Last Saturday I went to Kingston, NY to take part or observe shows at the O positive festival. The Kid lives there now and interns at a recording studio and lives with a guy who is heavily involved in the O positive festival. Sal played with a group that was covering a song written by Pauline Oliveros for Sonic Youth as well as a couple other improv tunes she was arranging for the festival.
That started at 2 and I left Gfield at 11 in order to get there on time. I found that taking 91 to the Pike to the Thruway was the easy way to get there in just over 2 hours on the lovely sunny Saturday. I even stopped at the thruway stop just north of Kingston to use the restroom and buy the best honey crisp apples I ever had. They were picked very recently and washed by the lady from the farm who was selling them so I bought my $6 bunch of 7 and happily ate one on the way into town. Seriously the best apple of my life because things were just a little magic that day.
I bought my O positive wristband at Dominicks on the corner and found the Kid easily and after starting the conversation which was going to last all day with us, started to observe Pauline Oliveros in action, giving direction to the crowd around her who was ready to perform her piece. "If you find yourself in unison with someone else, change your sound" and things like that were her clues to the group and they dispersed, rocks in hand. I walked a little bit away and bought an ice tea at the farmers market which was happening on Wall Street and began to hear voices calling out names of people. It was the group performance. I followed Pauline as she walked slowly toward BSP calling out, "David! David!" which amused me greatly. They all clanked their rocks together and I guess the general public was somewhat alarmed and annoyed by the noise which also amused me greatly.
In the BSP people applauded and there were announcements in the darkened room and the mood changed from the sunny streets of Kingston as a 6 piece band began to jam, lead by a female vocalist and I was able to enjoy the music and relax. There was another drummer besides the Kid playing and they sounded together with it and I couldn't help but think of when EggEggs has two drummers. Ted and Jack really get a nice beat going with each other and everyone benefits. The two drummers behind the music in this song were good and I was proud of the Kid and glad to hear him do this sort of improv drumming, which is what I hear all the time with EggEggs and I couldn't help but wish he would play with them sometime. Maybe at their Hudson, NY gig in Nov. He said that they screwed up a bunch of times but it wasn't screwing up because it was improv. I just said it sounded nice. Matt, the guy he lives with, played guitar and there was another guitarist and a bass and the woman singing.
Afterwards, he drove my car to New Paltz after swinging by the apartment where he lives. Poor Kid is on a pull out futon couchy thing albeit in a nice little basement spot. It was obv that although Matt and his girlfriend were very nice to put up with him, it was time for him to get his own place. Today (the Saturday I wrote this blog), he told me that he found a place above the record store but he wasn't able to get it as the landlord told him he wanted to rent to someone who "has a job". I told him to tell the landlord to call me, I have a job.
Last Saturday we went to the town where I lived from 1984-1988 so I could to get Italian deli treats. This never happened but the time he and I spent walking around the campus was special and restorative for me in the way only QT with Kid can be. I am driven to write this blog so I can remember that time. I showed him the tripping fields of the college (named by Grace Slick back in the day) and the lame dorm room buildings, the building where I visited my German professor and such like and so on. I may have told him too many stories about my college years as they were mostly full of debachery. I didn't have many stories to tell about the amazing astronomy class, great brunches or woman studies discussions. I guess I could have told him the story about how I restarted the literary magazine and printed "Gnu Pulse" but that seems like a boring story.
We walked around town for a bit after he expressed amazement at the proximity to the campus. He also did a little comparison of the campus vs. the SUNY Purchase campus. I could hear his thought process as he considered attending SUNY New Paltz. I enjoyed the discussion and was okay with him opting out of a future there. We bought music and I showed him where I had lived in town (Broadhead, Main Street and Main Street) and told a story about my nutty roommate who spray painted on the brick outside our apartment window and tried to deny it. We also discussed living out of parents' homes and how it felt.
We drove back to Kingston and parked, getting some coffee, again at
Dominicks, where the proprietor recognized us both from previous (and
separate) visits. After I took my first sip of the double espresso he
brewed for me he asked, "How is it?" and was actually watching me drink
it, genuinely interested in, (maybe how impressed I was), if I liked the
taste. The taste of the espresso was worth noting and I'm glad he made me slow down and
acknowledge and enjoy the flavor. I may not have noticed its silky
buttery taste had he not inquired. It was damn fine espresso, he
obviously did not let the residual last water flow go into my cup.
The Kid and I leisurely sauntered down Wall Street, toward the old Dutch Church where we lingered outside before the show, enduring the mosquitos and examining the artwork Matthew's girlfriend had designed which he helped her install: A webbing of red yarn/string amongst tall trees in the cemetary which laid right outside the church. The red string was strung in straight lines between the trees and around the trees in a figure eight. It was very cool and I took a few pics of the Kid with the string installation behind him. There is one included here. The Kid's face is blurry but the string is visible as is the setting sun.
Soon we gave up on the mosquito-y outdoors and sat in uncomfortable pews to hear the Lonesome Sisters, who were pleasant with their sad country song harmonies and guitar/banjo switcherup and funny brief patter between songs. Then Ida played with a third person, a woman who played violin and harmonized with the vocals. I would have liked an hour more of their music with a chaise lounge option. After them was Ruthy and Mike, who I had forgotten I enjoyed so much. Ruthy is a powerful singer and wow, her fiddle playing can be so subtle and strong and full of surprise grace notes. I was very startled but quickly realized that was why I loved the Mammals like I did back then. The last band was a very dynamic mess of a group from Brooklyn with about five or six white people playing old timey but cool young hip bluegrass type music which was cool. I'd like to hear them again so I guess that says it all. We both enjoyed the show very much and I was also happy to know he liked that old time bluegrass/etc music that I like. I didn't know that he did. I said to him, "I didn't know you liked that stuff. I really like that." He answered, "I like it when its the right time and place for it and this was the right time and place." Which is a kind of non-answer and I'm intrigued by the Kid's response. Does he like it? Did it just not really bother him at the church? Is he sometimes in the mood for it and tonight worked for him? Does he not really like it but it hadn't bothered him at this show or these folks were good enough to dig? Was it because Ida is so amazing? I'm on the edge of my seat from his ambivalent and diplomatic assessment.
I got back to Gfield by midnight.