Voice mail from the Lyres' Jeff Conolly
by Carly Carioli
"Oft-copied pioneers who inspired countless ripoffs. Aging, misanthropic
frontmen with reputations for being complete assholes. . . .
Yep, we're talking about the garage-slop Lyres . . . at this
point, horrendously overrated . . . [and] still milking `Help
You Ann.' "
-- Boston Phoenix,
June 25, 1999
Some of you may be wondering what, exactly, qualifies us to write DIRTY
WATER© brand rock criticism. You may even be wondering why you
need DIRTY WATER© brand Boston rock criticism when you already
have such proven brand names as CELLARS BY STARLIGHT© in your
weekly diet. The following unsolicited testimonial from Jeff "Monoman" Conolly
of LYRES© brand garage rock should set the record straight. It
appeared on our answering machine last week in response to our recent comments
about the LYRES© (above) in the "8 Days a Week" section of the
Phoenix. Although DIRTY WATER© brand criticism has been in
R&D for more than six weeks, we couldn't think of a better way to launch
our product. Thank you, Monoman. And no, we're not making any of this up.
Saturday June 26, 2:04 p.m.
Jeff Conolly here. You can reach me at [local used-record store] on
Thursday at [phone number omitted]. Just wondering if you're man enough to get
on the phone and call me. You seem to feel so good about yourself that you can
print some bullshit about my band in the paper. I mean, I don't care if you
don't like my band, but it's just totally uncalled for to try to promote a show
or mention a show and then use that as an opportunity to vent your views about
the band. I mean, if you wanna vent your views about the band, why don't you
come to a show or review a record? Don't try to mention an up-and-coming show
and then use that as your opportunity to diss the band or me. I've asked around
-- I don't remember ever meeting you, but from what I'm told you're just like a
young kid, a young guy, a young heavy-metal guy who hasn't done anything of any
significance in this town, okay? I have, okay? I've actually earned my keep in
this town. Whether I'm milking "Help You Ann" -- I am! In fact, "Help You Ann"
is gonna be in a movie that's coming out this summer. So yeah, I'm gonna
continue to milk my songs on stage and off stage. What have you written that
you're milking? Nothing, okay?
Number two, I'm sure one of your favorite bands is Monster Magnet, right?
Am I just guessing here? Okay, well, I'm suing Monster Magnet for copyright
infringement, okay? They wrote a song called "Powertrip" that is infringing on
my copyright. So that's just another example of these wonderful heavy-metal
bands that you think are so great that can't come up with anything original. So
yeah, I'm dissing your taste in music. Just do me a favor and stick to the kind
of records that you know and just stay away from my stuff. Don't promote my
show, and if I ever meet you, you might wanna watch your step as well. Because
the word around town is, things might not be quite safe for you, Okay? You're
just a young little creep. Bye.
DIRTY WATER© brand rock criticism: featuring a young metal
guy who's never done anything of significance in this town. But if we compiled
our own Chuck Eddy-style "500 Best Heavy Metal Songs of All Time," "Help You
Ann" would still be in the Top 40 -- sandwiched between the Jets' "Crush on
You" and the Barracudas' "Saw My Death in a Dream Last Night." Seriously.
Saturday 2:53 p.m.
Yeah, this is Conkley, Part Two. I guess Part One was more me just sort of
free-forming, venting, but you are such a master comedian in print, I'm sure
you can appreciate a few jabs to the left, you can take it, 'cause you can dish
it out, right? I forgot one thing to explain, I guess. One thing that really
sticks in my memory or my craw or whatever they call it is the part where you
go, "the overrated Lyres." That's what I thought was uncalled for, so I'm
leaving Message Number Two to explain why I think it was uncalled for. You
don't actually see the Lyres being rated, Mr. Carrie Carioli. It's like, we get
negative press, we get negative print, we never get written about, we don't get
talked about, we don't get rated. It's only guys like you that think you're the
kings or the tastemakers -- you're like this big fish in a small pond called
Boston. That's what we've always thought of guys like you -- guys that don't
actually do anything but just try to be like big fish in a really small pond,
which is what Boston is. We don't really care what you think, but we don't need
you screwing up what we do, because we actually do stuff like go to rehearsal
and play gigs and make records and try to make people happy at our shows, and
just 'cause you don't like it -- it's like, you don't need to say stuff like
"the overrated Lyres," and the reason is, because we're never rated. We don't
get any press. Nobody talks about us. We're passé. Maybe you have an ax
to grind because we can actually get a gig. Maybe you have an ax to grind
because the last gig we played at the Middle East we sold out. Maybe that
offends you in some way. We really don't need you at our show, but that's no
reason for you to stick your neck out and try to dissuade other people not to
come to our show and have a good time -- which they do, consistently. And if
you wanna go on with this, okay, but if I see one more thing in print, and I
trace it back to you, we'll just keep doing battle as long as you want, okay?
'Cause I didn't go after you, you went after me, and it's undeserved. And the
shit you wrote about in your little promo thing, maybe you thought it was
funny, I'm sure you did -- but you just try trying to be a rocker and see how
far you get before you're laughed out of the park, okay? Bye.
DIRTY WATER© brand rock criticism: welcoming responses
from readers and/or rockers, whether they're underrated, overrated, or not
rated at all.
Saturday 5:56 p.m.
"Horrendously," "horrendously overrated." See, I figure every time
someone comes in the store today and complains about your stupid thing in the
Phoenix, that warrants another phone message on your machine. So I think
that's fair. It's like, when you guys, like, print your crap, then it's out
there -- it gets read over and over again. I don't print garbage about stuff, I
don't say stuff about people in print, and that just brings it back to like --
horrendously overrated by whom? Where? I'd like you to explain to me where
we're horrendously overrated. Who's horrendously overrating us? Which period --
which magazine, which newspaper, which radio station horrendously overrates the
Lyres? See, it's like you haven't qualified shit, so you've got some opinion,
which is fine, but you don't like, go into like, `Why?' You're like, "I'm Carly
Carioli, the know-it-all," and it's like you don't know shit, man! You know
nothing. We're not horrendously overrated by anybody.
Oh well, I've run out of more ideas, but the next time another customer
comes in the store and gives me shit about your stupid thing, you're gonna hear
DIRTY WATER© brand rock criticism: printing garbage about
stuff. But we haven't run out of more ideas . . . yet.
Saturday 6:19 p.m.
Yeah, man. It's 6:15 on a Saturday. I'm still at the store, and another
customer wants to know, what was the point? So I guess that was the question I
had: what was your point? That's a question you might wanna ask yourself. Why
bother? They wanted to know why you bothered highlighting the show in the first
place if you were gonna put it down. So like, what were you trying to
accomplish? Were you trying to educate the masses? The Phoenix
readership? "Here's a show that's no good? Avoid this show." Is that what you
were trying to do? I don't really care, because frankly the show's gonna do
really well with or without your fucking it up, And frankly, the band
I'm bringing up from New York, the Church Keys, are really good. And they will
be brought up to speed on who you are. So you're not making any friends. You
don't have to worry about me, I just don't really care, I'm just venting
because I want to have a good time tonight. In fact, I'd really like it if you
came to the gig so I could make fun of you in person in front of everyone,
because you certainly -- you're the comedian of the century that can dish it
out, so I think you'd have a ball hearing about yourself in public. Which will
happen. You will be mentioned tonight. So keep up the good work, Carly
DIRTY WATER© brand rock criticism: bringing you pointless
writhings read by people who visit Monoman at his record-store job -- but still
looking forward to the next round of voice mail. Ask for it by name, every
other week in the Boston Phoenix.