Sunday, March 13, 2022

Dear Mr. Pavement*

So, I'm on Third Man's mailing list and I get an email Friday saying that Jack White is the cover for the new Mojo and did I want to buy the Collector's edition "[a]vailable exclusively at Third Man London, Third Man Nashville, Third Man Cass Corridor, and online at on March 15th"?

Well, actually, no, I don't. I'll get the plebe version in a couple months, whenever it's traversed the pond via the Covid-slow international mail, thanks. But I'll definitely be looking forward to it!

And then I read through the email and below the blurb for Mojo, and the blurb for Jack's new single with Q-Tip(?), I learned that Third Man has a quarterly magazine themselves, called Maggot Brain. And that sounded cool to me. I still mourn the print version of Spin to which I subscribed for many years. I tried Rolling Stone for a year or two once Spin went out, but let's face it, they've been kind of lame since the '80's (which is why I started reading Spin in the first place). And I do subscribe to Mojo, and they're great, but always being 45 days behind current with them is a little weird, seeing gig ads for shows at the O2 Manchester I could never attend but also are already over is always a little sad for me.

I could maybe subscribe to this Maggot Brain thing! And be current, reading gig ads for shows I also couldn't attend, but *haven't* already happened! So I click through for that, but immediately get waylaid when I start reading about the interview the mag did with Pavement in advance of their reunion tour.

What's this? Pavement dates? So for a second I get excited, and I leave the Maggot Brain page and head over to and sure enough, US tour starting in September.

But my cautious excitement was dashed as I read through the dates, as once again, Pavement is not coming to South Florida, or even Central Florida.

And I sighed.

Because Pavement not coming to South Florida is a long tradition with me. And, you know, with them.

It's funny, 'cause at the bottom of the page, it actually had a link for "Request a Show," and I was like, "OK, I will," and I even had an inchoate letter written up in my head, went something like this:

Dear Mr. Pavement:

Read with the usual disappointment your reunion tour US tour dates, because once again you've decided not to come to South Florida. Living here all my life, I've long since known that being at the geographical and cultural ass-end of America means that I'm often not going to have he opportunity to see my favorite bands play in town. Not like in Austin, or Atlanta, there's a window you have to squeeze yourelf through, here, I understand. It's got to be the band you know, of course, and before they break up, of course, or maybe during their one-off reunion, and during a tour where it's practical for the band to travel the 700 miles. Like some bands end their tours in Miami, and just begin their vacations here the next day. Think Sonic Youth did that one time. Or I saw High on Fire this other time, Pike and the rest of 'em were departing on some Metal Cruise the next day. So, such a long drive, it's gotta make sense, I get it. Not every tour is gonna work out right.

But with Pavement, it has *never* worked out, to the point where I wonder whether y'all just have something personal against South Florida. I've followed you, basically your entire mid-major career. It's true I wasn't a fan of the band when you were on Drag City, but you weren't doing national tours then anyway. But I read the glowing review in Spin for Slanted, and bought the Matador CD right away. Liked it so much I wrote you, commending your vision. Spiral Stairs even wrote back to me! So I'm right with you from your breakout. Should count for something, right? And since I got that short note, I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a date I could check out.

But never; not then, and not, sadly, disappointingly, not now.

Maybe you'd reconsider? Other bands, do, evidently. Hell, Godspeed You! Black Emperor is coming to Florida for the first time ever next month. You should do the same in October.

(Signed) rastro etc.

It would have been a good letter. But when I clicked the "Request a Show" link,it just gave me the Bandsintown page and you couldn't personalize your request.

Just as well, I suppose, as it puts me in mind of the time I wrote Sweep the Leg Johnny asking them to play Churchill's, and instead, they cancelled their tour. Or the time I *couldn't* talk Parquet Courts out of watching the Super Bowl and playing Churchill's instead.

* Extra credit if you caught the "Young Ones" reference.

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