Tag: Coldplay

PHOTOS – Songs That Remind Me of Places

I love how hearing songs can help one rediscover places frequented long ago. The way smells seem to bring back forgotten memories (Juicy Fruit gum for me, for some reason), it’s like you’re transported back to when that sensation of being was first mentally recorded. Usually emotive, intense nostalgia can be both fun and scary.

Is there a song that reminds you of a place? How does it make you feel? Let me know in the comments. And please click the images to get a deeper story on where each photo came from…

I’m in Vancouver for my cousin’s wedding. I had been listening to Carla Bruni’s “Tout le monde,” finding the music video where she emerged through a dark tunnel as particularly relevant to international travel (even to Canada). While I didn’t have to pass any dark tunnels, Vancouver was definitely a light at the other end of the path. Pristine, brisk and full of natural beauty, it was a great escape from the normalcy of everyday life.

Coldplay always reminds me of my time at The Conversation Group, most likely because it was there that I first listened to Viva La Vida. While it was bittersweet, as all their songs are, it leaned more to the sweet side.

I’m home in Hawaii for Christmas and I find an unopened copy of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Show Your Bones in my parents’ collection. No one is really sure how it got there, so I immediately enjoy the album and claim it for myself. While I didn’t care for YYYs after hearing “Maps” in college, the songs on Show Your Bones really resonated with me. I’ve since gone back and acquired their previous releases, but this album is still my favorite.

I spend about 13 hours wandering around Manhattan while listening to Rilo Kiley the entire time. I have tickets to their upcoming show at the The Warfield and I need a crash course on their discography before heading back home. While this isn’t my favorite song from their first few albums, it’s the one that reminds me most of wandering around for hours. Another good candidate would be “All the Good That Won’t Come Out,” a song I recall hearing a lot despite the random rotation.

Another one in New York City: I’m at the Brooklyn Bridge, and hearing this song reminds me of the other, more familiar ocean. When I hear this song, I imagine drifting away on waves into the vastness of the ocean, a characteristic of the sea I’ve always marveled at.

“The ocean rolls us away… away… away…”

Coldplay – "The Scientist (Acoustic)" / Back to the start

Coldplay | MySpace | Twitter

In revisiting a particular instance in the timeline of your life, chances are your impression of that moment changes with memories of all that you’ve experienced since. There are pockets in life that seem so perfect at the time. And when you remember them, it’s nice to keep them in the context that they were originally in, to keep them independent in themselves…

I was putting on my shoes, about to head out for a run, when I hesitated for a second and looked up from where I was kneeling down. I observed how lived-in my apartment had grown. I imagined what it would be like for someone to see it for the first time, and if they could tell how long I’ve lived there. I recalled what it looked like and how I felt when I first moved in. I contrasted this image by phasing in the contents that fill it now.

To my left: a cluttered closet adjacent to a bathroom with a single towel hanging on a rod. To my right: a refrigerator with random items on its door. A photobooth strip from the Yelp Holiday Party at the Westin St. Francis. My Performer review of Treasure Island Music Festival 2008. A picture of a dinosaur with short arms trying to reach into a fridge, exclaiming, “My hands are too short!” Straight ahead: the ATR Master Tape we used for recording our second album at Tiny Telephone last month.

A big hurdle in my life has been getting over always thinking about the future and to really absorb what’s happening to me at the current moment. I’m not sure if it’s nihilistic or hopeful, but the fact that we all end up in the same place (physically, at least) is reason enough to stop repeatedly asking myself,

Where am I going?

Where am I going?

Where am I going?

But rather to inquire, where am I now?


Here are some songs for the day, a set of more upbeat tracks than those on my previous playlist, “Night.” I’m still looking for a decent playlist generator that includes all the obscure (non-live) songs I desire. Oh, well…


Hey Jude – The Beatles

Feeling Good – Muse

Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve

Lucky Man – The Verve

Spectacular Views – Rilo Kiley

Portions For Foxes – Rilo Kiley

Silver Lining – Rilo Kiley

If The Brakeman Turns My Way – Bright Eyes

LDN – Lily Allen

Smile – Lily Allen

Lovers In Japan / Reign Of Love – Coldplay

Viva La Vida – Coldplay

Don’t Look Back In Anger – Oasis

Learn to Fly – Foo Fighters

1 2 3 4 – Feist

Have a nice day!

Coldplay – Viva La Vida


Coldplay finally releases an album that tops even Coldplay itself. Produced by the great Brian Eno, Viva La Vida is an open and ambient masterpiece that celebrates life through glorious pronouncements of strings and beats.

