How to Survive a Hardcore Show

          Hardcore shows can go one of two ways; either you're standing in the back watching a cool band play or you're getting killed when you're standing by the pit. We've all wanted to see our favorite bands from the very front because we want to connect with the musicians, but it's not totally possible for some us. Most of us, honestly! I'm only a mere five feet tall and 90 pounds, therefore I can't exactly block anyone from smashing into me.

         My favorite band is Bring Me the Horizon and I was too excited to see them playing at House of Blues last August. My boyfriend and I got a spot right in the front against the barricade. We watched the opening acts with a perfect view and all, but we were waiting for the main event. I knew I was going to freak once my favorite band took the stage. I've seen them a couple of times and even met them back in '09, but this was different-- I was right in the front! The lights dim, everyone cheers, and there they are. This would have been a glorious moment if there wasn't this one problem: those angry asshole hardcore guys.

          So here I am, getting pushed to the floor and having my hair pulled hard by multiple people. These guys were at least 200 pounds and much taller than me. Why the hell are they jumping to grab Oliver Sykes' crotch? Really, guys? Whatever. Anyways, I had to leave my spot because it was too much for me to handle. Being the emotional girl that I am, I'm crying and the security thinks I'm hurt badly. They hand me a cup of ice cold water and take me to the back of the room. I'm watching my favorite band play, but I just feel robbed. I was there early just to stand in that spot and after one minute, it's gone. Did I deserve that? Nope. No one really does.

          Moral of the story? None, actually. I was pretty bummed for a straight week. I've always asked myself why these guys decide to do this, but then I remember how I acted when I started going to shows. I was all about crowd surfing and moshing and being that asshole. It seems to be an adrenaline rush for some and maybe even a way to let your emotions out there without feeling down. All people take in music differently and it's proper show etiquette to accept that.

          You may ask yourself why you should let these big guys take over the pit and hurt those innocent bystanders. Yeah, it sucks, but remember that everyone is totally different when they listen to music and their way of expressing it isn't exactly safe. Those guys are flailing their arms in no specific direction, therefore they might hit you! To show your proper show etiquette, you should be the one to tell them to stop. Hold your fist out and kick the guy (not too hard!) back into the pit. They'll get it unless they're an actual angry tough guy who dances in the pit to punch little girls in the face. That actually happens, no kidding!

        If you're wondering where to stand in a crowd, think of yourself. Do you like being in the front of the crowd to sing along with the band and possibly get in their face? Go ahead and do it! But beware-- you will get pulled and shoved and hit and possibly have your hair pulled harder than you can ever imagine. Sometimes it's really worth it to stand there and have the time of your life. If you'd rather be watching the band and listening to the music, stand in the back. You may have an obstructed view, but you don't want to get involved with that nonsense. You're there to listen to the music instead of getting into the music and that's totally cool! Never feel as if you're lame because you're not jumping all over the place.

          As for those guys who will hurt you at one point, you've just gotta accept it. You can protect yourself or take a risk. Either way, try to have fun and focus on the music while being aware of your surroundings. That's what you're there for in the first place, the music! You should have fun and bounce around like an idiot or even just stand back and admire the beautiful work of a great band. After all, it's a show. Everyone belongs.

- Tunage 

Written by Jordan Mafi

DIYDS: Do It Your Damn Self!

          Hey, you! Get that sewing kit off the closet shelf! Ya know, the one filled with band patches and studs that you bought online but never had the oomph to do anything with? Yeah, that sewing kit. You go from excuse to excuse for reasons why you ignore that poor little dust collector. "I'm tired, it's too time-consuming, I'll prick my fingers..." Shut up, ya big baby! You're going to start sewing, and I ain't taking this sewing machine crap. You're going to use your hands, like a man! I'm giving you a multi-step guideline that's going to give you that oomph to finally put the "Do" back in "Do it yourself"!

          Step Uno: NEEDLES! If you're anything like me, you lose needles like it's hip. Always buy big multi-packs. They usually come with several different sizes, and you'll use different sizes depending on the delicacy of the fabric. Personally, I don't typically sew delicate fabric because... Well... I don't wear delicate fabric. I'm usually sewing canvas patches to denim or altering cotton t-shirts. I prefer using larger needles because it's easier to poke through denim. Also, the larger the needle, the larger the eye, or hole, and that's convenient for those who don't want to fight with the thread. There are needles that have clasps that open at the eye that make it easier for you to thread the needles, but seriously? Don't be lazy.

