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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Letter of the Day

posted by on July 26 at 9:56 AM

… was also the first letter of the day, sent at 12:10 am:

From: “Preston”
Date: July 26, 2007 12:10:15 AM PDT
Subject: Dear Man

Dear Mr. Editor,

Can I please ask everyone to please desist in putting on good 21+ concerts in the Seattle area? I think I speak for the entire under 21 crowd when I say it’s just getting really annoying not being able to go and see my favorite band because you feel the need to get drunk while you rock out. Seriously, is booze really important enough to you people for you to deny the amazing memories of a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah concert ON HIS BIRTHDAY to a 14-year-old-boy? Why don’t you just order a vodka and children’s tears at your 21+ Brian Jonestown Massacre concert? Because otherwise mine will just go to waste.

Thank you for hearing out my request,

Preston, 14

RSS icon Comments


Three words, Preston: get a fake.

Or alternatively, be a man, suck it up, and wait until you turn 21. That's what I did, and it builds character.

Posted by Hernandez | July 26, 2007 10:02 AM

Or, alternatively, stop listening to such crappy music and check out some of the really good all ages shows happening all the time in this city.

Posted by Levislade | July 26, 2007 10:04 AM


When you turn 21, you will understand why we do not want to be around little 14 year olds while being completely sober. You will also understand why you will want to buy a drink at the concert.

Or you can just do what #1 said.

And for the record, I wouldn't mind trying a vodka and children's tears.

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 26, 2007 10:07 AM

Vodka and Childrens Tears is a drink for the GWAR show anyway.

Posted by G$ | July 26, 2007 10:07 AM

Dear Mr. Preston,

Your taste in music sucks. Get bent.

Posted by Dylan | July 26, 2007 10:07 AM

Get thee to the Vera Project, Preston., my friend.

If your favorite bands don't play there, get involved. The people who participate in Vera influence what gets booked.

Posted by hey | July 26, 2007 10:11 AM

Waaaaaaaaa!!!! Get this baby a diaper.

Posted by Thurston Howell | July 26, 2007 10:11 AM

vodka, kids tears and red bull shaken and strained. Drink specials like these will be nickel's next taget.

Posted by wisepunk | July 26, 2007 10:11 AM

A drink like that needs a catchy name.

Posted by flamingbanjo | July 26, 2007 10:12 AM

You'll feel the need one day, too, Prest-o. Catching that CYHSY Reunion show in one of the flyover state fairs, you'll realize that you not only failed to sell your soul to rock and roll, but the check bounced, man. You're overdrawn, bitch. And then you'll feel that need bad. And you'll also get your middle-aged hate on for the kids and their silly jetpacks and virtual reality pants.

Posted by Ziggity | July 26, 2007 10:12 AM

@9 How about calling it a "Kiddie Fuck"

Posted by Giffy | July 26, 2007 10:13 AM

target market for the Stranger

they have a game, counting the dirty words

I am so taken back to those years when I discovered the taste of jizz

Posted by al | July 26, 2007 10:17 AM

@9 & 11

Alternately, call it a "Pedophile".

Posted by Chris B | July 26, 2007 10:17 AM

Suck it up Preston. I didn't get to see Heart, The Cars, or Pat Benatar when they played the Astor Park when I was 14 either. And I was about 13 and living in Lacey when Led Zeppelin, Wings, an the Who all played Seattle on their last decent tours.

Being a kid sucks, but at least you don't have to get a job or pay rent.

Posted by elswinger | July 26, 2007 10:21 AM

Nothing perks up a cocktail like the tears of innocent, whiny children. Suffer you little bitch, just like the rest of us had to.

Besides, I already deal with 18+ shows where I'm forcefully separated from the main floor because I want a beer. If you really want to get pissy, take out your anger on our Puritan mommy-state culture. You wouldn't deal with this shit so much in Europe.

Direct your efforts against this whole "think of the children!" crap, and maybe we can have a beer together someday.

