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Old 07-05-2006, 05:22 PM   #61
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I was wondering, has anyone heard anything new about Ed's solo project?
nope.. haven't heard of anything.
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Old 07-05-2006, 07:04 PM   #62
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I just uncovered the June 26, 2006 issue of The New Yorker on my desk and to my surprise found a nice article on Radiohead. It's a thoughtful review written by someone who isn't a fan but who came to appreciate them after seeing 3 shows on the tour. She has an interesting perspective, particularly on the new material. I'm posting the whole article here because I'm guessing it will disappear soon.

Reassessing Radiohead by Sasha Frere-Jones
The New Yorker, June 26, 2006

Radiohead doesn’t sell as many records as some other major rock groups, like Coldplay or U2, but it has hundreds of thousands of fans in the United States, who have stuck by the band for fourteen years—even though the spacious, colorfully ambient music that the group has been making lately is unlike the traditional guitar rock it débuted with. Last year, Spin voted Radiohead’s 1997 album, “OK Computer,” the No. 1 album of the past twenty years, and this month readers of NME, the influential British weekly, voted it the fourth-best album of all time, behind Oasis’s “Definitely Maybe” and two Beatles albums. “OK Computer” is this generation’s “Dark Side of the Moon”—complex and catchy songs surrounded by wobbly, atmospheric music that suggests that the band is up to more than fans will ever figure out, even if they listen to the album every day. I seem to know about a hundred of these fans, and they constantly urge me to give the band a chance. Until recently, I hadn’t seen much point in doing so.

The lead singer and main songwriter, Thom Yorke, has essentially three singing styles: a tired snarl, a reedy drone, and a light falsetto. His performances rarely get far before the words dissolve into a moan. On early Radiohead albums, Yorke’s lyrics were sombre expressions of juvenile anomie: cars are dangerous, robots are no fun, plastic surgeons do sad, thankless work. After that, his lyrics became shorter and more oblique, often ending in sentence fragments that were repeated again and again, as if such persistence would give the words greater meaning. (“I will eat you alive,” he groans fifteen times in “Where I End and You Begin,” from 2003.) While Yorke sings, the band makes a wide, soupy sound that seems both a product of and an invitation to stoned passivity.

Yet several of the band’s songs got lodged in my head, and after seeing Radiohead perform three times in the past two weeks and listening repeatedly to its recordings—including Yorke’s plangent, largely electronic new solo album, “The Eraser”—I’ve discovered that with each successive record the fog around the music dissipates a little and Radiohead’s luminous teamwork comes more clearly into view.

I still don’t like Yorke’s lyrics, and I wish that the melancholy that Radiohead favors were not the status quo for so many rock bands. But then the group, which consists of four men in addition to Yorke, is not, strictly speaking, much of a rock band: catharsis, speed, and violence are generally absent from its work. Radiohead’s gift is in creating compositions thick with intricate harmonies. At a performance in Boston earlier this month, the melody of “Fake Plastic Trees,” from the 1995 album, “The Bends,” sounded like the second theme of a Schubert string quartet: Yorke’s voice mimicked the timbre and varied dynamics of a violinist bowing. While deforming the words, he revealed the melody’s elegance, which I couldn’t hear before I saw him sing it. Yorke, as his early sponsor Michael Stipe once did, plays his voice the way his bandmates play their instruments, and he has impressively consistent pitch. Radiohead sounds like an instrumental band that happens to have a singer.

In Boston, the stage was decorated with ten rhomboid-shaped screens, which hung behind the musicians. At first, the screens were covered with glowing green dots. Later, they displayed closeup video images of the band members, or parts of them—the drummer Phil Selway’s hands, Yorke’s head from below, the neck of Colin Greenwood’s bass guitar. Live, the band is as fluid and sparkly as it can be arid and mopey on recordings. Yorke does much more than sing. By the fifth song, he had already played guitar, keyboards, and a pared-down drum set. For the airy, gorgeous “Morning Bell,” from “Kid A” (2000), he was in his falsetto mode, singing brightly and playing a Fender Rhodes electric piano, while Selway locked into a clipped pattern and Greenwood plucked a small, hopeful figure high on the neck of his bass.

