Left to right: Moe & Tom, Dead Empires, Necroptic Engorgement
The Hudson Valley is known as a retreat for various celebrities looking to settle down in the middle of nowhere away from attention; Liam Neeson owns a house in the general Poughkeepsie area, while Stephen King is known as a lifelong patron of the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, a sprawling mountaintop hotel that is eerily similar to the one from The Shining, right down to a creepy hedge maze. There is some rich musical history here; Bob Dylan supposedly wrote John Wesley Harding in Orange County’s Middletown after his motorcycle accident, and of course all three Woodstock festivals were held in various Hudson Valley locations over the past four decades.
However, there is a pervading sense of boredom in the valley’s younger inhabitants, who might just feel like they’re trapped in a fish bowl by the sprawling mountains blocking their view in every direction. That being said, boredom and isolation from the rest of the world often results in great artists; here’s a sample of some of the Hudson Valley’s artists. The list is incomplete, so contact me for any suggestions. Thanks to Anthony Carioscia for help with the metal music.
16 Hundred Pound Pig – From New Paltz, a hardcore punk group you’ll see playing around the Poughkeepsie area.
BILLxNYE – Saganites to the fifth degree, Middletown’s BILLxNYE are a self proclaimed “power science” band that seemingly fuses Napalm Death with your high school science curriculum. In the words of Orange No.9 (more on them later) frontman Tod Elgnis, “These guys are scientifically H-E-A-V-Y”. You can read our full interview with outspoken frontman “Nickjack” on page 5…
Common Thief – Punk band from Goshen who are soldiering on after their vocalist and close friend, Dillon Vuksanovich, tragically passed in January.
Entropy – Old school hardcore in the vein of Minor Threat.
Exit 17 – Political street rock n’roll from New Paltz.
Hand-Carved Squirrels – Greatest band name ever. Facebook description: Funk/Hip-Hop/Punk/Acorn/Reggae/Ska.
One Day Waiting – Rising hard rock/metal band from New Paltz blending grungy melodic singing with metal screams and growls.
Adesta – Poughkeepsie-area hard rock act.
Dead Empires – Incredible instrumental stoner rock.
The Gentlemen – Manic noise rock from New Paltz with robotic riffs and beats. Think Queens of the Stone Age on crack.
Los Huevos – Starring Vinnie Huevos and a changing array of musicians (the most well known lineup including Cormel Lee on bass and Antique Lee on drums), Los Huevos (the eggs) take the three chord punk song and add a splash of comedy.
Orange No.9 – From Hopewell Junction, this three piece garage rock band worships the alternative greats. Hot off the heels of their STRAIGHT TO VHS! E.P., you can read our interview with them on page 5.
Sun Voyager – Desert rock band from Orange County.
The Begotten – Unique mix of thrash/groove and death metal with intense female vocals.
Blast Furnace – Good old fashioned death metal.
Dark After Dawn – Thrash throwback act from Orange County.
Feed The Addiction – Hardcore band from Marlboro.
Necroptic Engorgement – These rising death metal stars have already opened for their idols in Cannibal Corpse.
Rooms of Ruin – Thrashy, industrial laced stoner doom.
Striven – Self-described “grunge metal” band from the Westchester area.
Cloud District – Cloud District is an Orange County indie rock band for fans of Modern Baseball, Bad Books, and The Front Bottoms.
Common Folk – This folk punk band’s singer/guitarist Jay Uhler also runs the popular venue, The Elephant Graveyard.
Kaybee – Fun, Zappa-influenced folk act.