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bethb's Diaryland Diary


an open letter to mr. steve albini

So, I went up to Pennsylvania this weekend, because I wanted to see my family and just get away from this area. There's just too much going on with...everything, and I wanted to see leaves changing color. Leaves change color here too, but philly is about 1 1/2 weeks ahead of DC agriculturally, and i'm greedy, what can I say?

Also, my father is way too good to me. I think it might also be guilt, because he's the reason i own this piece of crap car, but whenever something goes wrong, he's always willing to help me fix it, which is nice. Because I had apparently blew a radiator hose. On the plus side, my "service engine soon" light no longer goes on, so I guess that really was the issue.

On wednesday, I finally got to see Shellac. They've always been my holy grail of bands to see after blowing off a show of theirs in 1994. Finaly, 8 years later, and there they are.

There were, of course, the usual meat heads in the audience who yelled shit out like "don't suck" and steve albini lit into him and actually called him an asshole, but there were things said by the members of shellac, that made me go "wait. hold up".

For instance, steve albini called DC "insular". and thus, here is my letter to a one mr. steve albini....

Mr. Albini, first, I would like to thank you for playing DC on Wednesday, October 16th. I've waited 8 long patient years for the chance to see you again (as flying to chicago to see you play with the ex last spring was out of my budget range) I know that we also have friends in comon. B and I from F. for example.

However, you said something that kinda troubled me. After you and Mr. Weston (by the way, during your impromtu Q&A sessions while you changed out strings, i was tempted to see if bob still had my letter praising the first rachel's album, but i know that not everyone is the pack rat i am, so i didn't. but i still have the letter he wrote me back in respone. it's technically 3 whopping sentances, but I have it.)thanked everyone in the audience for coming (you actually seemed surprised the crowd was as large as it was, but i mean, COME ON! of course we're going to flock to you) you said something along the lines of "i know your city has a reputation for being insular"

Maybe you don't agree with that opinion, or maybe you do, as i know this is the first thime in 4+ years you've played DC proper. I guess I'll never know, but i would like to take issue with that statement.

First off, being on the end as someone who books a concert series that *is* actually for DC bands and DC bands only, i get comments from DC bands themselves yelping how we're too insider. Which is really ridiculous. I am not inside of anything/group. People will never be happy with anyone completely. ever. the best i can do is book DC bands on a stage in a field and hope people come. and they do, because usually, it's fun and not raining. That is the only example i can think of when people might call us narrowly-viewed.

Have there been Chicago bads that have not been well recieved here? Sea and Cake/archer prewitt shows i've gone to have been well attended. as have almost any jason noble/jeff meuler incarnation. there was a seam show in december of 98 that was pretty packed as well.

Maybe if we appear to only like ourselves, you just need to look at our roster. I mean, look who we have! fugazi, q and not u, canyon, dismemberment plan, barcelona's newest incarnation 'sprites'.

i mean, we are certainly not hurting for home-grown talent, but we do flock like lemurs when bands such as your own come into town because we're not some narrown minded black-balling hicks south of the mason dixon line.

The notion of your delay in playing DC because we might not be receptive to you is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

(i am reading into your statements from the stage, anyway)

please don't make me wait another 8 years to see you play.

all my love to bob and todd

beth b.

ps. if anyone reading this knows mr. albini, feel free to forward it on to him.

i'd love to see what he says.

4:04 p.m. - 2002-10-21


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