Kingston After Dark: We salute you

Static-X in concert. (photo by Catharina Christiana/C3 Photography)

Thanksgiving is a time for being grateful for the loved ones in your life, and hopefully coming together to share in some good company and food. Fans of the sadly deceased rocker Wayne Static’s former band Static-X’s fifth album Cannibal (or any of their records) were more likely thinking of human flesh and pounding disco-metal beats when the surviving members of the acclaimed industrial hard rock act, with a sound somewhere between the paranoid rage of Ministry and the horror-boogie stomp of Rob Zombie, brought their current tribute tour to nearby Skyloft in Albany. The band’s no-submission attitude was on display as their Wisconsin Death Trip 20th anniversary tour tore through the region in the past week. Fronted by mysterious Static stand-in Xero, the band got the crowd’s blood pumping and proved rock is not forgotten as we head into the closing month of what’s been a pretty weird decade.

“Wayne’s hair kind of became the visual identity of Static-X,” Xero recently told Kerrang! magazine about his attempt to mirror the look of the original vocalist. “We didn’t set out to create a ‘character,’ it just evolved naturally. We went to our friend Laney, who also makes the masks for many of the Slipknot guys, as well as Manson’s band and Rob Zombie’s band, et cetera. Wayne liked heavy metal, monster movies, and monster trucks. He would be honored by the celebration and he would dig the shit out of this.”

Wayne Static, born Wayne Richard Wells, passed away just shy of his 49th birthday in 2014 of multiple prescription drug toxicity. Compounding the sadness, his widow Tera Wray was not much longer for this oft-cruel world and passed in 2016 — very likely of grief. Hopefully they are both at peace now at last and fans are currently finding some comfort that even though the band members were alienated from one another at times, the songs are living on in celebration of the creative spark of life and good times of yesteryear.

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As the Static-X tour saluted their departed former friend, so before we get on to other happenings I’d like to take a second and salute all of you in the community who are doing good things for one another. This is a time of year to really try to expand our empathy and help one another rise, though ideally that is happening all the time. I had about 10 friends pass away unexpectedly this year and I have to say that every moment of kindness really does count. You don’t have to back down if someone has really crossed your boundaries or been disrespectful with no good reason, but we can try and solve things whenever possible.

Bucket rhymes with …

Indie dance-rockers Rubblebucket are coming through BSP on Monday, Dec. 30. While that band is very fun and good I have to say I am especially excited that they have the very trippy and electrifying live art-punk act Guerilla Toss from New York opening the proceedings. I saw them recently and was blown away enough that I would rave about them to anyone if given a chance, which I am now taking. The 8 p.m. backroom theater show will, rest assured, offer some late 2019 guaranteed fun with an 8 p.m. show start time. $15 early bird/$20 adv/$25 door are the ticket options.

If you want to dance off the calories — not fat-shaming, just offering the very best of healthy-living suggestions — after Thanksgiving’s overfeed, Tubby’s on Broadway in Kingston has some great music options for you coming up. Prison, featuring members of Rites of Spring, Silver Jews, Liquor Store and Endless Boogie) will be performing on Black Friday (Nov. 29) in case you’d like to get away from the actually potentially worse-than-some-prisons experience of trying to shop at box stores. (No disrespect to my incarcerated friends.) If you need to wait to Saturday night to rock, let me recommend the Americana-influenced Kingston-proud punk rock of Nightmares for a Week with guests Chousand and Land, Man on Saturday, Nov. 30 at the same venue.

Nightmares for a Week to me are the kind-of-currently active band with the most heart and soul tied to the Kingston’s of old and new. They live and breathe love of rock and are a staple of our region which should never be underestimated and could never be boosted enough as they deserve, for all the members have done for this place through the ages.

Until next week, please remember that November is Native American Heritage Month. While I recommend checking out the pretty excellent movie Hostiles on Netflix, a film that is unflinching in examining the painful bridges that were sometimes crossed in history before empathy could be felt and enacted, there is more I would like to say. The Southern Poverty Law Center mailer this past week included that “… though more Native people have been elected to state and federal governments in recent years than ever before, an achievement made possible through community-led organizing efforts and litigation, as many as 1 million eligible Native people remain unregistered to vote.” We are far from the land of co-operation that is put forth in the basic mythology Eurocentric history puts forth as the Thanksgiving ideal.

We need more real progress. Even as Lindsey Graham is blocking recognition of the Armenian Genocide, let’s recall that we are at our best when we hold real love in our hearts and don’t trample over one another’s pain for personal gain.

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