I’m obsessed with Athenaeum. I have all their albums, including the six-song demo from like 1997ish. I spent 45 minutes in a Tower Records in Chicago looking through a Spin magazine in 1998 trying to find out who sang the song “What I Didn’t Know” and then practically accosted a sales guy to ask him if he knew. As it turned out, the store just so happened to have the song on a listening station and thus my absolute devotion to the band was born.

I’ve seen them multiple times in concert as Athenaeum (and as the stripped down version of Mark and Mike). I begged the owner of The Bay in Chattanooga to let me in the night before my 18th birthday because the bad was playing and you had to be 18 to get in. Thankfully the owner was awesome and I rocked out with Karen to some of our favorite music.

So, now to the point of my story. I found out today that Mark Kano, the lead singer, has a solo album coming out at the end of the month!!! So I pre-ordered a copy and then sent him a nice little email telling him how excited I am about it (in a much less anxiety-inducing way than above). I told him he made my day. Then this afternoon I get this reply:

“Thanks Susan. YOU just made my day! I hope you enjoy the record! Best, Mark”

Yes, that startling, high-pitched noise you just heard was me freaking out like a crazy fangirl.

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