radiohead

Showing 58 posts tagged radiohead

A discography
1993  A journal of pre-weekend evenings, teen years, University rambling, hometown breaks and holidays. They are talented but feel the need to be sloppy, a deliberate smudge of grease on the face to show the car crash. Not that there aren’t vulnerability-glimpses, there’s plenty of those. How they’re crazy about a girl but don’t have that mixture of confidence and machismo necessary to win her. Hence What The Hell Are We Doing Here which will play everywhere because it’s a theme song. By the time this happens they’ll wish it hadn’t but it’s too late. Everyone sits alone at a party at some point. Their prickly president sings real good. Push him to the front.
1995  Holy crap, can they play guitar. Like loads of ‘em, more than you’d heard before, pedals galore! On the home front, they won a better girl but things haven’t changed much; it’s a different dissatisfaction. The kind that awakens slowly to reach out to the outside world while still firmly rooted in the head. You are starting to recognize yourself in what they do. Their singer makes you sing along to everything, about a face you keep seeing on the train, about self-sabotage, about being so affected that you are helpless, about being left behind, about wishing wishing wishing something would happen.
1997  EVERYBODY FREAKS THE FUCK OUT FOR A YEAR. EVERYBODY JUST FREAKS THE FUCK OUT. MAGAZINES MAGAZINES MAGAZINES. PHOTOS PHOTOS PHOTOS. ALIENATION AND THE INTERNET. BLACK SWAN THEORY AND DREAD. THEY HAVE NAMES NOW. YOU KNOW THEIR NAMES. COLIN, THE CHARMING DIPLOMAT. THOM, THE BIG BOSS WITH THE BIG VOICE. JONNY IS A SCIENTIST. PHIL PLAYS BOSSA NOVA PROG. ED MAKES SOUNDS LIKE LOCUSTS TRAVELING THROUGH TIME AT THE END OF A SONG AND YOU CAN’T HEAR IT WITHOUT EXPECTING THE COMPUTER VOICE STARTING ON THE NEXT ONE. THEY ARE SAVING SO MANY THINGS BUT LOSING EVERYTHING ELSE. END OF YEAR LISTS AND GUITAR MAGAZINE TABS. PROMO SPOTS AND 22-HOUR FLIGHTS AND MISSED CALLS AND BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH. TIRED. THEY NEED TO
2000  Stop. Your mom hates them now. You don’t know what to think. This is not what you were expecting. Where are the guitars? your guitar playing friends say. You are surprised to find you don’t care. You like them this way, in gauze and white, with the crisp smell of pine trees, hovering over everything. Rolling over and looking into the eyes of someone you love. Even when they are not there and maybe they never were but their outline is burned into the air. They know and you know that this one is going to last and even the guitar maniacs will recognize. Give it a few years.
2001  What? They had more songs. Some of them insanely good. Mostly it doesn’t quite fit together. Probably because there is no story this time around. You listen to it when you do the dishes. They take a break.
2003  Hear that? That’s the sound of their amps getting plugged in. That was a joke. You think. It’s got the tidy structured songs people have been expecting. They probably could have made this one shorter, in fact you make a pastime of rearranging the track listing and cutting the fat. The thing is, they have much to say. They have lots of anger at outside things and they’d like to draw your attention to them. But they’re further away from you now too, more themselves. They have children and houses. You have student loans.
2007  Wait at your computer, click through a few things and listen. You and everyone you know with a desk job. You will all hear the songs at the same time more or less. They want to make you happy, are you happy? They’re happy. Like the colors on the cover happy. They are going to record themselves doing these songs live so they can continue this party at odd hours. You will hear them doing songs they really, really love and fall in love again yourself. You realize that you’ve been listening to them long enough to not worry too much about what they’re saying.
2011  This one is shorter. They had ideas, mainly about deconstruction. You like the small moments of beauty coming through but are generally cool to the package. There’s an over reliance on beat first, you love this, but not on everything. You miss the theme, you think it’s barely there, a collection of thoughts or a list of interesting things. No problem, it doesn’t affect them. They just keep going, that’s what they do. Add one more to keep the tea civil and the beats fresh but basically stay the same. 5 + 1. A Friday afternoon after rain. High-res

