Kingston After Dark: Sonorous sounds

Nothing from Nothing means … Nothing? (photo by Jimmy Hubbard)

Friday, June 16 brings one of the best actual buzz bands around to BSP Kingston. Quality and popularity are not always concurrent, but Nothing, from Philadelphia, is the real deal. The band filters loud and unabashed big-chord guitar love through waves of melodic-gaze and yet the songs have so much emotion that they can play with many different types of bands. When I first played them the music of the group’s newest album Tired of Tomorrow (Relapse Records), a friend said it was like if My Bloody Valentine was metal.

“The music seems to be the only thing that helps contain the misery that surrounds the band,” says bassist Nick Bassett when I ask if playing songs with such a melancholic heart is cathartic or adds to despair. “And when I say music, I mean writing it. Touring doesn’t help. Listening to people’s opinions after it’s been recorded, doesn’t help. Listening to the music after it’s been recording doesn’t help. Writing, though, that’s OK.”

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Good thing. Tired of Tomorrow was in my top five alternative and indie records for 2016, alongside stuff from the likes of Prince Rama, Psychic Ills, Miserable and Globelamp — all records that can be deceptively simple at first listen and reveal other unfolding layers with additional plays.

As popular music blog Pitchfork once wrote,” The Philadelphia band Nothing make gentle-sounding, springtime shoegaze with an alt-pop tinge that would seem all at odds with their gritty punk and hardcore pasts — until you listen to the lyrics.”

I would take it further. A lot of the songs have such a sort of yearning at the heart of even the brighter melodies, and also dive to such depths in places that you can’t help but simultaneously feel alive but fragile but somehow emboldened at the same time.

How does Nick feel the band grew the most between their early material and Tired of Tomorrow?

“Everything has been a learning process up to this point,” he says. “The band has always been about trying new things with no fears to achieve a constant progression as musicians, all while as humans, we continually regress.”

Has Bassett ever been to Kingston before? “Never, but can’t count how many times I’ve driven past it on 87,” he answers.

Hopefully it will be a proper and fun bubble-burster for everyone. Nothing is truly a band who could become long-term greats if they keep up all the hard work and continue to draw people into their glorious gloomy glow.

Souvenirs and Neaux join the band on a $15 ticket with doors at 7:30.

 

How did Jane Austen get in this column?

Coming up starting July 7 and running through the July 16 of 2017 you can catch Pride & Prejudice as presented by the Coach House Players (www.CoachHousePlayers.org). Evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. All seats are general admission for this dramatization of the Jane Austen classic.

Well, other than the somewhat startling-yet-yawnworthy news that there is a new M.O.D. album on the way called Busted, Broke & American via Megaforce Records next month (the band once wrote a very offensive homophobic song called “A.I.D.S.” that conservative vocalist Billy Milano continued to defend as recently as 2007 blaming gay people for AIDS), there is some good news to report on the regional festival front.

The initial line up for Basilica Hudson‘s Basilica SoundScape 2017 shows the gem of a little Hudson-based festival continuing to be insanely well curated and offering some of the best in envelope-pushing performers year after year. This years performers announced so far include Zola Jesus, Yellow Eyes, Thou, Priests, Protomartyr, Blanck Mass and more spanning many genres and mediums.

Says the elusive Brooklyn black metal band Yellow Eyes in a joint member statement, “Trying to win over an audience that is not necessarily metal-oriented is a formidable and refreshing challenge. Beyond that, this is one of the best-run and best-curated festivals in the U.S. We are proud to be a part of something so carefully considered.”

Yellow Eyes’ 2015 release Sick With Bloom is a vertigo-inducing elemental barrage. The album was widely heralded as mind-blowing, one of the biggest triumphs to date from the band and fantastic supporting label Gilead Media (Couch Slut, False, Kowloon Walled City). Their inclusion is a very validating win for the more intellectual, harsh yet beautiful and unsullied by the odious National Socialism side of black metal. I for one am thrilled they are playing.

Early bird tickets for the festival are available now, and can be purchased via Eventbrite.com. Because of the event’s limited capacity, attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets early. The festival will take place in Basilica Hudson’s industrial factory in the city up the river a spell (you know, the one famous for whaling, hookers and super-pricey burritos) from Sept. 15-17.

 

Slices and love

Until next week, I recommend you stop in to Tony’s Pizza on Broadway for good food and hospitality. I hadn’t been there in awhile and had a great time reminiscing with old friends and laughing into the wee hours last Saturday night. Not only do they have some of my favorite pizza around, they also have Iron Maiden beer on draft. You get metal points just for looking at the tap handle, let alone drinking a pint.

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