The opposite of my most painful memories, the places when I felt the least like myself, are back when I effortlessly floated about life feeling the most like myself as a teenager growing up in central Florida. It’s funny because when I was growing up in Orlando I always knew I wanted to end up in New York City, but even now 13 years into living here I still savor every second of the quirky scene kid I was back then. Back before going to school to study music business. Back before learning how deeply corrupted the industry was. I was just some bright eyed kid making Geocities pages ranting about the Central Florida music scene (sound familiar?), driving all over the state trying to see bands for as many dates as she could afford, and secretly going to Kinkos to make more flyers for shows she was planning on attending to distribute on her side of Orlando without telling either the bands or promoters involved.
I’ve discussed at great length how much I’ve treasured Lakeland legends Copeland glow-up as we’ve collectively grown into full-blown adults. I will always be mentally transported back into the 16 year old version of myself when “Coffee” from their 2003 debut album Beneath Medicine Tree hits my ears. Strutting around downtown Orlando to go to a show like I owned the place, rocking out, and then hitting up a Denny’s/Steak n Shake/IHOP afterwards with a bunch of friends. The sheer joy of communing with people who are delighted to support musicians at any and all levels. I remember folks wearing merch they had just bought (myself included) to the after show hang because the clothes they wore to the show were soaked in sweat from being packed in the smaller venues. I treasure those memories a lot and the way this song always stirs up the residual feelings from said memories.