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A sober safe space: Louisville straight edge scene is hardcore music, not hardcore drinking

Savannah Eadens, Louisville Courier Journal

Published 6:36 a.m. ET Nov. 27, 2019 | Updated 6:56 a.m. ET Nov. 27, 2019

A SUBCULTURE DATING TO THE 1970S, STRAIGHT EDGE, LIKE PUNK MUSIC, IS A MIDDLE FINGER TO THE MAINSTREAM.

Tyler Short missed a hardcore show a few weeks ago.  

He’s still beating himself up for losing track of time that night. He almost never misses a show in the basement of Spinelli’s Pizzeria in downtown Louisville, the mecca of the local hardcore music scene.

Short lives and breathes hardcore — the faster, heavier and more aggressive grandchild of punk music. 

For him, Louisville’s hardcore scene is not just about the music — it’s a community centered on youth with an anti-establishment attitude. Though he’s 31, Short considers himself one of the “hardcore kids.” And he’s become a mentor of sorts to the growing and constantly evolving group of young people within the hardcore scene, many of whom are committed to the sober lifestyle known as “straight edge.”

In its simplest form, straight edge is a faction of hardcore or punk music fans who embrace a philosophy of staying clean and sober. It’s like a non-conformist mindset within a non-conformist movement.

A subculture with a backstory dating to the 1970s, straight edge, like punk music, has always been a middle finger to the mainstream. Locally, it’s a lifestyle choice that takes on a different meaning for everyone who subscribes to it.

More importantly, Louisville’s straight edge community is a place of belonging for those who feel like they don’t belong anywhere else. 

Read the full article here

Mother, wife, small business owner. www.justbuttons.org

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