Showing 26 posts tagged mp3
This machine will, will not communicate these thoughts and the strain I am under
"Street Spirit" closes out The Bends with some dark grandeur. O’Brien and Yorke lock in on that Spanish-style arpeggio and it isn’t until J. Greenwood’s appearance on additional guitar harmony that you suddenly feel the oppressive containment that preceded it. Air comes in and you’ve escaped…somewhat. It is up to you to remain free.
Jonathan Glazers’ (Sexy Beast, Birth) coolly stunning black and white video for the song, doesn’t bother with plot. It recognizes that the beauty of the piece is in the particulars; the way time seems to quicken and slow down, how gestures take on gorgeousness when isolated and observed. The images seem to say watch us, hold onto us because we are ending. We are ending right now.
"Our fans are braver than I to let that song penetrate them, or maybe they don’t realize what they’re listening to. They don’t realize that ‘Street Spirit’ is about staring the fucking devil right in the eyes, and knowing, no matter what the hell you do, he’ll get the last laugh. And it’s real, and true. The devil really will get the last laugh in all cases without exception…That’s why I’m convinced that they don’t know what it’s about. It’s why we play it towards the end of our sets. It drains me, and it shakes me, and hurts like hell every time I play it, looking out at thousands of people cheering and smiling, oblivious to the tragedy of its meaning, like when you’re going to have your dog put down and it’s wagging its tail on the way there. That’s what they all look like, and it breaks my heart."
I don’t understand Yorke here. Why wouldn’t an audience think that singing IMMERSE YOUR SOUL IN LOVE in soaring voice, believing it, and following through is enough to keep the devil at bay?
As listeners, we’re not surprised to be wrong, we usually are. But this is the thing with art; yes, it’s yours if you made it but once out there it starts accumulating the weight of our expectations, experiences and feelings. It becomes something else and you can’t ever have it back. This is the song that played the night he realized he needed to move back home, the day she walked to work and it scored the leaf crunch path perfectly, the moment they fell out of love, the first time he voted, the last time she danced.
In the end, the rows of houses may be the audience after all.
Now that you’ve found it, it’s gone
Somewhere along the way, after years of playing this, they learned how it should be done. Yorke realized that he needed to stop playing the Rhodes and just sing those ending melodic runs. He figured out how to sing them and the rest of the song, those impossibly high silken lines, sing them so right that it seems like he’s barely trying. C. Greenwood and Selway anchor the song with their as-one sway and keep the dreamsound so gentle, you’d never know it was a nasty warning.
it must have got mixed up
1) The drumming is HARDCORE. Selway really sounds like he’s putting mad shoulder into each hit. The visual does not support this of course. You don’t see sweaty effort, only concentration and cool.
2) C. Greenwood’s bass face.
3) The Greenwood Bros. grungy bass/keyboard double assault. Something this ugly shouldn’t sound so good.
4) I. Don’t. Know. Why. I. Feel. So. Tongue. Tied.
5) Again those drums.
6) Ice cold disco keyboard.
7) (This is only on the studio version but it must be mentioned…) yeah no one likes a smart ass but we all like stars FOR A REASON that wasn’t my intention FOR A REASON I did it for a reason REASON - once the doubling gets in my head, I can’t let it go.
8) The lifted line from “Cuttooth”
9) “I wish that’s what they [would] sound like now and forever” - Jeff Klingman
What the hell, we’ve got nothing more to lose
The night we met he only looked up once and focused his gaze somewhere south of the beauty mark on my left cheek. A friend was playing a mix of mine and the track was Pink Floyd’s “Fearless” covered by Low. I said the guitars sounded like great releases of water and I loved hearing the break at the end of every line. He didn’t hear that part, he hadn’t been listening, he just said, Pink Floyd’s ”Fearless”? You know that song? He joined the conversation a bit after that. He had the nervous smile of someone who doesn’t like their teeth; the lips never quite pull back, just bunch even closer together when they grin. I got the sense that he was lonely and stuck and made a mental note to invite him to things. A few months later I offered to sell him an extra ticket to a White Stripes show. He met us on the line outside the theater, fresh from work, blue shirt tucked into khakis. He gave that nervous smile at the ground and said thank you. I barked YOU GOT DA MONEY? He jumped a little, I wanted him to. Nice people make me nervous. Best to put them off right from the start.
Let it be noted I had no designs on him at the time. It ain’t that kind of party. In my own way, I was lonely and stuck too. I was trying to assemble something, a new community for myself and I thought he could be a part of it. Like recognizes like.
