Punk, funk and everything in between. A journey into the Athens, OH music scene.

By Haadiza Ogwude

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Haffa’s Records, a 30-year-old vinyl store and a staple in the Athen’s music community.

Located in the southeastern town of Athens, OH exists a thriving underground music scene where genres from across the spectrum are welcomed. From touring alternative bands, to local Pink Floyd tribute acts, there is no shortage of interesting music in this small town. With the collaboration of the Do It Yourself music community, the All Campus Radio Network, Haffa’s Records and more the music scene continues to be a prominent entity in the Athens’ community.

Want to know more about this independent music scene? Check out the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxbRTnV9Qa8

 

 

What happens to our favorite Bobcat bands after graduation?

College is a chance to discover the real person that’s been cultivating under the parental units for the last 18 or so years. For some it’s exploring the vices their parents attempted to curtail, others it’s the chance to think differently how they were raised, but in general it’s a time for self-discovery.

A few braves souls chose to do this in front of crowds atop one of the many stages in Athens. The music scene in Athens is unique as the influx of new blood from the university allows for a large diversity of musical acts to form and flourish.

The constant flow of new musicians is sadly accompanied by the older generation leaving Athens as they graduate or decide to move on. While the desire to play may linger on, it can be extremely difficult to continue when members may be scattered across the country. As their time in Athens comes closer to the end Wes Gilbert of Smizmar and Evan Amerio of Apemode spoke of their personal experiences.

You live where?: A look inside The Hardcore House of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The walls are a wonky, aged and twisting wrap of wood paneling, the wood floors scuffed and scratched from furniture and equipment being moved around a few times a month. A strange assortment of holiday decorations litter the shelves and wrap around the Christmas lights dangling over the corner of the room.

Enter my personal Athens gem. On an average day, it’s a normal, cluttered and cozy living room. On its best days, however, it’s a live music venue packed with the warm excited bodies of students and community members who convene to see local and touring acts perform intimate sets in the living room of two college students. On the days in between it serves as a practice space for newer bands and a gathering space for ACRN Media.

Nicole Pompei of Boston-based Bat House rips it on the drums during our first show of fall semester.
Nicole Pompei of Boston-based Bat House rips it on the drums during our first show of fall semester.

I moved into The Hardcore House of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in May, and we have been hosting art and music events there since June. The house earned its title during a coffee date in which we mused over what feminist icon we wished to bestow upon the home’s namesake. Because of RBG’s universal likability and total bad-assery, we settled upon The Hardcore House of Ruth Bader Ginsburg because it was clever and fun, and we commissioned local artist Bailey Kretz to make a logo in the style of classic hardcore band merchandise.

Bailey Kretz designed this logo for us to use. We have a screen printed poster of it in a glamorous frame in the hallway.
Bailey Kretz designed this logo for us to use. We have a screen printed poster of it in a glamorous frame in the hallway.

During shows, our home is dry. This means absolutely zero drugs, zero drinking. We have set it up this way to maximize all music lovers’ comfort levels, as well as attempting to make our home a safer space for the community. In a town where drinking culture is pervasive and nearly unavoidable, my home is a haven where my homebody, sober-leaning self can enjoy live music and a sense of community.

In the uneven hallway to the kitchen, there is a screen-printed RBG logo in an elegant Ikea frame, and just around the corner there is a map of the United States. We ask every band who plays in our home to sign their name on their hometown geographic location. We have hosted performances from bands as far South as Alabama and as far west as Missouri. By the time I move out, I hope our little gem has been visited by bands far west and perhaps from countries off our map of the U.S.

Kara Guyton snapped this photo of Blair and I perched outside our humble punk house.
OHIO student Kara Guyton snapped this photo of Blair and I perched outside our humble punk house.