On a dark, unassuming street, people walked in twos and threes toward the back door of a bland house. While most spring break stragglers hit the bars on the main strip, the devout music lovers of New Paltz prepared to jam out house-show style. With the DIY music scene steadily dwindling, Crossroads consistently helps local indie bands stay alive and thrive with one kick-ass show after another.
On Friday, March 22, the stage was graced with four phenomenal bands including Cloud District, Soundstream, Mickey Blurr (& The Plurals) and The Blue Chips. Unlike the usual residential ragers, Crossroads creates a welcoming living-room-esque atmosphere with instruments replacing furniture while retaining the warm vibes. Twinkling purple lights were tastefully paired with a string of multicolored lights, accentuating the cool, groovy environment.
At their debut gig, Soundstream championed the night’s performances with their musical dexterity and beautiful synchronicity. The trio boasted a professional and complex vibe: their instruments weaved wonderfully together to create a smooth and groovy sound. While the vocals added another layer of texture to their sets, it paled in comparison to the gnarly noodling they dished out with fervor. Their music exuded an R&B attitude with hints of folk and jazz stirred in. The group’s groovy chemistry was astonishing, especially after only a week as an official band.
These SUNY New Paltz jazz-performance majors consist of Matt Krane (keyboard), Matt Kopec (drums) and Nate Leibert (bass). Soundstream is currently creating a single called “Slow and Steady” and Krane is working to crank out an album he calls Shortcut. If they maintain this momentum, they could stand to rival NP’s most popular jam bands. See you at Snugs boys.
Mickey Blurr and his accompanying band, The Plurals, brought a unique sound much unlike the other bands. The frontman’s lazy, yet melodic voice varied from soft and trembly to sugar-sweet high notes. Initially, they gave off a melancholy, almost haunting, feeling. It seemed like a mixture of ‘80s and “Doom” rock, with a sprinkle of disco to get you dancing. The two guitars took turns leading the melody as the smooth bass and crisp drums complimented the ensemble. Heads bounced and bodies swayed as their set rounded to an end. Their last song devolved into chaotic rock-and-roll riffs which, while jumbled, maintained a strange kind of symphony.
This quartet has played together for a little under a year and is based out of New Haven, Connecticut. Blurr (vocals/guitar) was accompanied by Nick Marcoaldi (drums), PJ Croke (bass) and Pawel Kostyk (second guitar) of The Plurals. Blurr released an unofficial EP entitled Dionysus Part I in December of 2018.
The Blue Chips represented the more traditional rock-and-roll sound, with deep and slow riffs that rose triumphantly as each set progressed. It’s the kind of music you want to mosh to, but unfortunately could not in the sardine can of a venue. They roused hoots and hollers from the crowd as the music flowed through the audience. A sweet cover of “Pumped up Kicks” by Foster the People revealed a soft side to the rockers. This Westchester trio consisted of Jake Albi (drums/vocals), Paulie Beladino (guitar/vocals) and Tom Davis (bass) who dropped their debut DAL-TEX EP in July of 2018.
The New Paltz duo, Cloud District, brought a sorrowful and angsty vibe that you tend to expect from house shows. Brian McCue (vocals/guitar) and Anthony Raucci (rhythm guitar) complimented each others’ licks with charming chemistry. Lovely lyrics like “I’ve got friends that love me when I don’t love myself,” were accentuated by McCue’s powerful voice that oozed with emotion. Their last album, Don’t Give Up, Skeleton, dropped in January of 2018.
Crossroads will be holding their next show on April 5. You can find updates for their latest gigs on their instagram @crossroadsnp.