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BLV House hosts local hardcore music in living room


For graduate students Sean Helbig and Matt Gruen, owning a house is more than paying for rent.

The two friends met each other at the University in 2009 and bought a house and named it the BLV House two years later, which hosts hardcore and punk bands from around the area to perform live sets in their living room.

“My friend’s last name is Beeble and we would call the house ‘Beeble Las Vegas,’ which started as a joke,” Helbig said. “BLV just kind of stuck and we couldn’t think of anything better.”

The house has hosted bands such as Light Years, Citizen, The Fight Within, Professor and React to name a few. The first show consisted of pop punk bands from Cleveland that Helbig was friends with, but they have been booking mainly hardcore and punk bands. The booking consists of band’s contacting the two friends through Facebook or by email. Then they will have the band perform if the artists’ music will bring people to the house.

Pat Kennedy, vocalist and guitarist for Light Years, said he remembers the house being clean because usually when his band plays at a house show, it’s in a dirty basement.

“It was a huge party and a lot more kids came than what I thought,” Kennedy said. “If you know about house shows then you’re kind of aware of what’s going on in this music scene other than what’s just on the internet. The people who go to the shows just kind of get it.”

Nick Hamm, guitarist for Citizen, remembers performing in the house a few years ago and said in an email it’s cool that Helbig and Gruen bring bands in based on the people’s donations who come to the shows. This is important for the music scene because the people are running the shows themselves, he said.

“It’s important that there are people still putting on punk shows or at least shows that go by those ethics,” Hamm said. “The only people that come to shows at the BLV house are the ones that truly care about the show or the music scene here.”

When Helbig and Gruen were trying to book the house shows, they needed someone to design flyers for advertising. They chose their friend Ryan Stechschulte, a senior art major at the University. Stechschulte said Gruen and Helbig knew he was an art student and wanted him to make the flyers.

“I was really interested in it because my hometown didn’t have a scene like that,” Stechschulte said. “I wanted to be a part of that here.”

Helbig and Gruen’s lease is up in August, and the two friends are going to host more shows in June and July, but will be letting other people host the shows under a different name.

Helbig said his and Gruen’s hardcore band Dismantle will still play and practice at the house after they leave, but it won’t be the same as it was before.

“The house has been cool because it makes you feel a part of something larger,” Helbig said. “It’s helped us network a lot, especially as a punk band.”

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