Meet Philly Music Beat Reporter, Justin Obendorfer!


*Photo taken by Francesca Ruscio*
Meet the new guy, Justin Obendorfer!
Justin is a senior looking to graduate in the spring with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.  His beat is music and although I do not play an instrument, he still loves everything about it. His goal is to find out how local bands and artist develop their style and creativity to produce music. Justin will be reporting on the up and coming bands in the Philly area and the not so glamorous side of it all…the struggles of being a musician and trying to make it big! Justin will be reporting at the Indie to the most iconic music venues of Philadelphia. He is very excited to find out more on the different types of music in Philly as well.
Q) What made you choose Temple University?
A) I transferred from University of Pittsburgh during my sophomore year. I played soccer there and was studying finance, but realized I was in the wrong major. So i transferred to Temple to study journalism with a special interest in broadcast.
Q) Why did you pick your music beat?
A) I have always been interested in music. My favorite thing to do when I do not have work or school is just sit and listen to iTunes or different music forums to find new and different types of music. Its more of an escape for me and way to relax. 
Q) What kind of stories are you looking to discover through your beat?
A)I want to tell the stories of up and coming bands. I want to show people the struggle they go through to get their music out there and what it takes to really make a career out of music. I want to tell the story of the underground music scene in Philadelphia and show what these bands go through to survive and make it.  I also want to show the business side of music and what venues have to do to get a band to play there.
Q) What venues do you want to highlight and cover?
A)I want to find out why Soundgarden, a venue on Christopher Columbus Boulevard, which was known for having big name artists and great concerts, did not renew their lease. Did they not have the money? That’s where the business side of music comes in to my beat. I want to find out who sets and decides prices between artists and how venues stay afloat with this business model.  Lastly, I want to report on the underground music venues. These are mostly houses that hold shows for no-name bands trying to just get their music out there. You gotta start somewhere right?
Q) What specific location do you want to learn more about in the city for the music beat?
A) I also want to find out more about the Kimmel Center. This is a beautiful venue for more classical style music and is home to Philadelphia’s Orchestra.
Q) Why should Philadelphia care for up-and-coming artists and their music?
A)Philadelphia should care about up and coming artists because there is so much music in this city. No matter what type of music you are into, there is most likely an artist around here trying to promote that style in their own unique way. But imagine if you could find that next big artist before they were big and you knew their story. That’s nostalgic for me and that’s why Philly should care about struggling bands just trying to get their music out there. (Kind of went on a different tangent, let me know if that doesn’t work haha)
Q) What do you get out of music?
A)To me, music is an addiction. I feel like for our generation most people do not go a day without plugging in their headphones and listening to that song that has been stuck in their head. When you walk around campus what do you see? A bunch of college kids wearing ear buds jamming out to whatever music genre they enjoy. 
Q) Where and how do you think aspiring artists get their careers started?
A)That is kind of what I hope to find out. I mean every band has their own story of how they started up. They all start from the bottom and there are always struggles and ups and downs that they go through, but if they believe in their music, the sky is the limit. Hopefully this beat leads me to that answer. 
Q) What is your goal for this beat?
A)My goal for this beat is to find out more about the different styles of music and bands in Philadelphia.
Q) Who do you want to meet while covering this beat?
A) I would love to meet a big name band, like the Roots who are from Philly. But honestly I’m just excited to really dig deep into the music scene in Philadelphia and meet dedicated artists and learn the business of music in general.
Q) What do you want to learn from your beat as a reporter?
A)I want to see the underground music world and what it takes to devout your life to music. I also hope to find out about different venues in the city and what the business side of music is all about. I want to talk to local music shops to see if they sponsor any bands and get their point of view of music in the city of Philadelphia. Hopefully by the end of my beat I will be able to show the variety of music and people in this city. 
Q) What is another goal you have for this class?
A) My ultimate goal for this class is to become a better reporter and writer. I really want to refine my interview skills as well. Above all though I am excited to share my stories about the underground music scene in Philadelphia.


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