Coldplay and Good Music "Consciously Uncouple" on Saturday Night Live

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Now that Coldplay is on the major promotional circuit to drum up interest for Ghost Stories, the single premieres and media appearances have put some serious distance between Chris Martin and his goopy separation. Martin succeeded in making Gwyneth a conversation topic of the past by donning a ponytail wig and offering up a weird, broody cameo in a sketch that had him kissing Andrew Garfield like he's never been kissed before on Saturday Night Live.

See also: "OMG Her Face!": America Reacts to Haim's SNL Performance

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Is It Tumblr Poetry or Coldplay Lyrics?: The Ultimate Quiz

Categories: Coldplay

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The new Coldplay song is called "Midnight." In the song's video, Chris Martin stands in the frozen wilderness, singing wordless garbles in a bleary, sickeningly holy croon. There's a moment where it cuts to a solemn wolf, staring into the camera. It is this exact moment where we realize Coldplay are tired of even attempting to look hip. Martin has accepted his place as a permanent lounge act, happy to headline confused festivals desperately trying to strike at the lowest common denominator. They've become a whiter Bon Iver, which almost seems impossible. This is all fine of course, we will continue to enjoy the one or two Coldplay songs that will inevitably bounce around the radio, and we will all salute them as they recede back into the darkness with our money and children. It's actually pretty phenomenal how a guy like Chris Martin has managed to be so successful in an artistic field while saying absolutely nothing of consequence in a career. His most provocative moment was when he told that radio station that he liked Nickelback. He's got an undeniable ear for melody, but words do not come easy to Mr. Yoouuuuuuuuu Arrreeeeeeee.

Here's a little quiz to prove the point. We typed the words "original poetry" into Tumblr, and collected the funniest specimens I could find. Each of these questions feature three selections from Tumblr's finest, and one that was written by Grammy-winning recording artist Chris Martin. Can you spot the Coldplay in the midst of 14-year olds? Let's find out!

See also: Take Our Andrew W.K. Party Tip Quiz!

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Radio Hits One: Nine Songs From 2012 That Should Have Been Huge

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The term "flop" in a musical context usually refers to an unsuccessful album. Although singles constantly perform above or below expectations, a song will rarely get a reputation as a flop unless there's a lot riding on it, such as a pre-release single from a big-name album. In 2011, Beyoncé's "Run the World (Girls)" and Lady Gaga's "Judas" failed to launch and became notorious stumbling blocks for two women who had up to that point experienced one success after another.

In 2012, no singles have fallen short of expectations in such a high-profile way, but hundreds of songs are constantly being lobbed at radio, and some great tracks get lost in the shuffle. Last year, I critiqued the singles campaigns of recent albums, suggesting how different tracks could have been released in a different order. But right now, I feel compelled to highlight some singles that simply deserved better, because by December, these songs will be long forgotten in lists that boil the year in pop down to "Somebody That I Used to Know" and "Call Me Maybe."

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Live: The Secret Policeman's Ball Speaks Freely At Radio City Music Hall

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The big finish.
The Secret Policeman's Ball: Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, Russell Brand, Eddie Izzard, and many others
Radio City Music Hall
Sunday, March 4

Better than: Watching the Lohan Saturday Night Live on DVR.

Going to a live show that's actually meant to be broadcast on television can be a deadly proposition—commercial-mandated downtime, feeling trapped in the venue, reshots. But last night's Secret Policeman's Ball, the American debut of the long-running Amnesty International benefit organized by Monty Python, was a speedy, frothy affair with a few standout performances by comics from across the pond. Packed with celebrities (Liam Neeson! Jon Stewart! Paul Rudd! Statler & Waldorf!) and designed for the Twitter age, the show moved along at a crisp pace, with the comedy touching on the idea of speaking freely both bluntly and abstractly.

The night started with a blessing of sorts from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who noted to the assembled (and those watching on TV) that "the noble and honorable thing to do [was] to find [the night's performers] funny"; from there Eddie Izzard took the stage, and while his ruminations on there not being a God (the proof: Hitler not having his head flicked off by a giant Monty Python-style hand) seemed to make the audience a bit nervous, his extended riff on why Latin is a dead language had them back in his hand. And the show sped on, with British and American comedians cycling into and out of the spotlight, Statler & Waldorf providing the requisite amount of heckling, and Monty Python members appearing via video to provide the same excuse about why they weren't present.

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Cash In Now, Honey: The 11 Best Uses Of Music In Commercials This Year

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We are adidas' friends. You'll never be shoeless again.
Right now in a record store (probably in Seattle or maybe in Austin), two people are flipping through used vinyl and talking about music. Inevitably, one of them will turn to the other, pick up a record and accuse that musician or band of having "sold out" at one point.

