Top local band of 2022: dblgoer!!

That’s right Capital Regioneers, our favorite band this year is a well known duo of hardcore scene vets called dblgoer! Though they’ve only been around a couple of years, they’ve played their way into our hearts and pants.

dblgoer in their natural state: performing at a Superdark show at Desperate Annie’s in Saratoga Springs

dblgoer (or doublebasslifegrowingbrighter as it’s pronounced in ancient algebraic where it they hail from) is made up of Matt Heuston (aka Matth also of Glitter of Cohoes, Che Guevara T-Shirt, Friends of the Library, Catacomb Gypsy Vagina, and Lack of) on guitar, highly processed vocals and pedals and John Olander (of the Sugar Hold, Handsome Faces, Che Guevara T-Shirt, and THE Latent) on percussion and various electronics and pedals. This super experienced post-rock duo has graced stages from Albany to Troy, from Saratoga Springs to… Troy!

While it’s true they haven’t been on tour yet and keep recording, mixing, rerecording, remixing, and unrecording their as yet to be released single/album… tracks? they’ve certainly made astonishing inroads with fans and readers of Times Boredomland, who have voted the newcomers to the top spot in the first year they’re eligible for the list!

An image as mysterious as the band and their highly original eclectic post music that came from their bandcamp page

Being new gives dblgoer an incredible opportunity to define and redefine themselves as they see fit, as all that anyone really knows is they’re a couple of gingers that’ve been in a dozen local bands that have now found their own unique voice as a highly popular highly anticipated duo showcasing both of their many idiosyncratic talents.

In addition to also, having won this honor surprised no one moreso than dblgoer themselves. While their shows have been well attended, they didn’t realize the dizzying heights of popularity they’d risen to within their brief period bombarding the scene with many gigs within a small period of time. To show their appreciation, they agreed not only to answer our survey questions but also to pose for glamor photos (below):

Interestingly enough this number one slot came with cash prize money. Unfortunately, Times Boredom required a professional electronic press kit (epk) to collect this prize. And although dblgoer did produce an epk, it did not contain any pictures of the band members without instruments staring blankly at the camera or looking away thoughfully. Since said photo is a requirement for a pro epk, dblgoer did not receive any of the cash. Here is the photo they submitted instead.

TimesBoredom: Congratulations on being in Times Boredom’s Top 10 local bands! Honestly, how much of an honor is this for you?

Matt Heuston aka matth: It’s the most we could’ve hoped for

TB: Did you release any music in 2022?

matth: No, but there were some live things on youtube. WE did some demos, but held off on doing anything with them.

TB: What was your favorite show that you played in 2022?

matth: Maybe our Desperate Annie’s show with sky furrows, because Sky Furrows is great. But all the DA shows were fun to play, owing to the sound of the room and the people that come out for Super DArk Mondays .

TB: Who was YOUR favorite local band in 2022?

matth: Ice Queen, hands down.

In case anyone is unaware, the whole purpose of this silly top ten list in the vast sea of unnecessary and useless lists of ‘best’ things (it used to be called the ‘worst’ list but then we found that people were using it in their press kits and we didn’t want them to have to write ‘worst’ and then explain the irony or whatever) is to promote and bring all viewers and readers to the music. So thanks to dblgoer, everyone that voted in our top local bands survey and not only all the terrific bands that made the list but every other band that we like, love, and hate in equal measure (some more so than others) that didn’t make the list but were voted for. Please go visit each and or all of them on bandcamp or better yet the next time they play live in a club near you:
100 Psychic Dreams
Haunted Cat
haley moley
sky furrows
the abyssmals (now with 2 S’s!)
the sugar hold
madeline darby
bruiser and bicycle
jason martin
lemon of choice
ice queen
merci van
william hale
brent gorton
Stephen Gaylord/Gay Tastee
blood blood blood
prom sex
zombie giuliani
swamp baby
sime gezus
connor armbruster
broken links report broken links visit broken links tell us about your broken links have fun dancing without broken links

More fun with 100 Psychic Dreams

So in addition to all the ‘in addition to’ stuff we wrote about 100 Psychic Dreams in our earlier article, Superdark superstar of the Psychic Dream Waves Shane Sanchez responded to our survey questions.

