by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Hi team.

Jordan should be posting something later today. In the meantime, Stefan's posted a fantastic translation of the Siekiera song I posted, in the comments for that entry. (Highlights include: "Is there a horse riding here?" and "Did they eat a Negro here?")

Elsewhere, um, I've not really been on top of things lately, as I wander around looking for a job and trying to get our freakin' internet hooked up, but you could do a lot worse than downloading Fluxblog's track from the new Herman Dune. It's fantastic and you better believe that if I had heard it first, it woulda been here. (Sadly, the Herman Dune's on the long list of records that I want to hear but haven't yet, alongside Akron/Family, Oneida, Greg Macpherson, Estelle... argh.)

If any of you talk to the band at one of the Arcade Fire gigs in Montreal/Toronto this weekend, please say hello from me (for real)!

And now, a rant on Coldplay:

Dear god, band! Why do you do this to me? For years I have stood by my assertion that "Parachutes" was one of the finest albums of that year, standing tall alongside "Kid A" or "Agaetis Byrjun", or whatever else came out that year and I've forgotten. I fought for you in arguments, even in those early days when people weren't so skeptical. I yelled that "Parachutes" was brilliant, joycore, an album that is like a hit of pure heat, feeling, light. The songs may grate individually, sure, but give me the whole thing, loud and in my ears, and it's like a sunburst of bold song.

The critics said you guys were pap, boring, MOR nonsense. No! I yelled. No! Listen to "Parachutes" with your skepticism off. Let yourself love it! It's simple - guitars, piano, voice. No nonsense, just heart.

But then you released "A Rush of Blood to the Head", which wasn't entirely crap, but close. I liked "In My Place" and maybe "The Scientist" (or at least the Aimee Mann cover). But the rest - blurgh. Exactly as the critics had claimed. Beige and boring. Yet the fanbase went wild, the sales soared - it's as if the world was proving all those skeptics right. Oh well, I said, and I kept yelling that "Parachutes" was great, in spite of it all.

But now! Now! Jesus! Listen to that single thing, "Speed of Sound". Even the piano has an adult contemporary gloss, a pukey shine, and the chords are pretty, sure, but they don't go anywhere, the song stays like dull, happy-shiny music, nothing of power, nothing of substance. This new album is going to suck so hard, clearly so, and I'm going to be left even more desperate as I defend "Parachutes". Why do you do this to me? Oh Chris Martin, why do you do this to me!? Is it Gwyneth that makes you do it? Apple? Why do you smear your own reputation by transforming into the very caricature your enemies drew? Why do you make your great first album so difficult to listen to, without bias? Why!? Please stop!

ok, i'm done.

Posted by Sean at April 22, 2005 9:42 AM

aimee mann covered 'the scientist'?

Posted by matt at April 22, 2005 10:58 AM

Sorry, Sean, but on the bright side Coldplay is saving you from having to defend them much longer. I've heard similar talk about Parachutes back when it came out, but all I heard was a slightly peppier Catherine Wheel.

Regardless, I'm sure mainstream press will go crackers for this album anyway. Oh the hope, oh the optimism. I'll admit "Clocks" was probably the best non-U2 U2 song of the last 5 years, but that's as far as I go. Coldplay is the British Matchbox 20.

Posted by chris at April 22, 2005 11:07 AM

I think your a little off about Coldplay. While I'm not the biggest fan, I have their albums and think both of them are very fine pieces of music. Parachutes is a better album collectively, but A Rush of Blood to the Head is good collectively and is filled with some great singles... Tell me the songs "Politik", "A Rush of Blood to the Head" and "Clocks" are not "sunburts of bold song?" They're just evolving like any great band does. I haven't heard their new single, and maybe it is crap, but they're talents will ensure some great albums in the future, even if it's only a Chris Martin solo project.

Plus, they kick ass live.

Posted by Brandon at April 22, 2005 12:24 PM

Haven't heard the new single yet but i fear the worst.When Coldplay went big time they lost the very thing that made them good, their heart.
A rush of blood could have been written by anyone, it was total fill-in-the-numbers music. Every song on Parachutes was special in its own way, AROBTTH seemed to blend into itself.

Posted by steve at April 22, 2005 12:31 PM

I agree with your Coldplay assertion at least with regards to the new single, "Speed of Sound". Complete crap. What it is is basically Clocks part 2, but minus the brightness that made Clocks great. The best I can say about it is that it sounds like Coldplay. Not terrible but absolutely forgettable.

