A Personal Statement from Our Music Editor, Mike King

This editorial originally appeared on LamplighterNJ.com in July 2014

I was fourteen years old in the winter of 2004 when my brother, two friends, and I decided to start a punk rock band called Waking Dream. For the record, fourteen is young enough to find nothing wrong with wearing your own band’s t-shirt to your own band’s first show, and it’s young enough for your father to think it his responsibility to give that band an embarrassing pep-talk onstage before that show. Continue reading

State of the Scene: On Dancing

This op-ed originally appeared in Issue 01 of Lamplighter Magazine in March 2012 and subsequently on LamplighterNJ.com in August 2012

Hardcore dancing. Now, before you hand me the Pulitzer for that opening statement, let me get to the rest of the article. For those unfamiliar with the term, hardcore dancing is the name for the seemingly random kicking, punching, and flailing of limbs that can be seen in the “pit,” a name for the circular opening that often forms in the middle of the crowd at a hardcore show for the purpose of hardcore dancing. Not to be confused with “moshing” or “push pits,” which consist of a group of fans violently pushing each other around in a big circle, hardcore dancing can almost be thought of as a form of interpretive dance, with participants utilizing their own combinations of windmills, two steps, kicks, spins, punches, or flips to express anger or excitement during a song. However, like “The Wall of Death,” it’s a topic that tends to divide crowds. You either think hardcore dancing is the bee’s knees, or you prefer to enjoy a show from a stationary position, in which case hardcore dancers are probably a nuisance to your viewing experience. Whatever your stance, hardcore dancing is a part of the scene, and it deserves an honest examination of the pros and cons. It’s a legitimate form of expression, but, in some cases, potentially dangerous, detrimental to the very music it celebrates. All of which begs the question: is hardcore dancing necessary? Continue reading