Saturday, August 30, 2008


There is only so much I can ever say without going too far from what I’d originally intended on focusing on. So much of what makes this Fest a success depends on the collective efforts of everyone that its impossible to thank everyone but there needs to be accolades spread amongst the masses so maybe that’s what this is about.
There is something to be said for 40 bands that spend up to six months planning out their year so they are on time and prepared for the fest so things work so perfectly… I can’t thank enough,each of the bands for not only doing their best up onstage but for taking the extra efforts to be on time, be prepared and able to lend a hand when needed. This fest wouldn’t work as efficiently if we had anything else but absolute cooperation and this year’s fest was a cakewalk because of their professional efforts in this regard. It should also be mentioned that I was so happy to see every band give 110% throughout the sets and for supporting the other bands. It’s these elements that push the quality of the sets over the top. Seeing guys who just played out on the floor or stage diving, grabbing the mic and joining in just continues the ethic of the bands are the kids, and the kids are the bands. It’s an important and often overlooked aesthetic that was in effect all weekend, which was quite pleasing to see.
On aesthetics, I must thank the companies who choose to spend their money and weekend sitting behind merch tables working like slaves for the masses of kids in attendance. “But Joe” you say…. “These people are working because they are making money being there”. I cannot dispute that they are working and that HOPEFULLY they are turning a profit for their weekend’s efforts. But they are but one small one cog in the works. They spend a minimal fee for the table space and have to get a van or rent one, find lodgings for the weekends and not included is the nasty cost of gas this summer. I am sure it wouldn’t be unheard of for some labels to not come back the following year just out of these added necessary expenses. But what they serve the works is more important then whether they profit or not. When we were younger searching for music was a physical effort. Sifting through boxes in barely together stores or merch tables across the coast was a big part of the time spent involved in hardcore. The excitement of not knowing what you would find and the hope that you would walk away with something awesome kept you coming back. In this regard online shopping and cd downloading has taken away the time necessary to find what you were looking for through diligent record “molesting” as a friend once called it. I am happy to have a piece of that back. There are times when I wish for things to be simpler and this is a chance to give this new generation a piece of what made the “ in between bands space” much more fun then sitting outside ending up in trouble. So thanks to the merchants who choose to sweat for their cash and serve the cause of reliving simpler days.
When we think of the fest the “given” is that they were will be kids there in droves and they will mosh to their hearts content. I would like to dispute the concept of the kids just being there. They are more then filler, they are more then a ticket total sold. They come from every corner of the world and they are sleeping in cars, living adventures and showing up 3 days straight to make the fest what it is. I could book every great band ever, have the best venue, perfect sound and if no one comes it will be for nothing. If the Bad Brains play TIH 2010 and the place is packed but no one makes a sound, moves an inch the set will be a failure. Its upon these kids to choose which bands will be remembered, which bands will be heralded and which bands will not make on the next year’s fest. There is something to be said for this fickle generation is that they show their appreciation just as easily as their dissatisfaction. I am glad we’ve keep the crowd on their toes and been able to provide for them a suitable venue, good sound, an excellent stage diving and bands that bring the reactions that we’ve gotten. I hope to always have the kids emailing and myspaceing us with the many thanks, appreciation and great stories about their times at the fest. It is that on Monday morning that made my day. Its what keeps me thinking about a fest that still has about 50 weeks before it happens again. I am forever indebted to make sure they will always be here and they will be motivated to change the course of the night from a decent set to a moment to be remembered into their 30’s.
I am never short on words or praise and the staff of R5 productions deserves a lion’s share of my love. They have outshined their previous efforts this year and I am so proud to see the newer guys getting more involved. I would to believe that next year we will have 100% stage dive participation from the many staffers we have but then again if they were stage diving all night I wouldn’t be able to applaud them would I?
I’ve never needed a partner more in a situation like this and its Sean Agnew at R5 that allows me to have this dream come to life each year. He is so humble but he is truly a big piece of the TIH puzzle and I thank him time and time again for allowing this to happen.
He is one of the most pure DIY promoters in the country and his intimate knowledge of all the inner workings has truly taught me a thing or two about the way to run this fest.
Robby Redcheeks has been an inspirational friend and supporter of my efforts since day one but he has really stepped up and cleaned the stage of the evil hardcore paparazzi that was plagued the view from the stage and keeping the bands from going off and giving the kids the show they paid for. He is not only one of the best in his craft but he is truly still living the hardcore kid life well into being a homeowner and responsible adult and that in itself is commendable.
I’ve been booking shows since I was a teenager yet by the time I was into my 20’s I was blessed with a silent partner whose diligence and eye for details have never truly been made public but were always vital to the success of my operations. This year with the cards stacked against me, Samantha Cox has stepped up and really not only given her time and effort but has picked up slack and has played a tremendous key role in sorting out the stuff that may have fallen through the cracks on a hectic day. I look forward to her future contributions to This Is Hardcore Fest.
In the next year you will see amazing things done with This Is Hardcore. “Juice” has started his work with the website and art for next year. Eulogy and FloatingBoyMedia are grinding things together now for the best possible outcome on the 2008 DVD. I am looking forward to its release in early 09.
Finally thanks to the unsung heroes like Jeremy from Jumpstart records for not only making gorgeous posters but for putting in extra work with the fest, helping where he could. Tom and John Hiltz for the excellent sound again, Joe at Red Planet Sound for the Back line, Chris Striegal for working the show for free just out of love/boredom/insanity. Wes (PIMP) for handling the security details with an amazing efficiency and cool professional approach. I cant thank you all enough and this is already probably too long winded.
Take care and I will see you in 09

