Posts filed under ‘Radiohead’
Radiohead ripped it up on The Colbert Report on Monday night, and despite the band’s aversion to sit-down interviews there were a number of highlights beyond the music. Colbert suggested the night would be a “mind-blowing evening for music nerds”. He joked that “in the event any Radiohead-heads totally lose their shit” he’d have a hipster-paramedic standing by. Colbert also mocked America’s obsession with finding musical talent via television programs. A hilarious theme for the night was Colbert’s pretend-love of corporations in stark contrast to Radiohead’s stance. (See image above.) The band graciously played along. Although, during on funny moment, lead singer Thom Yorke said that Colbert’s corporate sponsor, Dr. Pepper, “tastes like that stuff you get at the dentist to swill your mouth out.” Well, okay, he’s right about that one. (Although, admittedly, I enjoy a little swill every now and then.) Colbert replied, “Well, Thom. He is a doctor.” The band also mentioned that it sold less records, but made more money by self-releasing “In Rainbows” as a digital download that customers could order for whatever price they saw fit. The video below, of “Morning Mr. Magpie”, will give you a taste of their performance. The band also played “Bloom”, “National Anthem”, “The Daily Mail”, “Codex”, and “Little By Little” — that you can watch at The Colbert Report’s official website. – David D. Robbins Jr.
Radiohead: “Morning Mr. Magpie” (Live on The Colbert Report”)
Thanks to Radiohead’s website Dead Air Space there’s another widget for issue No. 3 in the band’s remix series, in the shops on August 1st (August 9th in the USA & Canada). The remixes are from Radiohead’s latest release “The King of Limbs”. This third series contains remixes from Four Tet, Lone and Pearson Sound.
Here’s a new Radiohead track called Staircase, taken from their upcoming “From The Basement” session. Oh — and they have a guest drummer, Clive Deamer, helping out Phil Selway. — David D. Robbins Jr.
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke loves to push music he likes. Whether it’s playing surprise DJ shows at the Low End Theory in Los Angeles with pal Flying Lotus, or just posting playlists at Radiohead’s ‘Dead Air Space’ website. Spreading the love is a good thing among musicians. I can respect that. So, here’s the latest Yorke playlist this week, which features a range of cuts, all ending with the ultimate fade out, Billie Holiday’s “Guilty”. Click on the links to go to a YouTube video with each song. 1. Burial “Stolen Dog”; 2. Carol Ann “Soft Machine”; BLO “Chant to Mother Earth”; 4. Brokenchord “Lowe”; 5. Massive Attack “Paradise Circus”; 6. Aloe Blacc “Are You Ready?”; 7. Mono/Poly “Vibrations (Alternate)”; 8. Jaques Greene “Another Girl”; 9. Billie Holiday “Guilty”. – David D. Robbins Jr.
Radiohead is celebrating this Record Store Day with the release of a limited-edition two-track 12-inch vinyl record. Maybe there’s something to the fact both these songs, “Supercollider” and “The Butcher” are about taking things apart — one in the most scientific way possible, and the other by hacking with a cleaver. It fits the motif of the band’s most recent release, “The King of Limbs”, with its images of a world teetering somewhere between catastrophic destruction and cosmic discovery. The first track, “Supercollider”, begins with these lyrics of emergence: “Supercollider / Dust in a moment / Particles scatter / Parting from the soup /Swimming upstream, before the heavens crack / Thin pixelations / Coming out from the dust.” There are flashes and hints of meaning. Images of “shadows” signalling both the “depressions” mentioned directly in the song’s lyrics — and perhaps the well-known stories of atomic bomb blasts so intense they burned people’s shadows into the walls of buildings. It’s a song the encapsulates the extremes of mankind. On one hand, we’re the makers of supercolliders measuring in miles, searching for the meaning of the world in a speck. On the other hand, we’re the same creators that killed a quarter of a million people in two bomb drops over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Okay, trying to pin down a Radiohead track is as fruitful as trying to catch the wind in a net. And frankly, songs are so much better when they have loose ends, insinuations, unique imagery, and contradiction. “Supercollider” is a terrifyingly beautiful and sprawling track, lasting just over seven minutes. It’s quite good, even by Radiohead standards, and reminiscent of “Separator” (the best song on “The King of Limbs”) — with Thom Yorke floating his haunting falsetto over textured electronics, warped synth, hollow percussion, and metronomic blips. “The Butcher” feels even darker and more personal. It begins ominously, with deep organ notes, thudding percussion, and Yorke’s eerie crooning: “Beauty will destroy your mind / Spare the gory details / Give them gift wrapped / For the man with everything.” – David D. Robbins Jr.
By David D. Robbins Jr. | Their Bated Breath
Radiohead “The King of Limbs”
Illustration by David D. Robbins Jr.
(Composite uses photos, public domain images)
I read the early review of Radiohead’s “The King of Limbs” in the UK Guardian, which said the album wasn’t breaking any new ground. Well, that’s not a great barometer for how good a record is. Let’s face it, if you want a record to be memorable, often you need melodies, familiarities, and touchstones amid all the ‘newness’. And that means sounding, er, like yourself. It’s what makes great albums part of the collective consciousness. I remember once reading a critic who wrote that Led Zeppelin sounded too much like Led Zeppelin on a record. How silly is that? This record is a progression from “In Rainbows” and even “Hail to the Thief” (the first is not one of my favorites, outside of the stellar “15 Steps”, and the latter felt good but incomplete). “The King of Limbs”, at a quick 38 minutes total, isn’t old territory at all. In fact, it begins with a rather eccentric track, “Bloom”, which seems to do just that — carrying on the flowery theme that also finds a place on “Lotus Flowers” and in the lyricism of “Separator”. The first new track is glitchy and modern, with a touch of soul. Thom Yorke has definitely been listening to his Flying Lotus “Cosmogramma”. The track blossoms into a heavy marching percussion, looped piano, scratchy interruptions, warm-liquid horns — all with an orchestral feel.
But it’s with “Morning Mr. Magpie” that I really start getting excited about this record. Frenetically powerful bass-guitar thumps mix with atmospheric lead guitar, into a chorus melody that reminds me of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s” track, “Within You Without You”. (Seriously, listen to both, you’ll hear it.) It’s gorgeous. It’s a menacing song, with Yorke singing in cryptic Radiohead fashion, “You got some nerve coming here / You got some nerve coming here / You stolen it all / Give it back / You stole it all / Give it back / Good Morning Mr. Magpie … / You know you should, but you don’t … / Good morning Mr. Magpie / How are you today? / They have stolen all the magic / Took my melody.” It sounds like a missive aimed at those lacking the ability to understand real self-expression and ultimately art. “Little By Little”, is a haunting song built on creepy guitar lines that snake into beautifully sinister notes, flamenco, and interplay between the Greenwoods and Ed O’Brien. At about the three-minute mark the song begins to unravel into guitar forays mimicked by Yorke’s high-pitched, fairytale-gone-wrong chanting.
Well, let the zillion-music blog debating begin. I’ve already read a handful of nonsense reviews proclaiming this track is terrible or self-indulgent, with Thom Yorke dancing spastically in front of a camera in black and white. Frankly, I love both the video and the music. This is more in the style of “Kid A” and “Amnesiac” than the rocking out of “The Bends” or “OK Computer” — which is fine by me. It’s got that Radiohead vibe I like — cryptic and yet melodic. Yorke sings a pleasant high-falsetto: “There is an empty space inside my heart where the weeds take root … / Slowly we unfurl, like lotus flowers. “ Honestly folks, if the record is more of this, I can’t wait. Listening to it now. A review to follow. – David D. Robbins Jr.