…And here they are!

Times Boredom (TB): Congratulations on being in Times Boredom’s Top 10 local bands! Honestly, how much of an honor is this for you?

Here’s our man, 100 Psychic Dreams in the bricks behind him. Sometimes theyre red, sometimes they’re, um, brick.

100PsychicDreams — hereinafter referred to as ‘1PD’ and yes we think that’s funny /Shane Sanchez: It’s a real shocker!!

TB: Did you release any music in 2022?

1PD: Only a couple of collaborations. Mostly played shows and promoted my 2021 release Bronze Stroker

TB: What was your favorite show that you played in 2022?

1PD: The Sime Gezus album release for sure! Awesome producer showcase with Albany artists PJ Katz, Big Malk, Mitochi, Devin B & myself and killer performances by Sime, JB!!, Juice Mega and Grimewav. What a night!

TB: Who was YOUR favorite local band in 2022?

1PD: I’m gushing all over Prom Sex right now.

TB: Do you have any plans for 2023?

1PD: Lots of collaborations! Excited about my work with Jason Martin, a handful of hip hop artists, working on new Bloodx3 and my second album is almost complete!

And for extra fun (and extra super fucking awesome seriously here ppl you know this is THE SHIT) here’s the collaboration from the superspooky ‘Do the Fright Thing Volume 8’ with 100 Psychic Dreams and Jason ‘Wolfman’ Martin (take a listen… if you liked this article, 100 Psychic Dreams, or anything Times Boredom does in general you should absolutely have a listen to this mindblowingly cool collab between two of our favorite people in the local music scene!:

Top 10 local Capital Region of NY bands of 2022, Part 2: 100 Psychic Dreams

Superdark supergenius behind 100 Psychic Dreams Shane Sanchez

Making their first appearance on our top ten chart this year is 100 Psychic Dreams, the experimental electronics project of our good buddy Superdark Shane Sanchez!

Most recent 100 Psychic Dreams album cover for ‘Bronze Stoker’, released May 2021

In addition to ruling the scene, Shane Sanchez has been making experimental electronic music for quite some time now. His latest project 100 Psychic Dreams seems to have struck a huge chord with the Capital Region superhip underground music scene (you know, the scene that we’re into and cover). Since 2021 100 Psychic Dreams has released about 2 albums’ worth of material and several singles, including idiosyncratic VHS mashup recordings, experimental illbient, innovative hip hop beats and backing tracks, and a groundbreaking cover of hip old Iggy Pop classic ‘Night Clubbing’

In addition, the electronist (electronicist? Synther? DJ? MC?!!!) has been playing live all over the Capital Region — especially in Troy at our favorite No Fun joint. 100 Pyschic Dreams has also been providing beats for local hip hop shows, playing the aforementioned cover of landmark Iggy Pop song ‘Nightclubbing’ live for the No Fun anniversary fest, improv sets, providing backup beats for various projects…

The cover that won MY heart for 100 Psychic Dreams, a project putting sick beats together with classic 80s horror movies called ‘VCR Vortex Vol. 1’. 100 Psychi Dreams does IT ALL

So is 100 Psychic dreams a DJ/MC? Is it an experimental electronic project? “Synth drenched grimy beat magick”? The beat machine for the entire 518 music machine? Hell yeah it is! It’s like, 100 different things in 1!

And it’s “PSYCHIC”!

(So I’m guessing they knew they’d be number 2 on our charts right out the gate and have been celebrating in advance, laying down those funky beats and noisey treats for all of us to dance dance dance…)

Top 10 local Capital Region of NY bands of 2022, Part 6: Sky Furrows

Sky Furrows has the unbearable burden of being in the Times Boredom top ten more than any other band in the Capital District.  But honestly, how could they not be?  Times Boredom is indisputably the arbiter of everything that’s cool (and cool enough to not take itself too seriously) in the Capital Region and has been since 2015.  