Posted by Matthew | July 26, 2007 10:21 AM


Why stop there? Just call it sex with children. That would be interesting to hear people order at a bar.

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 26, 2007 10:22 AM


I'd love to hear that at a bar with some truly jaded bartender:

"I'll have a 'Sex on the Beach'"
Yeah, sure...
"Can you give me a 'Screaming Orgasm'?"
Unh hunh, haven't heard that before.
"Can I have 'Sex With Your Teenaged Daughter'?"

Posted by Chris B | July 26, 2007 10:26 AM

I need a drink just to be in the same room that clap your hands and pay me money is playing.

Posted by opus23 | July 26, 2007 10:32 AM

Please allow the reasoning center of your brain to fully develop before asking such for such stupid and whiny demands. You're too young to even realize how ridiculous you sound to the 21+ age group you are attempting to fraternize with. "Wahhh, Wahhhh, but mommmmy will pay for meeee since it's my birthday party. I will buy everyone cupcakes and party hats."

The brain's center of reasoning and problem solving is among the last to mature, a new study graphically reveals. The decade-long magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of normal brain development, from ages 4 to 21, by researchers at NIH's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) shows that such "higher-order" brain centers, such as the prefrontal cortex, don't fully develop until young adulthood.

A time-lapse 3-D movie that compresses 15 years of human brain maturation, ages 5 to 20, into seconds shows gray matter - the working tissue of the brain's cortex - diminishing in a back-to-front wave, likely reflecting the pruning of unused neuronal connections during the teen years.

Posted by lol | July 26, 2007 10:36 AM

@6: good idea. The Vera Project is wonderful.

The rest of you people: yes, I prefer going to 21+ shows because I've left my teen years far, far behind me and I want to spend my time with my peers, drunk or no. But don't get up on your high horses about Preston's taste in music or his perceived whining. I bet you've listened to shittier tunes than those in your time and, frankly, you're whining right now. It's pathetic that you "adults" can't behave at least as well as this fourteen-year-old.

Posted by Tai | July 26, 2007 10:40 AM

Fuck you, ya little bastard. You live in a city with the Vera Project and a community dedicated to bringing you underage shows, even if the majority of shows are 21+.

I grew up in a town in the literal middle of nowhere, 200 miles from every major urban center, and so pathetic we considered Lubbock, fucking Texas to be a major urban center. I had to travel to Albuquerque and El Paso if I wanted to see a concert and every one of those concerts was a goddamn stadium show with $60 tickets and thousands of people who didn't actually like the band, but were just happy some band had deigned to grace us with their presence.

Suck it up, go to all ages shows, and be fucking grateful for what you've got.

Posted by Gitai | July 26, 2007 10:53 AM

Kids these we have to make everything easy for you poor things? Geez, you're so deprived of so much in this city.

Back when I was your age , we had to start our own bands, get fucked up on our own, play in basements and VFW halls, learn to wipe our own asses and didn't expect grown ups to do SHIT for us. Now you've got rock and roll camps to teach you how be a "rock star", myspace for networking all over the world and tidy kid safe places like Vera.

In other words, shut the hell up little man with your sense of entitlement.

Rant off.

Posted by piss off junior | July 26, 2007 10:54 AM

When I was 14, we had a happy little thing called the Teen Dance Ordinance. That meant that there were NO ALL AGES SHOWS.

So you should be pretty happy that you get to go to shows at all, and accept the fact that when you go to shows PERIOD, you may have to deal with some drunks.

Most adults like to drink, some of us can do it without getting stupid and annoying, but some can't. The guy who was bugging you at your show would probably bug me just as much, even though I'd have a drink in my hand, too.

Oh, and btw kid? Annoying people come in many varieties, and only some of them are the drunk kind. Putting up with people who suck is just part of life, so you better get used to it now, or you're going to spend a loooong time being even more miserable than you would be anyway.

Posted by violet | July 26, 2007 10:58 AM

Yeah, okay, I just re-read that and I realize now that Preston is pissed at not being able to see his fave band because it wasn't all ages, not because it was and there were adult drinkers there.
So refer to "Be happy there are any all ages shows for you to attend because most of us did not have the opportunity to see anything until we were 21".

