An Evening in Queens

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It’s February Third, a blustery evening. You’re somewhere in Queens where the buildings are inconspicuous and the people are filled with a sense of knowing that presently, you can’t seem to grasp. There’s a show tonight, somewhere behind opaque glass doors along this frigid sidewalk- Wyckoff Ave, where the wind cuts through your skin and cold-snaps your bones.

The cost of admission for this particular event was just twelve dollars. This, along with the volition to venture nearly an hour outside of Manhattan on an eleven degree night in order to view tonight’s lineup; Metamyther, Casual Salad, Ryan Majoris, and Alanza, in that order, and visuals by Carnal Ex. Together, in a puny, signless gay bar called Trans Pecos, these four would be generating an ambient concert.

A late arrival is akin to crossing the threshold to an alternate dimension. It’s 7:15, doors were at seven, and Metamyther, an experimental project birthed by New York Inhabitant Tristan Kneschke, is in full force. It is a gathering of sound which warps and pulls and presses upon the fragile vessels of the brain, songs melting into each other as memories of bitter cold and directional disarray trickle out of the head. The night holds you now.

None of the evening’s artists have organized their own lineup. Tonight’s tracklist is generated in the energy of the moment. The crowd, perhaps forty, is entirely silent throughout Metamyther’s hour-long opening. Tones drip through the room as eyes flutter shut and bodies begin to sway. The evening is young but already, you are elsewhere.

An hour is a minute here, and in moments Casual Salad, a project by Brooklyn based artist Chirag Davé is being announced. The experience of Casual Salad is of lighter density but greater vigor. There is another power in the room, threatening to lift one from their seat to be absorbed by technicolor lights. The music intensifies the dynamic between one and their companions as light conversation trickles in. Gazes remain glued to the small stage as words pass between them and the seated crowd grows larger than the standing one. Hands are held and bodies recline as a gentle sort of electromagnetism takes hold. The performance which follows is not announced but insinuated.

Silence wraps the room as lights dull their tone, and all too soon it is pitch black apart from a single black light dangling precariously from the ceiling. There are movements in the darkness, a hulking rectangular shape is lugged from behind the bar to the front of the stage and suddenly, the room is awash in a mellow pink glow. From behind the head, one can hear the faint beginning of some sort of percussion. The energy of the room loosens as anticipation builds. A beat drops, and it stays.

This is Ryan Majoris, whose primary domain lies within cinema. Majoris’s music aims to concoct a foreign sort of atmosphere, to take a room, and transform it into something else entirely. As tones change so do visuals, and the mind, desperately trying to paddle atop of it all, finds itself deliciously devoured by the vastness. The performance is but an hour, with the weight of several. Experimental hip hop artist Alanza’s proceeding performance is akin to a dessert.

Verses and cadences rickle in like a pulse and the standing crowd begins to grow. There’s a small group around the stage now, mouths moving to the music and heads nodding unhinged, and from your place in the crowd, you are tempted to do the same. The energy here is infectious, and with under an hour left, you only wish you might drown in it to avoid stepping back out into the cold.

To consider prior or ahead is beyond you, this place is sticky with inspiration and you will leave here tonight coated in it, regardless of the cost of your cab home. This place isn’t known, nor is it easy to reach, but it’s places like these, on the outskirts and full of life, that one may find themself returning to, time and time again.

Trans Pecos hosts live music events nearly every night. They are located off of Wyckoff Ave in queens and anyone eighteen or older is admitted. So now, it’s time to go. Have an evening in Queens.