Kingston After Dark: Valley variety

The Hudson Valley String Quartet. (Photo provided)

Iconic vamp queen of gutter disco-pop Debbie Harry writes in her excellent new book-length life synopsis Face It that the all-seeing eye is everywhere now in the modern world. “These days it’s inescapable,” Harry muses in her absolute page-turner of a memoir. “No one now thinks twice about being photographed, or they think about it so much that when they’re not being photographed, they photograph themselves.” While, for instance, trans people often use selfie culture for validation and exploration to debunk the myth that all selfies are just vanity on a stick, it’s also true on the Internet that there exists a widening distance between reality and “cyber life.”

We are occupying an Internet which allows some people to hurl horribly abusive statements at, say, Rose McGowan or other Weinstein “alleged” victims, saying they were careerists or other hideous sexist tropes. While I have a feeling the dozens of women have more credibility than these mobs of trolls, it’s weird how people forget there are human beings on the other end of wickedly barbed comments. Some people are just evil bullies and don’t care; others lack maturity in regards to the harm they are causing or are dumb and gross enough to believe the trash they are spewing. At times, the escape of online culture becomes more tangible than the world of flesh, sky and pavement. It’s a weird moment we live in. It’s also hard to dismiss online activism (as Obama did recently) when many media people are interconnected on Twitter, and even our insecure madman-at-the-wheel Trump barks orders and illegal disproportionate-response war crime threats via the app. I guess what I am trying to say is we could use a celebration of tangible world harmonious disharmony.

We all have interests and self-images or dreams that maybe are incongruous to practicality at times. I certainly hope no one is still telling little girls not to dream of being president and to “be realistic” — Warren is my favorite in the field, fyi. My advice is, do whatever you want.


Now, more than ever, we need to lift voices in song, in unison, in protest, in affirmation that life is vibrant and varied.  My thoughts and prayers are with people in the Middle East and here who do not want war in any capacity and who refute the tiresome march towards end times that radicals, evangelicals and war-profiteer culture embodies in a sickening threesome of hellfire and blood. Matthew 26:52 comes to mind. “‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him. ‘For all who draw the sword will die by the sword.’”

‘Semi-kooky yet inspired’

SubFamily at the Beverly, Volume 3 is an event perfect for the theme of “Valley Variety” this week, a strong showing of talent on a semi-kooky yet inspired bill of acts thrown together by Sweet Clementines force of nature John Burdick. SubFamily Records, one of the area’s most compelling niche labels, hosts the event this Friday, Jan. 17 at The Beverly (224 Foxhall Avenue). It’ll be a night featuring a string quartet, an ear-dazzling rock band and a self-professed “electronic improvisational collective of heavyweight music professionals.”

Said event curator John Burdick of the Sweet Clementines, “I know it sounds like we’re trying to make a point about all music being one, but that wasn’t the way I was thinking about it. I just really want to drag a string quartet into a music club and see what happens. I wanted an interesting and escalating progression with a rock band at the end.

Burdick’s Sweet Clementines will be joined by The Hudson Valley String Quartet performing selections from Beethoven’s Early and Late Quartets and Kryptonian Halo (feat. Brian Dewan, Scott Petito, David Garland, Ross Goldstein, Rodney Greenblat).

“The people in Kryptonian Halo are all master players and composers, but in this project, they focus on a lucid, low-ego, air-clearing variety of electronic improvisation. I think it is wrong to portray it as ‘mere’ ambient or environmental music, as it really rewards your attention, but it makes for a heightened, transformative beginning to an evening. Not to get too new-agey, but you’ll know you’re stepping into a different space, and that is healthy and fun. The ‘enchanted VFW’ vibe of the Beverly’s large music room is perfect for it.”

The event starts at 8 p.m. and is a very reasonable $10.

Until next week, wishing you all peace, rest and good communication. I heard a rumor there is now an $80 million bounty on the fake president’s head and I honestly can’t put it past him trying to figure out a way to get the money for himself somehow. That is a head-scratcher, but so is this whole golf course and emoluments-addled shitshow of a nightmare.

I am going to keep my head down and start work writing a cool upcoming kind of pro-peace/anti-regrets collaborative tune I have in the works with Taraka Larson of Prince Rama fame and Sean Paul Pillsworth from Nightmares For A Week for my Walking Bombs rock project for the coming weeks and try to stick to my sober New Year’s resolutions that already feel like a million years ago since Soleimani. See you all next time and God bless.