I’ve been searching for something spacious like Radiohead’s Kid A, sans any of the depressing qualities, and Viva La Vida seems well suited for the job. It’s not quite as poignant as any of the Radiohead albums, but it also doesn’t leave you feeling like you just shot your cat and then thought too hard about why you did it. There’s a similar difference between rockets and fireworks, where the former creates more of a lasting effect, while the latter seems a tad prettier. Coldplay is the latter.

The other obligatory Coldplay comparison draws you to U2. On their last album, X&Y, the band professed an adoration for the Bono/Edge sound. While I think it worked for the most part, X&Y often suffered in garnering any semblance of boundary or form. Words sort of spilled out from Martin’s mouth, and the instrumentals blended into a blur. On Viva La Vida, Coldplay successfully finds the balance between all their previous work, discovering truly who they really are.

Viva La Vida opens with “Life in Technicolor,” a multi-textured instrumental opening that sort of explodes with, well, color. The following track, “Cemeteries of London” contrasts its preceding track with a haunting opening leading quickly into pounding rhythms propelling a full orchestration of sounds.

Later songs expand the juxtaposition between the first two tracks and the variation that conducts them. On “Yes,” violins jump between what resembles a Middle Eastern breakdown into a seemingly Western groove during the verses. Then there is the notoriously catchy “Violet Hill…

One cannot discount the album’s first hit and title track, “Viva La Vida,” showcasing Martin’s exquisite and illustrative lyrical work: “I hear Jerusalem bells a’ ringing / Roman Cavalry choirs are singing / Be my mirror, my sword and shield / My missionaries in a foreign field…” I’m a sucker for escapism.

The album concludes with the choir-driven “Death And All His Friends,” finishing with a reprise of the opening track. It’s an almost symmetrical end to an asymmetrical album. And, in doing so, Coldplay succeeds in crafting something bigger than themselves, which, given their earlier successes, is no easy feat.

Good work, Coldplay! You don’t suck again!

Wheee!! :-D

VIDEO – Coldplay – "Violet Hill (Dancing Politicians)"


I’m all about this song right now. I just can’t get that catchy march beat out of my head. Unfortunately, the official (normal) version of the music video leaves something to be desired. Thankfully, we live in the age of digital web media, where two versions can find existence.

It’s quite brilliant on a viral marketing standpoint: create a provocative video with a bipartisan political message and let all the kiddies share it with their friends. The video sort of brought a tear to my eye, though I think it had slightly more to do with the superb production than with any of the underlying messages.

“Violet Hill”

Was a long and dark December
From the rooftops I remember
There was snow, white snow

Clearly I remember
From the windows they were watching
While we froze down below

When the future’s architectured
By a carnival of idiots on show
You’d better lie low

If you love me won’t you let me know?

Was a long and dark December
When the banks became cathedrals
And the fog became God

Priests clutched onto bibles
And went out to fit their rifles
And the Cross was held aloft

Bury me in honor
When I’m dead and hit the ground
A love back home unfolds

If you love me won’t you let me know?

(A brilliant example of a simple yet effective solo)

I don’t want to be a soldier
With the captain of some sinking ship
With snow, far below

So if you love me why’d you let me go?

I took my love down to Violet Hill
There we sat in snow
All that time she was silent still

So if you love me won’t you let me know?

Weird poses are a prerequisite for being in a rock band…

Coldplay – Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends (Preview)


I remember seeing Coldplay in concert out in Marysville during the release of A Rush of Blood to the Head. Chris Martin, appearing late because he was getting a “haircut” from whom the crowd whispered was Gwyneth Paltrow backstage, addressed us at the open:

“Hello, uh, I’m not sure where we are… Sacramento?”

I’d blame the guy for being off his frontman game, but honestly I didn’t really know where we were at the time either…

I lost whatever interest I had in Coldplay after X&Y was released. Their desire for the U2 sound left their music somewhat bland and their songs a jumble of jabbering lyrics (very Bono, with all due respect). But hope prevails, as we’re presented with two great tracks off their new album, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends, releasing in June. Here, they exhibit a more orchestral sound while retaining a concise version of the piano-based turned guitar-based pop rock they’ve been known for in the past.

I prefer “Violet Hill” over the other songs. It features a nice dark marching rhythm and a robustly effective guitar solo. “Viva La Vida,” isn’t bad either, with an excellent arrangement of ambient sounds, though the lyrics feel a bit lacking in any real emotive qualities. You may recognize the latter track from their iTunes spot posted below…

The length and shininess of the ad appeals to my ADD-riddled mind…