VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1 (OCTOBER 2005)

DRINKING, A DANGEROUS DRUG?

Claire Ross

We are all familiar with the fatal dangers relating to drinking and driving. Yet few are aware of the potentially lethal dangers of alcohol use outside of the car. I must admit, for a long time I too was ignorant. My knowledge of drug related death was limited to lung cancer, drug overdose, and liver disease developed from years of drinking. Recently, however, I was introduced to the true immediate dangers of alcohol and discovered that we must reevaluate our relationship to this so-called harmless drug.

This fall I witnessed an incredibly alarming alcohol related tragedy. The victim was Alexander Thomas, a polar opposite of the typical “teen-drinker.” In fact, he was the quintessential determined and hardworking student. Born in France to a Lebanese mother and a German father, Alexander graduated from French high school with the highest possible honors on the Baccalaureate and spent two years studying for an extremely competitive exam to a prestigious engineering school in Paris.

When finally in college, Alexander attended a large party and sadly drank himself to death. His friends were well aware of the large amounts he had drunk, and in an attempt to help him, delivered him to his dorm and put him to bed when the partying finally came to an end. They claim that he was breathing very loudly and that he was very much alive. Yet, the next morning, Alexander attended none of his classes. He was without a roommate and thus went unnoticed until it was too late. By the time a dorm friend checked on him, all the friend was able to do was call the police.

Over the past several weeks I have bared witness to the affects that the death has had on others. My sister, Cécile Ross, was especially affected by the passing of such a close friend. She describes her experience; “He was supposed to pick me up after my driving lesson but he never showed up. He wouldn’t answer his phone. It was so unlike him to forget an appointment, even during a fight. Later, his sister called me to tell me that he had passed away. I thought it was a joke and hung up on her but then she called me back and I understood that it was true when I heard his mother’s sobbing voice in the background.” The friend that discovered Alexander dead is now in therapy in the hope of overcoming the trauma caused by the shock and guilt that came from his death.

Alexander died for no apparent reason. A week of police investigation and an autopsy provided little insight into the cause of the death. Alexander had consumed no drugs that day. Yet his death reveals the fact that acute alcohol intoxication can cause death. As said by the Mount Holyoke health services, “the amount of alcohol that it takes to produce unconsciousness is dangerously close to a fatal dose.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics estimates that 16% of people in the United States who have drunk in the past month are known as binge drinkers, consuming five or more drinks on one occasion. It is common for these binge drinkers to drink large amounts of alcohol quickly enough for it to become critically dangerous. Since alcohol slows down certain bodily functions such as heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure, it becomes clear how truly perilous this alcohol culture has become.

It was alarming to learn that alcohol induced death is not limited to the wildest teens. Ordinary teenagers, and adults alike, are just as susceptible to the drug’s hazards. Suddenly, a “few drinks” takes on a whole new meaning.

 

 

TEACHER PROFILE: DR. JANE BUDIMIR

Elizabeth Swislosky

Dr. Jane Budimir, a new teacher here who teaches both Mathematics and Chemistry, discusses her education, her decision to become a teacher, and her views on BHSEC.

Q: What college did you attend, and for how long?

A: I attended four different colleges, actually. I got my bachelors degree at NWUN, my masters was from the University of Minnesota. The Masters was in chemical engineering. My Ph.D in chemical physics, pure science was at Columbia University. Then, at NYU I attained my Masters in education. The time I spent in those colleges was twelve years altogether. The more you learn, the more you discover you don’t know.

Q: The time you spent at these colleges, were your majors always science and math?

A: Yes, except for NYU, where it was math education.

Q: Did you always want to teach?

A: Well, you know how parents keep everything? My mom kept everything I ever wrote, and I went though it. I found a paper from when I was seven years old: it said I wanted to be a teacher.

Q: Interesting. Where else have you taught?

A: I taught at East Side Community High School. I also taught while I was in graduate school at Columbia.

Q: Why did you come to Bard?

A: I came to Bard because I think it is the best high school, ever. It is everything I expected it to be and more. And the students are great!

Q: What are some of your dislikes about Bard?

A: There aren’t enough sports activities.

Q: Lastly, do you plan on staying at Bard or moving on?

A: I plan on staying. I want to be here to see this school evolve.

