As usual, a combination of fan letters and hate mail awaits her.
At about 4 in the afternoon on the day of Blübird’s Wonder Ballroom show, the scene inside the Roses’ English Tudor bungalow in Northeast Portland hardly feels like a pre-gig party. Heidi Rose whips up a quick pasta dinner and keeps an eye on Úna’s sister Eleanor, 8. Joseph sits on the couch in the living room, getting some work done on his laptop and occasionally attempting to engage his sulky 13-year-old in conversation. A typical adolescent in many ways, Úna often grows quiet and sullen around her parents, answering their exuberant questions with frowns and evasive, one-word answers.
But father and daughter are still able to connect over music, and Joseph finally draws Úna out of her sulk by bringing up some of the bands they both love: the Arcade Fire, Sleater-Kinney, Beck.
After dinner, Úna takes a few moments to check the band’s e-mail. As usual, a combination of fan letters and hate mail awaits her.
“We’ve got a ton of these,” Úna says calmly, her eyes flicking over the screen, which displays the following message: “Seriously, your music is terrible. You guys can’t play, your lyrics are bad and you’re VERY ill-informed.”
When I ask Úna how the e-mail makes her feel, she rolls her eyes and says, “Seriously, I wrote that song in like a minute. I don’t get what the big deal is.”
But after a moment of quiet reflection she adds, “At least if people are getting mad, that means they’re listening to us.”