Posted by violet | July 26, 2007 11:00 AM

Preston, don't worry -- some day you will have the chance to treat the next generation of kids the way these idiots are treating you.

Children's tears really help a good single malt open up.

Posted by Fnarf | July 26, 2007 11:02 AM

As usual, unnecessarily harsh.

Preston, I know it's hard, man. I grew up during the days of the Teen Dance Ordinance and RKCNDY. I know how you feel, I do.

But you should know how us 21+ feel about going to an all-ages show. It is NOT FUN. AT ALL. The mere presence of you impressionable minors relegates me to the "bar area" since apparently I'm going to hand you my $11 drink if I try and go upfront with it. Do I get drunk at 21+ shows? Sometimes. Not always. But it's ever so satisfying to move freely, drink in hand.

One day I hope you understand.

Love, Grandma Meags

Posted by Meags | July 26, 2007 11:02 AM

OK, I'm calling Seattle out on this.

When the fuck did an under-21 person do something lame at a show in Seattle?

My experience is that under-drinking-age kids at rock shows in Seattle are far more behaved and polite than yappy shrilling 21+ fucks who talk upfront during a band's performance.

Remember the days when Graceland used to do double shows? i.e. the all ages show, then the 21+ show? Anyone remember how much quieter the all ages show was?

So, please. Someone who can't stand all ages shows explain to me how an all ages show detracts from the concert experience aside from the fact that you may not be able to carry your drink over to the front of the stage (for which you can blame the Liquor Board.)

From where I came from (a much bigger city), people were happy to attend all ages shows because of the diversity in the crowd. More to the point, "all ages" was exactly that there.

Here, "all ages" shows are really "under 21 types because people above 21 in Seattle have some inexplicable issues with youngsters" shows.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | July 26, 2007 11:10 AM

Preston Dude,
You speak the profond yet all too tragic truth of the over 21 under 21 dichotomy in our society. You speak such poetry. I think to the U2's "I will follow" when Bono sings "Boy tries hard to be a man/ his mother takes him by the hand / when he stops to think he starts to cry / oh why" You're going to have to create your own music for now. The vodka and Childrens's tears is fucking brilliant!

Posted by Sasha | July 26, 2007 11:12 AM

preston some of this is about the booze.. but remember the booze is about the money. at least partially.. clubs make tons more money when they can serve booze. bands can make tons more money when venues can serve booze. som eclubs and bands forego the money and play all ages shows. it's lovely when they do. some even schedule dual appearances so they can satisfy young'uns like you and make some jake later. and that's lovely too. but consider that the issue, while it affects you for just a little while longer, isn't aimed to frustrate and torture you just becasue you're underage..
and thanks for the lovely drink suggestion..although i'd prefer my adolescent tears mixed with armagnac

Posted by reverend dr dj riz | July 26, 2007 11:20 AM

@20: I'm glad someone finally said it. Come on, guys. Regardless of how you feel about Clap Your Hands Say Yeah--I don't really care for them--we have an adolescent who wants to support independent music. Shouldn't we at least pretend to support this?

I'm not saying that "suck it up and wait 'til you're as old, creaky, and consumed by hate as we are" isn't a legitimate answer; indeed, I'm chomping at the bit to use that very line in casual conversation. But doesn't the little runt's complaint dovetail just a little with many of our own concerns about night life, the nanny state, and access to the arts?

There needs to be a better solution than denying access to music in order to accommodate drinking, or denying access to drink in order to accommodate youth.

Oh, and the salt of a child's tears would make a terrible mixer for vodka. My first thought was that gin would be better, but really, tears go best with brown liquor . . . Jameson's, maybe?

Posted by thelyamhound | July 26, 2007 11:21 AM

No one has mentioned the oft-discussed fact that shows where alcohol can be served freely make more money for the venues. Capitalism makes the world go round.