Monday, August 18, 2008


******all times are subject to change.. on top of it expect these times to signify more about the order. we've had saturday night end 45 minutes early because we run shit the right way.... don't rely on these times completely as the day moves on we will be gaining time and running ahead of schedule or later... if there is a catastrophe )

1ST BAND – 6

$20 at the door for the day AT THE DOOR

http://www. ticketweb. com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=291310

http://www. ticketweb. com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=275657


9:30 - 10:15

8:50 - 9:20

8:00 – 8:40

7:35 – 8:00

7:00 – 7:25

6:30 – 6:55

6:00- 6:25

DOORS 11:30 AM

http://www. ticketweb. com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=291311












3:30 – 3:55

2:55 – 3:20

2:20 – 2:45

1:45 - 2:10

1:10 - 1:35

12:35 –1:00

12:00 – 12:25

DOORS 11:30 AM

http://www. ticketweb. com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=291312















At The Starlight Ballroom
460 North 9th Street (Just Below 9th & Spring Garden)
Philadelphia, PA
All Ages To Enter / 21+ To Drink


***CASH ONLY For Three Day Passes & Day Show Tix At Our New Box Office at Deep Sleep (54 N 3rd St / 3rd & Arch Streets philadelphia, PA)
Or Call 1-866-468-7619 (toll free)

