By Logan Langlois

MURFREESBORO, TN — Local music scenes taking place in the surrounding areas of the internationally famous ‘Music City’ often get overlooked in local reporting. In these spaces around Nashville, more alternative expression is allowed and even becomes treasured by fiercely loyal communities in the counterculture. One such community which has also seen an explosion in popularity recently is the Murfreesboro punk scene. 

This new exposure has brought about a new wave of rabid audience members and bands fueling the audience’s mosh pits, but the boom has surprisingly not led to an increase in venues hosting concerts. In fact, most punk shows in Murfreesboro typically happen within the walls of one house venue, CXR (pronounced “crossroads”), a venue which is run by two of the most respected punks in the Murfreesboro scene, Ethan Rose and Scout Red. 

“The moment right now is definitely very Crossroads-centric … by sheer fact that we had a long period of a monopoly on the house shows ‘cause we’re the only ones … doing them anymore,” said Ethan with a dry belch from their chest. 

Ethan began booking for the operators of the already-popular CXR house venue a little while before the torch was eventually passed to them in 2019. Scout would move into CXR a year and a half later in September of 2020, originally sleeping in the house’s library room on an old, filthy. Scout would eventually make their way into a vacant space upstairs when the room’s previous occupants moved out.

“It’s not really a living environment that you ask to move into. You kinda get like invited … that’s what happened with me, and I love it ‘cause … I think first time I came to Crossroads was like 2018 … and … instantly fell in love with it ‘cause it’s just, like [a] feeling of community and family. Flash forward a few years and now I live here and it’s a really, like, kind of surreal experience.” 

Within the overall community and general sense of family, the two say that the shows which take place at CXR are largely “unhinged” and that “you never know what you’re going to get.” They also said the newest influx of people in the punk scene has been the youngest crowd they’ve ever seen, which they believe has to do with the punk subculture becoming a trend on TikTok over the 2020 COVID quarantine. After the quarantine lifted, some of the first interactions that this new younger audience had in over a year would be the punk shows they sought out because of TikTok. Many would quit coming after just a few shows, but still, others would choose to stay after identifying with and finding acceptance in the local punk scene. 

CXR has also been increasingly hosting rap shows on a regular basis, showing support for any music which represents counterculture, the underclass, and raises social issues. Rapper Kandi Lake was even recently quoted as saying “I haven’t done one at Crossroads yet, but I really want to. I feel like that’d be super dope. I like the energy that it has.” 

CXR can be found on social media under @cxr_punkhouse on Instagram. Shows are also posted under the Facebook group Murfreesboro House Show Alliance, a page that hosts promotions for all Murfreesboro house shows.