Spin doc­tor

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Iain Shedden

THEY re­ally love Australia, those Cold­play lads, don’t they? Last year it was a quick wham, bam thank you Wood­ford as they flew in from Ja­pan to play at Splen­dour in the Grass fes­ti­val. No sooner had they left the stage than they were on a bus back to the air­port and to London to fin­ish off Mylo Xy­loto, their fifth al­bum, which has gone dou­ble plat­inum (140,000) in Australia. Next week they’re back, this time to Syd­ney for two days. It seems an aw­fully long way to come, es­pe­cially hav­ing just per­formed at the Gram­mys in Los An­ge­les this week­end and with a per­for­mance at the Brit Awards in London sched­uled on Fe­bru­ary 21. Strange tim­ing, too, for a promo visit, given that the al­bum has been out for months. Could it be there will be more than just a per­for­mance on 2Day FM and on Sunrise to keep them busy while they’re here? A quick look at their 2012 tour­ing sched­ule shows a pretty big gap af­ter Au­gust, so it could be we’ll get an an­nounce­ment about Aus­tralian dates from them as well. NICE to see rock veteran Neil Young weigh­ing into the tech­nol­ogy de­bate last week over the mer­its or oth­er­wise of dig­i­tal record­ings. Young was speak­ing at the D: Dive Into Me­dia Con­fer­ence in Cal­i­for­nia and, among other things, said that dig­i­tal guru Steve Jobs was to be ad­mired for ad­vanc­ing the way in which we con­sume mu­sic, ‘‘but when he went home he lis­tened to vinyl’’. The resur­gence in vinyl sales il­lus­trates how some con­sumers are af­ter a qual­ity of sound that is sim­ply not avail­able through the con­densed files on a com­puter. Young, one of the most ac­com­plished and re­spected song­writ­ers of the mod­ern era, says he is fight­ing to pre­serve and in­deed res­cue an art form that he has been in­volved in for 50 years. No one can ar­gue that good vinyl on good equip­ment doesn’t sound su­pe­rior to CD or dig­i­tal files. Vinyl purists have been mak­ing that case since the days of cas­settes. Yet for all Young and oth­ers’ good in­ten­tions — not least the record pro­duc­ers who do their best to make mu­sic sound great — I can’t help think­ing it’s a los­ing bat­tle. A new gen­er­a­tion of mu­sic lovers is al­ready well used to the dig­i­tal means of de­liv­ery and re­pro­duc­tion. Ob­vi­ously I’m a mu­sic fan, but I’ve never re­ally ral­lied to the cause of hi-fi. ‘‘If you like it play it loud and play it of­ten’’ has been enough to get the juices flow­ing around SDHQ. THERE were sev­eral an­nounce­ments last week of new al­bums in the pipe­line I sus­pect will sound rather good no mat­ter what you play them on. One of the most an­tic­i­pated is Ru­fus Wain­wright’s Out of the Game, which is re­leased on April 20. The al­bum, recorded with pro­ducer du jour Mark Ron­son, is Wain­wright’s first al­bum of new pop ma­te­rial since 2007’s Re­lease the Stars and fea­tures his sis­ter Martha Wain­wright, mem­bers of Wilco, the Dap Kings and Sean Len­non.

spin­doc@ theaus­tralian.com.au

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