 

 

ROMEO AND JULIET 2005

Anya Bailey

In one of the most famous love stories of all time, Homer’s “The Odyssey”, two lovers see each other only in the very last pages of the book. In “Romeo and Juliet”, the “star crossed” lovers are separated by distance and family conflict, and are inevitably forced to communicate through secret messages. Perhaps the most famous American poet, Emily Dickinson, spent years writing to a man whom she loved but never even met.

When we read and hear these stories we are struck by how romantic and glamorous, albeit fictional, these long distance relationships are. Yet, what is the true reality of the long distance relationship? Is it possible that the common conception that “long distance relationships do not work” is nothing but a myth? How do modern teenagers deal with long distance relationships?

Surprisingly, many members of our BHSEC community have admitted to being involved, at one point or another, in a long distance relationship. One student, who wishes to remain anonymous, dated someone who lived in California for a month and a half. “I think it would have lasted a lot longer if we hadn’t lived so far away,” she confessed.

Regardless, unlike Romeo and Juliet, modern teenagers are not dependent on the slow human messengers or letters of the past, and should therefore be able to more easily maintain relationships over long distances. We have the telephone, e-mail, AIM, and text messaging, to enable us to be in touch with anyone at anytime. This is not to suggest that this system is flawless. These luxuries often lead to expensive cell phone bills, and in the end, disgruntled parents at the end of each month. The real problem, though, stems from the fact that although we can keep in touch verbally, “It’s difficult because the physical part is important,” according to a BHSEC student. When a mate is so far away that physical contact is no longer an option, physical absence can become a true fracture in the relationship. In the opinion of many teenagers, if a relationship is lacking any type of physical contact, then it is not worth having.

Still, many adults manage to maintain long distance relationships. Even my sister, who is in college, has managed to maintain a long distance relationship for three years. This stems, however, from the fact that at an older age, it is far easier to visit the other person. To be in a successful long distance relationship, one must have an independent spirit, in other words, be able to spend a lot of time alone.

At the end of our conversation my anonymous source decided that “Despite what we say, most teenagers don’t want serious relationships. We’re much more interested in just having fun, and it’s hard to have fun when you’re tied down to someone thousands of miles away.”

 

 

MOVIE REVIEW: “CORPSE BRIDE,” DIRECTED BY TIM BURTON

Sarah Marlow

Although it does not live up to the exceedingly high expectations that surround it, “Corpse Bride,” Tim Burton’s much-anticipated animated follow-up to 1993’s classic “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is by no means a disappointment. The movie begins slowly, and doesn’t really take off until the very end.

While the characters are, for the most part, original and amusing, the plot is not. It follows the standard “I-know-we’re-engaged/married-but-I’m-in-love-with-someone-else” plot, except this time with a twist: this story involves a corpse bride. Some of the characters from the “land of the living” appear to be just as dead as the residents of the underworld. They are boring and plain; everything a character shouldn’t be.

The various corpses and skeletons that inhabit the underworld are a completely different story. They are lively, animated (literally and figuratively), funny, and amusing. They were in some of the most amusing parts of the movie.

The best part of the movie, without question, is the animation. “Corpse Bride,” like “Nightmare,” uses stop-motion photography. Obviously, there is more technology available today than there was in 1993, so “Corpse Bride” is a bit more polished. The movie’s soundtrack is also very good. You learn more through the songs than through the dialogue. This movie is definitely worth seeing, if not for the story, at least for its cinematography.

 

 

“GHETTO” AND ITS CONNOTATIONS AT BHSEC

Rozan Abdulrahman

“You’re so ghetto!” This is a phrase that has been heard a great deal throughout Bard High School Early College; in the hallways, in the stairwells, and in the yard. But what exactly does it mean? According to a group of Bardians I have asked, this phrase has several connotations.

If “ghetto” meant that a person has just done something admirable, the school culture could dramatically change. If everyone wanted to be called “ghetto” because it meant doing something admirable, Bardians would perform incredible acts throughout the day just for the thrill of being called “ghetto”. Though this does not threaten the current culture in the school, it does change the perspective of many students towards each other in terms of their behavior.

This does not seem to concern many Bardians, however, for they believe that the term “ghetto” refers more to the hip-hop culture; i.e. images of baggy jeans, caps, and Jordan sneaker brands. One student said that this is a stereotypical view of minorities living in the projects. When asked whether the term “ghetto” refers to any specific ethnicity, she answered, like many others, with a solid yes. Most of those surveyed associated the term and the images associated it with African-Americans and Latinos. Since many of the renowned hip-hop artists are of this ethnic group, they also made a connection to hip- hop culture.

