Girlyman deserved better

Published December 18, 2003, in issue #0250 of The Hook

While I certainly respect Mark Grabowski's right to review CDs he receives, his review of Girlyman [Prowl: "Upping the anti: Girlyman brings on the zzzs," December 11] was not only unenlightening but strange for The Hook.

In a publication that rarely gives negative reviews to anything (and I suffered through the first act of Bat Boy: The Musical, at Live Arts), Grabowski's review stands out as a rare example of a negative concert review before the fact.

Even if you consider the review a CD review, adding Grabowski's negative comments to the show's calendar listing as well seems excessive. I cannot think of another example of The Hook explicitly recommending against going to a concert. Gravity Lounge, a relatively new venue, adds to Charlottesville's diverse music scene and presents a variety of artists and types of music. While Girlyman's harmony stylings are not to everyone's taste, people who ignored The Hook's review and actually showed up at the concert had the opportunity to decide for themselves.

Had Grabowski come to the show and then reviewed it negatively afterwards, I would not be complaining. Further, even if I wanted to simply learn about Girlyman's CD, his review tells me very little. What is musically interesting or dull about the CD? Why does Grabowski find it so unlistenable? What are the weaknesses of the songwriting? The arrangements? The band's style?

For all I know, Grabowski just didn't like the band's name. I don't like the name either, but I judged them on their concert. Pity Grabowski didn't wait to do the same.

Marianne Montgomery