13 September 2005

I Like Coldplay

I know, I know...not cool to like Coldplay. Especially someone as hip to the new trends in modern music as I am (ahem...). But my god, what is so wrong with great melodies, pretty decent songwriting, and awesome piano lines? But I think that the majority of the complaints lie in the overuse of sentimentality. Even Emilee agrees that some songs on X & Y are just too "sappy."
I'm done with the comparisons to U2, Radiohead, and god knows who else. One of the trends in contemporary music that angers me to no end is the insistence upon relatability. For example, if you like Green Day then you will like the All-American Rejcts (how's that for hip?). Not to be mistaken for influence, which plays an enormous part in the sound of a band, but bands should just sound like themselves without an additional forced element of identification.
But Scott, you may say, what brings on this diatribe? Well Fletcher, I'm glad you asked...
I recently witnessed Coldplay live and in person at an extremely large amphitheater in Charlotte, NC and I must admit they, as musicans mind you, put on quite the show. They were tight and funny, melodic and loud, and what's more (and here's the important part) they were enjoying themselves. And it all translated well, espcially to the audience. The set was full of ups and downs, mostly front-loaded with the "big" hits. And my god, Chris Martin can sing.
As a unit, they work extremely well together. Every piece of the song fits in near-perfect fashion. And I say god bless 'em.
So here's to being uncool, if that's what I am. I've never been interested in keeping up appearances...unless of course Pitchfork wants to hire me.
In that case, Coldplay sucks.
Really hard.

Music: Ted Leo + Pharmacists, "Hearts of Oak"
Book: Jannette Turner Hospital, Due Preparations for the Plague
Movie: The Merchant of Venice (2004 Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, et al)

07 September 2005

Which Disaster?

Jack Shafer has got it dead on with his critique of TV journalism. My only gripe: I wish we could all move away from making FOX News the poster boys of bad journalism. Granted it's most likely the worst out there (and that's saying a lot) but equally blameable are CNN and MSNBC for their similar sins against the integrity of journalism. Personally, I don't believe journalism was ever meant to be presented on the same medium that runs The Young and the Restless, Monday Night Football, and MTV Cribs. Television is a form of entertainment and, as such, news presented on television, no matter what you are told, is meant to do just that: entertain.
Read the article HERE.
I re-read The Declaration of Independence last night to prepare for my class today when we discuss it. What struck me most about it this time was how much it could be taken out of context, especially in contemporary society. When read and interpreted a certain way, it's almost a justification for communism, socialism, anarchy, and a slew of other less-than-popular forms of rule. There is a lot in common with Thoreau's "Resistance to Civil Government." But I suppose those of you more well-versed in early American Literature already knew that. And, as usual, I'm late to the game.