In general, many agree that the term “ghetto” is often used by students who fit this stereotypical description. When those who fit the stereotypical profile were asked about this issue, they stated that the term is part of their culture. However, they stressed that they did not like to be stereotyped since many other students, whom are not of African-American or Latino descent, use the term often in BHSEC.

For a few, the term “ghetto” reminded them of the horrors of the Holocaust and the actions of Adolf Hitler in World War II. According to history, the ghettos were an enclosure designed to kill the Jewish population during Hitler’s dictatorship of Nazi Germany. This was a breath of fresh air; a rare response that actually had a basis in reality. Some Jewish students referred to this type of “ghetto” as the “kill-out centers”, while others called it “the suppression of Jews”. Either way, this shed a new light on the term “ghetto”, since this definition of the word was based on actual events and not individual biases.

The most interesting discovery that I made was that many of those who were reminded of the stereotypical images were not of African-American nor Latino descent; they were Caucasians. They often related the term to minority groups and generally agreed that it was not a term they use often, but that they hear often. Many of the Caucasian ninth graders, for example, admitted that they have heard it amongst the minority students more frequently as well as using it themselves. Consequently, the term “ghetto” seems to reflect and impact BHSEC students in different ways. For African-Americans and Latinos, it is an unconscious reflection of their culture, while for others the term is related to the Holocaust, an historical event.

 

 

THE REAL LUNCH LADY

John Loonam

It’s hard to know what Evelyn Martinez looks like when you see her in her work clothes. It isn’t that the burgundy uniform doesn’t flatter her; it’s more that it doesn’t reflect her personality. Most students know Evelyn as “the lunch lady”, but she describes her job as being more of a mother figure, someone who helps the students throughout the school day. Actually, Evelyn doesn’t usually use the word “students,” she usually says “my kids”. In fact, most think of Evelyn as more of a friend than anything else, even if it isn’t often a publicly voiced opinion. You might even say that Evelyn is the single most beloved faculty member in the entire school.

While many students at BHSEC have trouble getting in at 8:55, Evelyn manages to arrive at school most days at 7 AM. The lucky few that have seen Evelyn arrive this early in the morning know that there is a lot more to her than a hot cafeteria and an apron. Fana Hickinson, who is in her third year at BHSEC, describes Evelyn in a few words. “She’s hot!” Hickinson says, “And she’s pretty, and she’s getting married soon.”

Obviously, Hickinson, knows a lot more about Evelyn Martinez than most students who see her as an average lunch lady. But Evelyn isn’t the stereotypical lunch lady; she’s “caring”, according to Abigail Campbell, another Year 1 student. In fact Campbell says that Evelyn “is a friend, an asset to my education, and she starts my day off well.” If Campbell is in a bad mood, Evelyn makes her feel better. Evelyn is never in a bad mood, at least not that we can tell. She may bug you about not having your lunch ticket, or your money, but she never takes it personally, and neither should you.

People at Bard have a lot of complaints about school food, and the overall condition of the cafeteria itself. Everyone seems obsessed with the tumult that is cafeteria food. And yet Evelyn doesn’t think students disrespect her or what she does. Lots of students hate the food, but for others, it is what it is.

Another student, who eats in the cafeteria on a regular basis had this to say; “The food is edible. Oh, and I know what the ‘mystery meat’ is, people just overreact.” The students that refuse to eat the school food should at least understand this much: Evelyn isn’t responsible for the food served, and she shouldn’t be.

The food comes from the Department of Education. It’s a scheduled meal plan that Evelyn is supposed to follow verbatim. She does all she can to accommodate students who are vegetarians or who obey religious dietary rules. As a matter of fact, she wouldn’t dream of doing otherwise. She also does something she doesn’t have to do. As Campbell described it, “she’ll try and make things herself, and when she does, it’s amazing.”

Preparing a D.O.E. meal can take up to two hours, so adding her own homemade creations is a labor intensive project that Evelyn does purely out of love for her job and the students she serves. When asked if she would serve her famous farina soon, Evelyn doesn’t have to think about it very long. “No,” she says. “They haven’t sent any sugar yet.”