And is there any cooler band you can think of than this motley gang of 4 vets of the up (and sometimes down)state New York scenes?  Every single member of Sky Furrows has carved a name for themself individually in a way that, if there were like a twenty year golden watch given out by the lord of the underground cool, they’d all have one.  And NOW they’d all have 3 rings they could kiss (like those asshole Patriot fans — sorry our Editor’s a HUGE Yankees fan and will NOT hear of any story that doesn’t disparage the Bruins at any opportunity we can possibly get…)

And the truth is if ever there was a time for me to say my famously overused ‘Ah hell I done interduced them enough’ Big Lebowski quote it’d be now since Sky Furrows has won just about every award we put out, been reviewed and mocked and praised so many times by Times Boredom there’s nothing left to do but repeat myself… So this time I’m not gonna start going a hundred feet deep with Rambutan and Parashi and links to collaborations with Mike Watt and whatever else…

Instead, I’ll just tell you what they said to me when I asked them some interview questions like ‘how great is it to be in Times Boredom’s top ten YET AGAIN and how surprised are you…’

I’m even getting a lot of use out of this photo. I think I’ve posted it several times. Give someone else a chance to win will you Sky Furrows?!

Congratulations on being in Times Boredom’s Top 10 local bands! What was your favorite show that you played in 2022?  Who was YOUR favorite local band in 2022? 

Karen Schoemer (for Sky Furrows):
One of our favorite local bands is the Scurves! Love them Scurves!

TB: Do you have any plans for 2023?

KS: We did not release new material in 2022, but we did record a new album in Katonah NY and Easthampton MA and we’re hoping to get it out by the end of the year!

And that’s it. We done tell you all there is to tell. Seriously I really am tired of introducting them. I do this to promote local bands and if all I’m really doing is giving them awards every year and saying how great they are what does that really accomplish? I gotta rethink my choices bro. Seriously.

A plea from Times Boredom for Times Boredom to be better

I gotta admit, I clicked on this. Watched it for about 10 seconds before i recognized it was exactly what I thought it would be and had no interest in seeing it. This is why some cool underground publication like Times Boredom needs to step up and publish more content.

And we all know it’s out there just waiting to be found and distributed more widely.

Here’s a great example: Haunted Cat made an entire half hour Christmas special a couple years ago; (they also made a Halloween special, but it is Christmas and all depending on when you read this — that’s another thing. We all know that people visit Nippertown on a daily basis but Times Boredom’s only visited when a) your band or someone you know is mentioned b) when you find out about it which is typically not the same day so 5f) there’s a .00001% chance anyone will read this on Christmas). The production values may not be as flawless as the Sirsy video, and there may not be any ‘sexy dames’ baby singing ‘Santa Baby’, but come on. This thing is hilarious. There’s genuine humor here, and not just the kind you can milk by mocking an old style mr. rogers type christmas special. And in addition to the funny corny holiday cheer, there’s a number of terrific rock performances by… well I’m not going to ruin it for you because I really think you should watch it yourself (that’s kind of the point here). But there’s no link to this special, on Nippertown, Keep Albany Boring, Times Union, or any other local music and arts sites.

It probably sounds like I’m singling out Nippertown, however, I really appreciate Nippertown and think it’s the best site there is for local Capital District music and arts news, promotions, and just information in general. And in terms of music, they do coverage of all kinds of local music including underground stuff that other local publications in other cities would stay away from in order to get more sponsors or advertisers etc., to make more money. But Nippertown really is more concerned about helping people to enjoy the arts scene around town. So in addition to the Sirsy video they posted today they posted one by Warden and Co. and one by Taini Asili and the Messiahs. Nippertown is great; but because they are what they are they want to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. Unfortunately that often means groups like Sirsy, Super 400 and the Figgs that have been around for 30 years and have real PR machines get way more coverage than a group that’s just starting out like say, the Sugar Hold. The Sugar Hold is making enormous waves in the underground community, but in terms of local music time they’ve only been around an instant and as such they’re still building not only their fanbase, but their relationships with local media, their productions, multi-media presentations, etc.

So what’s the real problem? I suppose this is as close to an ‘editorial’ as we come here at Times Boredom (perhaps I should add that as a category/tag since my lazy ass has written 2 or 3 of these now) so I just want to say that there’s so much great underground music right now in the Capital District I feel like we could really be a mecca for a strong ‘alternative’ (term used correctly even if doesn’t apply musically) collective of recordings, performances, and overall knowledge by a large audience in the area that would really appreciate the music but just doesn’t know about it.

