Karl Puschmann is an entertainment writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Two reasons yesterday was a crime against music

Chris Martin from Coldplay performs at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland. 3 December 2016 New Zeland Herald Photograph by Steven McNicholl.
Chris Martin from Coldplay performs at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland. 3 December 2016 New Zeland Herald Photograph by Steven McNicholl.

Music historians are in unanimous agreement that Tuesday February 3, 1959, is the day the music died.

To put it as simply and bluntly as I can, they are wrong.

As far as awful music days go losing three of the world's most influential rock n' rollers, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P 'The Big Bopper' Richardson, right in their prime is hard to beat. The impact that fateful plane crash had on popular music cannot be overstated.

But the sad fact is that after the events of yesterday, Tuesday February 3, 1959 must now relinquish its title.

There was a lot going on in the world yesterday so I'll give you a pass if you didn't notice the multiple and heinous crimes being committed against music.

Unfortunately for me I was paying attention. So let it be known that from this day forth Thursday, February 23, is the true day the music died.

It's a big call. But I stand it. Yesterday offered a double whammy of double barrel offences. Solo artists alone could not topple the terrible event of 1959. To take out the title terrible people had to come together to do terrible things.

And come together terribly they did.

I'd barely gulped down my morning coffee when the news arrived. A mismatched collaboration between the doosh-bro DJ duo The Chainsmokers and the wet blanket bores of Coldplay.

The result of this unholy collaboration was a single titled Something Just Like This. After consideration the 'something' that it sounds like is a brightly coloured jackhammer drilling through your brain as some comic nerd runs down the reasons why Batman vs Superman was simply misunderstood and is actually the best comic book movie ever.

So gawdawful in other words. It made me hate my ears. How bad is it? Well, the best bit of the song happens 2:48 seconds in when the members of Coldplay that aren't vocalist Chris Martin are finally allowed to join in with the song.

Although I'll freely admit that this is a dubious use of the phrase 'best bit'.


Their involvement lends the merest hint of life to the otherwise bland proceedings. But it's quickly drowned out by the Chainsmokers faceless and soulless EDM synths.

Hell, even the guitar solo in the song is boring. It's so boring that Chris Martin resorts to 'doo-doo-doo-ing' all over the top of it to jazz it up a bit.

This achieves the rare feat of transforming a boring bit into a hate-filled bit.

Still, it's the only part of the song that elicits some emotion, despite the collaborators brazenly calculated attempt to wring feeling out of their maudlin minor chords and triumphant chorus stabs.

That was my morning ruined.

By mid-afternoon I'd moved on. And if that was the end of the story we wouldn't be talking right now. But it wasn't.

Does anyone remember Incubus? And if you do, sorry to remind you of Incubus.

Their radio friendly, rocky, alt-metal stylings earned them a sizable following in the early 2000s.

Their big hit was the song Drive which combined acoustic gat, scratching turntables, a jaunty beat and an irritating overall vibe. It was a huge hit.

There were worse bands around in those heady, crazy days of nu-metal and rock-metal and Incubus but boy, you have to really dig deep down in the sludge to recall them.

Anyway, Incubus. They're back, baby. And they're not alone.

Nothing cool is happening right now...nothing at all. @brandonboyd @djkilmore @skrillex

A post shared by michaeleinziger (@michaeleinziger) on


In what has to be the worst collaboration since Coldplay hooked up with the Chainsmokers the NME reported that the non-descript Incubus were in the studio working with the emo EDM overlord Skrillex.

His best music takes the worst parts of the sounds created by a dying fax machine and the soothing tone of a screeching dial-up internet connection and mashes them together.

It's an unlikely pairing seemingly designed to appeal to no-one. Can anyone be excited to hear this? Incubus fans? Skrillex fans? Anyone?

There was, thankfully, no music to listen to but an Incubus did Instagram a photo of the guys together in the studio all looking bored, miserable and unenthused by their efforts.

I found it somewhat reassuring to see I wasn't the only one feeling that way.

- NZ Herald

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