          Step Deux: THREAD! I'm not partial to any particular brand of thread. In fact, I know some people who don't even use thread. They use dental floss! It only comes in white, and you have to remember not to get the mint-flavored kind, but it's ten times as strong as regular thread. So, when you are moshing and crowd-surfing and getting knocked around at a show, you're more likely to keep your clothes intact! Although, personally, I use thread. To make it stronger, I double up so I'm technically sewing with two strands. I like to have variety in color when I alter my clothing, especially if I want the thread to be hidden. It's really difficult to hide white floss on a bright green shirt. Try it. You'll probably fail.

          Step Drei: TOOLS! Of course, you should have your sewing kit staple tools, such as sciccors, marking tool, measuring tape, and a pin cushion (complete with pins, silly). Aside from the usual, you should have a few special items.  I cannot tell you how much I love my seam ripper. It's this terrifying miniature sickle that's 100 times  as sharp. It cuts seams open like buttah, aswell as your finger, so watch out! Another tool you'll be glad to have is a thimble. Sometimes you'll try to shove a needle through tough, thick frabic and end up having the end with the eye come out the back of your finger. Thimbles make life so much easier. Also, if you're one that likes to use studs on leather, have a box cutter around. Cut marks where the studs go; it makes it significantly simpler to put the studs in place. You could use a seam ripper, but leather is a little too rough and tumble for the flimsy handle that equip seam rippers.

          Step uhh... Four:
TECHNIQUE! Everyone likes to use different techniques when sewing patches and altering t-shirts. Some like the criss-cross style that's shaped like an X, and some like the in n' out style that goes from the inside of the frabic to the outside, or what I like to call, the dolphin style. Get it! 'Cause the thread looks like a dolphin. Going in and out... Of... Water... Ahem. Anyway, I prefer criss-cross. For me, it keeps the fabric together better than the dolphin style sewing, but try them both out and see which one works for you.

         Step V: THE BIG BANG: Now, when you sit down with your needles, thread, tools and piece of clothing that needs altering, you can feel a little overwhelmed. I know it's hard to know where to begin when you're looking at your objective in scraps. Just remember this: measure, measure, cut, sew. Just like in carpentry, measure twice, cut once. You wouldn't want your clothing to come out too small or too large so measure TWICE, cut, then sew. That doesn't seem so difficult, right? Measure, measure, cut, sew! You could even make a song out of it!

           With these few simple steps, I hope to give you the confidence to do the sewing you've been putting off. Don't ignore your sewing kit anymore. It's super simple and sometimes fun! Now get that sewing kit out and sew like a man!

- Tunage

Written by Laura Sullivan

Dun' be Hatin'

          Few things annoy me more than when I'm listening to a piece of music I love (say, a Charles Ives sonata) and I hear some chick groan an "I hate this song" - especially because I know that if I started talking about how much I "hated" Katy Perry, she'd be just as offended. Sure, we might not all adore every type of music. But unless you're sitting next to someone who just so happens to think exactly the way you do about everything, I don't think that "hate" is an appropriate word to use when discussing the touchy topic of taste - unless your goal is to come off as kind of a prick.

          Now, don't get me wrong, I've been guilty of the "H"-word before. I used to blurt it out often when a song came on FM 93.3 that I felt was cheesy enough to turn my brain into a bowl of Kraft macaroni. However, I found that my passengers weren't always in total agreement with me - not by the fact that they'd verbally disagree with me (because they seldom did), but by the fact that when I'd ride in theircars, they'd turn up the volume on the very same songs I practically punched out my radio to avoid hearing. You kind of have to assume that there is at least one person who might be enjoying the song, and if you announce your total disgust of their playlist-worthy piece, well, then you just might hurt a friendship a little without even realizing it.

          I'm a definite advocate of having an open mind toward all genres of music, however I also understand that there will always be those few songs or styles that our ears just can't accept no matter how hard we try to persuade them. Instead of throwing a little "This-music-sucks-I-hate-it" tantrum when that new atonal piano piece comes on, just politely ask, "Can we please change the station?" People will like you more. Trust me.


Written by Chloe Austin

The Story of the Do's and Don's of Show Garb

          There you are, standing in front of your bathroom mirror, putting the finishing touches on your already perfect look for the show you've been anxiously looking forward to for weeks. You're in your favorite band tee that's been cut, sewn, tied, and re-cut. It took you two hours and you still have scraps of sleeve scattered about your room. You have on your favorite pair of jeans with casual holes in all the right places and your roughed- show-going shoes with all their glorious badges and battle scars from the many concerts prior. As you should, you feel confident, secure, and ready for the night of your life, but that's not what this is about. I'm going to tell you about the people on the other end of the spectrum. The ones who don't think about their incredibly awful wardrobe decisions and what they should have done instead.