The band is recording a new album, and on its current tour is trying out at least twelve new songs. Several reprise the hushed, hypnotic mood of “Amnesiac” (2001) and “Hail to the Thief” (2003). The lovely “Videotape,” which invokes death and Mephistopheles (Yorke opens with “When I’m at the pearly gates, this’ll be on my videotape”), slowly ramps up and then down, the guitars and the drums bobbing around Yorke’s piano chords, emphasizing different beats of the rhythm, as if three songs were slowly becoming one.

Most of the new songs are surprisingly upbeat. “15 Step” pivots on a stuttering drum-machine pattern and prompted Yorke to dance across the stage in a happy jig, his arms raised above his head like a club kid’s. For “Bodysnatchers,” Yorke began alone, playing a short, bluesy riff—a surprisingly conventional figure. Then the band joined in: Ed O’Brien and Jonny Greenwood, both on guitar, and Phil Selway, who launched into a single-minded Krautrock drumbeat. At first, Yorke’s melody sounded like a paraphrase of George Harrison’s “Within You, Without You,” but, as the notes smeared into one another, Yorke sang what may be the ultimate Radiohead lyric: “I have no idea what I’m talking about, I am trapped in this body and can’t get out.” After a few verses, he worked himself up to a peak of wordless sound, while the guitars played odd, dissonant chords. Suddenly, the guitars dropped back in quiet unison, then surged forward again for an intense but brief coda that was as close to straight rock and roll as anything the band played that night.

More typical was the arrangement for “Everything in Its Right Place,” a pulsing song built around Yorke’s gentle vocals and twinkly electric piano chords, which recalled Miles Davis’s “In A Silent Way.” O’Brien and Jonny Greenwood—Colin’s brother and the band’s unofficial co-leader—were on opposite sides of the stage, each hunched over a small electronic box called a Kaoss pad that allowed them to record and manipulate samples of Yorke’s piano and singing. When the band left the stage, the devices remained, playing the distorted bits in an endless loop.

After a second encore, Yorke came to the front of the stage, grinning widely. The crowd howled. He rubbed his hands together, as if they were cold, and held them up, palms out, as if he were about to perform a magic trick. It seemed spontaneous, half greeting, half nervous tic, and the audience responded by holding out their palms to him. Smiling, Yorke repeated the gesture three times.

Radiohead has much in common with the Grateful Dead, including passionate fans who follow the band from city to city, trade bootleg recordings of shows, puzzle out the meanings of the band’s cryptic lyrics, and (in Boston, at least) dance badly while smoking expensive-smelling weed. But Radiohead’s main interest is not improvisation, nor do the band’s affinities to modern classical music and electronica mask the fact that its dominant syntax is pop. The songs mutate briskly, and are larded with hummable motifs. Even when Jonny Greenwood is fiddling with a radio and Yorke is ululating toward the great unknown, the band obeys an internal clock that arrests its elaborations before tedium defeats wonder. Most of the songs aren’t long—only a few last more than six minutes, even live. The band plays nimble, bright-eyed arrangements of dense, heavy-lidded music.

Radiohead no longer has a contract with EMI and says that it has no plans to sign with a label. However the band chooses to release its next record, it can still make a handsome living by touring and selling merchandise. Labels spend a lot of time and money worrying about illegal downloading and file-sharing. What they should be worried about is more bands like Radiohead, which could make major labels a relic of the twentieth century.
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Old 07-05-2006, 11:01 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
I just uncovered the June 26, 2006 issue of The New Yorker on my desk and to my surprise found a nice article on Radiohead.