I mean if you were new to town and came from a larger city, and you looked for local music and saw Sirsy, you’d be like ‘I guess punk rock really IS dead, especially in this jerkwater burg. I’m just gonna listen to my old Minor Threat record again. There’s plenty of classics to keep me happy enough’. And you’d ignore every aspect of the local scene because you’d figure there really wasn’t anything of substance to see.

Another unchangeable issue is that as much great music as there is around (and there pretty much ALWAYS is, even in cities as small as ours in the US), it’s all about giving it a platform, getting groups together, dissemination and distribution. In short, a ‘scene’ needs to be created. And of course the ‘scene’ brings to mind all the stupid terrible things it entails like small town big egos, in groups and out groups, enmity amongst microniches, etc etc. (if you’ve ever been in one you know exactly what I mean). But what’s much worse is not having a scene at all. You’ve got a thousand people in their basements and apartments writing and recording music, playing in small groups with just their close personal friends, house shows where the band outnumbers the audience and the cops get called after a couple songs. Self indulgence, legends in their own minds, the complete lack of appreciation that makes would be greats quit before they get started, isolation and atomism and lack of competition. All of which are overcome by a scene that certainly does bring out bad aspects, but also often brings out the best of the music. Interrelationships, genre crossovers, the competition that makes everyone better (my favorite example is the Minutemen being inspired to write and record Double Nickels on the Dime in response to Husker Du’s double album Zen Arcade. Would either of these have happened without a national ‘scene’ based around SST, a network of punk rock clubs and people, and the PR and promotions that occurred — what little there were — were SO important that today someone like me (and hopefully you) know what they are and can appreciate them).

And we have the building blocks for a great scene that could even potentially breakout and have people saying ‘there are fantastic things going on right now in underground rock and punk in Troy and the surrounding areas’. And you know me, I believe the Superdark Collective is responsible for a great deal if not most of this network, collaboration, word of mouth, etc. And now growing on the success of much of what the Superdark Collective generated we have No Fun, a great club in Troy that plays host to so much of the terrific underground music we have around town. It gives the loners in their basements (not making fun; I AM one) something to strive for. A reason to record and distribute. A reason to ask their friends who plays bass guitar and if anyone knows a drummer. These are the organizing factors that create little revolutions, that make music scenes like Seattle, Mineapolis, and Chapel Hill break out so that maybe mainstream listeners don’t know, but folks that are into underground music have their lives vastly improved. Seriously.

If you read this you’ll probably think it’s a useless rambling editorial that won’t solve anything. And you’re right. Because like you I work a full time job and don’t have the time to edit this, make sure it makes sense, or strengthen the points I really want to make about how this publication, Times Boredom, really needs to step up and cover the specific musical niches that are burgeoning around here — the noise scene, the electronic scene, post hardcore, punk, and metal. I’m not criticizing wide reaching sites like Nippertown because I think they’re doing anything wrong, but because I think they’re doing what’s right for them and not just covering what’s already thriving and has its own means of DIY promotion and distribution but EVERYTHING/as much as they can. The reason I began (and talked WAY too much about) with Sirsy is that often means that whatever’s canned and has worked its mainstream appeal factors out, the heavily processed pre-mixed defrosted previously fully cooked spam that doesn’t need the coverage or promotion and is just overpeddling a mediocre product at best is what gets the attention and dissemination it doesn’t need or deserve. We need to fight against the Sirsy’s of the rock world and for the underground punk Haunted Cats, Sugar Holds, Superdark Collectives, 100 Psychic Dreams, No Fun, Architraves and dblgoers and so many more I couldn’t name them all — one person couldn’t even know them all!

So in a way this is a plea; join me in my quest to make the Capital District underground music scene as big and great as it can be. Especially now when we have so many of the building blocks in place. If you want to volunteer to write for Times Boredom, be it an opinion piece about the local band you love, a review of a great local album you just heard, or a sarcastic article making fun of you own band send us an e-mail today, we’re not picky! And as silly as we are and sometimes unintentionally/INTENTIONALLY mean, if we hurt anyone’s feelings we take it down. We just want to have fun and bring all the amateurs together to create something much better than it otherwise would be, so you don’t need any special training or experience to be one of us. Just a desire to join with us to promote and let everyone know about all the great music that’s going on out there.