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I finally feel like I’m on the go, on the move, headed somewhere far from where I stood too long. The leg aches and the sun’s heat may sting but I am so set on not being here when this storm is over.
I can’t believe I meandered so long on things without the ability to see I was running myself in circles corkscrewing further down the planes of Hell. Like I stood for 5 years running down a staircase towards everything I would eventually come to want to overcome. I want to look myself in the mirror and be happy with the reflection. I want to be able to laud over my accomplishments.
So much of this lies on the surface, that I am actually terrified of the renovations in store. I’ve never been a shallow guy or someone who worries about my own appearance but as I creep towards 30, it’s time I get my ass looking half decent so I can get that woman that is going to stand behind me through thick and the thin. Its time to wave goodbye to the slacker appearance, ignorant mindset and depressing scenery.
Today I will take my bed and put it up on the 2nd floor. It’s a monumental task for me because I’ve dwelled here in the basement setting so long I almost don’t know what to do with a “room” bedroom. I’ve had 2 room bedrooms since I was 14 and Samantha reeks with each passing thought of them. So much of it was her touch, her sense (even at 18) of what looks better, feels better and will work better in the space. But I am tired of the sprawling mess and the feeling of a pack rat lifestyle. I’ve always had too many projects going at once, most of them ½ complete or stalled for lack of desire, direction or parts.
This will be me growing up now. In a big boy’s room, with function and purpose. Gone will be the boxes of nostalgia covered with graffiti. The smell of the basement apparently is something that I’ve grown used to but something that I will be happy to miss. I am hoping the room is as cool and cold as the basement but being practical I know already that it will be much hotter then I am accustomed to. It’s the small changes like this that I will need to take on to move myself onto the next square in this game of life. So much of my summer has been spent crunching numbers, on the cell phone, planning, making changes to plans etc. I will rejoice on the day where the debt is down and the plans are simple. The changes will be rare.
I would like to get to a point where things are so on the fly. There comes a time when I need to grow up and get on a schedule. I am a creature of the night, yet I work early morning. It makes for 3-hour sleep schedules that would cripple me in 5 years but for now my energy is peaking.
I am hoping I will find the career to jump into. The kind you go to school for at night, crunch your pennies for and ultimately sit back and smile once you’ve gotten to that point. I will need to get out of the trades. It’s an awesome lifestyle but one that often makes me questions my sanity. There comes a time when I do have to price out what I will do as I make more money then most college graduates and our pay isn’t even that great, it’s the benefits that make it worth it. I thought of getting into a different union where I will make $12 more an hour, but then I had a thought that if I just went to school for half a dozen years a night or less maybe I can stop having calloused hands and a 4 am wakeup to drive out to a strip mall where I will spend my day sweating my balls off looking at girls that will only date the guy in the job I didn’t have the sense at 16 to go to school for.
It sucks to watch all the lessons line up on one side of the line and see all your mistakes that have taught you those lessons on the other. If the two ran into each other like BraveHeart you would have a basic visualization of my brainwaves and current mental picture. I am so tired of seeing everything and like Homer going “Doh”. It just leaves me either on a path to prison tats and a wall of pain surrounded the dead ends to the feelings nerves or the rough road uphill out of the depths of Cocytus on to the next evolution of myself.
Maybe I am living in one big drawn out Inferno much like my beloved Dante. It would be too easy for me to walk through the hells of which I’ve possibly survived only to linger in purgatory like the guy waiting for the Up elevator in every office building in the country.
I’d like to believe that Samantha is my Beatrice and that absolution and purity of the mind will come from the trip but I’ve come to the realization, lost is a word I need to relearn. Lost is my chance to do something that has already happened. Lost is the innocence in her eyes. Lost is the easy road to a life of joy and harmony. Lost is the time spent on fruitless endeavors that have only me back to 5 spaces before the starting line.
Its time to walk forward and move with certainty, yet its ok to stop and ask for advice and direction. No longer can I just run through this life not knowing or caring about the outcome of my every step. I’ve squandered my Irish Luck and the misfortune is looming like a dark cloud on the opening day of a losing Franchise. Its time to get real and admit the failures, the pain I’ve caused and the time I wasted and learn that recycling through them endlessly will amount to nothing.
I need some real progress. I would love to see myself a year from now and know I’ve done right. It’s so eerie to be at this age and feel the fear of change in every thought. Could I be someone else? Can I have something better? What will happen if I do the right thing for a change? Its questions like this that keep me waking up on time for work and keep me coming home to a nice run and a quick shower afterwards. I can’t get bogged down anymore and sit and wait for the end mindset. Gone are also the FUCK THE WORLD, EAT SHIT-GO FUCK YOURSELF and the ever-popular CUT OFF YOUR NOSE TO DESPITE YOUR FACE game plans. Its time to make things better for me so I can be a man of real virtues one day. Not of half assed ideals or grand schemes. Its time for me to really have a balance in my life, in my head and in my heart.
The first steps have been taken. Back from War now and onto the culmination of my yearly work “This Is Hardcore”. Then its off to 12 months of brown bagging lunch, paying off debts, working out like a maniac and trying to improve on the few things I didn’t completely destroy. The promise of a new tomorrow and a better me is there but its always the realization that this hill is steeper then I thought and that results will not be evident for years to come.
These are the hardest steps. The land is rocky and the air is thick. I can’t make out a milestone and there is times I’d rather let go and just free fall to the ground and sink into the earth but I know whatever I am climbing towards will not happen with that bullshit copout crap. Its time to man up and do what’s really right for me, seek out my true potential and achieve it. Its not as easy as typing these words and posting them on a blog but the sheer notion that these are my own words and not someone else’s being echoed is the first signs of light in the dark tunnel I’ve dug for myself.
A new friend told me guys don’t start maturing until 28, and I felt good that I was on point with that. I can get bogged down in not knowing where I am supposed to be because I was without a true father and that wisdom and guidance but it must be something instilled in all men if it is as I’ve seen a lot of my friends hit this age and the changes they’ve made have gone from monumental to unthinkable.