You're right, this is an interesting perspective, coming from someone new to the band. I've always thought the same thing with the classical music comparisons. Radiohead songs often share that genre's range of emotion and complex arrangement.

With Miles Davis, it's funny...I saw a show on PBS about him a few weeks ago. It documented how successful he was with Jazz, and later, how he went a little nutty while incorporating techno beats and synthesizers to back-up the horn section. It was weirdly intoxicating, and completely Kid A-type material.
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:44 AM   #64
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very interesting article! I like their insight on the band. Thanks for posting it!
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:22 PM   #65
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Originally posted by joyfulgirl


Reassessing Radiohead by Sasha Frere-Jones
The New Yorker, June 26, 2006

. . . “OK Computer” is this generation’s “Dark Side of the Moon”—complex and catchy songs surrounded by wobbly, atmospheric music that suggests that the band is up to more than fans will ever figure out, even if they listen to the album every day.

I don't know about the rest of you, but this comment, and article as a whole, really bothers me. To me it comes off as snotty, haughty, condescending and rude.

Just because this woman has been to 3 Radiohead shows, and seems to be intelligent with a large vocabulary, gives her the right to insult us fans, who have loved and lived with this music for a decade and a half?

I am intelligent and have a decent vocabulary to call upon, but I would never dain to listen to a band I've never heard before (solely three times) and then write a pretentious, ostentatious article about the band, all the while making bold, grand pronouncements about the music I've just heard and its fans, who have been around far longer than I.

If the article was just about her first impressions of a band she's never heard beore, then that would be one thing. But her whole condescending, know-it-all attitude which permeates this entire article, just rubs me the wrong way.

Ok, my bitching is done. But I, for one, do not like this woman or her article.
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:39 PM   #66
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Wow, I really don't get your beef with the article at all. I found it intelligent, not pretentious, and honest, and very favorable towards the band even after establishing upfront that she had not been previously been a fan. I did not find the quote you singled out in the least bit offensive, not to fans nor to the band. I interpreted it as meaning that she recognizes the band has a lot of depth, so much so that a fan can actually hear something new everytime they listen to Ok Computer. I'm actually not all that interested in reading only rave reviews about any band I like. I like constructive criticism. I appreciated the time and thought she put into listening to and trying to understand a band that all her friends were into but she hadn't been able to get into until now.

Also, The New Yorker is above all else a literary magazine. Of course its writers are not going to be your standard rock critics and I appreciate the fresh point of view.
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:35 PM   #67
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Wow, I really don't get your beef with the article at all. I found it intelligent, not pretentious, and honest, and very favorable towards the band even after establishing upfront that she had not been previously been a fan. I did not find the quote you singled out in the least bit offensive, not to fans nor to the band. I interpreted it as meaning that she recognizes the band has a lot of depth, so much so that a fan can actually hear something new everytime they listen to Ok Computer. I'm actually not all that interested in reading only rave reviews about any band I like. I like constructive criticism. I appreciated the time and thought she put into listening to and trying to understand a band that all her friends were into but she hadn't been able to get into until now.

Also, The New Yorker is above all else a literary magazine. Of course its writers are not going to be your standard rock critics and I appreciate the fresh point of view.
First, I hope you know that my not loving the article is no reflection on you. I'm glad you found the article and cared enough to share it with the rest of us.

Second, my "beef" is just my opinion. I still stand by my original call that I find the portion of text I quoted to be pompous and pretentious and therefore, rude. I read the the quoted portion to be insulting, you read it to be something else. That is fine.

Third, I am well aware that The New Yorker is a literary publication. I often read it and rather enjoy the articles therein. However, I have read other New Yorker articles, which have been just as intelligent and erudite without smacking of condescension.

Fourth, I believe in my original post I admitted that the author was intelligent and had a great vocabulary. It is clear from her piece that she is literate and intelligent. Her intelligence was not my issue; the way she chose to present it was. It was the tone of her article which I did not appreciate.

