The Coldplay ‘Ghost Stories’ Campaign…Ramble

Yes, I’m a huge and I mean huge Coldplay fan. I don’t like them ‘ironically’ as one recent fellow I dated (see that’s past tense) remark. However, that doesn’t preclude me from being able to analyze their campaigns. Their sixth album ‘Ghost Stories’ is a beautiful and haunting in honesty. Note, I was not a fan of ‘Mylo Xyloto’, though a few songs grew on me, and though I loved ‘X & Y’ it was about three or four ballads too long, a fact that is also noted by the band.

When I first heard the lyrics to ‘Magic’ about how ‘I just got broken, broken in to two, still I call it magic, when I’m with you’ red flags started to wave in my head. Of course, I ignored them because the lyrics were all too relatable to me. March saw the debut of other new songs from ‘Ghost Stories’ during their globally broadcast performance as part of the iTunes Festival at SXSW. “Another’s Arms” told the tale of having broken up and the oddness of moving on, still wishing for the person already gone. Now the red flag was as large as Russia’s, and my heart was concerned. The following week GP and Chris Martin announced their ‘conscious uncoupling’, which is also brilliant timing from a marketing standpoint of an album launch.

Woah, is that cold? Fair enough. You can say that but the moments I took to mourn their relationship, also produced even greater depth to the lyrics of ‘Ghost Stories’. Friends commented I might be rushing out to buy the album but they were sure Gwyneth Paltrow wasn’t listening to it. I disagree since Chris told the BBC’s Zane Lowe in an exclusive interview it was the most truthful album they have ever made. The word ‘true’ appears in several of the songs. It’s also really about heartbreak, not being over someone who was ‘True Love’ but having to move forward. Even in “A Star Full of Skies” he mentions in out of all those stars “I think I saw you”, do you get more literal? Or on “Magic” when he sings “and with all your magic, I disappear from view.” Well damn.

The global Coldplay campaign didn’t need the press of a breakup because it included hand-written lyrics for all songs hidden in libraries all over the globe, hints given away via Twitter, TV shows including Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Fallon in the US (let alone the countless ones overseas), and The Voice, as well as live shows in five major cities globally.

Tickets in NY were hard to come by unless you work in the music industry or are willing to pay scalpers.

Personally I’d rather shell out a few extra bucks for the deluxe version at Target, a multi-million dollar campaign #MoreColdplay across social media, television and in-store promotions. The fan incentive? Signed paper stars from the adverts, which also were part of the set dressing for their SNL appearance.

Let’s not forget the continued support of iTunes post-SWSX which included a pre-order, an exclusive track, immediate downloads from the pre-order, social media support and dedicated newsletters and homepage banners.

What I love about Coldplay is the imperfection of it all, the inclusion of fans and the music, of course. I once got into a discussion with a senior level exec at Sony about why Kings of Leon, also releasing their fourth album at the time, were not as successful as Coldplay. He said there was no way and then that album turned out to be KOL’s most successful album and he had to buy me an expensive dinner. Music, when it’s brilliant can still go unheard if it is not marketed properly. Team Coldplay always delivers some new way of connecting with the music, making it fun and inclusive of the fans. Look for their TV special as well:

The Magic of Coldplay…Ramble

I just got broken, broken in to two,

Still I call it magic when I’m with you….

Oh my, Coldplay. Since I heard this song last week I cannot help but fall under its magic. There are certain times in life when a song hits the mark, it’s like the composer and lyricist crawled up into your head and explained to you why you feel what you feel. ‘Magic’ has already slid into my top five favorite Coldplay songs. There are already a bunch of really great covers of it on Soundcloud so I am not alone in my sentiment, which is exactly the point. Here’s to all the people who still believe in magic.

Princess of China….Ramble

Lately I’ve been pondering my love of Rihanna. I just have a hard time with the kind of situations she has had to deal with in being ‘A Girl Good Gone Bad.’ The harassment against Chris Brown’s new girlfriend (why would anyone want to date this guy knowing what he did to Rihanna?), who just happens to be Asian by making a racist statement shows well, Riri is passionate and hell hath no fury, but just because that girl has the poor judgement to have your sloppy seconds did Riri really have to need to take the feud public?

What is even more bizarre is the timing of the release then of this video for Coldplay’s “Princess of China” which celebrates Asian culture in it’s beauty:

I seriously love this video. It’s the kind of epic video Coldplay was missing from this particular album which is definitely my least favorite of their’s— and I LOVE Coldplay. I’ve seen them in concert 9 times. 

