River Towns Music Group (RTMG) is hellbent on bringing world-class indie music to northern Westchester. To achieve their mission, they’ve booked four exciting indie rock bands to play a showcase at the Paramount Hudson Valley Theater in Peekskill on Friday, December 9.
But RTMG is smart. Or at least, they think they are. They know the Paramount is home to a certain demographic, and they don’t want to alienate those audiences. So, they decided that in building a younger-leaning, indie rock bill, they would fill it with bands that sound both new and comfortingly familiar.
Co-headliner Lovehoney, in particular, draws inspiration from 60s and 70s rock bands like the Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix and Joan Jett. From their clothes to their stage presence, watching them feels like the heyday of rock music, 1967, when everything felt new and exciting. RTMG is hoping they sprinkle some of that magic on the historic Paramount stage on December 9.
At the same time, RTMG knows that for the Paramount to flourish and find new audiences, they need to diversify their programming. With so many people moving into the area from Brooklyn and the city, RTMG reasons, the appetite for indie music is already here.
Betting hard on this hunch, RTMG committed to continuing their indie music experiment in Peekskill for another season. RTMG’s fall indie music
series kicked off with a Halloween-themed Battle of the Bands at the Factoria on October 30. The winning band, Platinum Moon, whose raw mixture of classic and pop rock and thrilling live performances have captured the attention of audiences across the country, opens the Dec 9 Paramount indie rock.
The bands in this showcase also highlight some of the amazing female rockers from the region. Lovehoney frontwoman Alysia Quinones is a force to be reckoned with; it’s impossible to take your eyes off her when she’s on stage. Crystalla from No Grudges is one half of a duo that will light you up with powerful vocals and undeniable chemistry between Crystalla and her real-life sweetheart Gabriel. All the finalists for RTMG’s Halloween Battle of the Bands also had at least one woman in them, so the opener for the December 9 show will have a female presence too.
RTMG knew that if they were doing an indie rock show in Peekskill, they had to have hometown heroes and indie rock demigods, the Bluechips, on the bill. If you’re unfamiliar, the Bluechips are a guitar-and-drums band reminiscent of aughts indie heavyweights like Spoon, Interpol and the Strokes. Sometimes they wax a little psych rock, a la Pink Floyd. Guitarist and vocalist Paulie Beladino grew up in the area. Paulie works at Division St Guitars and has helped evolve Peekskill’s music scene. The Bluechips co-headline and will close the show.
If it feels like the shows RTMG puts on are mini festivals, it’s because they are. Co-founder Liz Goodyear is a self-described “live music nut” who can’t get enough of the stuff. She loves sculpting show bills that go down like four-course meals, with different textures and flavors and influences so that at the end of the experience, you leave feeling full and satisfied.
Come see for yourself. RTMG insists this showcase will be a first for the Paramount – and that people will be talking about it long after curtains close.
Tickets are $17 in advance (available at bit.ly/3svLP9F) and $20 day of show.