Fifth, I enjoy fresh purviews as well, and I am not opposed to constructive criticism. Again, her criticisms of the band, the music and Thom were not what "rubbed me the wrong way". Her criticism of Radiohead fans' intelligence was.

Like minds may disagree. Perhaps no one else in this thread will agree with me and that is fine. I still have the same opinion and I was just sharing that opinion with the group. That is all.
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:58 PM   #68
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Her criticism of Radiohead fans' intelligence was.
So you really think that after admitting she knows about 100 Radiohead fans who have been urging her to listen to them, and then after all the lovely things she goes on to say about her experience at these shows, that she would insult their intelligence? I still think you're reading it wrong but I certainly don't take it personally. I readily admit that I haven't a clue what Radiohead are up to most of the time and I agree with her that few fans do--not just Radiohead fans but anyone's fans--since we're not inside the artists' heads. But I welcome yours and all differing opinions and I appreciate you taking the time to read the long article.
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Old 07-06-2006, 07:16 PM   #69
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I thought the article was saying that Radiohead's music is so complex that if defies understanding by anyone, not just fans. I think the word "fan" was used because those are the people who are going to be listening to the albums every day, not people who hate Radiohead or are indifferent to them.
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Old 07-06-2006, 07:17 PM   #70
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I thought the article was saying that Radiohead's music is so complex that if defies understanding by anyone, not just fans. I think the word "fan" was used because those are the people who are going to be listening to the albums every day, not people who hate Radiohead or are indifferent to them.
Well said.
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Old 07-06-2006, 09:05 PM   #71
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The thing I like about the article is how the author was apparently prepared to hate the band, but in the end, was completely convinced of their uniqueness. That was my impression, anyway. She's a little brazen at times, and the Grateful Dead comment had me rolling my eyes (it seems every band and their dog will eventually earn the GD tag if they stick around long enough - i.e., Pearl Jam, R.E.M.)
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Old 07-06-2006, 09:17 PM   #72
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The thing I like about the article is how the author was apparently prepared to hate the band, but in the end, was completely convinced of their uniqueness. That was my impression, anyway. She's a little brazen at times, and the Grateful Dead comment had me rolling my eyes (it seems every band and their dog will eventually earn the GD tag if they stick around long enough - i.e., Pearl Jam, R.E.M.)

i completely agree with you. that was my take on the article too..
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Old 07-06-2006, 09:31 PM   #73
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Originally posted by angelordevil
The thing I like about the article is how the author was apparently prepared to hate the band, but in the end, was completely convinced of their uniqueness. That was my impression, anyway. She's a little brazen at times, and the Grateful Dead comment had me rolling my eyes (it seems every band and their dog will eventually earn the GD tag if they stick around long enough - i.e., Pearl Jam, R.E.M.)
I thought the Grateful Dead comment was ridiculous, too. I disagreed with a number of things she said but like you, I liked how she was reluctant to even give them a chance and then ended up going pretty deep into them in a relatively short amount of time and ultimately walked away with what sounds to me like enormous respect.
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Old 07-27-2006, 09:20 PM   #74
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check this out..

My Iron Lung on Rockstar Supernova


Radiohead's 'My Iron Lung' was played on the new hit reality TV show, Rockstar Supernova. On the television series contestants compete for a shot at becoming Supernova's lead singer. Patrice sang her own rendition of 'My Iron Lung' to redeem herself, after receiving the least number of online votes last night. Watch the video here: http://www.supernovafans.com/modules...ge=watch&id=95

not a bad rendition of it.. i love this song btw!
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Old 07-28-2006, 02:01 PM   #75
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I haven't watched this season, but last season for RockStar: INXS, on one of the last shows they let Marty Casey sing Radiohead's "Creep". He did an ok job of it (considering he was auditioning for INXS) . . . kind of took it to its extremes, in a really hard rock kind of way. I'll have to check out this "My Iron Lung" rendition. Thanks for posting the link!
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