Happy Birthday Jim Belushi!
Count Us Out, The Soap, Rubrics, Numb Luck at Suite 8
Greenville, SC- 2010
By Will Dameron
I’ve been shaken, held back tears while grinning. I couldn’t agree more with your process and purity. Songs of love and rejection, of hope and reflection. I’ve been shaken by steal backbones breaking by these bands and these beautiful chords; hell bent and hard-lined on love. It starts in my heart, it warms my feet, erases my conscience and infects me. This point is where I am supposed to be.
-Rubrics, “This Music is My Life”
To call me under qualified and overdressed would be to vastly understate the matter at hand. There I stood, no older than seventeen, A THEATER STUDENT. I was that guy. The guy in the back of the room, with no place to stand without displaying obvious social awkwardness, who had no reason to be there in the first place except that I liked loud music and had searched fruitlessly for years for a decent music scene.
At a DIY show? Who the fuck did I think I was anyways? I didn’t belong here. My hair was short, my shirt was plaid and whatever brand was big at the time, and my Nike shoes were so many different colors, I couldn’t even list them off had I been looking straight down at them, like I did so often as I traipsed the twisting, winding prison halls of Wade Hampton. I didn’t know whether I was more lost in Suite 8 or my daily life. I had been brought in by my friend Boz to see the band that he was in at the time, Count Us Out (Pop-Punk, Get Better Records). I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and it would turn out to be the best experience of my young life.
This show was insane. My new friend Eric pulled me into the pit soon after the show got started, and I don’t think I left or stopped moving the whole time. I had never really listened to anything like this before, and it was a life-changing experience. The brotherhood, acceptance, and FUN inherent in the DIY community were clear and present in Suite 8 that night. Everyone in the room was dancing and having a good time to some local bands.
It was at some point during this show, and my discussions between sets with Rubrics members and my now good friends, Ryan Talty-Santangelo and Kerri Beth Santangelo, that I decided this was a community and a movement that I wanted to be a part of. This is an interesting, accepting group of people who base their lives on a strong code of morality and responsibility towards each other, and the rest of humanity. They take the fate of the world into their own hands, getting involved in local fundraisers, supporting the area’s homeless population and other people in need, and telling others about the importance of taking care of the Earth by doing things like going veg, paying attention to the political environment, and recycling.
They promote the growth of the music scene as well, by promoting local and touring music. It is rare that there is not a DIY venue open somewhere in Greenville at any given time. And at every one of these shows with a touring band, you will be guaranteed to see Kerri or someone else walking around with a container collecting money for the band to help them on their tour.
Suite 8 would be shut down a few months after this show by the city, but the DIY ideal has proven to be resilient. As soon as one outlet is shut off, another pops up. From Club Sammich, the short-lived venue with low ceilings and a feeling of closeness unrivaled in any venue I have seen thus far, to The Villa, a house venue belonging to Get Better Records co-founder A.J. Simpson and general badass Jason Borja, the scene refuses to die.
At a Christmas party this past year I heard a man, a parent of a close friend, speaking fondly of his days in the L.A. Hardcore scene during the time of bands like Black Flag, The Germs, and The Circle Jerks. He spoke of days when bands organized and paid for their own tours, the scene was like a close-knit family, and people played music so loud, fun, and lyrically controversial/progressive that you couldn’t help but go out and hardcore dance until you passed out from exhaustion. “It’s too bad that it had to die,” he said.
Greenville DIY and DIY-ers everywhere are proving him wrong every day. Punk didn’t die, it just moved into your basements and houses.