Journalist of the Week: Nick Bartek

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Nick Bartek '17 joined us for this spring semester and has contributed a number of well-written pieces, all named with clever headlines. My personal favorite is his Declassified Ska-Survival Guide which defines each sub-genre of ska for all of us who aren't as familiar. Aside from his unique music tastes and writing capabilities, this guy is enthusiastic about Campus Vinyl and a great addition to our staff. Watch out for this freshman and check out his most recent article on Kickstarter. If your life had a soundtrack and you could only pick two musicians/bands to play every track, who would they be and why?

The first band would definitely be Transit, a pop punk band out of Boston. I discovered this band in high school and fell in love with them immediately because I felt like I could really relate to their lyrics. Seeing them perform live was one of the greatest performances of my life. They truly have a passion for music and the lead singer, Joe, is one of the most down to Earth and humble people I’ve ever met. The second band would have to be a personal favorite, Sublime. After getting into alternative music during my later middle school years, I stumbled upon Sublime and haven’t stopped listening to them since. Bumping the reggae rock workings of Sublime really takes me back to my roots and reminds me of chilling with my bros back home.

If you could change/improve one thing about Bucknell’s music scene, what would it be?

This is going to sound redundant because I’m pretty sure everyone agrees with me, but I think Bucknell really needs more venues and opportunities for live performances. Although Philly and Pittsburgh serve as breeding grounds for bands and venues, especially of smaller genres, Bucknell isn’t exactly close to either one of these cities. Therefore, Bucknell needs more outlets for students to perform and to bring local acts to the school to play. Although we have a fall and spring concert, I would love to see smaller, less known acts play throughout the year. Back home there was nothing I enjoyed more than squeezing into small venues with a group of dedicated fans to enjoy the music of some of my favorite bands.

What genre, artist, or group do you listen to when you need a good stress relief?

Like most, whenever I’m feeling bogged down or stressed, I often turn to some indie and alternative tunes to relieve the tension. There’s something about the mellow instrumentation and laid back rhythms that allows me to unwind and regroup when I’m feeling stressed. Sometimes I throw in some laid-back ska tunes because they’re pretty relaxing too. Dave Matthews Band, Sufjan Stevens, Jack Johnson, and Artic Monkeys are a few names that come to mind.

What’s the best concert you have ever been to?

Hands down the best show I have ever been to was a ska show a few summers back with my buddies back home. Some of the biggest names in ska, Reel Big Fish, Goldfinger, Big D and the Kids Table, and Suburban Legends came together to throw a simply stacked show at a legendary venue in CT, Toad’s Place. Suburban Legends took the stage first and set the environment for the remainder of the show with their high-energy and entertaining stage presence. After that I got the pleasure to see Big D and the Kids Table for the 4th or 5th time which was awesome because I got to enjoy some of my favorite songs like “Describing the Sky”. After that Goldfinger took the stage and simply stole the show. As the singer took the stage, he leapt into the crowd and demonstrated how rowdy and wild the group could get. By the end of the set, I had crowd surfed multiple times, there was a wall of death, and the drum kit had been set on fire. Finally, Reel Big Fish took the stage and since I had seen them plenty of times before, it was somewhat redundant but enjoyable as a whole.