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Format: 04/18/2014
Format: 04/18/2014


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Local musician, Jim Semonik, beats disease, releases benefit CD

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

By Manny Theiner

Jim Semonik is a relentless fighter on several fronts.

Every day, he provides customers at Downtown record store Eide's Entertainment with maximum exposure to fresh independent music. In the studio and on stage, he strives to make his voice heard over the pulsing synths and distorted beats of his band, Reinforced. And as a concert promoter, he toils behind the scenes at many regional concerts in the genre of gothic/industrial music.

None of that prepared him for the biggest battle he'd ever faced in his young life. In May 2008, he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, which had killed his father several years earlier. But the difference was that Jim was only 29 years old.

It seemed like only yesterday when the Ambridge native attended his first industrial show -- KMFDM and Chemlab in 1994 at now-defunct Metropol -- and fell in love with the music. "It was the live performance of [Chemlab's] Jared [Louche] and his bandmates which activated me," he recalls. "I was about to graduate from high school, and I'd never seen anything like it before. I left the club thinking everything I'd ever heard paled in comparison."

With lifelong buddy Don Anderson, Mr. Semonik went on a tear, acquiring all the EBM ("electronic body music," another term for electro-industrial) CDs he could find by reading the pages of Industrial Nation and other magazines he found at Eide's and South Side store Slacker. "I scoured the bins for labels like Reconstriction or COP, bought everything blindly, and nine times out of 10, they were great. I still buy music that way -- I hate using the Internet because it ruins the surprise of unlocking a musical gem. I like being a kid on Christmas morning when I listen to a new CD."


To read the rest of the story, please visit this link to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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