The Only Black Guy at the Indie​-​Rock Show

from by The Cocker Spaniels



The original version of this song appears on my 2004 album "Withstand the Whatnot."


At every single show I am the only guy who looks like me, the only sign of melanin in one big sea of ivory. My white A-shirt and baggy jeans; their bowling shorts and dirty Vans; I look just like a "thug" among the dressed-down Pavement fans. It shouldn't even matter that I'm the only Black guy at the indie-rock show. I stand in a crowd, but still feel alone. Some loser at the Parish said, "Hey, I just wanna let you know, T.I.'s at Austin Music Hall; I think you're at a different show." Everyone is standing still, nodded heads and folded hands, looking at me like a freak because I have the nerve to dance. I ask my Black friends to try out something new and come with me to the show; they're so reluctant to go. There's more to music than rap and R&B, but they say that rock is a White man's game; I know Chuck Berry wouldn't feel the same. I told my White friend that the opening act was crunk. He didn't understand the slang; he asked if I was in a gang. I wonder if I will live to see the day when I see rock bands on BET and Black girls back it up to GBV, and I wonder if White folks who like Jay-Z often feel as alienated as me.


from Plays Well with Others, released December 16, 2014



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The Cocker Spaniels Charlotte, North Carolina

Homemade genre-free semi-autobiographical songs written, performed and recorded almost entirely by Sean Padilla, a Charlotte, NC resident who does his best with what he has.

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