“Doors at Seven:” Behind the Scenes of New Paltz DIY


On Friday, Feb. 26, a benefit concert for an upcoming documentary about the New Paltz DIY scene called “Doors at Seven” was held over Instagram live.

The documentary is being directed by Hudson Valley-based filmmaker Noelle Janasiewicz. A GoFundMe was created on Jan. 14 to help raise money for the cost of production. 

“The main focus of the film is to show that these spaces weren’t created just for there to be a party,” the GoFundMe’s description explains. “The house shows offered not only a safe space for musicians and artists to showcase their work but offered a place for locals to come support them as well.”

The concert, broadcasted through the documentary’s Instagram account @doorsat7 included performances from five local bands from the New Paltz area: Salutations, Benchmark, Elephant Jake, Imposters and No Momentum. The goal of this show was to prompt more donations for the GoFundMe, as well as to thank those who have donated to the process thus far. 

“These donations will go towards many, many things for production,” the GoFundMe states. “Such as editing and equipment fees, paying a very tight knit crew, music licensing for the film, film festival fees (so more people can view it and support our community!) and much more.” 

The “tight knit crew” mentioned in the description along with Janasiewicz is made up of production assistant Katie Dudek, assistant director and camera operator Kacie Kiersted and videographer Dylan Degasperis according to their introductory Instagram posts. 

The featured interviewees so far include band members of acts that have performed at the DIY shows, residents of the houses that have hosted the shows and a variety of other members with different roles in the community that have all been greatly affected by it. 

The Instagram Live went up at around 7p.m., and Ryan Guidry of Salutations was the first act of the night to join the call. He performed several acoustic guitar covers of songs by the band, including “Indiana Jones,” “Power Nap” and a cover of indie rock band Slaughter Beach Dog’s “Gold and Green,” a huge influence of Guidry’s. 

“It’s been six months since my last show, so it’s been a while,” Guidry said before performing. “It’s so nice having an audience I can respond to.” 

An Instagram post from the Salutations Instagram on Feb. 28 marked a year without any live shows. 

“One year without seeing all of you. We hope you’re all doing okay and we can’t wait to see you again,” reads the caption. 

Before performing “Indiana Jones,” Guidry reflected upon the song’s inspiration: the diversity of the DIY scene. 

“The New Paltz scene does this weird thing where when you first get into it, everyone’s dressed differently than you,” he explained. “Then you kind of realize that that’s okay.” 

After Guidry finished the Salutations set, Nico Caro of Benchmark joined the live. He performed an acoustic set as well, with songs by the band such as “Great Lawn” and “Nosedive.” 

“The New Paltz scene is something a lot of people don’t know about, and they should,” Caro expressed between songs.  

The two performances were followed by the acoustic performances of Elephant Jake, Imposters and No Momentum. Most of the sets were done in the homes and bedrooms of the artists, but No Momentum brought the feeling of actual house shows back for a moment during their set. The band performed with their full lineup, including all of their instruments and amps. 

The New Paltz DIY scene is something that has been greatly affected by the pandemic. Janasiewicz hopes that this documentary will bring awareness to the people who were impacted by this community and the talent of these musical artists, as expressed in the final paragraph of the GoFundMe description.

“I want to emphasize why it is so crucial to have acceptance for these spaces, especially when the pandemic is over because the DIY scene was slowed down dramatically because of not being able to have in person events,” Janasiewicz writes. “These spaces are going to need as much support as they can get when they start back up again.”

If you missed it, you can watch the performance from this last Friday on the official Instagram account of the documentary, @doorsatseven. To donate to the Doors at Seven GoFundMe, go online to gofund.me/249bd558.

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About Alli Dempsey 42 Articles
Allison (Alli) Dempsey (she/her) is a fourth-year journalism major and communications minor from Staten Island, NY. This is her fourth semester on the Oracle, and third as Arts Editor. She is also a member of the WFNP Radio E-board staff, president of the New Paltz Music Collective and manages her own music blog, Twilight Collective. You can reach her by emailing dempseya1@newpaltz.edu.