Coldplay Sizzles

It's a good thing when rock stars show up at your birthday party. But what if nobody recognizes them? Coldplay are so nondescript, you could barely pick 'em out of the music-journo crowd gathered for Spin editor Tracey Pepper's birthday party August 8 at Velvet. Even though the band rolled up in a limo, people were confused: Is Coldplay really here? (They were.)

Someone pointed out that Spin's wild and crazy gossip columnist Marc Spitz—on DJ duty—looked more the part than the pasty-faced Brits. Spitz, told of the band's imminent arrival, balked, "Does that mean I have to get sensitive?!" When they finally arrived, the limeys mingled with Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesingerand Jody Porter, and an uncharacteristically subdued Gideon Yago of MTV.

The band, in town to promote their new album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, played the Bowery Ballroom August 12 before a crowd of adoring females and their jock boyfriends, as well as one Gwyneth Paltrow, who sat in the balcony, singing along to the morose lyrics. Also in the audience: Oasis lads Noel and Liam Gallagher—who induced fanatical screams that probably raised the hair on their eyebrows—were treated to a Coldplay cover of their tune "Songbird." The brothers, one of whom was recovering from a recent car crash, were in New York for their own show last Wednesday at the Beacon Theatre.

Meanwhile, Coldplay's members began to resemble actual rock stars during the performance. Onstage, blond, fair-skinned singer Chris Martinseemed more hunky, not to mention spazzy, as he flailed about singing his sensitive tunes and sending the ladies into a swoon. After they played a cover of Echo and the Bunnymen's "Lips Like Sugar," girl-about-town Ultragrrrlcooed: "I just wanna make out with him!"


We hear from a well-placed source that Télépopmusik might be the next Dirty Vegas. The French techno group is thisclose to sealing a deal with Mitsubishi to place their brilliant, beautiful track "Breathe" in the car company's ad campaign. After "Days Go By" appeared in a high-profile Eclipse commercial, Dirty Vegas reaped considerable benefits—their debut, Dirty Vegas, entered the Billboard charts at number 7 and the single sold 12,300 copies (source: Nielsen Soundscan). And since "Breathe"—and Télépopmusik—are a trillion times better than the prog-trance hucksters, we fully support them selling out.


Love's Arthur Lee gets the indie rock seal of approval—as if he needed it. Apparently the only thing cooler than Sonic Youth gracing your gig is when members of Yo La Tengo turn up to take in the tunes. Husband-wife duo Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley were spotted hanging at the Bowery August 11 for Lee's first performance after six years spent in prison for a weapons violation. Yo La Tengo are big Love fans: In 1985, they covered "A House Is Not a Motel" as the B-side to their single "The River of Water."


APT really is like a New York apartment—only much smaller. For the August 8 Theo Parrish gig, the "basement" was packed with everyone who knew anything about house music—and a few who didn't. Metro Area's Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani, the residents and hosts, greeted people at the door like nervous parents. Quirky DJ $mall ¢hange tended bar, serving drinks to big-name DJs Scott Hardkiss, John Howard, Jeannie Hopper, and Swingsett. DFA's James Murphy was clearly losing his head (but not his edge, natch) over the tuneage.

In back, Magda, Richie Hawtin's right-hand gal, chilled with techno aficionado and glam model Noemie Ditzler of Sex and the City fame. Parrish played some George Benson, which made diva DJ Miss Honey Dijon happily bounce her bodacious behind. Chicago jock Derrick Carter sat next to her, relaxing after his Tronic Treatment boat gig a few days before. Carter has two CDs due out: a mix disc, and an artist album, Squaredancing in a Round House, the latter to be released on Classic—the label Carter runs with Luke Solomon—October 15.

Carter was special enough to get his own tribute from Parrish: As Roy Ayers's "Chicago" blared from the system, the superstar DJ grinned and pumped his fist in the air.


tromano@villagevoice.com

 
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