The story behind this is that Doug (founder of HM Magazine) is our friend and didn’t want to publish the negative review. We pushed him until he showed it to us and then we all had a good laugh as Tessa wrote this response on his couch and we insisted he publish it for us because we found it funny. This review originally ran in 2010.
[Album Review with band response/commentary in italics]
GOL. I think that means “Groaned Out Loud” in today’s digi-language and ‘twas my response when forced to listen to Destroy Nate Allen’s disc, Smile. And, unfortunately, I believe that’s the intended response. The husband/wife duo from Portland – Nate and Tessa – create acoustic tripe that’s one half PBS after-school tunes for adults and the other half local community theatre set to music. In other words, if these two had a cable access show, I’d believe it.
Dude! This guy totally gets us! He nailed it! We are totally about modeling healthy relationships, good communication, and making positive life choices. And we both were involved in various theater projects in high school.
“Turns Out You’re Perfect for Me” grates the ears with off-key notes (via Tessa) and lines like “Turns out you’re perfect for me/You scratch my back when it’s itchy.” “Recipe” follows suit with “When you are trying to cook/Sometimes you use a recipe book/But there’s danger in the air/If there’s ingredients to spare…” You get the point.
You’re right. I didn’t know how to sing when we went in to record this. But after being on tour for 6 months, I can tell you, my voice is much improved. The 2 songs you pointed out are the first 2 songs that I ever wrote. Nate wrote almost all of the other, more serious songs. But you know what? “Recipe” is an audience favorite! And if you’re going to quote “Perfect,” you may as well tell them “I wanted a guy covered in tattoos/ But I learned some of them have mommy issues.”
But let’s be honest. Critiquing this is like spending time downplaying the importance of Pee Wee Herman – an exercise in critical frivolity. It doesn’t matter either way what score I give it. [Independent] Matt Conner
How did he know that Pee Wee’s Playhouse was one of my favorite shows of all time? Cable access, hmm, what a good idea! Maybe something like Waynes World meets AA meets Yo Gabba Gabba…