Get on the Goodship: (l-r) Kevin
Luddy, Ryan Jenkins, Jason Steven Murphy.
PHOTO: Alicia Solsman
came to town, and Troy has never been the same
way to think about Goodship: These kids will make you
dance. “We’re just bored,” says Kevin Luddy, “and we want
something to do.”
Jason Steven Murphy nods, “Isn’t that always the way,
the void,” adds Ryan Jenkins, an undergrad at Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute. In Troy, for the kids who actually
leave their dorm rooms, there’s almost nothing for them
to do but cross the Hudson. But some clubs just aren’t
what he’s looking for, like the one where it was College
Night, and onstage was a girl-on-girl make-out contest.
was ashamed of myself for even going in,” he says. “It’s
Murphy laughs. “I get this image of Ryan in a strip club,
saying, ‘This doesn’t speak to me.’ ”
Jenkins’ point is well-made, though. There are hundreds
of kids like him at RPI, and thousands more scattered
about the Capital Region who aren’t down with Friday nights
of willful degradation; they just want to dress up and
dance their guts out, and if girls are making out, hopefully
it’ll be spontaneous and therefore infinitely more awesome.
do that kind of thing to make money,” Luddy says. It makes
sense to have 19-year-old girls make out for a bunch of
horny college boys if you are looking to make a buck.
“We are not trying to make money. So we don’t have to
worry about tricks or anything like that. So we can just
focus on getting good shit.”
Good shit is what these Goodship kids have focused on
bringing to Troy for years, starting way back on Sept.
11, 2001, with Goodship Tuesdays. That went on for years,
in a basement bar on 4th Street in Troy, with Luddy, a
DJ, and Murphy, a video artist, sharpening their skills
alongside resident “face melter” Jesse Stiles and a dozen
other video musicians and beat artists.
Nowadays you can catch them on the last Friday of each
month at the “official unofficial” Troy Night Out afterparty,
or at a smattering of gigs throughout the region. (This
Saturday, Goodshippers will be at Metroland’s Feedback
show at Valentine’s; see Night & Day on page 26 for
more.) They are integral to the growing dance scene in
Troy, and also perform in New York City, Boston, even
Albany. Currently, about 250 people show up for the TNO
afterparties, but Luddy and crew are hoping to double
that by the end of the year.
afterparty,” Jenkins says, “is a fun, happy atmosphere.
Once people come down for it, they are like, ‘Holy shit,
this is fucking amazing.’ We get this artsy crowd, and
this architecture crowd from RPI, stylish people, and
some math people.”
Luddy jumps in, “the math kids are great!”
Another way to think about Goodship: These autonomous
agents will make you network.
Luddy is a name-dropper, but he doesn’t drop the names
of the rich or well-known. He drops friends’ names like
they ought to be rich and well-known. It’s a charming
virtue of his, and it’s addictive. People get their proving
time with Goodship, and if they make the grade, they become
celebrities, at least to Luddy; he collects them, introduces
them to one another at parties, involves them in his schemes.
Goodship, in one way, is Luddy’s own personal assortment
of cherished characters.
of the Goodship philosophies,” Luddy says, “is to get
the right people together to make amazing shit happen.”
People like Jenkins, who came out of the Ground Zero scene
at RPI and started DJing only after meeting Luddy.
So how to define Goodship? Luddy shrugs off a definition,
saying that the idea came from his time in Hartford, Conn.
was in a band. I guess it was a jam band, except I didn’t
realize it at the time,” Luddy says. “Anyway, we got really
bored with ourselves, so some of us started a new band.
We would play whatever, whenever. And instead of booking
shows, we would just show up on the streets of Hartford
on Friday night and start playing.”
They would pay the parking lot attendant $10 to run an
extension cord to power the turntables and amps.
any time there was one or two people to, like, seven or
eight people. And that band was called Goodship,” he recalls.
“And that was, to me, the most perfect setup for a band.
We didn’t have any songs. We would just show up and start
playing and see what happened, and if certain people were
there, you would know it would go in one direction, and
if you had other people there, it would go in another
direction. And since then I stole the name.”
It’s a name with an idea attached, a business model dreamed
up by Luddy and friends while they were RPI students,
based on social networking and the utility of promoting
the talents of a collection of like-minded people. And
it just so happens that some of these people live to make
Like Luddy, Jenkins and Murphy are huge fans of their
They list the names of collaborators, RPI professors,
artists and musicians who have come through the Goodship
scene and thrown down for months or years then scattered
to careers and families (this one started a recording
studio, that one had a kid, another moved to Philadelphia)
and some who still rock it out (the old-school fedora
funk guy, McGillicuddy, Face Removal Services, Jack and
Dave from Vidvox).
is just this incestuous fuck system of people doing dope
shit!” Jenkins shouts. “And that is so ideal as to how
organize people with different knowledge bases in order
to achieve a bigger thing—to create this entirely dense
social web of people with really specific and broad skills.”
And, Luddy says, they are always looking for more friends,
and ways to expand. A few months ago, with the help of
Revolution Hall, they were able to bring in Tittsworth,
the Washington, D.C.-based heavyweight of the DJ scene,
for a Monday night show.
weren’t as many people as we wanted for that,” Jenkins
But it was near a holiday, Murphy notes, and the people
who were there “were full-on.”
they were like, ‘Holy shit,’” Jenkins says. “Everybody
who was a college student sent me Facebook messages asking
when the next one was going on.”
Luddy says, “we want to bring somebody around like that
on a regular basis.”
And Rev Hall has been backing their play to create a scene.
The venue will be opening up its front hallway on Mondays
as a lounge, with Goodship DJs, for a downtempo evening.
have said that building a scene in Troy is something that
they are interested in doing,” Jenkins says. “They told
us they want to help us build something.”
they can,” Luddy says, “it is going to be awesome.”