This is something I definitely didn't understand when I was a teenager whining about the lack of under 21 things to do.

Posted by Julie | July 26, 2007 11:22 AM


It's mostly because they do not want to risk losing their liquor license.

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 26, 2007 11:22 AM

27, underage kids doing lame shit at shows has nothing to do with anything right now.
What is relevant is underage kids whining about how they didn't get to see a band on their birthday because we stupid adults just HAVE to be able to drink while we watch shows.
I don't have to be able to drink at shows, often I don't when I could, and I have no problem with kids being at shows.
But sometimes you don't get to see stuff for any number of reasons, and there's no point in whining about it.
Preston needs to learn that you can't have everything all the time.
My adult age bf may be missing a show that he really, really wants to see this weekend because he has to work at godawfulthirty in the morning six days a week. Instead of whining about it, he said that I should still go and have a good time.
Oreston, go to the shows that you can, and remember that pretty much everybody has to miss out on something in life.

Posted by violet | July 26, 2007 11:23 AM

Holy crap, how old ARE you people? I didn't realize the Slog was read mostly by Grandpa Simpson. I'm over 21, but please, when I utter the phrase "Back in my day we had to" blah blah blah, please, take me out behind the barn and shoot me. Jay-sus.

That being said, when Preston is 21, he will appreciate not being around teenagers. But until you reach that point, the concept of why you would have a problem with all ages shows is utterly baffling. And unlike, apparently, most of the commenters here, I am young enough to actually remember what it was like to be under 21.

Posted by exelizabeth | July 26, 2007 11:40 AM

Vodka + Childrens Tears = Preston Punch

Posted by cruise_missle | July 26, 2007 11:44 AM

Dear Preston,

Sod off.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 26, 2007 11:45 AM

Ah, the older rockers turn viciously on the ghostly remenants of their younger selves.

You get this sense of these losers futile efforts to find in a beer glass the ephemeral unfulfilled energy and passion of their now over teen years. It's all down hill for you now...

Posted by mirror | July 26, 2007 11:46 AM

Napoleon Dynamint

Posted by roland rock | July 26, 2007 11:50 AM


Give up music and take up sports. It's cheaper, you'll get in shape and you'll enjoy it more.

Posted by Gomez | July 26, 2007 11:50 AM

Do what I did and move to a country where nobody cares how old you are.

Posted by Cassandra | July 26, 2007 11:59 AM

I'm just going to congratulate Preston on being one of the more articulate 14-year-olds I've read of.

And come on. "Children's tears"? That was pretty good. Better than "Well, fuck your mom!"

Posted by Gloria | July 26, 2007 12:00 PM

Wow, people who post comments on Slog are the biggest assholes on the planet.

A 14yo kid asks a question, and all the "much older and more mature" readers jump all over his ass, call him names and generally treat him like garbage. Y'all should be fucking ashamed.

Posted by NaFun | July 26, 2007 12:04 PM

Maybe it's just the music I listen to, but almost all the shows I go to (which is a LOT) are all ages. And I have to say the handful of 21+ shows I've been to have been full of stuffy, hipster douches (again, maybe just the music I listen to) who just stand around discussing hipster douche affairs instead of watching the fucking band. I'll take a crowd full of energetic, enthusiastic kids over the ability to carry my drink wherever I like any day of the week.

Posted by Tony | July 26, 2007 12:07 PM

Great fucking letter! Preston, you are one witty 14 year old.

Now shut the fuck up when grown folks are talking.

Posted by I Blacked Out At Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! | July 26, 2007 12:07 PM

Hey Preston, chill the fuck out. Try growing up in Seattle in the 90s, with the TDO in full effect. If you want to see live music, go to Vera, or the Redmond Firehouse, or any of the other venues/organizations dedicated to all-ages live music.

Besides, even if the CYHSY show was all-ages, would your parents have actually let you go? Mine were firmly convinced that if I ever went to a show at RCKNDY or Green River CC, I was going to end the night raped and drugged. But hey, you can certainly blame your miserable teen years on 21+ shows if that's the story you want in your life.

