Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Horrifying conflict

In September 2009, I purchased tickets to see one of my favorite bands of all time, Pavement, perform a reunion concert in Central Park on September 21, 2010. As Pitchfork or some other music blog remarked at the time, the degree of advance planning that this required seemed likely to be a challenge for Pavement's core audience of 1990s-style hipsters. But not being in that demographic myself, I figured: No sweat.

The tickets were a hot item, and I had to act fast to get them. But Pavement then went on to announce a number of additional reunion concerts, including a number prior to that date elsewhere, and also several more that week in Central Park.

Sometime in the interim, I agreed to give the NYU Tillinghast Lecture on International Taxation this fall. I was only offered one date: Tuesday, September 21. But somehow I had persuaded myself that the Pavement tickets were for a Monday, suggesting to my evidently easily addled brain that they must be for September 20. I guess this means I should steer clear in the future of making jokes or sardonic remarks about hipsters. (At least in relation to their planning abilities.)

I've now finally become aware of the conflict. So what to do? I am reminded of the old Jack Benny joke:

Armed robber: "Your money or your life!?"

Dead silence.

Armed robber: "Well!?!?!"

Jack Benny: "I'm thinking! I'm thinking!"

Unlike Jack, however, I recognize that I don't really have a choice. At this point, I've credibly committed to one of the two options, and I don't (alas) mean the Pavement concert.

Luckily, the market for Pavement tickets may now realistically be thick enough that I can, so to speak, have my cake and eat it too (although I've never understood why anyone would want cake, other than to eat it). Surely I can both sell my 9/21 Pavement tickets, such as on Stub Hub or Craigslist, and buy tickets for later the same week on one of those venues. Or, better still, cut out the middlemen by arranging a swap. (Please contact me off-line if you're interested in either or both sides of this.)


Christie Malry said...

I saw the Slanted and Enchanted era Pavement here in the UK back in 1991 or so. They were great, but after that album and the early singles I really lost interest in the band.

If, by some miracle, I happen to find myself in New York in the third week of September, I'd blag my way into the Tillinghast lecture before I'd want to see Pavement. I wouldn't want to upset the memories I have of that gig and I'd also be curious to see how you plan to upstage Wolfgang Schon's Odd Couple lecture. I have no doubt that you intend to.

Daniel Shaviro said...

I like Pavement all the way through Brighten the Corners, and am looking forward to the expanded Terror Twilight reissue (though it will still presumably remain their weakest album).

The article I'm currently working on will be the lecture, and I think it has a good opening line.