A year or so later, we were good friends. I’m not sure how it happened, what with his crippling shyness and my crippling shyness and our opposing ways of dealing with it. Him retreating, me yelling at everyone in sight. Basically, I just kept talking and he eventually joined in. The night of a party at his house, we heard that MTV was presenting a $2 Radiohead show at the Beacon Theater and that people were camping out already to get in. A group of us planned to go but we were the only ones who managed to stay up. Somewhat. We talked, he played guitar, I sang, but eventually we both fell asleep on his sandy mattress. I had kicked off my shoes and put my arms around him, after asking. Didn’t want to freak him out. He was slight but surprisingly comfortable, it was easy to relax into sleep. We got up at 5, had breakfast at a diner which now has another name, rode three trains, and settled at the third time around the block end of the line. Like an old biddy, I gummed anxiously on several packets of Choward’s Violet candies, watching all the kids and the t-shirts YOU ARE A TARGET MARKET knowing we would never, ever, ever get in and that it didn’t even matter because something had changed. He had looked me right in the eye that morning and, like the song that I’ve danced to a million times, his were green or blue or gray. He held my hand. I stared at his wrists. He smiled with visible teeth. He kept his hand in mine, even as the MTV bullhorns shooed us away, the line dividing into the yeses and the nos, even though he’d never seen them live and really wanted to. Later that night I called a friend, she didn’t understand why I was so nervous. I couldn’t explain. In a lifetime of maybes, I’d never been faced with such certainty.
"Backdrifts" became our jam; a sinuous, passing train-tracks shuffle that featured an odd moment where everything stops moving and Yorke yelps out Uh! Uh! UUUUUH!. We took to this moment like mockingbirds, repeating it constantly, it was so strange yet perfect, when words fail us and all we have are exclamations, then why not UH! UH! UUUUUUH!?
* * *
I was outside his office on 32nd Street and when he came out, looking especially bleary-eyed. I said, I changed my mind about the movie. He walked alongside me and said, oh, you don’t want to go? Too tired? I said no, I’d much rather see that instead, pointed backwards at the big MSG Radiohead sign behind me and held up two tickets. NO WAY he said. I looped my arm for him to take. The seats were great, courtesy of a former boss/friend with a connection to a fancypants music critic with a surplus. The scheduled openers had to cancel and we were treated to Low (?!), who looked a bit stunned to be there. Radiohead came out and killed. Yorke’s finest moment may have been a spirited “Myxomatosis”, where he turned the lyrics into a mish mash of gibberish, lazy tongue flopping, popping and locking and PUNCH. He grinned from the stage like a boy with all the toys and I felt exactly the same way. I yawned/stretched my arm around my date, who laughed at my Fonzie move. I may have kissed him too, the whole night felt like a kiss.
* * *
Sitting in front of the computer now in 2011, it’s the fifth of July, and I’m trying to type with our son sitting behind me pretending to be on a motorcycle. He’s two, which he’ll gladly tell you by putting up the right amount of fingers. We’re going vrrrrrrooooom and vrrrrrrrrooooom vrrrrrrrooooooom. He doesn’t care about the sounds playing on the little speakers, but he laughs when I go Uh! Uh! Uuuuuuuuhn! and sing You fell into our arms, you fell into our arms, we tried but there was nothing we could do. Nothing we could do.
I’m going to stick with you because there are no others
Sometimes, not often, but sometimes I get bummed out that Yorke and Co. have never given me an uncomplicated, unambivalent love song*. Something I can sing along to with moony-eyed simplicity, all boy band hand gestures and tiny dance moves, blissful and small. “All I Need” is not that song despite the promise of the title and the line that it belongs to. You can do it though, fool yourself into thinking that being all someone needs is a lovely thing and not an animal trapped in a hot car, not an insect that wants to share your light, not just because there are no others. You can pretend that being that small and dependent on something outside of yourself is not a frightening thing. You can block out the message but then you’d lose the unexpected tenderness behind it. Another example of Radiohead confusing you with contrasts; a gossamer melody paired with pointed words. It’s all wrong, it’s all right.
Two things I love in this Scotch Mist performance (starts at 1:28): the head/torso/shoulder bass-responding moves that Yorke puts out, the tulle-like delicacy of the J. Greenwood’s sugarplum fairy Rhodes flutters and the way they are all locked so beautifully into the groove.
*Actually, there is one: “I Might Be Wrong”. Seriously. Pelvic thrusting blues riff aside, check out the lyrics. Not much for a slow dance but I don’t think that’s the intention.