Coldplay Spreads Some Christmas Cheer with “Christmas Lights”

I love Christmas music! And today Coldplay added to their Christmas canon (see Mince Spies) with the release of a new Yuletide tune, “Christmas Lights.”

The video, directed by Mat Whitecross and filmed in London on November 25th, features the band in a charming children’s Xmas panto-type setting, then opens up onto a Baz Lurhman-esque city of Christmas lights.

Happy holidays!

Vintage Photo of Gwyneth Paltrow Swooning Over Chris Martin

I’ve recently taken on the task of going through and tagging all my old photos, and it’s pretty hysterical the things I end up finding.

I’ve probably told the story about a very surreal Romeo and Juliet moment that all of Bowery Ballroom witnessed in August 2002, during an impossibly hard to get into “secret” show that Coldplay was playing at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom, about a billion times.

The setting was a packed Bowery Ballroom. Both Gallagher brothers were in the audience (Oasis was playing a few gigs at Roseland that week). The audience was PUMPED. And then towards the end of the set Chris Martin sang “In My Place.” The room was pitch black, except for one lone spotlight on Chris, who seemed to be singing to the folks in the balcony.

Then someone standing next to me motioned to the balcony, where future wife Gwyneth Paltrow was sitting, and we all realized that by some happenstance she was ALSO illuminated by the light — so basically the only two people in the entire venue that had lights on them were Chris and Gwyneth. It was a little awwwkkwaaarrrddd… it seemed like Chris was singing directly to her.

Well little did I remember, apparently I had snapped a photo while all this was happening. Here’s a never before seen picture of Gwyneth Paltrow swaying her hands to sound of Chris Martin singing circa 2002:

Why I never posted this photo I have NO IDEA, but I’m so glad I found it. It also calls into question the fact that on Wikipedia it says Gwynie met Chris in October of 2002, when she was at the show in August 2002. Who knows, maybe she didn’t actually get to meet him that night…but we all know what happened!

Inside Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow’s TriBeCa Home

If you’ve recently been perusing Curbed.com, you may have seen an item about some a blog post about a 2008 job done by hotter than hot interior design team Roman & Williams for “an actress, her musician husband, and their children.” Doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it’s none other than Coldplay’s Chris Martin and actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Although the original post has since been removed, thanks to the internetz the pictures remain!

And if there was any doubt that this home was in fact the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Martin, egle-eyed readers will recognize the kitchen as the “set” of Gwynie’s most recent photo shoot with Mario Testino for the August 2010 issue of Vogue to promote her new…cookbook. Oh yeah

Master bedroom:
Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow's Tribeca Bedroom

Living room:
Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow's Tribeca Living Room

Kitchen:
Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow's Tribeca Kitchen

The decor is aggressively pastel-y and soft. Not sure if I would choose to live in this kind of space — but for the Martins it might be a nice change from the decor of some of their other, full-time homes in England.

Gwyneth Paltrow - August 2010 Vogue - In Her Kitchen

Could you live in such a space?
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Fantastic Foreigners Dazzle: Mumford & Sons and The Middle East

Last week I headed over to Music Hall of Williamsburg to catch what turned out to be a truly awesome show — British headliners Mumford & Sons and Aussie openers The Middle East.

The room was already packed when The Middle East took the stage. Comprised of seven band members, this band is capable of such a huge, lush sound that is grand and quite beautiful. Their recorded stuff really does not do their live show justice. I was blown away by how absolutely lovely the songs sounded and the term “next big thing” instantly popped into my head as they played one gorgeous song after another.

Punctuated with the sounds of horns, accordions, keyboards, guitars, and drums the tunes soared through the air — songs like “Blood” and “I could see how folks who love bands like Arcade Fire or Polyphonic Spree would have a lot to like in this band. Truly music that deserves a big open field and thousands of people swaying to and fro. Don’t be surprised if you’re looking back on this post in about two years and exclaiming, “Dagnabbit! She was right!”

Headliners Mumford and Sons were a bit late getting to the stage (taking some extra time to get an old timey haircut perhaps?), but proved to be well worth the wait. With solid, jamming tunes, and introspective lyrics, the quartet was impressive.

