Under the twinkling Christmas lights and the colorful window signs, HelloRadio opened New Paltz’s first Music-Kin show with image-heavy lyrics and Explosions in the Sky-esque instrumentals at Snug Harbor on Tuesday, Feb. 12.
Music-Kin, a New York City-based group, strives to bring people together through music while incorporating art and spoken word.
Founder Adina Eichenholz created the organization in June 2012, because, as a young music fan herself, she wanted to open up a space for people to enjoy music — “the great denominator” — viscerally and socially.
“I felt like people go through their life today doing their own thing, [and] there’s so much happening at once that people have less time to experience music and great art,” Eichenholz said. “Most people don’t know they’re missing it, but I wanted them to stop for a moment, feel the music and create real relationships.”
When choosing the bands who play at Music-Kin shows, Eichenholz said she selects the music she loves and finds inspiration in.
The connecting thread of the New Paltz show was that all the bands explored different genres of rock, including New York City’s roots-rock band EREZ, New Jersey-based indie-rock quartet HelloRadio and New Paltz’s funk-rock group, Defunct Radio Circus.
EREZ lead vocalist and guitarist Erez Eisenman, who played in Music-Kin’s first show ever, said he really liked the organization’s “vibe.”
“[Music-Kin] stood for things that I could relate to — a real-life connection between people, good music and art, and above all, good times,” Eisenman said.
Eichenholz said New Paltz’s “easygoing environment” is something that’s difficult to achieve in New York City, where everything happens very quickly and all at once.
“When we create events in N.Y., it’s creating the environment that already exists in New Paltz,” she said. “It was so fun to bring music to New Paltz because people are so welcoming and they’re there to experience the music, have fun and meet new people.”
Chops Mach 5, Defunct Radio Circus’s bassist, said Eichenholz contacted him after she booked the show at Snugs and asked the band to play in the show.
“I’m really glad Adina picked New Paltz to branch out to,” he said. “New Paltz has so much to offer to fans, musicians and lovers of music. Snug Harbor has to be one of the best spots for traveling bands to play, too.”
HelloRadio, whose members switched instruments throughout their set, said they’re just beginning to branch out of their city and that they would return to New Paltz, because they received “very valuable” positive feedback, according to band member Alphonse Rispoli.
“Although we were only there for a few hours, we got a great vibe from the city,” Rispoli said. “We got the impression that New Paltz nurtures the writer, painter, photographer, musician, beer enthusiast…and who wouldn’t want to visit a community like that.”
Eichenholz said she’s booked another Music-Kin show at Snug Harbor on Friday, April 5, which will give more people a chance to attend.
“Snugs is kind of a diamond in New Paltz,” she said. “I love the people, the atmosphere and I’m really looking forward to next time.”
Even though she’s only been setting up shows for less than a year, Eichenholz said she’s excited to be bringing people together through music that makes them happy.
“In music, a lot of people compete, but I feel like there’s enough room for everyone to enjoy together and support each other,” she said. “Everything is so visual today, but for me it’s still all about the music, the lyrics, being inspired by the songs.”