Destroyerƒ?TMs Rubies

By Brian Martucci

Dear Destroyerƒ?TMs Rubies,Will you be my girlfriend? Or, since youƒ?TMre not really a girl, but an abstract piece of music, will you be my partner? Circle Y or N and then pass it back. We can go steady. Iƒ?TMll pick you up in my battered parentsƒ?TM truck, weƒ?TMll drive to that hill that overlooks the Dennyƒ?TMs and the freeway; Iƒ?TMll put you on the stereoƒ?Ýweƒ?TMll talk, weƒ?TMll love, weƒ?TMll watch the stars punch through the sky like pushpins on a giant Lite-Brite board. Weƒ?TMll hold hands until our hands get sweaty, then weƒ?TMll laugh out loud when we awkwardly pull them apart, wipe them off on our pants, then rejoin again.

This is a love letter. Itƒ?TMs not going to be an easy one. Itƒ?TMs hard when youƒ?TMre not bullshitting. I thought about bullshitting. I thought about simply falling in line with the veritable chorus of voices who pick you apart and analyze you and formulate a vast and vastly flawed map of your topography. But I donƒ?TMt want to. Iƒ?TMm okay with not understanding you completely. I doubt you fully understand yourself. Isnƒ?TMt that why you sometimes lack the words to explain yourself, entire choruses made up of la-la-las and da-dee-dees?

Iƒ?TMve long had my eye on you. Way back when you were just an upstart Thief, fresh from your Golden Bridge, and I was that puppy-love snotnose quietly praying that when teacher drew names for seating arrangements Iƒ?TMd find myself beside you. After that, it was the aptly named Street Hawk: A Seduction, the point at which you shed your early self-limitations and became the wet dream of every freak-pop boy and girl in Mudville. This Night followed, a ruby in its own right. You then intimately acquainted us with Your Blues. Throughout it all I began and then abandoned relationships, tried to fool myself into settling for someone else. You got into some New Pornography. But I knew weƒ?TMd connect in a big way, and soon. The EP Notorious Lightning was the tease of a lifetime. I waited like an uncomfortably anxious high school prom date at the foot of your stairs, ready to pin the corsage on my one true love, hoping not to stab you.

Now here we are. Rubiesƒ?”my heart turns inside out. I listen to you on repeat for hours that turn into days. I scrutinize your lyrics. As always, they are unabashedly obtuse and self-referential. I Googled you, the first thing I do with any crush. I found a drinking game based on your song. I didnƒ?TMt make it to the end, but somewhere between the first hint of spinning and last remaining memory, I fell for you (and hit my head on the kitchen table).

The songs are like carefully constructed arguments for the continued relevance of the rock idiom. Your voice is like that awkward kid in high school who came to college only to find that all the things that made him strange before now only made him hip as shit. Like Bowie without the posturing, sung as though any single syllable could save a life or sink a nation, depending on its use.

Itƒ?TMs been a lot of lonely nights, Rubies. Long walks arenƒ?TMt the same without you by my side (or at least in my headphones). I want to marry you, have you all to myself; make a family. I know it just canƒ?TMt be. We all want you to ourselves, but baby, not to share you would be a crime against humanity. The music is first and foremost a reaction to cynicism, a refusal to commit to that dark place and a self-fulfilling prophecy of renewal. A ƒ?oeFresh face on a dying scene,ƒ?? you rightfully sing over tumbling arrangements. ƒ?oeIt was 2002 and you needed reminding to stay alive / And so did I, but at least I tried to fall upon that sword and never look back.ƒ??

Never look back indeed. Write back soon, Destroyer, and send us some more of your blues.

Love always,
Jesse