punk

What Music Means To Me: Evan Balikos

Evan has been a good friend of mine since the days of Tumblr (hah). We bonded over our mutual love of music & writing, and have continued to remain friends since! Evan is an avid music listener, blogger, journalist & member of his college radio station! We had to ask him what music meant to him, and in return he gave us a poem interpreting the questions!

Check it out below!

Evan Balikos (Writer/Music Listener):

press play

It’s not magic but it’s cosmic

what can happen when our heads

connect to heads that are empty

pitchers waiting for sugar water

How they plead for meaning

How they fly across 10,000 globes

sharing their secrets lightning up the skies

cracking a ceiling they could never see in silence

And the words that drive those heads

up tall mountains born from fertile soil

are banners that demand to be hung from the sun

These sirens are unique Gods

They squeeze us into boxes or catapult us into bliss

their voices bind our eardrums to their lips

Never would we dare to try and stop them

We allow stringed weapons to rock us into submission

We are happily bending forward to an anthem

Demanding beats and kicks and strums and licks

that throws bodies into bodies and hands into hearts

Stirring the air into a twister of footwork

Creating colored effigies from ponderous banality

melting and buzzing and glowing all the time

They are able to feel and heal us by holding us in song

We bathe in earthquakes and headaches and mistakes of youth

We stand tall as an invulnerable world shakes within us

We spectate a battle of energy with no end in sight

And so it stands and so it remains

pressing play releases the army

pressing pause halts the war

Evan currently recommends Miami, FL locals - Palomino Blond.

What Music Means To Me: Dustin Schumacher

Photographer: Andrew Ehritz

Photographer: Andrew Ehritz

Dustin Schumacher is a force to be reckoned with - a vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, the Pennsylvania native has been bringing back emotion into the local rock scene with his ongoing project, Inner Temple (one of our faves, tbh).

Dustin Schumacher (Singer/Songwriter/Instrumentalist):

Music to me means no fear. For an instance, I am immortal. The world’s harm can no longer burden me. The dirt beneath my feet can no longer bury me. I’m as alive as I was when I left the womb. Music is the air in my lungs and the armor clenched tightly around my skin.

I feel like we’re too often surrounded by fashion trends that come and go, family and friends that don’t reach out, and toxic romantic relationships that are anything but fluid. One thing always stays constant and that’s musical release and energy. Too many people are afraid to be real with themselves and to others. Music demands you to be real. It holds you down on the floor and begs you to be completely naked and bare for it. It wants to see every inch of you from the inside out and then go back inside again. It wants to learn your deepest secrets that no one knows. It wants you in every definition and in every language, shape, and form. Music wants your emotional honesty and it can easily tell deceit.

The best songs we’ve heard are filled with singers who had tears in their eyes while reciting their poetic freedom and whose voices cracked and shattered from the emotional strain of hitting their highest note possible until their vocal chords ripped apart like a sharp knife through a tightly wound ball of yarn. Some call that imperfection. I call it human.

Dustin is currently hype on Wilkes Barre, PA natives, Toothless & their most recent EP from 2018, RED. Check out the EP streaming below!

5 Stupid Questions With Weekend Nachos

5 Stupid Questions for John Hoffman of Weekend Nachos. John Hoffman was the Vocalist of legendary Chicago powerviolence band Weekend Nachos. They played their last show earlier this year.

Gene: Back in college I started a comedy group called “Weekend Nachos” in tribute to your band. After we had uploaded some videos to Youtube you sent me an e-mail politely asking that we change our name. Assuming you watched all of our videos, which was your favorite? I personally loved the one about the man who mistakes a middle school anime club for an NA meeting.
John: I really liked the one where the old lady waitress slipped and fell as she was bringing coffee over to one of her tables, and in the process spilled the coffee all over her face. When the little kid with his family yelled "Oopsie!" as she was screaming in pain, I just lost it. Some of the funniest shit I've seen in a while.

Gene: Why does everyone call them the “Cubbies”? Like what? That’s just like, really lame. What are your thoughts? Are you a White Sox fan? If so, how is the mullet coming in?
John: Agreed, it's very lame. I'm not a White Sox fan either though, I don't really like baseball that much. It's just Cubs fans that I hate, so honestly I think they deserve to be called "Cubbies". My brother had an orange mullet in high school, we used to make fun of him.

Gene: Ugh, I really didn’t want to have to ask this question but I can’t help myself: where does the name Weekend Nachos come from?
John: We wanted to call our band something NOT brutal or hard. So we came up with something random that sounded goofy/lighthearted. The goal was to make serious hardcore/metal fans think we were lame, which is exactly what happened for the entire 13 years we were a band.

Gene: I saw your band last year play in Philadelphia, and before the last song you gave a short speech in which you said “Punk Rock to me has never been about one group of people imposing their values upon another group of people. Punk has always been about freedom, freedom of choice and freedom of expression.” (Something along those lines). I felt that was a very profound statement (one that I completely agree with). I’m curious if you could elaborate further and perhaps even share some insight as to the context of that sentiment.
John: Thanks, I appreciate the acknowledgement! I think a lot of people try to make punk a set of values, or a certain way you need to think. I just don't agree with that, because that's what the rest of the world/society expects. One of the things that made me feel "punk" was the fact that I didn't want to follow a set of rules or expectations. To me, finding your own path in a world full of people who only want you to blindly follow them is a beautiful thing. For someone to tell me "No, you can't think that way or else you aren't punk" then I guess I just wouldn't be punk anymore, haha.

Gene: You wear a headband when you perform. Is that like a Jimi Hendrix thing where you dip it in LSD before the show? Or is it like an Olivia Newton Jon type deal, just to keep the sweat from staining those beautiful blue eyes of yours?
John: I honestly think it's a little bit of both. I'm a big fan of both Jimi Hendrix and Olivia Newton John so to be compared to either of them is very flattering. I can only hope that I'm pulling it off the way they do!

To mourn the death of Weekend Nachos like the rest of us, check out their bandcamp!

Weekend Nachos: Bandcamp