Sometimes when you're given something, just take it even if you're not so sure you're going to love it.
Back in 2002, KTCU received a copy of Sparta's Austere EP. Seeing as how this was the first project post-At the Drive-In and I'm a big fan of that band, I wanted to hear this as soon as possible. Upon listening to its four tracks a few times, I didn't feel a lot of love for them. As a matter of fact, I felt these songs sounded like they were written (and rejected) for At the Drive-In's final album, Relationship of Command. Turns out that wasn't the case, but the opinion stood.
A few weeks later, I was offered a signed 7" copy of Austere along with a Sparta T-shirt. Though I wasn't taken with the EP itself, I wasn't going to argue with a signed 7" and a T-shirt, so I graciously received them. When the band's debut album, Wiretap Scars, appeared later in the year, I still wasn't taken with the band. I kept listening to the album and really got into the band. I was now a fan and was proud to wear their T-shirt.
Fast forward two years to July 2004. Jason throws his first party at his new place (and in a few months, my place too). It's a great party with a lot of cool people, but at some point in the wee hours of Sunday morning, I'm a little sleepy and sitting by myself. Right before I totally zone out, a lanky figure walks into my field of view. "Hey man, you like Sparta?" I believe he asked. We get to talking and turns out he's into all the bands my book is about. Almost a year later, he helped me get an interview with Jimmy Eat World. He was a life-saver and is still an awesome guy, so I'm forever in debt to him.
The other moral to the story is this: despite how we tend to think that nobody else "gets" what we're into, fate intervenes and we find people who do. Other than Matt, I had never met someone who was into Neil Finn's solo material. Then I met nerver at one of our parties. So, the next time someone offers you a CD or T-shirt of some band that you're undecided on, take it!