Everything is so RIGHT about this project that I think Joe Satriani should drop his lawsuit IMMEDIATELY!
Ultimately, it’s not about money, but FANS!
Granted, Coldplay’s making a shitload of cash, but they DESERVE IT!
The first rule of music is that it be ear-pleasing. Don’t beat up Coldplay because they include the special sauce, absent from so many indie rock hopes.
I liked "Yellow". The second album was truly great. Then they lost me. But I’m gonna tell you my favorite cut from this new live album, "LeftRightLeftRightLeft", is "Strawberry Swing", from the last album, "Viva la Vida".
I found the live show a bit thin. Just didn’t have that gut-busting rock feel, not enough bottom, too much top. It was like a date with no physical contact at the end, which the girls want as much as the boys. You picked up your date in your parents’ Acura, maybe your own Toyota Corolla, but the whole experience was CHASTE! And I know Chris Martin has got two kids, he knows how to do the do.
But you don’t have to be hip to enjoy "LeftRightLeftRightLeft", you don’t have to leave your sexuality at the door, if you put this on your computer speakers with the same girl you’re going to get at least to second base, because this album radiates HUMANITY! This is not nihilist, it’s not a Britney Spears extravaganza, this is MUSIC!
Word at first was you were only going to get the download if you bought a ticket. But upon receiving an e-mail complaining about this, I did some research online and found out the album would be available on the band’s Website to EVERYBODY!
Who gives a fuck, I’m not that big a Coldplay fan.
But this morning I read a Tweet by Thomas Meyer of Sonos, he’s a Twitter expert, he adds everybody who mentions his company, gives personal service and links to free content online, that you can ultimately play through your Sonos system. He said the new Coldplay live album was finally AVAILABLE!
What the fuck.
I click the link, get ready for the game. They’re gonna ask me for my e-mail address. Do I have to give them a REAL ONE?
And while I’m debating this, the page that comes up says I can OPT OUT OF FUTURE MAILINGS! I don’t have to be bothered, constantly dunned by mailings, imploring me to spend bucks!
I entered a false e-mail address, and LO AND BEHOLD I GO DIRECTLY TO THE DOWNLOAD PAGE!
Takes about eight minutes for the record to come down.
I play my favorite cut of the assembled multitude, "Clocks", and not only is it very good, it’s the OPPOSITE of the supposed best live album of all time, "Live At Leeds". What good is a concert collection if you can’t hear the audience? The goal is to FEEL A PART OF IT!
And that’s exactly how "Clocks" sounded, the audience wasn’t mixed out, but RIGHT THERE!
As was I.
Then I played "Fix You", and when the audience sang along, I got GOOSEBUMPS! It was akin to U2 at Red Rocks, but for a different generation, one not out to change the world, but just survive. They know every word, tonight is their escape from the world of bullshit, tonight they can FEEL GOOD!
And when I got home late this afternoon, I decided to play the album from beginning to end. And that’s when I discovered "Strawberry Swing". I wanted to write then, even though I hadn’t heard the rest of the album. But what if the rest of the record sucked? IT DID NOT!
This is an artifact, a document of what once was. Obviously tweaked in the studio, BUT WHO GIVES A FUCK! This is "Frampton Comes Alive", only the band is already successful, and it’s FREE!
We used to hold back in the seventies. We couldn’t flood the public with product. They could hear the "King Biscuit Flower Hour" on the radio, but they couldn’t buy a copy in the store. And when the CDs were finally available, DECADES LATER, few cared!
Today, it’s not about controlling product, but delivering as much as the fan WANTS TO TAKE!
And even more important than sales is LISTENING!
SoundScan is bullshit. What truly matters is the play count in iTunes. HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU LISTEN TO IT?
And to make this happen, you can’t keep the music at arm’s length, you’ve got to make it easy to hear, like Coldplay has done in this instance.
They didn’t wait until the tour was over, not like the Stones. They’re not selling every night’s performance, a rough approximation of the experience. They’re giving away FANTASY! THE CONCERT OF YOUR DREAMS! THAT MAKES YOU WANT TO GO TO THE SHOW!
And isn’t that what it’s all about today? Isn’t that where all the money is made? Isn’t that where the true experience takes place!
The Eno-produced "Viva la Vida" was just a bit too fake for me. But released from the studio, just a band playing in a venue, the music is PURE!
The only lesson we could take from the Radiohead name your own price exercise was that the grip of the major labels was loosening. It didn’t translate to any other act, it was not a paradigm to follow. But releasing a PRISTINE live album that DUPLICATES the live experience DURING the touring cycle? Not only is it brilliant, it SCALES! It can be repeated ad infinitum, losing little of its effect. Because not every fan can get inside the building, but he wants to PARTICIPATE!
I feel like I’m at the show listening to "LeftRightLeftRightLeft". Even better for the band, IT MAKES ME WANT TO GO TO THE SHOW! As good as it sounds blasting out of my computer speakers, HOW FUCKING GREAT IS IT GONNA BE TO HEAR THIS STUFF LIVE? TO BE AT ONE WITH THE TEEMING MASSES?
Coldplay is the new U2. Because it can do one thing. Create new music THAT PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR! That’s when a band is vital, when the audience still wants to hear what you come up with. U2 is overmanaged, too restricted, so fearful of its legacy that it delivered a single no one could like, an intellectual exercise, and an album that only fans love.
Whereas Coldplay tied in with Apple, got all that TV exposure of a HIT SONG (a hit is not what a chart says, but what you HEAR!) and garnered MOMENTUM! MAINSTREAM MOMENTUM!
Don’t tell me Chris Martin is soft. Don’t tell me the band is second-rate. You’re missing the point. It’s how the music makes you feel. AND THIS MUSIC MAKES ME FEEL FUCKING FANTASTIC!
Download here: "LeftRightLeftRightLeft"