Get involved with the local music scene-- you'll be happier with yourself in the long run.

Posted by Jessica | July 26, 2007 12:09 PM

well, if it makes him feel better, "CYHSY" sounds horrible live. and this is coming from a guy who really likes their albums.

Posted by konstantconsumer | July 26, 2007 12:12 PM

Oh, and one other thing-- I rarely go to all-ages shows anymore due to the insane levels of rudeness I see displayed by the kids there. At the Tiny Vipers/Damien Jurado show at the Firehouse a month ago, there was a pack of teenagers standing directly in front of the stage, with their backs to Tiny Vipers, and talking. Talking loudly enough that I couldn't hear her, when I was ten fucking feet from the stage and she had a goddamn mic. Because apparently they all needed to stand in front of the stage and discuss their fucking socks at ear-splitting frequencies. Way to support local music, shitheads.

Posted by Jessica | July 26, 2007 12:13 PM

#34 I didn't know there was a maximum age limit to read the Stranger. I'm guessing you wer about six years old when a lot of us started reading it.

Posted by elswinger | July 26, 2007 12:19 PM

i think all-ages shows are fun once in a while, though the enthusiasm of 16 year old boys dancing to the blood brothers is a little much for my old bones these days. any really awesome band will play an all-ages show now and then anyway.

and though it makes us sound older than we are, the "back when i was young" line works here, as the end of the TDO and beginning of the Vera and all that really have made a difference in the last six or seven years or whatever it's been. there are a lot of us who know the difference it made, having become of age right around that time.

that said, if one is still using the "but it's my birthday!" line, it's a baby thing no matter how surprisingly coherent one's plea is, and is icky poo. Tough it out, little buddy, and in the mean time, take advantage of the rad all-ages stuff we have in the city (if eric doesn't kill it first.....jk jk)

Posted by erin | July 26, 2007 12:24 PM

Don't worry, you're not missing much. If you could get into the 21+ shows you'd be able to enjoy: 1) drunken blathering so loud you can hardly hear the band 2) 75% of the crowd disinterested in the music and only there to make the scene 3) Bands deflated and lackluster performance due to #1 & 2.

Enjoy what you get now, I guarantee the all ages shows have more music fans in attendance and the experience is better.

Posted by Doodles | July 26, 2007 12:36 PM

That's it! A vodka and child's tears should be called But It's My Birthday!

Posted by flamingbanjo | July 26, 2007 12:38 PM

Flamingbanjo FTW!!!1!

Posted by Levislade | July 26, 2007 1:03 PM


Dingdingding! we have a winner!

Posted by wisepunk | July 26, 2007 1:21 PM

His letter would have been more appropriate had he not mentioned his birthday.

Posted by nobody cares you little shit | July 26, 2007 1:21 PM

Does anyone know where I can buy Children's tears in bulk?

Posted by Clint | July 26, 2007 1:31 PM

Speaking of which there should be more shows for the 31 and older set... drunk 25 year olds, content with standing for 4 hours, drinking to get drunk, scamming on everything with two legs, confusing screaming with conversation and then being content to move the 10 feet it takes to get to the bar in under 40 minutes is really tired and overplayed.

Posted by Phenics | July 26, 2007 1:39 PM

it's funny, i remember writing the exact same letter when i was 14 too, but substitute 'pixies' for 'clap yr hands' and 'dinosaur jr' for 'brian jonestown massacre'.

your time will come, preston.

Posted by jzilla | July 26, 2007 2:11 PM

oh, and to answer your question, "is booze really important enough to you people for you to deny the amazing memories of a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah concert ON HIS BIRTHDAY to a 14-year-old-boy?", YES.

Posted by jzilla | July 26, 2007 2:18 PM

I bet you could use salt water in place of children's tears. Or maybe just salt the rim of a shot of vodka.

