February 27, 2003

I am, at this very moment, holding the latest issue of Philadelphia Weekly, one of several "street papers" available in this city.

There are, in this particular issue, 13 -- count 'em, 13! -- pages of listings and advertisements (most of the latter quite small in size) for music concerts and night-club shows.

The vast majority of these listings and ads are for contemporary, rock, folk, and jazz performances, and most of those list and advertise performers, bands, and acts that I can't imagine even the most avid of scenesters could recognize by name.

I have just one question: Who goes to all these things?

I realize Philadelphia is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. and that, as such, a vibrant nightlife is to be expected -- in fact, welcomed. But are there really that many devoted music fans in this city? Is music really so central to the lives of so many (mostly young) people?

Some day I will have to decide -- or have someone tell me -- whether I've missed out on a great thing or on nothing at all.


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