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    Coldplay Launch 'La Vida' Live in London

    It's been a momentous week for Coldplay in the U.K. They've sold 300,000 copies of their new album, Viva La Vida, in just three days, but a seemingly anxiety-wrecked Chris Martin has stormed out (albeit politely) of two press interviews. And while much of the British media are hailing their return with only mild encouragement (despite some positive notices in the U.S.), the rest are busy proclaiming them the very worst thing to happen to rock music in years. Even Martin himself has been at it. "We're the world's biggest bland," he quipped recently. But if Jay-Z's most famously sensitive homie is genuinely rattled by the extent of the column inches he now commands, he shows no immediately outward signs of it tonight.

  • Pete Doherty: Man Out of Time

    Pete Doherty: Man Out of Time

    Screwing a cigarette into his mouth, which he clamps between his teeth like a cowboy Clint Eastwood, Pete Doherty prowls around his suite at London's K West hotel as if scouting for potential escape routes. But while anxiety may bounce off him like static electricity, he is actually in good spirits today and looks comparatively healthy, the junkie's sallow death mask having given way of late to jowls, baby fat, and blood flow. He is tall and seemingly elastic beneath his porkpie hat, the ability to sit still clearly an elusive one. His bassist, Drew McConnell, reaches up to offer a light, which Doherty stoops to take before crossing the room to boot up a battered laptop. He then picks up an acoustic guitar, rests on the arm of a sofa, and falls into guitarist Mick Whitnall's lap. "You know what?" he says, unfolding himself from the tangle of limbs. "Something good has happened to us.

  • "The Hottest Band on Earth Should Get Everything They Want, No?"

    All told, 2002 was a vintage year for the Hives. Nearly a decade after their inception in Fagersta, a pinprick-size Swedish town (population: 12,000), the quintet found themselves hailed as part of rock's young new ruling class. "Oh, it was more than that," says singer Pelle Almqvist, a man not generally comfortable with understatement. "We were the hottest band in the world. Everyone went mad for us. Entirely justified, of course. We were fantastic." The quality of their music may have had something to do with this, but timing also played its part. The Hives emerged on the scene during the so-called New Rock Revolution at the very same time as the Strokes, the White Stripes, Jet, and the Vines.

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