Because otherwise it’s just me. And I’m already way too old for this shit, and only gettin fatter and lazier.

-Scott Koenig (aka DJ THINK NOISE)

Nathan Meltz and The house of Tomorrow Sing More Songs About Failed Utopias

As soon as opening track ‘Billy Morris’ takes off you know exactly what you’re in for; quirky indie pop that makes you nostalgic for those late 90s/early 2000s obscure power pop and lo-fi label albums you were obsessed with but no one else seemed to be… And as expectedly unexpected in the lo-fi pop genre, Sing More Songs About Failed Utopias goes on a non-linear journey from that k records naive international pop sound straight through to the more recent experimental college pop like Alex G. Brilliant yet entirely unassuming lo-fi pop gems sparkle so brightly you almost cry when the harmonies are off key or there’s so many over the top saccharine sweet instruments added you know this will never be on the radio or most likely, anywhere other than a sad sad site like Times Boredom.

The ‘House of Tomorrow’ band is made up of some of the usual suspects of local musicians and scenesters; Kim Tateo (from Machine Revival), Brady Potts, Connor Amrbruster (an accomplished up and coming solo performer in their own right), Dan Prockup, and our good Superdark buddy (and good sport) Christopher Brown. It’s not clear who plays what, but knowing something about these kids most of them are pretty good at just about anything they pick up. And if there’s something else familiar about these kids that you just can’t put your finger on, you may have seen them (esp lead Nathan Meltz) in previous groups ‘The Machine that Wouldn’t Die’ and ‘Machine Revival’, or other similarly named quirky pop projects that have been playing around the Capital District for a number of years now.

The House of Tomorrow (in clever playing card form)

But let’s get less clever and do a more descriptive dive into the weeds if we must… must we? We must

Track 2 ‘Zion’ is to put it bluntly a brilliantly crafted pop gem. Like better than Sufjan Stevens. We hope it’s been submitted to college radio stations (if not take note here guys; this could be bigger than Alex G. Seriously). Though also to be blunt members of the Church of Latter Day Saints may very well not appreciate its rather flippantly wry portrayal of its… free loving founder….

And the standout track by far is #3, Themyscira. That off kilter (possibly off key; I can’t tell because I don’t have perfect pitch but I do have perfect OCD for an unbearably catchy hook) harmony on ‘reTURN to us’ could quite literally make Mr. Meltz a number one artist based on that note alone. And it stays with you after the album is over, and it will make you want to listen to the whole ep again. And then it will haunt you until you listen to it so much that you don’t know why it calls you in the middle of the night but you MUST listen to that cute little line about how Diana should ‘reTURN to us and leave the world of dicks behind’… you get the point. It’s fuckin catchy.

And if that weren’t enough, there’s the the surprise ‘Planet of the Apes-Man’ where I hope (I hope I hope) they’re exhibiting the influence of listening to way too much of the lates sixties/early seventies Kinks concept albums… it really does have that (forgive me if I’m repeating myself) naive underground pop music base that comes from groups like the Kinks that completely moved on from what made them famous yet delighted a loyal and changing fan base, in a way that I’d really like to think of Nathan Meltz and um, House of.. hm sounds like either they are a cult like the Polyphonic Spree or they’re making fun of a cult group like them — again let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and say it’s mockery. But all in good fun!

But… it’s not all clever indie transcendence… Not all of the melodies are as fantastically catchy as Themyscira. And perhaps it should be pointed out that if you like your lo-fi indie a little more punky or hard edged this isn’t a record for you, the only edges are the interesting twists taken with pop hooks and ‘fa fa fa fa’s’. But it’s definitely worth a listen, and it portends potentially great things in the future provided mssrs Meltz and co. keep it up and fight the good indie pop fight… we’re certainly looking forward to hearing more and love what has developed from the early days of the Machine that Wouldn’t Die to this terrific new incarnation of Nathan Meltz and the House of Tomorrow!

-Scott Koenig

We interrupt this nothing to promote a great show tonight at No Fun Troy!

Somewhere in the oughts indie rock/pop lost its way. It became a shadow of whatever was on the radio in terms of production, and more and more like 70s soft rock in overall sound and mood.