Posted by Giffy | July 26, 2007 3:41 PM

Kid, I try not to even EAT in the presence of children - any restaurant that allows me to have my dinner in the bar, that's where I'll be. No screaming babies, no wandering toddlers, and no shrieking teens. Drunk adults, yeah, but you catch less shit from others when you trip them and "accidentally" dump hot coffee on their heads.

It's not the drinking that's important to me in all-ages show avoidance - it's the kid avoidance. Believe me, if I could go to an over-30s (but under-retirement-age) New Year's party, I would - drunken 22-year-olds puking on their expensive shoes doesn't really do it for me, either.

That being said, you had most of us with you until the birthday part of the whine.

Posted by Geni | July 26, 2007 4:03 PM

I fucking hate kids.

Posted by little boy preston whaaa. | July 26, 2007 5:09 PM

But daddy, I want to go to a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah show on my birthday. I want it now!

Posted by Veruca Salty Tears | July 26, 2007 5:11 PM


I understand your plight. When I was about sixteen, I wrote an e-mail to Of Montreal and gave them all sorts of reasons as to why they should host an all-ages shows. Not surprisingly, I never received a response to my plea, and I am now happy that I was met with silence instead of some glib from an intern.

While I didn't get to see every band that I liked, I certainly went to a whole butt load of shows when I was in high school. I probably went to more shows at normally 21+ venues than any of the strictly all-ages club. Furthermore , a lot of good indie bands will play all ages shows. The band you wanted just happened to not do that this time around. It's a bummer, but, you probably won't even remember that this happened five years down the line. I certainly can't remember all of the bands I missed.

Also, it sucks that you can't do what you want on your birthday, but try imagining what your birthday would've been like if your boyfriend made you get an AIDS test at Harborview STD Center because, according to him, "all of the Planned Parenthoods were booked" and, when you get there, you find out that it takes a week to get the test results so you're thinking on prom night and the last day of school that you have AIDS and then, upon finding out a week later that you don't have AIDS, your boyfriend ditches you on your birthday so that he can go to a strip club. Now that's a disappointing birthday

There'll be other shows and there'll be other birthdays. Maybe next year will be better.

Posted by Maggie | July 26, 2007 5:40 PM

Preston, you rock. I remember writing quite similar rants when I was under 21, but yours is articulate and has a sense of humor. So ignore the asses replying to you. Yeah, we had to deal with it too -- that doesn't mean it's right. More shows should be all ages -- if not all shows.

I remember one of my favorite bands came to town and played a 21+ show -- the week before my 21st birthday. (I didn't even drink! I just wanted to see the band, so it seemed really unjust.) So yeah, it can suck. And when you get into going to shows as young as you did, it seems like a terrible wait for 21. But you'll get through it.

Just promise you won't turn into one of these "when I was your age I walked both ways uphill! In the snow!" jerks someday.

Posted by litlnemo | July 26, 2007 5:52 PM

Preston, go ride your birthday pony and shut the fuck up li'l bitch.

Posted by P.S. Your Name Is Gay And Not In A Cool Way | July 26, 2007 6:09 PM

I think we are forgetting one major benefit of underage shows: underage girls.


Posted by Houston | July 26, 2007 6:37 PM

All this big brother/sister sweet talkin' advice and cuddles to Preston from people on here is making me want to puke.

"Oh Preston, don't listen to these crusty old people, you sweet intelligent little articulate man! You're time will come! One day you'll be able to cum...I mean rock too!"

Vomit. Since you feel so entitled to shit Preston, can't you just ask your rich mommy and daddy to rent Clap Your Hands Say Yeah for your very own privite wank party?

Oh, here's we go, getting all mean and crusty...forgeting how it was when you were 14 and so deprived.....

Posted by poor poor preston, let me coddle your nut sack for you. | July 26, 2007 6:55 PM

Maggie: ouch.

Posted by Jessica | July 26, 2007 7:08 PM

I dunno, I liked that "vodka and children's tears" line. That was pretty clever.

Posted by Andy | July 26, 2007 7:29 PM


Posted by preston rocks | July 26, 2007 11:37 PM

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