse had happened, I still got to check out Iron Fist in bed with my dog on Sunday and the stars are still shining bright as we head into spring.