Multicolored lights flash wildly above, the kick of the drums rattles the floor below, speakers blare and resonate through the cracking walls, and the roar of the crowd makes the air crackle and hum. Philadelphia’s underground music scene is integral to the city’s cultural identity, and is a world that senior journalism major Jack Einhorn has experienced firsthand. Over the weekend, I sat down with the Ardmore native to see how he will tackle the music beat this semester.
Q: Why did you and your partner choose the music beat?
A: My partner actually suggested the beat, and I was pleasantly surprised at the idea. It’s a flexible and approachable topic to cover, and I already have some experience playing with local groups.
Q: What sort of groups did you play for?
A: I played guitar for a few bands and was lead vocalist for our punk group “Shut Out”, which was an underground group that played covers of rock songs from The Misfits and The Red Hot Chili Peppers and such.
Q: Did you do many events?
A: Not too many, mostly small venues and a lot of house shows. We were more locally famous than really well known.
Q: How do you plan to use this experience?
A: I still have a few contacts from performing, and I’m pretty familiar with the local music scene, especially the small time stuff. It shouldn’t be hard to get stories.
Q: Is there anything else that you think will help you cover this beat?
A: My partner is pretty knowledgeable about the topic, and there is a really broad range of groups we could use. I’m sure underground artists would be more than happy to get his name out there somehow.
Q: Do you have any story ideas yet?
A: A few. We want to do a piece on the life and struggles of homeless musicians and street performers, and maybe use a “day in the life” kind of approach. Those guys probably have some really great stories to tell.
Q: Is there anything else?
A: We want to do some pieces about small venues in the city, maybe if some are under new management or undergoing renovations. That and we’d like to profile music shops in Philly.
Q: Are you excited?
A: Of course! I was really surprised that no one else wanted the beat, and the topic is perfect for me, really.
Q: Did you have a plan B if you couldn’t get the music beat?
A: Technology maybe, although we thought that topic would have worked in another area that isn’t Philly. I would have tried to focus on computer science mainly, though it could really cover anything.
Q: Is there anything you aren’t looking forward to regarding the beat?
A: I don’t like interviewing, I guess. Other than that there’s not any real downside I can find.