Some hilarious inter-song banter by singer Marcus Mumford feeling like a fat Englishman while spending the earlier part of the day roaming around the natural habitat of Williamsburg hipsters wearing skinny jeans and Ray Ban sunglasses.
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Mandy Moore Is Simply Delightful

Yesterday night I braved the impossibly miserable weather to check out the record release party for Mandy Moore‘s new album, Amanda Leigh, at Joe’s Pub here in NYC. The new Mrs. Ryan Adams (to my knowledge sans Ryan Adams in the audience), who was dressed casually in jeans and a t-shirt with a slim fitting leather blazer, looked radiant as she, her band, and a guest string trio featuring opener Tracy Bonham, glided through a number of songs off her new album. All the while, the massive all-diamond wedding band sparkling on her ring finger nearly blinded the front row.

The new tunes show a more sophisticated side to the songbird, some of the tunes seemingly inspired by Joni Mitchell, and yes–even a little dash of Ryan Adams, all the while showcasing Mandy’s incredible voice. (Seriously, why hasn’t she ever done a Broadway musical?)

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Keane Encores Again and Again at Radio City

Longtime readers will remember that my mom loves Keane. So who else could I take to the Keane show at Radio City tonight but my mommy dearest? The show, with its long set, and multiple (two) encores clocked it at nearly one hour and a half long—that’s 90 minutes of sheer happiness for my mom.

I’ll admit, there’s a bit of a twinge of teenage angst that goes along with bringing Mom to a concert—especially when my mom starts to dance along to the music (“Mom! You’re embarrassing me in front of all my friends!,” I mentally shout.)—but as a whole it’s a fun time taking my mom to see one of her favorite bands (aka Keane or Coldplay).

For me, one of the best part of going to see a show with my mom is that unlike my regular concert companions, who like me go to shows on a weekly basis and are completely jaded/spoiled by it all, my mom is genuinely excited about nearly everything involving the concert. Her reaction reminds me a lot of what I was like as a teenager going to see Alanis Morissette at Jones Beach, or say Duncan Sheik at a Virgin Megastore Instore.

Mom gets really pumped up about going, often calling me up the night before to say that she “just can’t wait” for the show and that she’s been listening to the new album non-stop. And when she gets there she’s super interested in buying some of the merch so she can show it off to all her friends at work the next day. And forget about when the actual concert starts—Mom is literally jumping up and down and clapping her hands.

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Crappy cellphone photo: There’s a band on stage, I swear.

So to say the least, my mom really really really enjoyed Keane’s performance tonight—and I’ll admit, I enjoyed quite a bit of it myself. As I’ve noted before, Keane fans are particularly excited about being at the show, as displayed by the eruption of thunderous cheers and applause that sprung up as soon as the lights went down and the band took the stage.
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Little Boots @ Le Poisson Rouge, NYC

Last night the budding British pop diva Little Boots played a rowdy show at Le Poisson Rouge here in NYC. I’ll be updating this space later with more information, but I believe a good time was had by all.

Some photos below. And yes, the stage was set up in the round!!

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Giveaway: Tickets to Little Boots at Le Poisson Rouge, May 18th

Little Boots has steadily become one of the rising stars of the independent British female pop star phenomenon. In preparation of the June 9th UK release of her first full-length album, Hands (and a US-only EP called “Illuminations”), she will be performing a special show here in NYC on May 18th at Le Poisson Rouge. This is the only US performance currently scheduled for the new queen of electropop over the next few months.

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Want to win a pair of tickets to the NYC show? Just answer the following (super easy) question:

What US late night talk show devoted an entire episode to Little Boots earlier this year?

Just send an email with the answer and your full name to contest @ themodernage.org with “LITTLE BOOTS” in the subject line.

The first two people to answer the question correctly will each win a pair of tickets to the concert!
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Dark Was the Night @ Radio City Music Hall Last Night

Quickly, the charity performance of artists who have appeared on Dark Was the Night compilation was at Radio City Music Hall last night. Amidst rumors of Blonde Redhead and Sufjan Stevens playing, neither group/performer got onstage at the event.

The bands who actually did perform were:

Dirty Projectors
My Brightest Diamond
The National
Dave Sitek (from TV on the Radio)
David Byrne

[Intermission]
Bon Iver
Feist
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

[Encore] Tribute to Pete Seeger with all bands (and a random appearance by St. Vincent – aka Annie Clark) singing altogether a song Seeger made famous “This Land Is Your Land,” with Sharon Jones busting out solo into a sassy rendition of the song a quarter of the way through (below).


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