Its great to have the idea that I’m onto something new for once with me. I’ve never focused on myself as much as I’ve done much to please myself. I’ve never cared about the material world or how I looked to the opposite sex or what I am eating or how strong I am. I just went out there and did it. Maybe I will never care but its time to start embracing these things and finding out if this teenaged angst rebellion shit is really all its cracked up to be or if my life resides in the ‘burbs rocking polo shirts and living the sweet life of a wifed up man with a life of responsibility.
The concept of the solitary bachelor has come to mind many times as I gaze into the prize and realize its not me she will ever want again. It’s time to realize that failure comes with a heavy toll. That toll is being dolled out in payments of stress, hope, exhaustion, and rinse, repeat. The life I am living for now is finally suited for me. I will gain all the benefits of all of my actions. Be it a ring on my finger or one day a Crown upon my brow, I will fucking achieve something more then what I’ve been limping towards if it means the complete shutdown of all emotional output for the duration of the mission at hand. I’ve come to terms with my shortcomings, and although the list is staggering, I feel with a tenacious positive attitude I will overcome and move away from them as time moves on. The time has come for a cleansing of the mind, body and spirit.
It’s a harder task than what I originally had in mind. Like a bad TV show about the demolition of a man to be rebuilt as a colossus of a person. I wish to strip out the bad so that way the dead, cancerous fibers are gone and the new reinforced cells were alive and uncontaminated. Is it possible? As possible as anything I’ve ever done good or bad. I’ve done things men shouldn’t, I’ve seen places my type never does. I’ve felt loves sweet embrace and hate’s bitter icy touch. It’s all out there waiting for me to shit and get off the pot.
I am there some days. Sitting on my porch reading and smiling, knowing the outcome was worth the blood, sweat and toil. I am content that I’ve lost the parts of my life that were unnecessary and those that I’ve grieved have forgiven or moved along. It’s the closest thing to heaven is to have a bit of redemption once the concept is conceived. It’s the beauty of these lessons I’ve learned. I chose the left hand path and it got me all up in a bind but fate has allowed me one last corridor out and I will climb, kick, scream, bite and punch my through all of obstacles to arrive at where I was supposed to be after all. It’s like taking the long scenic trip and then having to push the car ½ way through it, uphill in a sleet and ice storm to get to the beach. The beach is still lovely, the sun’s kiss warms your heart and the smell of the salt air zips through you like when you were a kid out on the first “family vacation”. Everything had been what you’d thought it would have. Its that rewarding sensation of already knowing how it will feel to get into that good place that will be the guiding light through the muck and mire and will brighten even the darkest of my days. I will get to that beach one way or the other and when I do I will be so fucking pleased, a seagull could come down and shit anywhere he like on me and I would be at peace knowing that I am alive and well and in a better place, bird shit or not.