Citizen John

I bet I could guess your age based on how much you're willing to pay for a show. When you're old, you just want to get out of the damn house; you'll pay anything. When you're young, you just want to see music; you'll pay anything. When I was 16, a ticket price wasn't even a factor in my decision to go to a show. I was so excited just to put on my shit-kickers and dive off some stages, the only thing I cared about was whether I got the best ticket or the best place in line for a ticket so I wouldn't have to work so hard getting to the front. I was one of those jackasses who would set up a tent outside a ticket location that "no one knew about" three days ahead of time, only to wake up the day of the sale to a sign saying, "Lottery." Lottery means everyone takes a number, and it's up to the music gods to smile on you. For my three days of sleeping on concrete outside of a Payless Drug Store I was rewarded with No. 231 out of 250 tickets. The show was sold out by the time they hit No. 7. The next time, however, I showed up with 20 of my closest friends only to be the one who drew No. 2. Now I have 19 people handing me wads of cash and leaving me in line while they go get breakfast. The point is, money didn't matter. The show did. And the show I went to was Lollapalooza. Turns out they sold about 50,000 tickets to this show. I could have drawn No. 4 million and gotten in. Though once I did get in I had a rare discovery. On the second stage, a little-known band played in front of about 100 of us while the other 49,900 people enjoyed George Clinton. I had never heard of Stereolab before, but seeing a band of this insane quality was a treat. They announced to the crowd they were playing in Seattle at Moe, so I went there the next night. Turned out to be a bar. Turned out to be a bar that could spot a fake ID. Turned out to be a bar that took away your fake ID. The important thing is, the cover was like $6. I stood in line with 20 friends I didn't really like just to

pay $50 to drive three hours to see a band I could have found for $6 and a short walk (if my ID was working that night). I have since bought everything Stereolab ever made and haven't paid $50 for any live event except Neil Diamond tickets. They have a new CD, The First of the Microbe Hunters (Elektra). You should check it out. Stereolab, that is, not Neil Diamond.

You can hear Stereolab on the John in the Morning show Monday through Friday from 6 to 10am on KCMU 90.3 FM or on the Web at

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