A discography

1993  A journal of pre-weekend evenings, teen years, University rambling, hometown breaks and holidays. They are talented but feel the need to be sloppy, a deliberate smudge of grease on the face to show the car crash. Not that there aren’t vulnerability-glimpses, there’s plenty of those. How they’re crazy about a girl but don’t have that mixture of confidence and machismo necessary to win her. Hence What The Hell Are We Doing Here which will play everywhere because it’s a theme song. By the time this happens they’ll wish it hadn’t but it’s too late. Everyone sits alone at a party at some point. Their prickly president sings real good. Push him to the front.

1995  Holy crap, can they play guitar. Like loads of ‘em, more than you’d heard before, pedals galore! On the home front, they won a better girl but things haven’t changed much; it’s a different dissatisfaction. The kind that awakens slowly to reach out to the outside world while still firmly rooted in the head. You are starting to recognize yourself in what they do. Their singer makes you sing along to everything, about a face you keep seeing on the train, about self-sabotage, about being so affected that you are helpless, about being left behind, about wishing wishing wishing something would happen.

1997  EVERYBODY FREAKS THE FUCK OUT FOR A YEAR. EVERYBODY JUST FREAKS THE FUCK OUT. MAGAZINES MAGAZINES MAGAZINES. PHOTOS PHOTOS PHOTOS. ALIENATION AND THE INTERNET. BLACK SWAN THEORY AND DREAD. THEY HAVE NAMES NOW. YOU KNOW THEIR NAMES. COLIN, THE CHARMING DIPLOMAT. THOM, THE BIG BOSS WITH THE BIG VOICE. JONNY IS A SCIENTIST. PHIL PLAYS BOSSA NOVA PROG. ED MAKES SOUNDS LIKE LOCUSTS TRAVELING THROUGH TIME AT THE END OF A SONG AND YOU CAN’T HEAR IT WITHOUT EXPECTING THE COMPUTER VOICE STARTING ON THE NEXT ONE. THEY ARE SAVING SO MANY THINGS BUT LOSING EVERYTHING ELSE. END OF YEAR LISTS AND GUITAR MAGAZINE TABS. PROMO SPOTS AND 22-HOUR FLIGHTS AND MISSED CALLS AND BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH. TIRED. THEY NEED TO

2000  Stop. Your mom hates them now. You don’t know what to think. This is not what you were expecting. Where are the guitars? your guitar playing friends say. You are surprised to find you don’t care. You like them this way, in gauze and white, with the crisp smell of pine trees, hovering over everything. Rolling over and looking into the eyes of someone you love. Even when they are not there and maybe they never were but their outline is burned into the air. They know and you know that this one is going to last and even the guitar maniacs will recognize. Give it a few years.

2001  What? They had more songs. Some of them insanely good. Mostly it doesn’t quite fit together. Probably because there is no story this time around. You listen to it when you do the dishes. They take a break.

2003  Hear that? That’s the sound of their amps getting plugged in. That was a joke. You think. It’s got the tidy structured songs people have been expecting. They probably could have made this one shorter, in fact you make a pastime of rearranging the track listing and cutting the fat. The thing is, they have much to say. They have lots of anger at outside things and they’d like to draw your attention to them. But they’re further away from you now too, more themselves. They have children and houses. You have student loans.

2007  Wait at your computer, click through a few things and listen. You and everyone you know with a desk job. You will all hear the songs at the same time more or less. They want to make you happy, are you happy? They’re happy. Like the colors on the cover happy. They are going to record themselves doing these songs live so they can continue this party at odd hours. You will hear them doing songs they really, really love and fall in love again yourself. You realize that you’ve been listening to them long enough to not worry too much about what they’re saying.