I digress…… the thing is I do adore Rihanna, I just feel she is really troubled and needs a hug. She has said in interviews she has the reactions to a lot of things like a man, but dollface you are a woman and when you embrace that like in this video you amaze me. Now stop dwelling in a ‘hopeless place’ and have a great summer. 

Gwyneth vs. Coldplay: Nappies…Ramble

While rumors continue to circulate about Gwyneth a) being cold and banned from being near ScarJo b) looking crap during London’s Fashion Night Out (so wrong!), I thought it was a good time to celebrate that GOOP is back and new this week and remind people that Gwyneth does have a sense of humor.

Thanks to YouTube here’s a little musical face-off when GP was expecting Apple, Coldplay put out this very silly and sweet song “Nappies”:

Always one to try to put her guests to the test, Oprah handed Gwyneth the lyrics to “Nappies” and got her to try it as a ‘rap’…’s charming and disarming as always.

Crush of the Week: Guy Berryman…Ramble

Guy has the kind of stunning good looks that one has no choice but to acknowledge, openly admire and try to be around as much as possible. In fact, Coldplay’s frontman, Chris Martin is often guilty of bowing to Guy’s beauty during concerts. The bassist just keeps cool as always only making him all the more desireable.

I went to see Coldplay 3 times at different points in their Viva La Vida tour. In Philly, where plenty of tailgating did it’s best (my sister was hit in the head several times, I saw a woman piss on the floor of the private box bathroom!)  our seats were on the side of the stage. I had tried to book tickets near the portion of the stadium where Coldplay came out at the end to play an acoustic set. Sadly, I realized I had read the map incorrectly when booking the seats. Woe unto me….fear not my fellow Guy fans as we landed on his side of the stage and he made sure to smile and acknowledge our section so we could swoon and get caught up in the Berryman madness.

Five reasons Guy is cool:

1) His name is Guy.

2) Being a bassist in one of the world’s biggest bands isn’t his only creative outlet- he is a gifted photographer and was even credited as photographer for A-ha’s 2009 release Foot of the Mountain. (Given Coldplay’s relationship with A-ha this isn’t a surprize but for those unfamiliar now you can take that random fact to bank in the random fact bank.)

3) Guy’s side musical project, Apparatjik are give away a few dreamy tracks here.

4) Guy is satisfied with making just his dreams come true, he believes in others and recently opened an antique business with his brother Mark.

5) He is the bassist in one of the world’s biggest bands, Coldplay and inspired this lovely photographic tribute:

Update: Guy is now back on the market look out ladies!

5 Questions with @shazzzadd…Ramble

Believe or not there are people in the music industry who bond over music. Seriously, recover from your shock because that’s how I bonded with @shazzzadd over our shared love of Coldplay. We had quite a laugh going to see Coldplay the night after a company trip to see AC/DC that blew out our eardrums. I couldn’t hear properly for a week but nothing could damper our shared joy over our slightly muted Coldplay experience full of tears when Chris dedicated ‘The Hardest Part’ to Jennifer Hudson, whose family tragedy had occurred the week prior.

Now Shazza and I continue to share our cultural loves and tips and laughing while we do it. She is generous to (almost) a fault as the saying goes and is wonderfully creative.

Location :  London
Vocation:   working out my future
Sign:           Scorpio

1. You recently went on a trip to India. Where did you go and what were some of the highlights?

I went to Kerala, Southern India and it was incredible.  The locals call it  “God’s Own Country’ and I can certainly see why they call it that –  It’s a beautiful place; very green and lush.  I stayed right on a beach in a resort called Varkala that I highly recommend. The weather was rather different from London, over 105 degrees most day – the best place was sitting on the beach, under an umbrella catching the cooling sea breezes !  They say “mad dogs and English men go out in the mid-day sun” and the Indians certainly thought that way….they would come and walk along the beautiful beach as the sun was setting and they played cricket and volleyball at 7 am in the morning.

The highlight of trip was being taken to see some Elephants.  It was just me and a guide and I met the most incredible elephant (see photo). He’s 38 and is the superstar of the elephants world; the second biggest in Kerala who
travels the country fronting important religious festivals.  He simply was magnificent, and he certainly knew it; although he was gentle and loved the attention I gave him.  It was a fabulous experience as I wasn’t part of a big group – it certainly felt very special….

2. How India inspired your creative mind?

Kerala is such a vibrant place.  It is full of the most incredible colours and smells – I’m an avid photographer, and I ended up taking over 2,500 photos in 3 weeks!  I had my macbook with me, so could upload my photos every day.  I’m passionate about taking photos of animals and people – and there were certainly a lot of both categories.  I love being able to put my photos straight on facebook, so my friends could experience my holiday with me.  I always travel on holiday alone, and I think my friends enjoy my photos, and knowing I’m still alive !