Evelyn is completely limited by the D.O.E. regulations, but she still does her best to please everyone in the building, even if it means doing a little more work. Evelyn doesn’t think she’s paid fairly, but then again neither do the teachers.

Our cafeteria will be going through changes soon, and students enrolled in the “Education and Democracy” class and the “Environment and Design” class are leading the way. But we’re not going to lose Evelyn Martinez, and that is good news for the students who eat in the cafeteria often. Evelyn is happy about the prospect of a nicer cafeteria. She doesn’t want to be the enemy. The way she sees it, if changing the cafeteria is what the student body wants to do, then it’s what she wants to do. Whatever makes her kids happy makes her happy.

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: “ANANSI BOYS” BY NEIL GAIMAN

Adriana Stark

Neil Gaiman is most famous for his comic book series “The Sandman” , as well as his best-selling novel “American Gods”. He bravely explores mystical realms. All of his books have dealt with either mythology or other types of imaginary realms. Often the same characters appear in his books and comic books, such as Dream. Dream is of the seven brothers and sisters that the story of the “Sandman” relates: Destruction, Desire, Death, Dream, Despair, Delight, and Destiny. Each sibling is the embodiment of his or her name. The character of Dream is also the main character in the book “The Sandman, Book of Dreams”. A lot of the characters Gaiman has used in his books are from mythology, especially in “American Gods”. He has developed this style of modernizing or recontextualizing mythology so that society can understand the meaning of myth in the present day. Modern people have forgotten the old gods humans used to worship, and Gaiman is trying to find a way to re-introduce them into the world.

In his new book, “Anansi Boys”, Gaiman has taken one of the characters from “American Gods”, the trickster god Anansi, and has expanded upon the story of his family. From the moment Charles Nancy was born, he was tricked and teased by his father, Mr. Nancy, who embarrassed him to no end (He even changes his name to Fat Charlie). However, Fat Charlie must eventually deal with his father’s death, as well as his inheritance, which includes a brother he never thought he had, and the information that Mr. Nancy was a god. A family reunion between the two brothers becomes a disaster when the brother decides that Fat Charlie’s life is much too boring and in need of lightening-up. Fat Charlie’s brother destroys the life Fat Charlie had before his father died. However, this destructive process creates a space for what he actually wants, (instead of him having what he thinks he wants,) and this goes for many of the other characters as well. There is a moral behind the story: one must give up the old to make room for the new.

Gaiman explores the idea of dysfunctional families, of regret, of loss of love, of bad decisions. He creates a story that is rich in excitement and fantasy. Though some sections of the book can be tedious at times, the book in its entirety is magnificent, starting out slow and picking up pace as secrets begin to unravel and chaos etches itself within the story. “It begins, as most things being, with a song.” At the end of the story the reader experiences hope, a belief that singing can fix a broken life. “Anansi Boys” is like any fantasy tale, in the sense that it contains some kind of moral along with the idea of self-transformation. Yet, all of this is presented through the eyes of a man who wants to be happy but has forgotten how to be, and all he needs is a push in the direction of chaos, which will somehow make his life right in the end.

 

 

A FEDERAL FAILURE

Will Glovinsky

By now it is evident that Hurricane Katrina will have ramifications other than the death and destruction that it has caused. The federal government’s disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina and the general disorder and confusion that dogged the relief effort have shone a light on the shortcomings of federal and local emergency response capabilities, and clearly show why the age old conservative doctrine of allowing for as much state regulation as possible can be extremely unwise.

The Bush administration’s faith in local and state authorities to effectively respond to a catastrophe such as Katrina was complimented by its lackluster attitude towards the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Mr. Bush’s appointee for the post of director, Michael Brown, had no prior experience in emergency management and had recently been fired from his position at the International Arabian Horse Association over controversy pertaining to numerous lawsuits. And, while President Clinton had promoted FEMA to a cabinet level position, Mr. Bush lowered FEMA’s mandate to an undersecretariat post to make way for the Department of Homeland Security, an agency concentrated mainly on antiterrorism.

The result of all this federal indifference was an outcry from besieged local and state officials. “They don’t have a clue what’s going on here,” said New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, referring to the federal emergency management officials. Mr. Nagin later issued a desperate “S.O.S.” in an appeal for federal aide.

Thus, on the day of Hurricane Katrina, both local and state officials were simply unable to cope with the massive storm, and the federal government’s misguided trust in local government’s abilities led it to be grossly unprepared.

