A tall, lanky, black-clad individual gets in, topped off by a marvelously messy mop of black hair. He looks familiar, but many a man in Portland looks like that. He asks about the music I'm playing.

He's like, yeah, I've heard about them forever without actually hearing them, I'm in a band myself, always busy. And by now I've placed him in The Gossip. I ask anyway, to be less dorky. He tells me about their recent tour.

"Where'd you play in D.C.?" I ask. "The Black Cat?" To his raised eyebrow I explain that I grew up there. He gets wound up; having loved so many of those D.C. bands, he wishes he'd been there to see them.

"The grass is always greener," I say. "To watch that entire Olympia scene begin, I'd have loved that."

Quiet reflection, backed perfectly by Dahlia, who he's really appreciating now. "One of my favorite things about Dahlia..." I say. "It's easy to write about being depressed, to write breakup songs, because everyone's been there. But it's really hard to write positive songs, to write about joy, without coming off as horribly twee. Yet Dahlia pulls it off. Jennifer Folker's voice, it's just so sincere, it works."

He says, "That's a pretty good analysis. Are you in a band?" "Nope." "Why not?" "Too self-conscious." "That's stupid."

Of course he's right. To quote Michael Stipe, "Anyone who walks can sing. You just have to get over the feeling of being overheard."