2011  This one is shorter. They had ideas, mainly about deconstruction. You like the small moments of beauty coming through but are generally cool to the package. There’s an over reliance on beat first, you love this, but not on everything. You miss the theme, you think it’s barely there, a collection of thoughts or a list of interesting things. No problem, it doesn’t affect them. They just keep going, that’s what they do. Add one more to keep the tea civil and the beats fresh but basically stay the same. 5 + 1. A Friday afternoon after rain.

There are two colors in my head

This is the sound of sweet morning struggle. The organ warmth doubles as bedclothes, kicked softly and folded over a limb. They are the perfect temperature, cool and comfortable. You are half out and half in, caught between two voices. The first tells you to pay attention to the details, the light, the smells, and the day. The second is the fever of sleep— loose, tumbling gibberish that’s nevertheless you, pulling you back down to unconsciousness. One arm up, reaching towards the surface, feet kicking down, a heavy ascent. The light wins, but for a little while, through the shower and the coffee, you get to keep those blue bits of color, the words in your ear. Even then, you’re losing what you learned, the hum and swirl is disappearing. By the time you reach the door, keys in hand, it’s gone.

Let’s ignore the clone tale hidden inside “Everything in its Right Place” and its attendant warped whirring kidakidakidakidakida whispers and concentrate on the feel of it. Thom Yorke and Phil Selway are the only ones on this track, the recording of which was a crucial event. There were frustrations within the band about how things were progressing, namely people not playing their accustomed instruments and not knowing what to do with themselves, and this track was Yorke’s fig. 1. Listen to this, he seems to be saying. It is still us. What we could be.

There is a gorgeous order and space here. It just breathes. Particularly after all the voices start to quiet down a bit, and we’re left back where we started, with the comforting keyboard telling us that everything is a-okay after all, even though it is clear that nothing will ever be the same again.

'Creep' times a million. I was 17, a huge Nirvana fan, and quickly turning into North Carolina’s #1 British indie/pop fan. The year that Pablo Honey came out was also when I got into Suede, Blur, The Auteurs, St. Etienne, etc etc. and the song 'Creep' in particular was a perfect bridge between the music I was moving away from (Nirvana-style “grunge” if we must) and the music that was going to dominate the next decade or so of my life. Unfortunately, as a result, I tended to only listen to that song and largely ignored most of the rest of Pablo Honey. Thus, I sold it in college and had to re-purchase the record some 10 years later.


One time my college roommate and I each had a girl over in our tiny dorm room and used The Bends as sonic cover for make-out privacy. an honest-to-goodness quote from his date that day, during “Planet Telex”… “Grrrross. I can’t take this guy’s singing! What? I’m a Randy Travis girl. I need to understand what a man is saying when he sings!” Three years later, she borrowed my copy of OK Computer and I never got it back.

Matthew T.

(Note: This week will be interspersed with quotes and comments on Radiohead fandom I have gathered from friends & helpful strangers via the very official and highly scientific Soft Communication Radiohead Questionnaire)

Creep

I Want You To Notice When I’m Not Around

On initial listen, the one that started it all didn’t impress her much. She was sitting on her then downstairs neighbors’ ratty plaid couch. Her on again/off again boyfriend had just moved out of their place and moved in with them so he could continue haunting The Girl. Normally, she would’ve found this arrangement hilarious but being The Girl was not a role she was used to playing and yet, there she was, doing it. Terribly. Sadness and giggles in equal dolorous measures.

The neighbors were identical twins and in true cliched form they were total opposites. What a crazy pair! One was excitable and sweet, his hair a black mess of curls, friendly and sensitive, a little prone to tears. The other, hair slicked back into a perpetually moist ponytail, was deeper voiced, solemn and snarky. He seemed more assured than his twin but was nowhere near as fun. They were good music conversationalists though and introduced her to Low and other candlelit bathtub classics of the 4AD ilk. 