3. What are your current creative projects?

I was recently made redundant from my job – I had worked at the same record company for 16 years, and I now have a lot of time on my hands.  As well as photography, my main hobby is card making and all kinds of crafts.  My home is over-run with everything craft related….so my first current project is a complete overhaul of my stock….I have a small apartment, so I really need to be organised.  I need to make the most of not working and get some projects together that I have been wanting to do for a while.  I want to get some of my best photos printed and framed so I can get a stall at  my local craft market. Together with my home made cards and other craft projects I hope to have some nice gifts to sell.

4. As a music industry veteran you’ve worked with some huge names including two icons- the first Michael Jackson who’s 1 year anniversary of his death is coming up in June which connects him to the other who is in the news right now, George Michael. (FYI people MJ passed on George Michael’s birthday June 25th. I was going to do my first ‘vlog’ but it didn’t seem right.) What were ‘the Michaels’ like in person?

I worked with Michael Jackson in 1996 and it was an incredible experience.  I had to stay in a hotel with the travel party for a few days overseeing the visit.  He was a very private man, so didn’t spend as much time as I would normally with an artist, but when I did he was extremely charming.  I didn’t actually ever work with the “other” Michael – George – my boyfriend at the time did and I was very lucky to be able to travel with Wham! on their first US live tour in the early 80’s.  It was my first ever trip to America; I travelled with 2 other girlfriends of the crew and did a whistle-stop tour of LA, Dallas, Boston and NY.  Wham! played in small theatres; that could have been sold 3 or 4 times over by the time the band arrived in the States.  I had just started working in the music business at the time, and this trip really cemented my love of music, and the working in the music business bug was formed.

5. Film stars are so glamourous and this year you attended The Golden Globes in Lalaland. How did you end up there and what were some of the highlights?

I’ve been to all sorts of music-related award shows, with the biggest music stars in the world, but nothing could match my excitement to actually attend this year’s Golden Globe Awards.  I have a very well connected friend who took me.  LA is one of my most favourite places in the world, so just to be there was fab anyway – although unfortunately I bought the London rain with me; I have never seen rain in LA, so imagine the disappointment of needing to use an umbrella to walk down the red carpet.  I had said to my pal (who goes to the Globes often) that we would be  s l o w l y  walking down the red carpet – I wanted to take in the whole experience….I really wanted to walk using “pigeon steps” – do you know that saying in the US – tiny steps, but I that would make me look stupid.  I couldn’t believe how narrow the red carpet was and how every single person was a face I recognised …..I had to be careful not get too excited as I knew there were hundreds of camera lenses trained to follow all on the red carpet. So I kept a poker face and squealed silently when I saw Gerard Butler and George Clooney!

It was even more exciting inside when I saw the size of the room – a regular sized hotel ballroom.  Our table couldn’t have been positioned better – everyone had to pass us so I literally saw every single actor/actress in that room.  As well as loving music, I just love movies and to be sitting surrounded by the great and the good of Hollywood was a dream come true.

Thank you Shazz that was splendid. I’m so happy to have someone as giving and wonderful as you as a friend. xx

Musical Thoughts on Ash Wednesday…Ramble

Ultimately I’m not as religious as I was as a child. It may have been growing on the same block as my church and getting smacked on the wrist by nuns with 4 inches of rulers held together by rubberbands that did it. I believe in faith for other people and when it helps them that is amazing but when a priest interprets the bible, I don’t know I have other thoughts. Anyway…since it’s Lent and sometimes I give up Lent for Lent, I decided not to do that this year and give up drama and negetative thinking instead. Here are some musical offerings for Lent. Enjoy!

1. George Michael: You gotta have Faith right?

2. Robbie Williams: Bodies — if Jesus really died for me, guess Jesus really tried for me. I have the Cahill Remix here so you can contemplate these questions while you dance baby dance.

3. Coldplay- God Put A Smile Upon Your Face. Well Thank God!

4. P!NK If God Is A DJ… he’d probably like the Cahill Remix of ‘Bodies’ above–oh I’m a cheeky monkey.

5. Crowded House: There Goes God… I’d like to believe there is a God while sinful angels suffer for love.

I’m sorry to say I am not in possession of a copy of my communion photo with my sweet bowl haircut to include. Happy Lent! Happy Thoughts! xx Grrlgenius