The following interview is fictional, which doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
Ben Varkentine: We’re talking this morning to the unlikely named Andy Bopp, singer, songwriter and guitarist for power-pop group The Myracle Brah. Their latest album was released last year but through a fluke of scheduling is only now being reviewed. Andy, surely you must be aware that your album makes all of a reviewer’s “unoriginal” alarms go off. I mean the whole thing is so Beatles it hurts, isn’t it? At this point, haven’t the fab four done more harm than they will ever know?
Andy Bopp: I’m not denying it, and I refuse to apologize for it. I think it’s obvious from the album that I’m a Beatles fan, and I won’t insult your intelligence by pretending otherwise.
BV: There’s nothing wrong with a being a Beatles fan, goodness knows. But how many variations, how much blood can be wrung from a stone?
AB: You ask Mick Jagger. He’s been wringing blood from . . .
BV: I get it, thank you. But surely you’ll agree that by inviting such comparison, you set yourself up for a fall. How many songwriters can really stand comparison with . . .
AB: Oh God, you’re not going to do this whine again, are you? Don’t you think it gets tiresome reading review after review saying “this guy evokes the sound of the Beatles without the strength of their songs?” How many bands have you said that about?
BV: Too many. But that’s kind of my point. Just as you, and all the rest of the Beatles’ followers are running out of ways to musically kiss their asses, I’m running out of ways to say you haven’t produced much worth listening to on its own merits, that the most you have going for you is a certain faux-nostalgic tinge. There’s only so many times I can grudgingly admit a virtue (like your voice) or two, and then swoop in for the kill. I’m tired of it. All I want to say about your album could be summed up in one or two lines.
AB: Such as?
BV: Stale waters don’t run so deep.
AB: That’s typical critic—rather than review our album fairly and honestly, you dismiss it with a one-liner.
BV: Albums get the reviews they deserve. But, if people reading this want to know more of my thoughts on the subject, they can refer to my reviews of Brad Brooks’s Sanctified Into Astroglide and/or Paxton’s Ginger’s Dish. Both of which reviews play my “this band wears its Beatles influences on their sleeves” song in a fresher style. All right?
AB: All right.
The preceding interview was true, which does not mean that it really happened.