That day Twin #1, we’ll call him K, had just gone to see this new band and was raving about them. Serendipitously, their video came on. She laughed. This is The Air That I Breathe! The Hollies? Seriously? Can’t you hear it? They did not. She focused on the singer and his well-lit cheekbones. He kept pushing out his lips in a Jagger-esque pout, getting them to hit the light just so. She disliked him instantly. Even when he sang that money note on the word run! and it was clear dude could SAAAANG. She put him in her mental hate vault and listened while K talked about dynamics, that dude’s voice, the guitarist that looked like a praying mantis with a fringe of black hair and his well placed bombs of jih! jank! JIH! JANK! Yeah, it was the kind of musical joke she liked but at the time she couldn’t laugh. Not then anyway.

That summer that song came back to haunt her. It was playing on the radio when The Boy called her at her mom’s house to tell her that he fucked the hostess at the Somerville Pizzeria Uno but even though it was good, he still loved her, far away in New York her, he was almost sure. It played at the supermarket on the corner of Broadway and McLean as she bought lemons and lettuce. It played at Tower Records on 68th St. where she was working for the Summer alphabetizing PAR to RUN. It played on her headphones as she slowly ate her single meal of Combos everyday. Her mother would turn it up at home and say, Conozco está canción, es igual a otra. Cual?

At first it was too much, all those repetitions, but then it changed. She heard the song differently; the way the piano came in at the end, bringing civility with it, resignation and a little bit of church-calm. She wound up seeing an interview with that band, Radiohead, and that voice, Thom Yorke. Without the lighting and the pout, he was just a pocket-sized smartypants with a nervous just-under-the-surface rage. Trying to smile but his sharp and wary eyes kept giving him away. She liked him more than that well lit video dude. Fine, she said, I give.

PS: See also: this guy is like, like uh, he’s down on himself

Haha. Yeah. I once drunkenly hooked up with a comedian who then wouldn’t leave me alone despite me never calling him back. This was back in the day of answering machines and he left some pretty hilarious messages. I remember standing in the kitchen of my apartment, pressing play and then hearing him sing “Don’t leave me high, don’t leave me dry” in this high out-of-tune voice. I can’t really hear “High and Dry” without thinking of that. I almost called him back after that one but…didn’t.

Allison T.

Last Flowers (Till The Hospital) [Live From the Basement]

You can offer me escape

"Last Flowers Till The Hospital", whether it’s fact or fiction, a lover addressed or an errant friend, has the discomfiting feeling of being way too close. You’re suddenly in a confrontation with a formidably intense person that you know very well and two shockers have come into play: a) they’re trying to keep their cool for once and b) this is because they blame themselves mostly and see you as part of the solution. 

The interesting thing about this vignette is that you, the person being addressed, don’t want to run away. You love this jerk. Yes, they’re kind of a nightmare but they’re your nightmare and not much of one at that, not at heart. Just a street to avoid at a certain hour and you know the exact times. Nevertheless, it comes as a surprise to hear them admit their faults and needs. So you sit down, and try to listen like they ask. The tiny piano plinks staccato as underneath the grievances but then everything goes airy at the mention of you and relief. Release? A very late night plea/early morning plea for understanding and acceptance.

Creep, the sequel? Not really but I like to think of it that way. Let’s say that particular (when) you (were here before) and (couldn’t look) me (in the eye) got together and stayed together, working out their tangles on the regular and giving the hairy eyeball to the idealized long term couple narrative.

According to Wikipedia, since 1995 (I had to look it up). I discovered them at a listening station at an HMV in midtown during lunch break from my shitty temp job. I liked it so much, I stayed and listened to the entire album, asked if they were on tour, bought tickets at the store for 12 bucks, then went and saw them at Tramps, about 6 feet from the stage, with some random girl, who’s name I no longer remember. Album: The Bends. Note: For what it’s worth this was pre-internet and pre-cellphone. Oh and great show!

Hanna K.