The New Paltz graduating class of 2023 have passed the torch to the class of 2024 and off-campus music venue-frequenters have noticed a lack in options when searching for the perfect basement shows. Luckily, there are a few groups of local renters that stepped up to the plate to restore the peace and passion for live music in the area.
Despite the name of the venue, this house is anything but trashy. The space was created for those who want a space to try playing live music and those who want to come watch, with a whole toilet in the basement.
“It was hard starting a band, and then it’s hard like finding places to play. As a person who plays music sometimes, it’s important, I think, to cut your teeth and know how to play live,” says Justin Montafia, fourth-year economics major and renter of The Outhouse. “Just to get up there and make mistakes and like, learn how to like play live with a band and like really get tight. It’s hard when there are no venues around to do that.”
Differing from some house-show venues that are more selective about the bands that they choose to perform, Montafia intends on making this a safe space for those looking to get into the music scene. He referenced the inclusivity of the Pickle Jar, a house show venue that closed at the end of last semester. “We do play with punk bands and those ‘scene’ bands and that’s cool, but I noticed there was, not just a house venue that was missing but a house, like the Pickle Jar,” he says. “I guess like how the pickle jar kind of just brought on local college bands to play and maybe they’re newer, and this might be their first or second show like that. It was just like a missing space for that kinda.”
“Basically, we realized quickly that there’s not enough people here or venues,” Montafia adds.
Although the first show that they had were predominantly rock and punk bands in the area, the Outhouse does not intend on sticking to one genre of music. “I don’t know the exact date yet, obviously. But, you know, we’re gonna have something like a jazz night here because I know a bunch of jazz musicians in the program,” Montafia says.
If you are looking for a relatively inclusive space to enjoy music, The Outhouse is quickly becoming a fan favorite. For more information regarding setlists and show dates, please visit the Outhouse’s official Instagram @outhousenp
The Gallery is quite a unique venue space in New Paltz. Although they did not play live music at their first show, the venue is the epitome of a creative space. In a house full of artists, the group decided to create a fine art exhibition space for local artists in the area to share their work without the ties to school.
“Everyone has been doing music and me and my roommates have thought that you know, there’s a big art community in New Paltz, not music based, but there’s a big sculptural and fine art community, because of the BA [Bachelors of Arts] program here and also the BFA [Bachelors of Fine Arts] program,” says Eoin Dennis, a fourth-year BFA painting and drawing major.
“We haven’t seen any sort of exhibition space I guess, like there’s no real space that we can show work in,” says Dennis “There’s a club that’s forming on campus that I’m part of, that’s a thing that’s happening there, but we wanted to bring it off campus. We all kind of wanted to do something on our own time. there’s also all of these venue spaces that closed down last semester, so we were like, ‘Alright, why not debut?’”
This space is different from other DIY venues; It sets itself apart by allowing all of those whose art fits the theme of the current day to submit their work and show it to the public, which is typically only done in a school or gallery setting.
“The first poster we put out is an open call poster. That’s to tell artists in the community like the theme or guidelines of the show that we’re planning on, and we give them time to get submissions and then the next poster that we send out is like an event poster,” Dennis explains, in reference to the order of which they are showing and accepting work. “In the spirit of the DIY scene, there’s no address listed. We only have the time and the people that we’re exhibiting. We’re kind of just relying on word of mouth, and DMs to spread the address.”
In New Paltz, there is a very heavy emphasis on music venues rather than fine art galleries, which influence The Gallery to put on a different show. “In the past, the more musical side has been featured. As a house, we wanted to kind of create a new space for us and our friends and our community, but also we wanted to create a blueprint for future people that want to run their own gallery show,” says Dennis
“We’re all graduating but if people, kind of, follow in our footsteps and create this new tradition of house shows not being solely music based. That’s a job well done to me, like we want it to start a new movement of House of show venues in New Paltz.” The Gallery venue wants to inspire people who want to jump in on the trend of creating a gallery-like exhibition in New Paltz, especially since their venue will be closing up by the end of next semester.
The Gallery has their second exhibition on Friday, Oct. 13. Visit their official Instagram @thegallery.newpaltz for information regarding shows and open calls to exhibit your work!