We played in your neighborhoods, awkward gigs in unlikely places. We did the take-out Chinese circuit and would bicker at the end of the night for an extra five dollars or a complimentary container of fan-tail shrimp. We played the bars, The Hideaway on 263rd Street, The Cul-De-Sac on Wyandotte Avenue, performing nervous duets with a large-screen TV which always flashed the deciding game of some championship series, hecklers shouting for us to turn down. We heard your tales of basement clubs buzzing with inspiration and activity, twisted streets populated with a garrulous array of artists and models, lovely and demure women in upstairs apartments waiting to share their whole lives, and although we searched and searched, we could find none of the things of which you spoke. Instead we took our music back to the Chinese take-outs, the all-night laundromats, occasionally a very hip gas station, anyplace that could fit our equipment, always waiting for our big break, although we weren't exactly sure what that meant. We invented imaginary bands such as The Stop Payments from the 1950s, The Court-Appointed Lawyers from the first decade of the 21st Century, and then went about recreating their music. We tried forming some community within the driest spell in modern times, but it was very difficult to reach you and to make you understand that we were here, that we lived and dreamed and suffered, and that this music was our justification for the time spent in your neighborhoods.