Kingston After Dark: Melter skelter

Tower’s the kind of band that will lounge all over your car, but leave you a Dokken tape in your cassette player to make up for it. (photo by Ash Dingess)

In case you are weary of fake Christians who think women are made out of men’s ribs but hate trans people or Republicans who were cool with leaving the Paris Climate Agreement now trying to grasp for political capital as Texas floods, I have you covered this week with some welcome rock ’n’ roll distraction from idiots who make actual relief efforts, unity and life in general harder.

We are heading into late summer/early fall and arguably the best time of the year for concerts and micro festivals. Our fair city has a slew of amazing events coming up the next few months with a return performance from Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier, spooky and aesthetically divine Sacred Bones Records cold dance artists Lust For Youth making an area debut (Google “New Boys” if you want to feel like what it would be if the Pet Shop Boys went triumphantly darker) and much more. First up, we have arguably the most down and dirty straight-up party of an event coming up as Woodstock and New York glitter-scuzz scene legend Andy Animal brings his Meltasia Festival back to these parts for a howling good time Sept. 8-10.


In a time when there are divisions even within families, it’s wonderful to see Andy Animal nurture the sense of family and bonds that exists between fans, bands and scenesters at his rock ’n’ roll circus-like excursions. After getting some noise complaints from nerds and the guy who played Dale on The Walking Dead due to the radness of last year’s Meltasia, this year’s edition has found a new home at the Blackthorne Resort in secluded East Durham. It’s an ideal facility for raging, camping and having the time of your life. They even have cool party goats and plenty of room to stretch your legs, park a motorcyle, swim in a pool or grab a beer and snog someone. The lineup of performers this year is the best yet as well, a truly insane gathering of the good and bad vibes. Where else can you see Wu Tang Clan legend Raekwon, blackened metallic thrashers Midnight, absolute friggin’ wise elder rock legends Mungo Jerry and Roky Erickson and current buzz bands like Pissed Jeans and Death Valley Girls around these parts all in the same weekend at the same place? Head to to see the full listing and ticket options.

“Some of the best times I’ve ever had were at Andy’s parties,” says guitarist James Danzo of New York heavy metal rockers Tower. Danzo is one of the chillest dudes in the rock scene and Tower have been pretty much my favorite New York City band for a number of years at this point. They perform as part of the Sunday lineup and are worth a drive seeing just about anywhere.

“Our old band The Psycho Hippies played in 2012 and ’13 when it was called The Meltdown at Uncle Pete’s Campground,” James elaborates. “It’s been nice watching the fest grow steadily but stay just as chill and tight-knit as it ever was. We’re grateful to have been invited to play, especially the year it finally gets covered in the news!”

Man, I am very pleased with the majority of the events in the Game of Thrones season finale. Without being super specific, you have to love when a sadistic, lying and manipulative jerk pays the piper. I wish that would happen more often in the real world. I used to read the books and talk about the characters with my dad when he was alive and seeing the series draw to a near close makes me miss him a lot. Don’t waste moments. It really is true that by sticking together we can ride out some of the worst storms in life, though sometimes you really do have to weed out the bad apples if they are determined to selfishly try to destroy you.

Remember that the delightful dining and drinking establishment Pakt at 608 Broadway now have Mimosa Mondaze, an all-day brunch that also give you extra love if you are in the service industry. Ongoing to infinity and beyond, mimosas are two for one for service people in honor of them missing their weekends hustling. Never be defeated by the Monday blues again as fatigue vanishes in a burst of orange bubbly delight, until you eventually need to face reality again. Brunch is 10-4 and dinner runs 5-9.

I could certainly use a mimosa or few for the amount of “this is why Trump won the election” people I have still been arguing with who try to blame identity politics on the left instead of racism, gerrymandering, Russia and voter suppression of blacks. It is obvious. Thankfully, at least this last week or two, I have not had anyone on the local front threaten to beat me online or harass me when I post cute pictures of loved ones or animals by telling me I will be killed if I protest white nationalists. Yes, clearly journalism must be the problem!

Until next week, I hope your August dog days yielded some enjoyment. I was able to have some beautiful and reflective nature walks, lakeside strolls and even some fun the other night listening to a marching band practice at Dietz Stadium (my dog even liked it and she isn’t so crazy about loud music, so good job Kingston). Until next week, may all your reasonable and beneficial dreams come true.