The tragedy is not only the early but the late 90s offered so many avenues indie could have taken. Lo-fi to slowcore, math rock to the quirky off kilter rhythms and melodies introduced by the likes of Rob Crowe in San Diego. And we’re just talking about the softer end of rock and the more melodic edges of pop here.

But the publications of the day heralded the coming of the old age. The new Eagles and folky singer songwriters… the shit.

Milwaukee’s honest to goodness indie Brief Candles

Fortunately for those of us that follow underground music, there’s plenty of great stuff that went the other way, the good way. At their core that’s exactly what Milwaukee’s Brief Candles ( represents. Lo-fi aesthetics, jarring rhythms, catchy crooning and just the right amount of guitar effects. Somewhere between groups like Verses and Heavy Vegetable that we all kinda forgot about; and of course the influence of that never gets tired of recycling shoegaze from Manchester.

There’s some Brooklyn hipster sounds in there, but out of a genuine love for the music that Brooklyn seems to be getting so wrong these days. It’s all grounded in more of a we love guitar music and everywhere it can go; whether it’s simply a really high strung bass line that makes an entire song or Television like interplay of guitars. And, of course, if they’re named after the Zombies song I think they are, they’ve definitely got their references in order.

Brent Gorton’s current project Better Pills

See Brief Candles tonight at No Fun with Brooklyn’s (yech! jk — or are we?!) Dead Leaf Echo, and Brent Gorton’s Better Pills ( — if you don’t know who Brent Gorton is, get your ass down to No Fun and find out because he’s a brilliant indie pop legend here in the Capital District and arguably THE best songwriter.

Karen And Peter’s Aggro Dolce

(Cruel Nature Records)

Preview of the illustrative thirty second video that we don’t have the technology/permission to be able to embed here at Times Boredom

At the top of the bandcamp page for Karen & Peter’s ‘Aggro Dolce’ album is a video. It’s a 32 second clip of the 5th track ‘Weekend in the Berkshires.’ And it’s a perfectly apt sample of the entire record. If you like it, you’re gonna love the album. If it doesn’t do it for you, none of the songs, the sounds, or the spoken word poetry vocalist Karen Schoemer is famous for are going to reach you.

The clip is so bleak and creepy, so seemingly random and filled with mundane stream of thought observations… a series of random fuzzy high art images flash slowly, almost painfully, and then a face appears within the haze. It’s Karen Schoemer, New York punk poetess of the 21st century, monotonally berating you in a calm and measured but almost unbearably intense, direct manner. She’s staring right at you. Speaking right to you. Seeing right through you.

If you’ve heard any of Schoemer’s other projects (our local favorites Sky Furrows perhaps or her collaborations with Watt, Wreckless Eric, Amy Rigby, etc.), you’re going to recognize her inimitable vocal stylings and post-beat post-punk poetry. If not, the calm and placid monotonal stream of consciousness utterings covering over an ocean of endtime anxiety that run throughout the entire course are evocative of other NYC punk princess poetesses’ we’ve compared her to before like Patti Smith and Kim Gordon.

But this album is very different from everything else I’ve heard Schoemer involved in because of the post-rock, classical music/sound collages under the vocals. The free synths and white noise so perfectly encase and are used as a vehicle for her idiosyncratic vocals, both of which complement each other to such a great degree that they enhance one another in a way hereto unheard of. Which, if you’re used to Schoemer’s other projects, is a shock to the system. Even she admittedly states she’s in unusualy territory here, as on ‘En Hiver “it’s unnerving. The way these songs change. No rhythm tracks in the snow. No marks. No measures. The hillside strangely empty of drums and guitars.”

And yet the minimalist ambience created by Peter (Taylor)’s anxious, existentialist soundscapes speaks of a spirit so kindred to Karen’s vocals that’s even further increased by seeing his artworks juxtaposed with her written poetry in the liner notes (who knew that recorders in this century were still using every piece of the artwork and space available to them to express themselves?). And yet, according to the liner notes, they’ve never met! Peter is living in a region of England scarred by coal mining and asbestos contamination. Karen, as far as we know, is in the gigantic brownfield that is the American post-corporate Capitalist scape (“woods without squirrels or insects”) of the ‘Empire State’. In which case it makes a great deal of sense that 2 artists that have never actually met are completely ‘in tune’ with each other, like the ‘special relationship’ between the trappings of the old Empire and the New, which is now also slowly but surely crumbling and decaying. Perhaps if they were to meet it might actually spoil the bond that clearly exists between them on the record — in any case here’s hoping they continue to collaborate from their eerily similar home spaces (anyone that’s worked from home with colleagues knows what I mean and the shared feelings you experience regardless of distance, time, or space), joined by the toxic leavings of the hands of unimaginably powerful, irresponsible men that have destroyed our worlds.

