Monday, May 24, 2010

Village Voice on She & Him

Que interesante, Mike Powell.

A quote from a recent Village Voice article, re: She & Him.

"The interesting thing, if you care about "retro culture," is that She & Him are taking what was once mass-market pop music and repackaging it as something "indie" or alternative. Their statement of rebellion is to reject everything made after the early '70s. But lots of bands have done this, and done it with more creativity—Belle & Sebastian, say, or the Magnetic Fields.

I also find it weird that Deschanel and Ward talk about how comfortably they got along, because there's something essentially cold about Volume Two. The happy songs aren't happy, and the sad songs aren't sad: When they cover Skeeter Davis, they leave out the sass; when they copy the Ronettes or the Crystals, they leave out the teenage throb; when they reach for the Beach Boys, their professionalism eclipses their innocence."

The more I think about it and listen to it, the more She & Him just seems like a big ol' ploy to make lots of money. (It doesn't hurt that Deschanel refused to let me interview her on a feature story I was writing about their upcoming Cleveland show. Apparently she only does interviews in person, and I'm not the first to be rejected - Jill writes for Billboard.) I'm very curious to see how/if my feelings change when I see them next month.

(P.S. Hipster Runoff is right - M. Ward totally looks like a d-bag with his facial hair. No offense M! I do love you forever!)


  1. think we'll have have to worry about our innocence eclipsing our professionalism?

  2. Mike Powell's view on She & Him is quite interesting and spot-on. I never really thought of them as a "mass-market pop culture" which has been repackaged 40-50 years later and then marketed as the alternative.

    She & Him are nonthreatening and not progressive. They aren't doing anything new and innovative music wise, they're simply providing people who like suits and floral dresses some form of a musical outlet in a world of Ke$ha and Miley Cyrus. And I wouldn't be surprised to find a band 40 years from now which sounds just like both of them.

    But none of this innocence (or seemingly contrived innocence) takes away the fact that Zooey Deschanel refuses to speak to my friends. That's just mean.

  3. Becky - I sure hope not! But I have a feeling my innocence makes me "business incompetent," haha.

    Erin - Good point. There's no use in being mean, but providing an alternative for Ke$ha, no matter what kind of non-remarkable music you are making, is commendable.