Sunday, October 02, 2005

Dear Freedom, We Take It All Back

From F. Du Lac's review of Coldplay - although I'm sure a lot people in new cars are gnashing their teeth. Come to think of it, my little bro played me Coldplay in his new car recently. It was all I could do to remain polite.

Whatever. Upon further review, a better data point is the Dave Matthews band, minus the fiddle solos.

As a vocalist, Martin -- who showed enough promise early on that he was considered the probable heir to the late Jeff Buckley's king-of-crestfallen-singers-with-soaring-voices throne -- has come to sound like an over-emotive version of the Birkenstock rocker Matthews. The singers have the same high register, and both have come to serve basically the same audience -- one that does not include indie hipsters who recoil at Martin's immodesty and hyper-pretension, as well as the strikingly familiar, middle-of-the-road quality of his band's music. Particularly on the new "X&Y." Coldplay and the Dave Matthews band generally appeal to medium-level dull people. They both create music to be played in new cars. Whereas true artists make music to be played in old cars.

And yeah, that thing he wrote a few days ago about about Sufjan Stevens being the offspring of a Flannery O'Connor and Nick Drake coupling was pretty good, too.


At 5:08 PM, Blogger Slow Motion Fred said...

Freedom's Insecurities

Everyone should just ignore Freedom's comments on Coldplay. They don't matter. I know his type. He's a little man with HUGE insecurities and he makes himself feel better by being "cooler" (in his mind) than everyone else. In order to be "cool", you have to not like and rag on any band that's been around for longer than 10 minutes.

I was at a party mid-Summer in the late 90's and this guy walked up and joined the small circle of people I was talking to. We exchanged names and he mentioned that he had been to one of those uber-multi-band concerts that day. I had heard all about the show, including Dave Matthews, on the radio and so just to be polite and engage him in conversation, I asked what he thought of Dave Matthews in concert. His rolled his eyes and replied, "Well, they're OK if you're into them", or something to that effect, totally putting me in my place for not being "cool" like him. He probably slept like a baby that night having added me to the list of people he knew he was cooler than. That's the type of person Freedom is.

"Cool" is something I used to strive for when I was younger and "undefined" because I didn't have enough life experience to "define" myself, so I defined myself in relation to others by being "cooler" than them. Now, I like what I like, and that's that. I don't care whether it's cool or not or what others think. It's what I like. And I like Coldplay.

I remember "cool" being important to me until I saw fashion come, go, and come back again, and it hit me that fashion is all about being "cool". I can remember looking up to people just because they dressed "cool", without knowing anything about them or what they were made of.

But everything that comes around goes around. One day, when Freedom is a little older and more OK with himself, and he decides that he likes a band just because he likes them, not because he thinks he will look "cool" in other's eyes, then the next critic will come along and label him "uncool". But hopefully he won't care what that critic says, because "cool" will seem as ridiculous to him as it does to me now.

So thanks Coldplay for your great music and for coming to DC to share it with us. I and the 30,000 other "uncool" people had a great time at your show and hope you come back again.

At 11:55 PM, Blogger Jim H said...

I read something today that Steve Albini quoted from John Peel talking about music he (peel) didn't like - quoting from memory, he said that it didn't matter if he didn't like it as there probably was some reason the band made the record.

On the other hand, when you engage in conversation, don't be surprised if someone tells you something you don't like to hear. I find both Matthews and Coldplay pretty detestable and offensive to my ears but I try not to put down their fans. They could be doing worse to themselves and others, afterall.


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