Dear Bottom of the Hudson,
Robert Pollard here. I’ve been listening to your Holiday Machine EP, and I have one simple question: Where’s my fucking royalty check?
That’s right, I want my damn money. You guys are biting my expansive catalogue of lo-fi pop so hard that surely you’ve chipped your teeth by now. There are moments on this release where I have to physically stop whatever it is I’m doing, think hard, and say to myself, "Self, did you get really torqued one night and record a one-off EP under the name Bottom of the Hudson?" And then I remember I didn’t, because that’s a stupid fucking band name. This coming from a man who’s written songs with titles like "The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory," "A Trophy Mule in Particular" and "Christian Animation Torch Carriers," for chrissakes.
The worst part is that you try to fool everyone by starting things off with "Holiday Machine." You’ve got those stoned, Ian Curtis vocals over a nasty-thick wall of guitar and some breezy synths floating over the top, and people think, Gee, here’s a group of youngsters who’ve got a neat little sound. I wonder what’s next?
Then begins "Riot Act." Clean arpeggiated guitar, followed by the sorta-distorted rhythm guitar, followed by the faux-British accent. You little twerps have been listening to a damn lot of Bee Thousand, haven’t you? I can tell, because "Candyman" sounds like one of the under-two-minute gems I wrote for that record. It’s a great sound, I’ll admit, but you guys babble on too long. I mean, the song is almost three-and-a-half minutes! What were you thinking?
And you know what else? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, all you shitty young bands can fuck off. Franz Ferdinand? They suck. Bright Eyes? A bunch of wankers, if you ask me. And you bastards. You have the gall to write third-rate Alien Lanes b-sides and pawn it off as your own work. There have been times where I’ve been so drunk I couldn’t remember my name and I still managed to shit out songs that were twice as good as the tripe you try shove off on us with this EP.
Then again — and maybe this is just the booze talking — I’m really enjoying "Is It a Crime?" It’s like you combined my beer-swigging silliness with Jeff Mangum’s bizarre-yet-endearing sense of song structure. Really, the more I listen to "Riot Act," the more I’m pulled in by its righteous hooks. And how can I listen to a line such as "the candyman can and the grizzly bears are high" and not enjoy it? Perhaps I’m being too hard on you kids. Guided by Voices isn’t even a band anymore. What do I care if you little jerk-offs run around wearing our influence on your sleeves?
You guys just have fun and do things your own way. Be careful, though; the press will slay your band for being too much of a sound-alike. Besides, you’re obviously talented; youï¿½re just showing your cards a little too much. Anyway, enough of this old-man-advice shit. It’s been at least half an hour since I wrote my last song. I think I’ll call this one "Bottom of the Hudson." Send word when you get a chance. Until then, I remain, polishing off a thirty-pack of Miller Lite,