Keepin it real in Ulster and Westchester Counties

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As Brooklyn genre-fies with every passing seasonal trend, we sometimes forget that Westchester may be where your Jewish grandma lives in assisted living, and Ulster County may be where you keep your cows, but both remain places where the kid's music stays rough and tumble rock-based.

After all, Westchester's where the kids in Fiasco first played in various punk bands, and remains a hotbed for SUNY campuses and house shows that may be best known for breeding Wham City but as of late might best be noted for housing a new DIY spot, Paul Shaffer's House, in Hawthorne, Mount Pleasant, (or does it sit just on the Bronx side of the border?), called that because of as-yet unsubstantiated claims that it was once inhabited by the perennial Letterman sideman. It's the residence of members of No One and the Somebodies, and they've thrown a couple shows so far without losing the party to local noise complaints.

Up in Ulster, one SUNY branch is most recently responsible for Ghost Mall, who claim the outer boroughs and New Paltz as band birth places, and can hammer away at some catchy hot rocks as indebted to early-era emo-core as the cult of the organ and playful tinkering with vocal effects.

Ghost Mall, “Balloon Ideas”

Someday we will be able to say “Ghost Mall interned for Impose back in the day.” Until then, thank the great Pierce Lydon for uploading those photo essays so effortlessly, and keep the just-north-of-NYC counties in mind next time you're in the area and hungry for some raucous basement party but don't wanna go to New Brunswick.