Shame, I liked Parachutes and felt AROBTTH had some great songs, especially the singles.

Not looking forward to the new album. And check out the crappy album cover. Yikes.

Posted by rosie at April 22, 2005 1:16 PM

i loved parachutes as well, united we stand. holding off on criticizing the new album till i hear it... i was marginally impressed by the early version of talk but am not impressed by speed of sound. but i mean, bringing eno and kraftwerk and echo and radiohead to teenage girls can't be all bad.

Posted by cody at April 22, 2005 1:33 PM

When I heard the new single, I could feel my eyes clouding up and the tears forming. These were not tears of joy, mind you, but tears of disappoinment.

A damn shame.

Posted by Bobby at April 22, 2005 1:41 PM

I don't want to weigh in on Coldplay too much here, Sean, though I do remember going to see Radiohead in Toronto with you shortly after they released Kid A. After the show a bunch of record company-hired folks were at the exits handing out stickers in support for Parachutes, saying "these guys sound like Radiohead, you should check them out". We were both like "yeah, we already know about Coldplay, dude."

As an aside, some time in the past couple of months, I actually got a preview copy of the Akron/Family album that was sent to the old apartment for you. I even sent a copy of one of the songs to Dan, but it never got posted (ok, I admit it, i chose the cheesiest song on the whole album). If I can find it I'll get a copy to you somehow. It was quite good.

Posted by Neale at April 22, 2005 5:14 PM

If you don't like any song or album THAT much, then surely your opinion is largely irrelevant. Just move onto the music you DO like. That would be far more useful.

Posted by White Mike at April 22, 2005 9:05 PM

My goodness, Sean.

Saucer of milk for Mr Michaels?

Well, I happen to think that Coldplay rock.

And you should feature more Supertramp on your site.

And how about Camper Van Beethoven?

Creedence Clearwater Revival?

James Barclay Harvest?

Come to think of it, any band with three parts to their name has to be good, right?

Posted by ross at April 22, 2005 10:57 PM

Never got 'Parachutes' myself, tho' I did buy the single of 'Trouble' and Aimee's cover of 'The Scientist' proves that Chris Martin can write a good song. On the plus side, Aimee's new album, 'The Forgotten Arm' is, after two plays, as rewarding and rich as the best of her work: and you don't even notice it's a concept album!

Posted by Dave Belbin at April 23, 2005 6:49 AM

I take it back.

I have just heard the new Coldplay single.

It is as dull as ditchwater.

Duller, even.

Then again, if I was going out with Gwyneth (are they married?), I wouldn't be that interested in writng songs either.

Imagine the conversations they must have:

"Hey, Gwynnie, I have just written a song. Do you want to hear it?"

"Sure, Chrispot."

"Okay, it goes like this... (ahem)..."

there is the plink plonk of treated keyboards, the fake hum of pads...

"Let me count the ways I love you... 1... 2... 3... My sweet Gwynnie... Holy cow... you're my girl now..."

"Wow, Cee (sniff)... that's so... (sniff sniff)... beautiful. It makes me think of (snort)... the farm where I grew up and (begins to weep) my dog Buster and my grandpa and my fishpond and (wipes away tears) my antfarm and the rusty old chainsaw that hung in the garage and... and... boo hoo hoo hoo."

"Oh, not again."

"Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo."

"Here, Gwynnie, did I show you the new Fair Trade catalogue?"

Posted by rorschach at April 23, 2005 9:02 AM

Haha Sean it's great, we have the exact same take on Coldplay! Parachutes was great, but then they sacrificied the edge and the subtility for mass appeal. Good for them I suppose...

Posted by Matthew in London at April 24, 2005 1:43 PM

The new MacPherson is decent but not spectacular. He has a CD release on Thursday; I will report back.

Posted by Tim J. at April 24, 2005 5:18 PM

hope the akron/family album's better than the performance of theirs i saw... an entire concert of self-interested 20 minute musical digressions.

Posted by denis at April 24, 2005 6:56 PM

(What could "self-interested" mean there?)

Posted by Anonymous at April 27, 2005 3:12 PM

Oops, that last comment was me. STG forgot me!

Posted by rodii at April 27, 2005 3:13 PM

Damn straight man! Parachutes was (and still is) awesome! After that it's all been downhill...

Posted by dustin at April 28, 2005 3:30 AM

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about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

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Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

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