          Setting: The House of Blues, San Diego, CA. The year is 2006, and I'm 14. I'm tagging along with my cousins to see Cartel (good band, though I'm not a huge fan, just happy to go to a concert with my super cool, older cousins.) After some ticket issues due to lousy venue employees, we finally get inside to find a well-oiled machine of a crowd being fueled by the speakers. Excitement consumes me and I leap into the crowd like a pig in a mud pit. People are crowd surfing, drunken college guys are shoving each other, little teeny-bopper girls are falling on the floor; everything is going as it should be when suddenly... WHACK! I'm hit with a stiletto right to the noggin. Some 20-something girl thought, "Oh, show at the house of blues? Good thing my 5-inch heels are polished! I can't wait to crowd surf and cause someone severe head trauma!" After stumbling around in a concust daze for a few moments, I pull myself out of the crowd to find the culprit. Standing near the bar, flirting with her long-lost margarita, is the woman that came within an inch of stabbing my brain. As I stared at her in her dress, heels, dangling earlings and ten pounds of make-up, all I could think was, "Why?!"

          Now ladies and gents, as a band member, aspiring model, skateboarder, and avid show-goer, I, with great confidence, will tell you that there is definitely a time a place for ever outfit. I'd never go to a photoshoot without my pumps, but you'd sure as hell never catch me riding down Main St. on my cruiser in a friggin' ball gown. Needless to say, this lipsticked glitter girl should have gone a different route with her wardrobe that night. Let's break it down and correct her "Yikes"-evoking choices.

          There are a few factors that need to be considered when deciding on the proper show attire. First of all the venue. This is probably the most important factor. Is it indoors or outdoors? Is it sitting or standing room? In this case, The House of Blues is, of course, indoors and standing room only. The next factor is the type of music/fanbase. Heavier or faster music usually tends to have a rougher crowd. Cartel's music and fanbase indicates a light to moderate mosh pit. You may be bumped around quite a bit but nothing back-breaking. Although, the venue serves alcohol which can alter the violence and coordination of the fans in the pit so I'd say this night was a slightly rougher than moderate crowd due to the amount of drunken fist-swingers. Now that we've established our show factors, let's move on to little Miss Thing's mistakes.


The Answer Isn't Blowin' in the Wind

           21st century America has proven itself home to some of the whiniest, most unproductive citizens in the history of our country. It seems like we all have something – if not a Christmas list full of things – to complain about, with topics ranging from human rights to gas prices to the environment to the banks to education…and sure, we have an endless amount of shit to deal with, but my question is: If it’s THIS bad, why is so little being done to change it?? Much of it is because most young people aren’t being encouraged enough to actually take any real action. I’m gonna have to blame today’s Top 40 stations.

             My conservative grandparents love to talk about Obama’s lack of action in fixing the economy and my liberal mother loves to talk about how all of our constitutional rights are being taken away from us. The woman I buy coffee from on Monday mornings loves to talk about the flaws in our immigration system and T-Pain loves to sing about going home to screw his girlfriend so she doesn’t “go crazy.” Bruno Mars loves to sing about “not doing anything” and Britney Spears loves to sing about simply “dancing till the world ends.” These are the types of messages that currently define the twenty-first century’s mainstream musical culture; these are the messages that get stuck in the heads of every American teen and young adult who turns on the radio or visits a party or shares a friend’s iPod. Reeeal motivational, right? For such a politically-discontented audience, they’re downright counterintuitive. Yet they’re all that the stations are giving us.

            Our local top hits stations need to take some advice from the ’20s and ‘60s! We need the airwaves flooded with more “Strange Fruit”s and “Blowin’ In The Wind”s! Radio music is one of the most powerful mediums to spread ideas because EVERYONE ends up hearing it, and the more they get it stuck in their head, the more it gets lodged up in their brain cavities to be processed. I’m not saying that the stuff playing now has to go away altogether, but for God’s sake I would think that a listener wouldn’t mind the occasional break from party-party-sex-sex songs to reflect on an important issue that affects them in their own daily lives. Maybe…gasp…just maybe, people would actually follow in the footsteps of their progressive music-loving ancestors from the Vietnam War era and the Civil Rights Movement who were also driven by song to unite and fight together for a better world. Pop, hurry up and get political again! We need another movement.

And no, a Lil’ Wayne love song featuring an “Honestly, I’m down like the economy” doesn’t count as raising social awareness. It’s just one more crappy lyric.    

- Tunage

Written by Chloe Austin