Sunday, October 09, 2005

"Medium-dull" new car drivers call for Freedom Du Lac's shiny head on a stick!

We've been following the exploits of new Rock and Roll senior writer guy at the Washington Post. Last week he called Colplay listeners "medium dull" - this weekend the masses responded - well two people - they turned down their iPods, pushed up the glasses on their noses and threatened him with their Milano Xi baby strollers.

Coldplay fans rock out at Nissan Pavilion on Sept. 30.
Coldplay fans rock out at Nissan Pavilion on Sept. 30. (By Tracy A. Woodward -- The Washington Post)

In my 52 years I have been called many things, but "dull" is not one of them.

Reviewers do seem to relish the stage of written criticism as a place to show off some witty insults, but a broad sweeping insult to anyone who likes the music of Coldplay and Dave Matthews Band as well?

Since many of the folks who read concert reviews are fans of the music, it would seem that this is insult for the sake of insult -- the kind of thing you'd expect in a sarcastic column in a college paper, not in The Post.

It seems that the worst thing a rock band can be is popular -- immensely popular -- but without the edginess that shocks. The trouble with looking for edginess is that you tend to miss nuance. J. Freedom du Lac was surrounded by hordes of "medium-level dull people" who could have helped him find it.

-- Suzanne Sutton


Here's an online chat with Freeeeeeeeeedommmmm.....(sorry couldn't resist) where he is again taken to task by the Coldplay Nation:

Vienna, VA: J. Freedom

I think you're finding your stride as the Post's pop critic and I enjoy most of your opinions. But this one from the Coldplay concert review was classic snobby pop critic BS:

"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."

I should feel good since I'm not a fan of Coldplay and hate Dave Matthews, but what the...? It's the classic critic line that once an artist finds success, their work loses artistic relevance. Artists can't exactly control their sales, you know.

You need to explain this one or else I'm not going to know what to play in my one-year old car.

J. Freedom du Lac: That wasn't a commentary on the popularity of Coldplay and DMB, per se. More of a riff on the middle-of-the-road quality of their muzak. But, yes, you're right - total snobbery on my part! Would it make you feel any better if I admitted that I really, really, really like Justin Timberlake's solo album? (Which I do.) As for you and your newish car -- you really should do yourself a favor and add Bettye LaVette's "I've Got My Own Hell To Raise" to the playlist. If the year ends today, that's my album of the year. Remarkable stuff.

Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!


At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous 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.


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