Mr. Bush, who succeeded in turning a belated response to 9/11 into what his aides call “his finest hours,” bungled disaster response by appearing high and dry in the Rockies holding a guitar, while New Orleans was flooding.

Always quick to respond to criticism, President Bush quickly sacrificed the head of FEMA and replaced him with a man holding the impressive title of Admiral. He also signed relief legislation for almost $60 billion, telling a real estate happy society that the money is but a “down payment” on aide to come.

However, all of these quick fix solutions fail to address the underlying problems that allowed for this unfortunate situation to occur: that the federal authorities were not ready to take the lead role in the effort.

Hurricane Rita showed us that large hurricanes are forces that can be dealt with given proper planning and evacuation time. It was obvious that in the aftermath of Katrina we would be on our ready, with countless tons of supplies ready to move in and be distributed after landfall, but we can be forgetful. The London bombings this past July, described as a “wake-up call,” were evidence that our recollections of harsh realities can blur even over short periods of time. Let’s not make the same mistake again. The federal government must be held accountable for emergency management, because it is too important of an issue to be left to state regulation despite its accordance with good conservative philosophy. The federal government must accept this huge responsibility.

 

 

TRANSFORMING WASHINTON SQUARE PARK FOR BETTER OR WORSE

Anais Schindler

Long the rendezvous point for musicians, poets, bystanders and tourists, Washington Square Park is as iconic as it is old, with the soot of urban revolution smugly filling in the many crevices in its concrete base. Established in 1828, it rose to prominence in the 1960s, when Bob Dylan graced Greenwich Village pubs and the park was the playground of the Beats, the avant-garde and rebellious adolescents. Today, aging bald men with guitars play and sing alongside people young enough to be their children, making for a unique but thoroughly odd blend of the old and the new.

This contradictory quality is essential to the story of Washington Square Park, which in itself is chock full of misleading imagery. The recently refurbished arch, a little cousin of the Parisian “Arc”, is a glorious emblem, but once inside one finds little children splashing about in a soup of cigarette butts and staid water.

Of course, such relics of turn of the century New York can only survive so long, and there are plans in motion to “revamp” the park, to polish its image. The famous mounds, all that’s left of an old children’s adventure park, might be flattened to make room for more grass area, the sunken plaza would be raised and the fountain would be moved to align with the arch. The plan also calls for a new wall around the park, to replace the low lying tubular fence.

Groups spearheading the renovation say the concept is simple. “Get rid of the drug dealers and the rodents,” says Community Board 2 Parks Commission Chairperson Aubrey Lees. However, despite the claimed simplicity of the project, the cost would be an estimated $6 to $10 million dollars, which supporters hope would be raised by fundraising organizations. So far, only $600,000 has been allocated by Councilman Alan Gerson.

Renovation proponents are enmeshed in another contentious issue, one that could only be expected in Greenwich Village, the motherland of activism. Reactionary groups have sworn to protect the traditional aura of Washington Sq. Park. “Save the Mounds” is an informal group of mound believers who have circulated a petition around the area which garnered some two-thousand signatures. The group argues that the mounds “are the only hills for miles” and are a valuable asset with great potential play value for children.

How exactly the parties on both sides of the issue will prevail is uncertain, especially when you consider that municipal politics act as road blocks at every turn. It is likely that change will come after complicated bureaucratic and social processes take place. Proponents argue that the park is an international celebrity, and therefore deserves to be clean, drug-free, and elegantly designed. Others cling to the familiar urban beauty that is the park at present, fearing that to “revamp” the park would crush the special place and drive off the people that give the park its flavor.

To get an idea about where the park might be headed, if the Community Board gets its way, one should look in the men’s bathrooms, which are housed in a small structure south of the central plaza. You will discover that the once slimy and greasy flushers have been replaced with automatic sensors for easy flushing.

 

 

MUSIC REVIEW: FRANZ FERDINAND’S “YOU COULD HAVE IT SO MUCH BETTER”

Chloe Steinhoff-Smith

Franz Ferdinand is perhaps the most successful group that has emerged from the wave of independent British rock bands that has crept into the mainstream amidst a frenzy of hype and scrutiny over the last two years. While bands like Bloc Party and the Kaiser Chiefs have reaped the rewards of this new mega-trend, no band has risen as far or as fast as Franz Ferdinand, a group of four impeccably hip young post-punk dance-rockers from Glasgow. Their first album, which was self-titled, shot out of the Indie world and climbed rapidly up the pop charts. Soon, the band’s first hit single was on every radio station and on the minds and lips of every blazer-wearing, messenger bag-toting, sexually ambiguous boy and girl the world ’round. Now, after their hugely successful world tour, which drew record-breaking crowds, Franz Ferdinand has released its widely-anticipated sophomore album entitled “You Could Have It So Much Better”.

