Today’s awesome self-portrait is courtesy of Maggie Schreiter. It’s a fine homage to fine basement! I suppose it’s worth mentioning that, in addition to being an art/craft/embroidery magician, Maggie also has a mildly famous cat named Linus.
I want to give a shout out to Ryan Remains, who has helped me edit and format the stories for the blog. Thanks, Ryan! You can hear his new band, Confederacy of Dunces, on Volume 1 of the compilation.
Today’s story comes from Pete Judge, recounting how he got into doing house shows as a teenager. It reminds me of when I moved to Ithaca, NY in my early 20’s and found out that nearly all the promoters doing DIY shows were high-schoolers. When I was in high school, it never occurred to me that I had the ability to put on shows, so I’m impressed whenever I meet teenagers who figured that out on their own. Cheers to all the teenagers who are putting on shows! You’re performing a great service for your town.
Long Island Basement Shows
by Pete Judge
I got into the local punk and hardcore scene as an 8th grader. I happened to run into a senior one day during school a few weeks after I moved to a new town half-an-hour away from everyone I knew. I had been to a couple of punk shows before, but my heart wasn’t fully into it yet. When I met this kid who had shows in his basement the concept was so foreign but so intriguing at the same time I had to check it out. After a couple summer days of riding my bike to basement shows, I knew this was where I was meant to be.
I started going to every house show I could possibly reach, planning out how I’d convince my parents to let their 13-year-old do this. I was so crazy about the DIY scene and had to find a way to give back. I talked some of my friends with basements into letting me use theirs for shows and I learned how to book through trial and error, with some shows that went really well and some that ended in complete disaster and cops.
At 17, I finally got to a point where I had it mostly figured out. I could book shows at my own house and I took full advantage. I was doing shows at least once a month in my basement for a little bit and it was obvious that these shows were impacting the local scene, especially the younger kids. People who would never go to a show were coming out just because they heard about bands playing at my house. Younger kids who were just starting to go to shows were coming by and seeing how cool it all was, and most of those kids are now regulars at shows.
This past summer, I had to shut down the basement for good (due to some family issues), but the memories are living on in a lot of big ways. “The Churnery”, as it came to be called, had anyone from local pop punk bands like Fumblerooski and Tomahawk Chop, to Creatures and Rotting Out from California less than a year before they made their way to This Is Hardcore. Some of the best memories and friendships that I’ve made in my entire life took place in that basement, and I hope that it inspired at least one other kid on Long Island to start doing what I did. You’ll never regret it.
This is an un-Linus post, but I think it’s important! Our friend Aaron is running a project about the importance and awesomeness of DIY house shows. It’s called Please Don’t Hang Out in Front of the House, and it includes posting stories and pictures to this tumblr, plus there are two volumes of music that will be available online for free soon. The drawing posted here was my submission, and People-daddy made a song for the comp!
Anyway I never do the “omgz recommend me!!1!” thing, but OMGZ FOLLOW DONTHANGOUTINFRONTOFTHEHOUSE if you’re into it.