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15 Jun 2005

June 15 Tidbits.

Written by sally @ 11:18 am — Section: sally

June 15 tidbittery:

You can read part of the first chapter of Nick Hornby’s new book, A Long Way Down, here.

Tonight, check out Morgan Spurlock’s new show, 30 Days. Tonight’s episode: Spurlock and his fiancee try living on minimum wage for, uh, 30 days.

I have no doubt that Tom Cruise has asked a similar question.

Ok, and what’s the deal with everybody hating Coldplay? I don’t remember reading reviews this mean about any band who actually plays their own instruments and writes their own songs. And really, the band is what’s being reviewed in these articles, not the new album, X & Y.

From Slate:

While Martin takes his causes to the stage, scrawling some provocative note about fair trade on his hand or on the side of his piano, he rarely encodes them in song. Instead, the music of Coldplay traffics in the melancholy of the individual, a mythic individual who feels for all of us. And as the band’s profile grows, the conceit of that individual grows increasingly difficult to stomach.

The Slate article seems to fault Chris Martin for writing pop songs about love, not world hunger.

And if you got a chance to read the review in the New York Times last week, where reviewer Jon Pareles calls Coldplay “the most sufferable band on the planet,” man. It was rough:

It’s supposed to be compassionate, empathetic, magnanimous, inspirational. But when the music swells up once more with tremolo guitars and chiming keyboards, and Mr. Martin’s voice breaks for the umpteenth time, it sounds like hokum to me.


…[H]e makes a sound somewhere between a yodel and a hiccup. And the lyrics can make me wish I didn’t understand English. Coldplay’s countless fans seem to take comfort when Mr. Martin sings lines like, “Is there anybody out there who/Is lost and hurt and lonely too,” while a strummed acoustic guitar telegraphs his aching sincerity. Me, I hear a passive-aggressive blowhard, immoderately proud as he flaunts humility. “I feel low,” he announces in the chorus of “Low,” belied by the peak of a crescendo that couldn’t be more triumphant about it.

And happy birthday to Alec Eiffel’s and Vendela’s daughter Rose, who turns 6 today!

14 Responses to “June 15 Tidbits.”

  1. gorjus said:

    Yay, Rose!! As she told me yesterday, she is now so old she has to count her age on a whole ‘nother hand!!

  2. liz said:

    That’s interesting about Coldplay. I noticed a huge backlash against Meg White of the White Stripes recently. The New Yorker had an especially scathing slap down of just her. Has that always been around and I’m just now noticing it?

  3. Sally said:

    I don’t think anyone ever thought she was a great drummer, but people gave her a break in the past. Now that it’s–what, 4 albums later?–I think the fact that she apparently has not improved is cause for a slapdown.

  4. kicker of elves said:

    I like Coldplay, but those review excerpts make me giggle.

    Rose is so friggin’ cool.

  5. gorjus said:

    Liz, a pal of mine who just reviewed the White Stripes’ record for our local Planet Weekly (giving it 5 stars) was ranting about Sasha Frere-Jones put-down of Meg White.

    We both focused on the odd phrase he used after saying she was a terrible drummer, something like “to not mention it would be weirdly sexist.”

    What I think the guy was saying–as Sally brings up, sort of–is that in the past no-one wanted to say MEG WHITE SUXXIT, and that was solely attributable to her gender. As in, if it were Reg White, people would be shouting off the rooftops how suck he was, but nobody wanted to say THE ONE GIRL THAT PLAYS IN ROCK BANDS IS TERRIBLE.

    Or, something.

  6. jaysus said:

    X&Y was playing everywhere i went this weekend. not the best listening experience, granted, but none of the songs (including ‘speed of sound,’ which i’d heard many times before) grabbed me. still haven’t bought it, and it will probably be a few months before i do. i didn’t buy the last one until ‘clocks’ had been rotating on MTV for several weeks…
    as for the new Stripes album: a pox on anyone who is just now rooting around for something to hate ’em for and has decided that Meg Cannot Drum! whyn’t ya point that out oh, a few years back? she couldn’t drum then, certainly. and jack, it seemed, was still learning the guitar. they’ve aged well, and are comfortable in their wide weird web of supreme cool. ‘Get Behind Me Satan” is their masterpiece, as far as i’m concerned.
    oh, and they hang out in memphis all the time. jack was in young avenue nearly every day while they were mastering the disc.
    oh, and on 9/10/01, i showed meg where the ladies’ room was at earnestine and hazel’s. damn, sam.

  7. gclark said:

    i’ve been noticing the puzzling reviews for this colplay rekkid, too. for what it is (earnest UK arena rock), it’s damn, damn good. it sounds incredible, and some of the melodies are borderline perfect (the bridge/chorus of “speed of sound” is toe-curling).

    all this business about the lyrics and the band is lame. the critics just don’t have anyone else to pick on right now, i guess.

  8. Frenchie said:

    I heart Coldplay. My theory for the backlash is that these geeky music writers can’t understand how you can be married to Gwyneth, be jolly enough to name your baby Apple, but still have your songs be somewhat melancholy. To which I say: that’s art, people! Does every painting have to be puppies with balloons and flowers? I haven’t bought X&Y yet b/c I can’t decide if I should just get it on iTunes, or buy the physical disc.

  9. sally said:

    I bought it yesterday at lunch. Like the other albums, there are a couple of songs I really like so far, and the others I haven’t really listened to (because I keep playing the couple of songs I like over and over).

  10. abby said:

    I would really like to know what makes Morgan Spurlock’s fiance tick. More specifically, what makes her agree to join in on all his wacky, harebrained schemes.

  11. sally said:

    Did you watch the show last night? I tivo’ed it and will watch it this afternoon.

  12. herman rarebell said:

    you should just download that kate bush song coldplay ripped off for that chorus. thanks to vendela for pointing that out and getting both of these songs trapped in my head. and if you are a millionaire married to a starlet with a kid named apple your malaise does lose merit. sorry.

    keep running up that hill!

  13. kicker of elves said:

    I’ve often wondered how White Stripes songs would sound with another drummer (the P.C. euphemism for this, I guess, is “a conventionally talented drummer”). What if Dave Grohl, or George Hurley (fIREHOSE), or the Donnas’ drummer (Torry Castellano?), or Patrick Wilson was backing up Jack? I’m not sure it would fit. I like it as is, whether she sucks or not.

    I’ll tell you this — I watched their live DVD, and I didn’t think she sucked that night. They were blazing.

  14. bulb said:

    The latest Coldplay slam:

    Actually the title is kinda funny and those separated at birth photos of Blair and Martin are hilarious