Categorized | Arts & Entertainment

Punk and indie bands perform at The Goliard’s house

Sarah Carracher

News Editor

Less than a month into the school year, Scot Cottage, which houses the staff of literary journal The Goliard, has already hosted two shows and affirmed its role as a relevant music venue on campus. Only a week into the school year, Turner Cody and Morgan Orion played in the south campus location, and on Sept. 12 they hosted Kenyon College band SPORTS and New Jersey-based group Pinegrove.

SPORTS and Pinegrove have played together in the past. With frontwoman Carmen Perry on vocals, SPORTS gave an upbeat pop-punk style performance before Pinegrove’s more indie rock-inspired set.

Members of SPORTS threw out several answers when asked about their music. “Usually I tell people garage, even though that’s not a genre,” said Perry with a laugh.

“I think of us as sort of like power-pop and also like pop-punk,” said Jack Washburn. “Someone said we were like female-fronted brat basement punk or something … I kind of like that.”

Pinegrove found it equally hard to answer this question. “I mean it’s indie rock of course, but we’re really interested in all American genres: R&B, country, funk, melodic guitar rock,” said frontman and guitarist Evan Hall. “It’s a longwinded answer because it’s a longwinded music form. We’re just trying to play good songs. We get tangly too — we like the tangly stuff.”

The four members of Pinegrove — Hall, Zack Levine (drums), Nick Levine (guitar)and Sam Skinner (bass) — all grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, hometown of SPORTS’s Carmen Perry. Hall is also a Kenyon alum.

The four men have quite a musical history. “Evan and I have played music together since a shirtless double drum session at like age seven,” said Zack Levine.

“Our dads are all musicians,” Hall said. “There’s actually a very strange story. [Zack and Nick’s] dad and my step mom played in a band called Girl Talk in like 1982 in California, and that is not the way my dad and step mom know each other. But then besides that, my step mom, my dad and their dad, played in multiple bands together. They’re all kind of involved together also so it’s a generation jamboree I suppose.”

Zack Levine and Hall have both graduated from college, while Nick Levine and Skinner are still students at Bard College and SUNY Purchase respectively.

“We all live in different towns, so while we grew up in Montclair and played together growing up a lot, we found ourselves a little scattered because Sam and Nick are in college, Evan’s in Montclair, I’m in New York, so one thing we do like to get together to do is do little trips like this and bigger ones also,” Zack Levine said. “We did a tour of the country this summer that was about six weeks long.”

The members of SPORTS all became friends at Kenyon. Their motto, according to their page on Bandcamp, is “friends first, band second.” As Perry, Washburn, Benji Dossetter and James Karlin talked, it was clear that they are nothing if not old friends.

“Me and Benji [Dossetter] actually became friends when we shotgunned a beer freshman year and spilled it on my shoes,” Perry laughed. “Well, it was like my whole person.” Dossetter, who was sick, soldiered his way through the show with a large bottle of water.

The members of SPORTS are all involved with other musical activities on their campus. “We play in other bands, work at the venue on campus. Carmen has a radio show,” Washburn said. “We all have our own solo things we do too.”

Maxim Elrod ’15, co-editor-in-chief of The Goliard, is excited about what Scot Cottage is doing for music on campus. The members of the house, with the help of Warner Brownfield ’16 and Adrian Rowan ’16, organized the show. “While W.A.C. does a good job of getting high profile musical acts to perform at the UG or Lowry, the student community is also interested in smaller, under the radar events like Pinegrove at Scottage,” Elrod said. “There is something about seeing a band play a house show that is distinctly different in feel than a school-organized event.”

“While certain voices would likely claim that the difference I speak of is the presence of alcohol, I would disagree,” Elrod said. Alcohol was, in fact, not served at the show. “Part of the college experience is about developing a campus culture independent of the administrative auspices, and this show proved that it can be done responsibly.”

“I can speak for everyone at The Goliard house when I say that our suspicion is that the student community wants and needs more events like this, and too often they have no way to actualize that desire,” Elrod continued. “We plan on fostering that desire and culture that is all but dormant on campus.”

Pinegrove’s music can be listened to and downloaded for free at pinegrove.bandcamp.com and SPORTS’s at therealsports.bandcamp.com. SPORTS band members’ side projects can be heard at cryaboutit.bandcamp.com, countlenny.bandcamp.com, addiepray.bandcamp.com and icecreamsocialbandcamp.bandcamp.com.

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