Yes, even in the age of rampant downloading, there are still begrudged idealists who resent an artist making a paycheck, as if banking off a recording and inadvertently assisting in the cycle of commerce is almost as bad as commissioning will.i.am for a remix. This is 2011; the very notion of selling out is preposterous. Unless you're Steve Albini or Ian MacKaye, I'm pretty sure you're a sell-out too, Mr. Cubicle.

In the list below, I've picked my favorite 2011 song usages in a commercial and the format is like this
Product: What is the musician or band hawking to the masses?
Song: Who is that band and what is that song?
Will It Sell The Product? How successful is that song in winning over the skeptical consumer?
"Sellout" Scale: Notice the quotes.

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In Defense Of Coldplay: Understanding And Refuting The Deep, Smoldering Hatred For A Band That Is Totally Fine

Categories: Coldplay

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First, the obvious question: Why would a band that has sold a reported 50 million albums, won seven Grammys, and married a Paltrow even need a defense? While Coldplay may rule the Minivan Dominion with a falsetto fist, in other circles, merely mention the band's name inspires sneering and vitriol.

Coldplay's lead singer Chris Martin once explained away the animosity toward his band by saying, "Maybe we're too feminine for the masculine and too masculine for the feminine." In an article succinctly titled "The Case Against Coldplay" Jon Pareles, of the New York Times, asserts that Martin's band's reception has nothing to do with confused gender roles. Rather, "the most insufferable band of the decade" is "supposed to be compassionate, empathetic, magnanimous, inspirational. But when the music swells up once more with tremolo guitars and chiming keyboards, and Mr. Martin's voice breaks for the umpteenth time, it sounds like hokum to me." Incidentally, that article was written in 2005, which means that Coldplay may or may not also be the most insufferable band of this decade.

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The Music Industry Is Really Clamping Down Hard On Leaks These Days

Who do I have to bang to get an advance copy of the new @coldplay album? I mean, really.less than a minute ago via WhoSay Favorite Retweet Reply


Hmm. Maybe ask Jay-Z?



So Much For That WRXP-Sponsored Coldplay Show In September

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Sorry guys.
Hey, remember the RXP Tākliberty Festival, the WRXP-sponsored day of alt-rock at the PNC Bank Arts Center that was announced last Monday and going to have Coldplay as its headliner? Well, it's been canceled "due to unforeseen circumstances." Which actually isn't all that surprising given that the station sponsoring the day was sold last Tuesday to someone who is reportedly looking to ditch rock from the station's playlist altogether.

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Radio Hits One: The Foo Fighters Foster The Alternative Generation Gap

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The Foo Fighters' seventh album Wasting Light became the band's first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 upon its release in April, following a mountain of pre-release hype that included some of the best reviews of the band's career, a documentary about the making of the album, and the inevitable publicity surrounding Dave Grohl collaborating again with Nirvana-era pals Butch Vig, Pat Smear and Krist Novoselic. But there is one respect in which 2011 may not represent the apex of the Foo Fighters' career: "Rope," the first single from Light, couldn't quite beat the record for most weeks at the top of the Alternative Songs chart, which is still held by the band's own "The Pretender." That track, from 2007's Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, topped the chart for 18 weeks.

Last week "Rope" was dethroned after 13 weeks at the top spot by an unlikely newcomer, Foster The People's "Pumped Up Kicks." If the Foo Fighters represent '90s alt-rock survivors, Foster The People are decidedly new school: the L.A. band has turned its debut single into a chart-topper less than two years after playing its first show. Even the sound of "Pumped Up Kicks" is like a quick tour through 21st-century indie-crossover success, with Muppety vocals reminiscent of MGMT (on a chorus that prominently features the word "kids," no less) and a whistling hook that recalls both the Black Keys' recent Alternative No. 1 "Tighten Up" and Peter, Bjorn & John's "Young Folks."


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Coldplay To Headline WRXP's Brand-Spanking-New Festival

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The rock station WRXP—which highlights the current confused place occupied by the term "alternative" by jumbling together the likes of Sublime, Adele, David Bowie, Death Cab For Cutie, and the Smiths on an hourly basis—has announced its first festival, a two-stage affair that will take over the PNC Bank Arts Center on September 18. Dubbed the RXP Tākliberty (pronounced "take liberty," get it?) Festival, the fest has snagged Coldplay as the headliner, with ex-Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft and local twee heroes The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart also on the bill. The general public can have at tickets on Friday, June 24, and a members-only presale that begins tomorrow. The lineup as it stands now after the jump.


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