Kingston After Dark: No cracks in this Porcelain Helmet

Porcelain Helmet doesn’t crack easily.

While I am pretty sure from my fatigue level that I am still mentally trapped in the 42nd inning somewhere in the negative zone in game three of this year’s World Series — which would at least mean I hadn’t had to see the Dodgers blow game four so horribly to the Red Sux — the truth is that the past weekend was pretty fun on the local level.

While the country was reeling from the horrible synagogue attack, it was at least a small comfort to see so many people in costumes and with smiles on their faces out on the local streets for various Halloween-themed events. Shout-out to the people who were dressed as Purge characters and stressed me out by leaving fake weapons on a bar table while they went outside of a Fair Street bar to smoke cigs, but mostly the night was pretty stress-free other than the fearful uncertainty hanging around the corner as we head towards Nov. 6 and determine how much further we will let ourselves slip as a nation into D-grade celebrity bozo fascism. Anyone looking forward to the projected stock market crash in November and December? Just in time to save Christmas! It’d almost be funny if it wasn’t so predictable. I can almost see Trump blaming it on Dems now (if, as I hope, Dems win big). The reality is that Republicans always go for short-term gains at the expense of all human life and the market booms for a little while before eventually reality stubbornly kicks us back down the gilded golden escalator into the gutter of late-stage capitalism. But I digress.

I don’t have kids, but I think a lot about the future. I wonder how habitable the planet will be, even more so this week as Brazil has elected sexist and homophobic monster Jair Bolsonoro as its president. This is a guy who wants to destroy the rainforests and who, like our own Trumpy, has said a woman critical of him was too ugly to rape. The lungs of the planet can’t take too much more psychotic unregulated capitalism or pro-dictatorship nonsense.


While I have faith in the energy of March For Our Lives kids and even, gasp, millennials, to register people to vote and to work to resist and overturn nightmares past, present and future, you have to wonder how much rope we have left as a species. I think I am extra moody as a musician this week due to the unexpected news that New York hardcore legend Todd Youth of Murphy’s Law, Warzone, Agnostic Front, Danzig (and many other bands) fame had passed away. Youth had such a positive influence on so many kids’ lives. I wonder who are going to be the new faces to step up and make kids want to express themselves or feel part of something that can empower them. Culture changes and genres gain or lose prominence — love them or loathe them, at least Greta Van Fleet are making people talk about rock ’n’ roll again even if they copy Led Zeppelin more than many people are comfortable with. 

All that aside, I wanted to point out a young thrash metal band this week from the Hudson Valley who are terrific and doing great things. I am talking about Kingston’s own Porcelain Helmet. These young thrashers have already managed to befriend Scott Ian, release a CD, get on friggin’ Metallum (a very snobby metal encyclopedia site which is very picky about who they include), and generally kick up some dust! Metal is now a multi-generational genre and we need the youth to rise and keep it going as well, especially as old-guard bands retire or heroes die and rock ’n’ roll is the musical underdog once more on the world stage.

The Chance in Poughkeepsie is a none-too-shabby venue for touring national bands, let alone a young up-and-coming local act. You can do your part and support real local metal with heart by showing up for Kingston’s own Porcelain Helmet on Saturday, Nov. 3 as they open for I Don’t Know — another one of those Ozzy tribute bands of varying quality that seem to come through Poughkeepsie every so often. (Editor’s note: The socio-cultural impact of Ozzy’s 1981 appearance at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center cannot be overstated.)

Porcelain Helmet are doing real things with original material which is a lot harder in this day and age. I love cover bands and have played in them and had the time of my life, but I have even more respect for people cutting their teeth on their own songs trying to hammer out their own little claim to fame in this rat race and time of massive apathy. If you aren’t seeing Thurston Moore at BSP this upcoming weekend and feel like getting some whiplash induced by a bunch of rocking youngsters playing their brains out, I suggest to dip into your retirement money and pony up the affordable $10 admission. The Chosen Adolescence also support and Leave It Behind rounds out the bill with a 7 p.m. door.

Until next week, please don’t get any funny ideas and just do me a favor and vote straight blue on everything. Delgado is a great candidate and Faso is a completely compromised throwback. It is embarrassing as heck to hear those moronic attack ads about Delgado’s bygone rap CD when Trump is currently licking the feet of Kanye West, who just put out a video on Pornhub. (Editor’s note: The AP Stylebook is silent on how one writes “Pornhub” in news copy. Huh.) Republicans are gigantic hypocrites, intent on destroying society. This is some seriously awful stuff to endure as a culture mentally and physically and we are making a mockery of God’s gifts or, if you are understandably atheist at this point, the beauty and diversity of nature and peace and love in general.