Hey Hudson Valley perusers. I am fresh back from a weekend trip to Salem, Mass. and am brimming with historical psychic residue. It was awesome to get in the spirit of October by exploring the town for the first time since I was a teen. My girlfriend Elizabeth and I saw a tree that had been struck seven times by lightning, paid respects to Rebecca Nurse and other victims and enjoyed walking around the blustery port visiting museums while discussing at length the evolution of writer Nathaniel Hawthorne’s sense of social justice, among other revelations. For one thing, I had forgotten how Vincent Price was in the 1940 version of The House of the Seven Gables (looking very dapper) and what a metaphor that book is for the greed and hard-headedness of Hawthorne’s own ancestor Judge Hathorne (the only judge in the witch trials to never regret his decisions and the reason why Hawthorne spelled his own name differently). For another, it is strange to think how after so many years we are still facing the flash-flood hysteria of intolerance on a mass level. Humans are so fucking dumb.
No, there is not a “witch hunt” after Trump, who should not even be allowed to use that phrase. I am talking about the horrid news of his über-patriarchal administration’s attack on trans people, trying to legally define them out of existence. As a non-binary person this obviously concerns me, especially since not everyone out there is lucky enough to have a platform like I do and room to explore their identity within a supportive, loving community with trans flag crosswalks like we have. Anyway, I keep thinking of the karma of how Salem is now a magnet to never forget the dangers of intolerance and greed (much of the accusations happened to coincide with the motivation of property seizure). Tourism there now celebrates the empowerment of women. I pray many current youth have more empathy and inclusive hearts for the future to outlast the current news cycle of hate (as the old withered fearful souls drop off) so we don’t backslide even further. This country has such a bloody history and we aren’t making it great again by surrendering to our worst natures.
With that in mind, it is so cool to focus this week on a creative production company returning which aims to create events for every genre and type of creative, so as to entertain and support every walk of life in our community. Valley People Productions is that endeavor and is back after having stopped for a few years. Kali Quinn, who has booked and ran events at BSP, The Colony and The Beverly, wanted to create a sort of “Adult DIY” community, hence the re-birth of Valley People Productions. Quinn is also the creator of Empire State Record Fair and production manager for Meltasia Fest, so she has a lot of experience helping to get awesome events off the ground and running.
For those of you who don’t know, Iron Chic is a beloved melodic punk band from Long Island who have built up a massive buzz in the scene over the course of the last few years. Their absolutely essential modern punk record — how often can you say that these days? — You Can’t Stay Here turned one year old a week or so back and features amazing singalong anthems with great titles like “My Best Fried (Is a Nihilist),” “Profane Geometry” and my favorite song on the album, “Invisible Ink.”
“We heard that life had something in store, but it’s coming up short/We’re begging for more. Death’s sweet kiss was a bullet that missed us/We’re not giving up,” sings Jason Lubrano on one of the more relatable pop punk songs this side of being a teenager in many years. Think melodic bright guitars and lyrics that fill the hearts of fans across the world paired with a self-sustaining DIY ethic and you have the recipe for one of the most important acts in modern rock ’n’ roll.
Anyhow, the big news is that Valley People Productions have convinced Iron Chic to visit Kingston. The show was originally booked at The Beverly but cops have been called for noise recently so they so had to move it to BSP. The show is on Nov. 10 and costs just $10 with a 7:30 p.m. start time and absolutely killer support bands Timeshares and Nightmares For a Week also. This is literally the best punk show I can think of hitting this town since that time Joey Cape did shots to Ronnie James Dio’s memory with me, Bobby Benjamin and some other lucky fanboying-out fools at The Basement on May 16 (Lagwagon holy day), back in something like 2011.
Until next week, please stream all of the amazing third season of Daredevil like me so it doesn’t get the axe Iron Fist and even more unforgivably Luke Cage did. This season is very tightly wound and exciting and even features a terrific supporting cast performance from the great Joanne Whalley as helpful nun Sister Maggie. Everyone needs a helpful nun when getting ready to take on massive criminal enterprises. Until next time, much love and light to all of my readers out there and I hope you all find the contemplative mix of beauty and entropy of fall in the Catskills as inspiring as I do. What we do with our time really matters so I hope you aren’t wasting yours.