Good morning, pals. I hope you all had a semi-splendid week. I am chugging coffee and listening to The Ramones and it is not even 9 a.m., so I’d say the week is off to a rock ’n’ roll start. My rescue cat likes to wake me up each day at 6:30 a.m. swatting my face with her paw until I feed her. This usually involves me rolling over repeatedly groaning every 10 minutes for an hour while she repeatedly hits me. After I do get up and feed her she (her name is Amber) then likes to spend awhile sitting close and staring at my face purring or rubbing on the keyboard to thank me for food while I try to write. So yeah, she is pretty funny and awesome. I hope you give some love to your furry friends this week, even when they are annoying.
I had an excellent time at The Anchor last week watching L.A. band No Small Children bring their intensely fun and chop-filled power pop to the stage along with local Ramones tribute band Rocket to Ruin. It was so nice to go out on a weeknight, have a few delicious Keegan Ales Hudson Lagers (my new favorite from them by far) and sing along to many of the greatest punk songs ever written with my friends. Man, The Ramones really just were the perfect band. The songs were so deceptively simple yet actually sophisticated, goonish but with a very shrewd sense of rock ’n’ roll history and a timeless catchy urgency. Anyway, shout out to Rocket to Ruin. If you ever get a chance to see those guys you should definitely go. While they don’t exactly look the part, they bring the fun and a wide range of the band’s material to the stage. Vocalist Bobby Weiss nails the ear candy bop along vocal energy needed to do these tunes justice.
Speaking of rock ’n’ roll justice, there is an absolutely killer free show in Woodstock coming up fast. Death Valley Girls, the Iggy Pop-approved Los Angeles-based garage ragers, will be playing a Meltasia-sponsored incredibly free show this Friday, Aug. 16 at Station Bar and Curio. The craziest part is the band’s playing inside the tiny establishment, so get there early. Either way, it is gonna be a fun and rowdy night even if you are outside on the deck. There is sure to be a good turnout of groovy ghoulies. Death Valley Girls told me they were gonna tour with The Distillers but their drummer got hurt, so they are kind of making up shows and having fun until they can reschedule. I told them to just pretend they thought it was Woodstock 50 and act confused when they show up. The free event starts at 9 p.m. and you are certainly destined to need dancing shoes for that one.
If you can’t make Death Valley Girls and want to have fun closer to Kingston, let me recommend Drag Bingo at Rough Draft. Friday, Aug. 16 at 6:30 p.m., the bookstore, small bar and part-time events venue will host a delightful Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center co-sponsored bingo event. Rough Draft is located at 82 John St. and there will be prizes. A suggested donation of $5 at the door gets you a bingo card and Rough Draft has some of the best drink selections in town in a comfortable and well-lit environment.
Another shout out this week to Mike Amari and BSP who managed to get the Huichica Presents: Hudson Valley concert back on course after the very tragic death of two headlining acts. Psych icon Roky Erickson passed back in May and then the world sadly lost indie wordsmith David Berman this past week. Much respect to the BSP venue for saving the day and making the beleaguered festival an all-ages event at a lower cost for fans. From the word on the street the other night it was still a cool and enjoyable time, so it’s nice to know that even after tragedy, people can come together to celebrate the music.
My new record
Before I hey hey skip to my lou and sign off this week, a gentle reminder that you can pre-order my forthcoming new locally recorded multi-genre Walking Bombs album Sphinges, Sibling Selves and Queens on Bandcamp in digital format until the release day of Aug. 23. You get some punk, some industrial, some post-punk and even some stoner rock and experimental noise weirdness with lots of terrific guests like Jem Violet, Alison Babylon, Nate Kelly (of early Shabutie/Coheed and Cambria fame), Jay Andersen and more.
I identify as multi-gender at this point, after a lot of research, therapy and trans groups but not feeling quite like what other people were discussing wrapped up my experiences similarly in a bow. I know that can be confusing for people. They ask, “What do you want? It has to be this or that.” Nope. I hope deeply this album can help other non-binary people who might hear it navigate their journey, just as I have taken inspiration from seeing the visibility of gender non-conformist creatives like Vile Creature, Joshua M. Ferguson or Richard O’Brien, to name a few.
Until next week, keep your heads up and your dancing shoes on out there.