I thought my day was made, about three weeks ago when I scored a copy of Dear Leader’s The Alarmist. The Boston, MA based band was formed by Aaron Perrino, better known in Buffalo as the lead singer of The Sheila Divine. His distinct croon, and penchant for soft-loud dynamics that can see screaming turn into falsetto on a dime, is on full display throughout the album. It’s been three years since it was released, and being the lazy fan that I’ve become, I managed to find it in a used CD bin. Though I’d like to think that its because of the format not the content that it wound up there–the album is wonderful.
Of course, while looking up some song lyrics (what did we do before the internet? We thought France turned against us, that’s what) I ran into this.
And then this.
And then naturally, this and this and this and this.
My day had gotten significantly better. However, I kept asking myself how I managed to miss these announcements. Information overload? Maybe. Or was it the format the band released the songs in, relying on a non-mainstream distribution system, and not really even making an album proper yet? Couple this with my disconnect from the fringes of music news, where I don’t have time to search (though finding these sites took a scant couple of minutes) and find like I once did, relying on feeds and updates from only a few sources? I began to question where I had let them down, and I felt less like a fan, and more like some guy who liked them. Or even worse, a guy who couldn’t muster the energy to care.
But then, last week, the lineup for this year’s Thursday at the Square was announced, and TSD had been booked to play with Tokyo Police Club, three days after The Decemberists hit Artpark, and right in the middle of the Buffalo Infringement Festival. My mind began to jump from schedules, to ways to get in and out of the city quick, to juggling the time off, to the price of gas. Quite possibly the best week in live rock and roll in recent memory, and I can’t make a single part of it. Now I was more disappointed than when I had started. But something was different. I didn’t feel like less of a fan anymore–the disappointment validated my investment in the band and voila–I was a fan once again.
A tiny voice keeps saying that it was part of growing into an adult that allowed me to slip out of fandom. Another, louder voice repeats that this has nothing to do with maturity and the phantom of adulthood that we’re supposed to be marching towards. I’m a fan of The Sheila Divine, and Dear Leader. I’ve been one no matter what rare CDs I don’t own, which shows I can’t go to, and however many interviews I fucked up with them. Because I want to be there, and because I’m excited to want to be there, means I haven’t lost my drive to discover, to be involved to be effected by music, and especially by music I love. I’m still a believer.