Just An Online Minute... Coldplay AOL Redux
Tuesday night we attended a fabulous Coldplay concert courtesy of AOL and AOL Music. (The concert will be available on AOL for free starting June 7). It was a good time, great music, and we enjoyed ourselves - thoroughly. Listening to the band's music this morning on an iPod Mini just wasn't the same as experiencing a live performance, that's for sure. Yesterday when we wrote the Minute, we chose not to highlight comments made by Coldplay's frontman Chris Martin during the concert. We heard them, thought they were strange, but decided not to spin them forward mostly because we'd already written the Minute. A Reuters report on the performance and interview with Martin suggested we should have held off.
We heard it with our own ears: "All these cameras make us feel like we're on 'The Apprentice,'" Martin told the audience. "We're not on 'The Apprentice' ... we're Coldplay, for F--k's sake." (The Reuters report said Martin uttered "for God's sake," but we swear it was the "F" word). Later, he rather self-effacingly referred to the band as having great faces for radio rather than TV or the Web, for that matter, and mentioned something about not being accustomed to all the fancy lights and stage backgrounds.
Oh pleeeeeeze. Give us a break!
Martin, Mr. Gwyneth Paltrow, should be as accustomed to the klieg lights by now as his movie-star wife is. His comments wreak of disingenuousness. This is a guy who is set to appear on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend. Not used to the bright lights? Really? Was the black shirt he wore the other night Alexander McQueen, or Prada? I can't remember. We researched Martin's disdain of the corporate machine to find that he has a public record of hating corporations, particularly EMI, the parent company of Coldplay's label Capital Records, which accused the band of holding up profits after the delay in the release of its forthcoming album "X&Y." Without the label's support, or AOL's for that matter, there would be no marketing, no promotional machine, no tour, no crew, no set, no buzz. No paycheck.
Oh, and no ring tones either. Cingular Wireless is launching new music singles as ringtones on cell phones. It's kind of like AOL Music's "First Listen," "First View," and "Breakers;" fans get to hear tracks before they debut on radio, or at least simultaneous to their debut. Cingular will debut a 30-second ringtone on June 7 of Coldplay's new single "Speed of Sound."
Back to Martin, who, in an interview with Reuters said, "I think shareholders are the great evil of this modern world." He's ticked off that EMI, earlier this year, said that its profits would be lower because of the delayed release of "X&Y" and for the suggestion that Coldplay sells so many albums it has the ability to move the company's stock price.
The thing is: Love 'em or hate 'em, corporations pay the bills and if they're paying the freight, they get a voice. In fact, they pay Martin and the band for their talent. We are all corporate slaves to some extent. Some of us get stock for helping build companies. Those shareholders Martin disdains are investors large and small, many of whom work for a living. The promotional and marketing apparatus that supports Coldplay is comprised of men and women who have families and lives - people, including themselves to support.
That's capitalism. Like or not, Martin and his family are part of the great corporate machine.