Beautiful playbill of Liner Notes

In case I haven’t made this clear, this is NOT happy or light music in any way. It is DARK and it is HEAVY. And it is repetitive and pointless and anxious yet calming and 20 months pregnant with the suspense of 7 civil wars that could start at any moment, ‘just a shot away’. That’s the mood it paints, and that’s the mood just about everyone’s in right now whether they admit it or not. The radio plays ‘pop tones’ while a hellish backlash Presidency that nearly reignited the same stupid Civil War we’ve been passively aggressively fighting for over 150 years was interrupted by a global pandemic thrown into the powder keg that locked us in our miserable homes where we hate and plot against our neighbors because THAT’S WHAT STRONG PEOPLE DO in America according to the television shows we binge watched while at all costs we told ourselves REMAIN CALM REMAIN CALM REMAIN CALM.

It sounds calm; this is what calm sounds like. Peter Taylor’s synths, found sounds, and the very occasional/rare crack or pop that heralds some kind of a beat — it’s a circle of hell. It sounds like a slow boil off the entire surface of the ocean while Karen whispers in our ear calmly, “100 men flayed raw…” and then something about the Velvet Underground(?). “This road wasn’t here. This valley wasn’t here. The stream became a reservoir. The flood came down the hill past the Catholic Church. This was a stream. It shouldn’t be a lake!”

I completely understand it and yet I don’t. I don’t know what we’re supposed to do. I know we have to stay calm and tend to our mundane little lives in the midst of indefatigable and unstoppable global change and misery.

This is not only the soundtrack of our lives but inside our MINDS right now. Somewhere between a late Scott Walker track and an ambient Eno airport scene about to break into a Wolf Eyes nightmare at any minute. And Karen keeps whispering in our ear… over our “Weekend in the Berkshires”; “don’t drink the water… species crash disturbs the unintended garden… no sense of space under there… just cement, on dirt, the weather warm and strange. Sweating no longer cools the body — are you coming over after band practice? Are you ignoring my texts?

God, it’s only Tuesday.”

An intimidating list of other releases on the Cruel Nature records page — no doubt other hidden gems exist throughout but who will sort through all the records without samples, all the music not on the radio, all the challenging pieces of art that point the way towards what’s really moving forward with the artform of music today as the underground moves further and further from the mainstream to a degree where it seems they’re becoming so irreconcilable that a new Pixies type breakthrough will be literally impossible in the future…

This is a perfect descriptive piece of art, the ‘soundtrack of our minds’ for anyone in the old Empire living through 2022. Our stupid lives, childhood traumas, pointless adult lusts pulsing through the bleak soundscape of the hypnotising hellish (or calming, entertaining bread and circuses depending on how you look at it) soundscape that keeps us stable and sane enough to say ‘everything is alright… enough’. But it sure as hell is not. And this photorealistic capture of this moment in time of the collective unconscious is what art SHOULD BE.

Damn those blatantly superficial radio songs that are clearly designed to put us in a buying mood and out of our existential, nihilistic anxiety about the present and fuck me do I NOT want to even THINK about the future. That’s what the people are listening to because that’s what’s being aggressivley marketed to them without mercy. But Aggro Dolce by Karen and Peter is what’s really going on… in our world, in our minds, defining new sounds and a new form of music for the post-post modern age. It’s found sound collage and ancient beatnik poetry and sadcore that’s accepting of and refuses to be terrified by the current age but accepts it as it is. It’s as bleak and hopeless as it gets.

