Monday, August 31, 2009

I like music. I am not one of these hip and trendy people who listen to new, innovative bands, but I like music. I like to listen to it, and I dabble at playing it, though I largely suck at the latter. I even sing along with my whiny cat-strangle voice from time to time.

So when people tell me that they are in a band or involved with music in some way, my interest is piqued. Mainly because my total suckage at playing/singing means I am immediately envious of them.

So! Imagine my interest when one of the guys I now work with tells me that he wrote a song. "I play rhythm guitar in a band, but this one time I wrote and recorded a song. The stuff I play is normally pretty heavy but this is more of a ballad. Really out of character for me."

Ooooooh! goes my brain.

"Can you sing?" I ask.

"Well I didn't think I could, but my friends say that I can," he replies.

I immediately started hassling him. "Send me the song! E-mail it to me! Go on! Here's my e-mail address! Go on! Please! I strongly advise you to send me the song, or I will annoy you about it forever more! Song! Send! To me! Yes!"

So he does.

Dilemma: the song is, well, really not that good. And by that, I mean that it's actually pretty awful. When somebody says "well I don't think that I can sing that well..." they are either being honest, or being modest, and I didn't think for a second that it was going to be the former. And now I am faced with this situation. Should I:
  • Pretend I didn't receive it. Pro: don't have to give any feedback, Con: he will most likely send it to me again, and I'm not sure I could use the same technique twice.
  • Be honest. Pro: won't go to hell, Con: will offend him and cement my reputation as Bitch Extraordinaire.
  • Lie through my teeth. Pro: he will be happy, Con: is dishonest, and secures me a place in hell for being a dirty, filthy liar.
  • Be vague and non-committal. Pro: avoids discomfort and lies, Con: would need a back-up plan in case he prompts me for genuine feedback.
Sigh. I replied to his e-mail and told him that the lyrics were poetic. I need to have my back-up plan ready ASAP.


Lucy said...

Oh dear, I hate when stuff like this happens.

And people bag the Australian/American Idol audition process for being too cruel. But if homeboy had auditioned Kyle or Simon would've set him straight YOU WOULD NOT BE IN THIS POSITION.

(Ps - consider this one vote for lying through your teeth that it was good, but don't gush too much otherwise he'll make you his muse and you'll have to listen to all of his songs.)

... said...


How about you go for 50/50 fib telling (thereby only securing half a chance of going to hell - which allows you the opportunity to redeem the said 50% by doing something super dooper good down the track a bit).

Say something like "Hmmm yes lovely poetic lyrics....have you ever been told you have a very unusual voice?"

Then while he is rattling off the list of thousands who think he has an unusual voice - you can feel a whole lot better because you know they were once in the same boat as you are now and they couldn't think of anything to say either.


You could just say

"Hmmm...yes, really interesting song - I love how you've put it all together. It's not really my thing though...but hey everyone says I have the music taste of a gnat..ha ha ha".

And skip away singing the la la la la la las from Elton John's Crocodile Rock.

That way people will think of you as the Loon with the bad taste in tunes...and not bitch extraordinaire.

Hope this helps.

Mark said...

Why this quandary reminds me of an episode of 30 Rock called "The Rural Juror"! In fact, you seem to have tried Liz's 'meaningless compliment' technique already. If you need a backup plan, I suggest defusing the situation using the technique mentioned above: say you don't like it for reasons of personal taste. You wouldn't be lying, would you?

Aside from that you could say that you found it hard to get into because the recording wasn't a very good one. Benefits: probably true, will encourage him not to give the recording to other people, and will encourage him to listen to himself critically.

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