A Conversation With My Girlfriend About They Shoot Horses Don’t They?
Girlfriend: Hey, what’re you working on?
Me: A review of They Shoot Horses Don’t They?
GF: You mean that old Jane Fonda flick?
Me: No, no. It’s a band from Vancouver that’s about to release its debut album on Kill Rock Stars.
GF: Is the album any good?
Me: I’m enjoying it so far. They’ve got a frantic energy to them that’s really infectious. Their sound is kind of hard to pin down, though; there’s a lot going on at once. It’s definitely different.
GF: Let me hear some of it.
Me: All right, the first track is one of my favorites: “Emptyhead.”
GF: I don’t get it; they’re just banging shit and yelling. What’s so good about this?
Me: Sure, they can sound a bit primal at times. Just give it a chance though, it builds toward something.
GF: [Spying over my shoulder] Are you serious? You’re not really giving the album that score, are you?
Me: You’re not even through the first song, how can you possibly
GF: I already know I’m going to hate it.
Me: Just listen to the album once through, and I bet you’ll find something redeeming about it.
GF: Christ. That was awful.
Me: You honestly didn’t like the album at all?
GF: These guys sound like they belong in the circus! How can you listen to this stuff?
Me: They sound a little carnival-esque, I’ll grant you that, but that’s what’s great about them. They aren’t afraid to try different things. When’s the last time you heard a rock band use the trombone and have two sax players? You just get the feeling that these guys don’t care what anybody else thinks – they just wanna rock out. You have to admit, there’s something admirable about having the conviction to just lose yourself in your art.
GF: Sure, they can keep their artistic merit, but they wind up being too weird for most people to take seriously.
Me: Don’t talk to me about weird. Your girl Gwen Stefani walks around with a harem of harajuku girls in tow. That’s fucking weird.
GF: That’s differe
Me: No, it’s not. Look, we’re clearly not going to reach any sort of consensus. So how about we just drop it?
GF: Fine, but you still can’t submit that review.
Me: Why not? I’m entitled to my opinion.
GF: Fine. But don’t you think you owe it to the readers to show both sides of the story? You might appreciate the creative direction that these guys take and find it refreshing and all, but there’s probably quite a few people out there like me who just won’t feel it. You have to admit, this album isn’t going to be for everyone.
Me: All right then, smarty-pants. Do you have a better idea then?