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Intelligencer: May 23-30

Coldplay the brand, Newsweek forgets to apologize in Arabic, developers change hippie church into condos, and more.

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It Happens This Week
• Memorial Day: Summer rentals start
• Fleet Week!
• Street Fair: Times Square overrun with foot traffic
• Bomb the System, movie about NYC graffiti artists
• DanceAfrica at BAM


Supersize Me Says Coldplay.
Chris Martin, back in NYC with Gwynnie and li’l Apple, has a record to sell.
Just being married to Gwyneth Paltrow isn’t enough to move CDs. “You have to swallow your pride and become a brand rather than a band,” said her husband, Chris Martin, in town last week to stoke excitement for his band Coldplay’s new album, X&Y. That meant radio interviews, Saturday Night Live, and an America Online–produced gig at the Beacon Theater that will be broadcast over the Internet June 7. (In the audience were Tiki Barber, Seth Green, Lyor Cohen, and, of course, Paltrow.) Not that Coldplay was unfamiliar with this process. “Yellow,” the hit single off their first album, became a sort of on-air promo anthem for ABC. Any plans for more of that? “We study the most popular products and we try to sing about it as much as possible. That’s why the next album is called McDonald’s: Over 4 Billion Served.” Reminded of the chain’s recent offer to pay rappers to name-check burgers in their songs, Martin composes one on the spot: “ ‘I’ve tried heroin, and I’ve tried crack, but nothing gets me high like a big Big Mac.’ You think it’ll work? I just earned $50.”


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