After achieving international superstardom, some bands take the time after their first release to commercialize their sound, predictably producing albums that are trite and boring or exactly like the first. Franz Ferdinand avoided this trap, diversifying their sound and coming back with an album that is dynamic and mature, while maintaining the groovy, danceable sound of the band’s debut. The first single, “Do You Want To”, is bold and catchy, with a bouncy chorus and a crunchy beat. From the edgy political opener “The Fallen”, to the soft and sweet piano ballad “Eleanor Put Your Boots On”, the new album is sure to send devout Franz fans into fits of euphoric squeals and raucous dancing, while Indie rockers who shun the mainstream will listen guiltily from the privacy of their headphones.

While there is no doubt that “You Could Have It So Much Better” will be a hit, there is, as always, room for improvement. The first and last few songs are very strong, but the album lags a bit in the middle. While individually rockin’, there is a stretch where the songs lack distinctive rhythms and melodies, and therefore run together and become almost indistinguishable from one another. This was an evident problem for the preceding album as well.

Overall, “You Could Have It So Much Better” is smart, new, and incredibly “listenable”. Although Franz Ferdinand failed to patch every pothole from their first album, they managed to tighten the bolts and oil the hinges enough to deliver a record that surpasses all expectations.

 

THE PEOPLE BEHIND AND PERFORMING IN LOCAL SHOWS 

Meagan Chen 

With the recent uprising of local and underground bands, there are also local and underground venues. Walking around the streets of Bayside, Queens, one notices ads on lamp-posts advertising the latest show at the local Knights of Columbus hall. On that same surface one finds an ad advertising a Hurricane Katrina relief benefit at a bowling alley in Glen Cove. Even on the streets of the Lower East Side near BHSEC you see ads for shows, but who are the mysterious people organizing these events?

Joseph Caciola is one of them. A 17-year-old senior at Chaminade High School in Mineola, Long Island, he enjoys booking local shows because, he says, “I love the music and I want to hear it live. I love to see people’s reactions to new music. I love to hear that kind of music played in an intimate setting. I figure, why wait for a band to play shows when I can book them myself? It’s actually a pretty selfish reason for wanting to book them.” He calls the venues, not the other way around. “Most places will take the suggestions of outside bookers and trust them. A few ‘bigger’ venues however have a booker on their payroll. If your band wants to play a show there, you have to go through the bookers who are on payroll.”

When he books shows though he normally books bands that he knows personally, such as Days on End, This is Relief, and Pink Tie Fridays, the former two coming from north-eastern Queens/north-western Long Island and the latter from Middle-Long Island. “Recently though, many bands have started contacting me out of the blue to get shows.” If many unknown bands are contacting local bookers, does this mean that the popularity of local shows is rising? If so, this means that the popularity of the local venues is rising as well. “Local venues put up with the loud, and sometimes obnoxious, music to get more people in their doors,” says Caciola. “Unfortunately, not enough popularity is gotten, in most cases. A lot of venues do not generate enough income to pay for all of their costs. The most recent examples are the Downtown, in Farmingdale, Long Island and even CBGBs.” 

Zack Sieger, 14, bassist of the band Days on End, says, “Being on stage is such a rush, but for a kid to come up to you and say, ‘That was awesome!’ makes me connect with the area and the kids who are willing to open their ears to you.” He’s been playing local shows since he was 11, and the list of venues he has played in includes The Knitting Factory, the now-defunct Downtown venue, Redzone in Middle Village, Queens, and Glen Cove Lanes, where he had his first performance. “There’s a lot of undiscovered talent playing the bowling alleys, bars, basements, and halls, too. Many people don’t realize that and they don’t get involved in their own scene, which I think is a shame.” Local shows expose this talent, and all bands signed to labels currently are living proof that there is some hope out there that they may get a record deal. However, some people, like Sieger, “play shows mainly to get their music heard and to be part of one of the greatest experiences in the world to them.”

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