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this record store around 2 p.m. There, I performed for approximately eight people. These blessed eight were enthusiastic, purchased some of our recorded musical commodities, and proved able conversationalists. In addition, the record store doubled as a semi-anarchist bookstore and the best vegan bakery I have ever patronized (Sorry, Sticky Fingers and Black Cat. This place has Bakunin on you).
My only problem with Jacksonville: some suspicious crusty punks. I am working to defeat my prejudice against lurking crusties and their dirty dogs, but the prejudice persists. Happily, these crusties proved benign. I was even distracted from their lurking when I sold a CD to a skinhead. I’m not sure why this skin wanted to purchase my overly precious postpunk music. I can only conclude he was compelled to support me because I, like him, am bald.
Five hours later, Ybor City was blowing up and I was at ground zero. Ybor is Tampa’s “Latin quarter” where partiers throw beads and celebrate the suspension of open container laws. Though they were far from Boston, the three gentlemen pictured above were partying hearty in St. Patrick’s name. I failed to note their handles but, judging from the signs they are throwing, they are from the west coast of somewhere.
Meanwhile, at the club, hundreds of Silversun Pickups fans were clamoring for rock action. Would these intoxicated Floridians enjoy the overly precious postpunk my band had prepared? Indeed, they proved as enthusiastic as the DIY set in Jacksonville. Jolly persons emerged from the 500+ throng to purchase approximately the same amount of merch I had sold to eight people in Jacksonville five hours before. A puzzle reared its head: is it better to play for hundreds of people to reach ten who enjoy your music, or just go right to those ten people directly? My bandmates and I do not know.
“I thought I would hate a stadium rock tour,” said a friendly Silversun Pickup after the show. “But I love it!” Later, he retreated to his tour bus. I wondered if I too would love stadium rock life and its associated decadence. However, I am too old and bald for decadence and, gracious as they were, the Silversun Pickups did not invite me back to their tour bus to engage in any.