And it’s the most transcendent piece of art I’ve heard in decades, pointing THE WAY FORWARD for genuinely artistic, expressionistic music in the new century and beyond

-Keith Sonin

From now on, by order of the City of Troy Chamber of Commerce the SUGAR HOLD will only be allowed to play Weddings, Dances, Quinceanera’s, and other festive occasions

Super fun surf indie rock band The Sugar Hold (was forced to) made a deal with the Troy Chamber of Commerce following last night’s unbelievably exciting and entertaining (without so much as a hint of irony) set at Brown’s Brewing Company for the Bacchanalia fest.

The Sugar Hold — too much of a party!

“Basically we were told that we were making the, um, surrounding not quite as fun and less hardy partying local Troy arts, music and entertainment scene a bit um, paler by comparison?” explained lead singer/guitar player Mikey Baish. “We certainly didn’t start with the intention of being the most fun, entertaining, unstoppable good time had by everyone at all of our shows but we sort of can’t help it… we just make fun music that we love, we love what we’re doing and everyone can tell and they in turn love it so much they have such a good time and… it’s not our fault. We’d try to tone it down but honeslty, who would want to have LESS of a super rockin time?”

“We just can’t help it that we’re having so much damned fun up there these days unlike other groups and scenes from the past that we don’t really fit in with anymore.” chimes in drummer with variable yet always entertaining head and facial hair shining local personality John Olander (srsly dooders in like 20 bands, has 12 jobs and can be found anywhere a party with music is going on yet is ALWAYS partying and smiling). “I mean I used to play in a band called Che Guevara T-Shirt that, let’s face it, was just plain wrist-slitting metal. Which is not to say I didn’t enjoy it or any of the other groups around that still do that kind of stuff, but we are kind of heralding in a new era with groups like the Hold on Honeys, and earlier but still partying Haley Moley, Architrave, Haunted Cat — just too many to name (shouts Olander as he shoves a grinder into his mouth no doubt the first chance he’s had to eat in days) that are just plain unironically entertaining and joyous!”

Even their logo is so over the top with fun and entertaining it hurts our old cranky scenester eyes!

“It kind of started when Haley Moley, Architrave and other bands led and or inspired by Paul and Jen Coleman’s indomitably positive, optimistic spirits changed the game by instead of making the kind of depressingly heavy industrial music of say Che Guevara T-Shirt or k. Sonin that made people leave, they played fun danceable but still in depth underground pop music that inspired all of us to stop being so ‘cool’ and pretending we were having such a crummy time and admit that we were having lots of fun and wanted the audience to have lots of fun too!”

“I think we just started experimenting with the idea that local independent music can just be a really great time” says bass player Matt Malone who was also in superdepressing suicide inspiring group Che Guevara T-Shirt at one point; “and then I guess we went too far. Because there are so many so much great but dark in depth groups that are around, the Troy Business Council has informed us there have been several formal complaints about how hard it is to get crowds in now that people can, instead, go to see the Sugar Hold and others that shimmer and shine and are unashamedly loved to party and have a good time! We didn’t realize it was such a novel concept, but it turns out that since the late seventies groups that earnestly and unashamedly have a great time haven’t really been featured in local scenes. And of course back in the early 90s with the advent of grunge it was literally made illegal to rock and party as hard and have as much of a good time as we’re doing now.”

Lead guitarist Dan Clark unfortunately did not comment because I’ve never met him IRL and I wouldn’t even deign to do any kind of impression whatsoever, however, everytime I’ve seen him play he does look like he’s having a great time and rocking out just like the rest of the band.

There’s still great fear however that even moving the Sugar Hold over exclusively to the party zone won’t stop what they’ve started. It turns out the germ of the idea that making great fun music with a bunch of your friends to entertain your other friends has taken deep roots in Troy and beyond.

When we saw this show where they were joined onstage by local group Hold on Honeys we were trying so hard to be be cynical but couldn’t hold out and had SO MUCH FUN!!!

The Sugar Hold was just one of the thousands of groups of terrific local musicians that played this weekend’s Troy Bacchanalia and changed the face and expectations of what an upstate end of summer festival could really do to reinvigorate, enliven, and even reinvent the core of what an upstate city is all about and the great things that come out of it!

This will be part 1 in our 67 part series on the Bacchanalia fest in Troy the Year of Our Lord 2022 and its lasting effects on the ecology, wildlife, and business climate of the city that Uncle Sam built dancing on his two left feet and the Capital District beyond…