Our News Hits The News

Just want to send out an enormous thank you to everyone. Yes: I’m putting a general, positive vibe out there, in response to the great support from everyone out there. All of your emails and encouragement via Facebook and Myspace are motivating. Can’t wait to get back out there again. As Murray said, this past year has been hard. The band falling apart was tough, but Murray and I have been there before, in that same exact situation with End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story. And putting out that (our first) album, was the beginning of a new era for us personally and also for Canadian music.

With indie rock in a vestigial fade-out (I read even perennial UK indie rockers Kaiser Chiefs proclaiming the genre “boring”…Mr. Wilson, I wholeheartedly agree), the climate is shifting, and Missiles is definitely part of that shift. It is not indie rock, so I don’t feel so bad that Pitchfork has ignored our press releases completely. It’s a diss, but they’ve been reluctant supporters from the beginning. I’d rather be pushed to the outside: I’m used to it.

I also love – and without sarcasm – that NME.com ran the story quoting this very blog. It is a bit of an obvious move on their part to link us to Morrissey, but whatever, that’s what they do, and I respect the Moz greatly so I don’t mind. In all of this, I stand by my quote: “We hope everyone would like [Missiles], journalist or not, but we understand that there are many haters out there so it’s out of our control.” Because the haters really are out there: hating with gusto! Remember in grade school when that bully would push you around, only for you to realise later that actually they had a crazy crush on you? That’s what I think is really going on there…

So thank you to everyone, lovers and haters. See you all very soon.

Still Hated After All These Years

Usually, a record is released and, via reviews, press and blogs, all the lovers and haters reveal themselves. It is part of the album cycle: and while it is a grossly stressful period for a musician to live through, it usually coincides with a tour – playing shows and getting drunk – and therefore the band misses a lot of what the press is saying about them. (Un-)Luckily, we have Metacritic to catalogue and remind us of what everyone thought, granting a review the same timelessness previously only attributable the album itself.

After the passing of about six months, the novelty of a release has been exhausted and, aside from reviewing live shows and reporting on other menial/tragic events of a musician’s life, people generally stop talking about it. This is true especially for the haters, who usually can’t wait to stop talking about something they hate: “Oh, Lord. My editor/girlfriend/brother made me listen to this. Thank You that I never have to hear that again.”

Especially perplexing, however, is when the haters keep talking about the object of their aversion. A recent poke at The Dears, randomly included at the end of a review for the new (and incidentally mesmerizing) Pas Chic Chic album, reminded me of this phenomenon:

“In doing so, they achieve what lesser bands like The Dears fail to do: deliver menace, mystery and melody in equal doses.”Guelph Mercury.

Weird. That was out of the blue…right? No. Mysteriously, this seemingly innocent remark comes as part of a persistent stream of a single journalists’ undying anti-Dears sentiment:

“…leave the sloganeering to the Dears’ Murray Lightburn…”Exclaim, Dec 2003, in an article about BSS.

“Those that left earlier have returned after facing the prospect of enduring The Dears.”Radio Free Canuckistan, remembering the Hillside Festival 2007.

“Dears: I’ve always found this band hot and cold, but even this skeptic thought No Cities Left was a grand achievement. This, on the other hand, had me pressing ‘skip’ halfway through every plodding track. I’m glad Mr. Lightburn claims to be feeling more optimistic these days, but you’d never guess that from the tepid music found here.”Radio Free Canuckistan, Polais predictions.

“What a terrible record. I really wish I could have heard what Aaron Brophy was saying in his introduction, because I desperately want someone to articulate to me what’s actually good about that record.”Radio Free Canuckistan, on Gang of Losers at the 2007 Polaris Prize.

The writer in question is Canadian music journalist Michael Barclay, and Radio Free Canuckistan is his own blog, so some license should be granted there. We are each entitled to our opinion, and while I would hope to please as many people as possible with The Dears, I can understand that there will always be just as many that won’t like us. Perhaps Mr. Barclay is simply a disgruntled fan: he says he reluctantly liked No Cities Left but thought Gang of Losers was rubbish. And that’s totally a valid opinion. Sometimes I feel the same way, but in slightly less harsh terms.

I am trying to understand Mr. Barclay’s prolonged hatred for us. I mean, it used sting, then really hurt but now it’s kind of comical. As if it is his duty in the musical sphere to represent those in the world that don’t like our music: our own anti-delegate, or personal antagonist.

So my open letter to Mr. Barclay: Dear Sir, I propose a blog discussion. Something civil: a real-life music debate where we could discuss the issues. Like Hillary and Barack. But I don’t want to be Hillary, and if you don’t want to be Hillary either then you can choose from: McCain, Harper or Charest. Or we could just call ourselves “Barack A”and “Barack B.” You decide.

The End.

Smiling is for Losers

I stumbled upon this comment about The Dears on the internet the other day:

“great band, saw them live in 2006. what i want to know is, why did [Murray] have a baby with that keyboard player? she’s pretty, but what a po-faced git she is! crack a smile love!” – from a comment on one of our videos on YouTube

What’s a “po-faced git”? I know it’s definitely an insult, but I may have to check the Wiki on this one…ok so Wikipedia was not useful, but I did find a definition of ‘po-faced’ as “…the look of insufficiently disguised distaste…” and ‘git’ as “…somebody regarded as totally worthless or useless.” Anyhow, the name-calling itself is less insulting than what this person says just before: “why did he have a baby with that keyboard player?” Now THAT is incredibly harsh. Obviously this person has never known the feeling of love, or of being loved, and that is the saddest thing of all.

And so, what blog-fueled bitchfest would be complete without a proper “in my defense” bit? I haven’t been smiling for years. Why should I start now? Actually, I have started to smile a bit more onstage. It’s just why should I smile and look happy and bop around if we’re performing sombre pop songs about loneliness, depression, revelation, love and hate, isolation and discovery? It’s heavy stuff and sometimes being jokey just is not appropriate. Dear sir, have you actually listened to a Dears song lately? Anyhow, I don’t really care; it’s not going to affect my onstage performance. I just am trying to understand why someone else would care so much?

It’s an age-old power trip, the lovers who are haters.