The DIY concert scene is a great place to gain familiarity with local bands-not just New Paltz locals, but other towns’ locals as well.
As DIY shows gained traction in the underground music world, more bands began traveling from venue to venue, typically ending up at basements, living rooms and garages where they play their music to a room full of welcoming strangers.
Yacht Club in New Paltz showcases this phenomenon well. The venue kicked off the semester on Saturday, Sept. 2 with performances by Apostrophe S, A Day Without Love, Redd and Winnebago Vacation.
The night’s first two acts, Apostrophe S and A Day Without Love, each performed in New Paltz for the very first time.
Dan Paoletti, the 27-year-old face of Apostrophe S, took the floor around 9 p.m. Hailing from Albany, Paoletti makes experimental electronic music that he dubs “intelligent dream music.” In the dark, close-cornered basement that is Yacht Club, this translated to Paoletti standing behind a table covered in electronic devices, running his songs through a computer and manipulating them in real time to send concert goers on a “genreless, experimental, electronic journey” that is unique every time it is performed.
Though he’s been writing electronic music for 10 years, he only just recently got back into DIY touring after a long hiatus. This didn’t show, though, as Paoletti appeared relaxed and in his element.
“I like playing on the floor level because it’s a more gratifying and more engaging performance for people,” he said. “It allows me more freedom to experiment and I get a lot of direct audience feedback. It’s good to learn from.”
While Paoletti’s act took me into a trippy paradise, A Day Without Love would ground me back in reality.
Twenty-eight-year-old Brian Walker wore his heart on his sleeve performing solo and acoustically for his latest project A Day Without Love. The Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter’s performance was chock full of emotional songs about social justice, friendship and mental illness.
Walker is no stranger to the trials and tribulations of traveling the DIY show route. He’s been everywhere from the Midwest to the East coast, including Austin, Texas and Providence, Rhode Island. He even keeps track with a map on his Instagram.
“I don’t have a car, and my day job is not in a wealthy field, so I travel mostly via Megabus or Greyhound or train,” he said. “I’m like an old blues traveller in the early days of rock. That is how the Beach Boys travelled, so I’m doing it in a very old school way.”
Walker knows how to make it fun though, really learning about the culture of each place he visits.
“My whole M.O., besides the essentials of sleep, eat, get paid and get to next place, is really just meeting people who I think represent the towns they’re from,” he said.
To the crowd on Saturday, he spoke of his experiences thus far in New Paltz, visiting art galleries and trying the food.
“In the battle of man vs. food…,” he said. “Taco Shack defeated me.”