Do Punks Really Hate Merchandise?: An Embarrassingly Open Letter to Carson Cox

ui.general.by Mish Way


Photo by Jason Bergman


First off, I am sorry.

Not for writing this open letter to you, but because I used to think your band, Merchandise, sucked.

The reason I didn't like your band was not your fault. In fact, I now really like your band. Just this morning, I listened to “Become What You Are” and sang along in the shower. Children of Desire is a genius record and I don't just throw that word around. I mean, okay, you and I know it: we are the recycled generation. We are the regurgitation of our influences and we all sound like those before us, but you guys are paying homage without actually paying homage. I think that’s genius. I also appreciate that you think you just sound like your mother singing to you and not like a British person (which, I assume, is the common comparison you get, duh).

Back to the not-liking-your-band-thing. As I said, not your fault. Our bands played together at some bowling alley in Brooklyn two summers ago. I had been on tour for almost six weeks and was broke and tired and sick of it all. I wasn’t paying attention to anything except my own inner monologue and I thought my life sucked, so I thought the show sucked, so I thought everything sucked. You get it. So, like an airhead prima donna, I wrote your band off without actually listening. For that, I am sorry. I could not have been more wrong.

Obviously, if you are reading this, you have started to question why a sane person would write something like this and that, in fact, I might be insane. I’m writing this because I think it’s kind of insolent, but also kind of flattering and, as you know, the Internet has become the mail and I know you think “all the punks hate Merchandise,” but I’m here to say that is not true. Consider this public fan mail. I think you are a good frontman and I am a front(wo)man too, so it’s like one farmer complementing another on his crops while also admitting at one point, way back when, he pissed on those same crops.

I’m sorry I pissed on your catchy, hook-filled crops.

Mish Way