Wanna get baked and have some cookies with Radiohead's The Bends?
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
When enjoying your favourite album was still about inserting a disc into a slotâ¦
My, but that's a gluttonous mannequin.
When enjoying your favourite album was still about inserting a disc into a slotâ¦
My, but that's a gluttonous mannequin.
The download of Radioheadâs latest album, The King Of Limbs, was made available today, and with it, a clip from the first single, âLotus Flowerâ. Notice how it features Thom Yorke â looking like a strange cross between Bono and The Edge of U2, as filmed by Anton Corbijn â dancing on his own.
Thatâs made it really easy for the rise of a new meme: making Thom Yorke dance to other songs.
Hereâs Clem Bastowâs masterpiece: âThom Yorke Dances Alone To Ponyâ.
Another goody is âBenny Hill of Limbsâ, also known, after the musicâs proper name of âYakkety Saxâ, as âYorkety Saxâ.
Iâm also quite fond of âThom Yorke gets down to Single Ladies (Lotus Flower Dub):
But what about this gem: Thom dancing to the Trashmenâs âSurfinâ Birdâ, as âLotus Flower (Dance)â?
Itâs inspired, no doubt, from this earlier version:
Thom dancing to Shakiraâs âLocaâ isnât quite as good:
And now a Venga Boys remix!
But Iâm sure thereâll be more. Let me know so I can add them.
Itâs been on-line for a few days and, as all memes do, has reproduced itself all over the place: a new Radiohead song, apparently. Leaked. On YouTube. Not a film clip â just a still accompanying the music. But there are a multitude of stills accompanying the same soundfile, entitled âThese Are My Twisted Wordsâ, all over the internet now.
Iâve chosen to share the one posted by âJonnyswhoreâ because I quite like the still [s]heâs provided. Iâd like to think itâs from the sessions for âHarry Patch (In Memory Of)â â Radioheadâs most recent official release, in honour of the last known surviving British soldier to have fought in World War I.
I donât quite know what to make of this newest, leaked song. The first few seconds sound like a different song entirely â different drum beat, different music â until a disco beat â not unlike John Paul Youngâs âLove Is In The Airâ â barges in over the top. (Okay, whatâs happening is the drummer is âcounting the band inâ just after the tapeâs started rolling, guitars already strummed â maybe with a bit of whammy bar action; thatâs what it sounds like. The [programmed?] disco beat was probably added later.)
The opening lead guitar motif sounds reminiscent of The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn-era Floyd; the falling melody as well as the tone of the guitar suggest âAstronomy Domineâ to me.
At about 2 minutes 13 seconds in, the bass line is suddenly Frank Zappaâs âYa Hoznaâ from Them Or Us. About midway through the track, just when you want to start singing âNational Anthemâ from Kid A over the top, the lyrics kick in. By this time, the drums donât sound so obtrusive.
âThese Are My Twisted Wordsâ apparently first appeared as an MP3 file, embedded with the following info (courtesy of ateaseweb â Iâm not sure if thatâs âat ease webâ or âa tease webâ â via stereogum):
iiiiiii radiohead - these are my twisted words iiiiiii
iiii artist.......radiohead iiii
iiii title........these are my twisted words iiii
iiii label........?????????? iiii
iiii cat.nr.......????????? iiii
iiii style........'dificult' iiii
iiii nr of tracks.1 iiii
iiii total length..5.32 iiii
iiii audio source.CD Advance iiii
iiii encoder......LAME 3.93 iiii
iiii quality......320kbps/44.1kHz/Joint Stereo iiii
iiii size.........12,70 MB iiii
iiii ripper.......sca[GG]er iiii
iiii rls.date.....2009-08-17 iiii
iiii i just wanted to reassure readers iiii
iiii that following representations iiii
iiii seeking confirmation iiii
iiii that before your very eyes iiii
iiii behind the wall of ice iiii
iiii that the box is not under threat iiii
iiii however they are set to remove iiii
iiii other boxes iiii
iiii in fact i have the list in front of me iiii
iiii i went to a briefing on their plans iiii
iiii and challenged them to tell me iiii
iiiii exactly what the cost would be iiiiiii
iiiiiii they spoke in broad terms iiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiii we're looking for: talented puppeteers iiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiii worms, disgruntled executives, sacked flies iiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiii genres: doomcore, folktronica, ukf iiiiiiii
I hope it leads to a new album. I also hope this is a work-in-progress, that the finished version is different to this, making this one special. Thatâs if itâs authentic. I think it is: despite all the things the different bits remind me of, together they make a song that sounds like bona fide Radiohead to me. Judge for yourself.
Thanks to John Brannan and Kip Williams
One day I noticed in the back room of Egg Records a big box full of â I donât know â maybe a hundred different James Last records. I was impressed because I didnât think there were a hundred different James Last records. There certainly doesnât need to be a hundred different ones. Although Iâve never listened to even one James Last record, Iâm certain they all are of the same ilk of âmuzakâ, and so are interchangeable. The best thing about seeing so many of them in one place is being able to marvel at the kitsch cover art.
When pressed, my boss Ric admitted that not only had he acquired a hundred-odd James Last records, he had also ended up with an equal amount of James Last CDs. âBut I didnât buy them,â he was at pains to assure me. He had certainly taken possession of them with a big collection that he had recently bought, but, he insisted, throughout the negotiation of the purchase, he was adamant that he didnât want to buy any James Last records. And why would he buy them? He didnât want them, they didnât suit our shop, we surely couldnât expect customers to buy them from us. But the seller was just as adamant: he wouldnât sell his collection unless Ric bought the James Last records and CDs as part of it. âIâd already decided the amount Iâd offer him for the collection,â Ric explained. âThen, I thought, if he makes me take the James Last stuff, Iâd actually offer him less than if he agreed to keep them himself. So in the end, he lost money by making me take it.â
Fantastic. Although he didnât know it, some guy had effectively paid us a wad of cash to get rid of his James Last collection.
But who has the last laugh here?
Egg Records is a pretty cool shop. Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, like members of Spiritualized when they were in Sydney, shopped at Egg Records and raved about the store. Do we want to be a shop full of James Last records and CDs? Which musicians would rave about us then? Richard Clayderman, maybe. Klaus Wunderlich, if he hadnât passed away.
I know âeasy listeningâ and â
What on earth could we do with this shit?
I suggested we put them up on the wall and charge customers a buck for three darts, to chuck at them, maybe with prizes for the best shots.
The problem with this is, obviously, the charging of a buck for what must be every music-loverâs inaliable right: to chuck pointy projectiles at effigies of James Last. Besides which, thereâd always be one moron whoâd have someoneâs eye out, and it would all end in tears.
Ric came up with a better idea: suspending black markers from the ceiling, and mounting a bunch of covers as a wall disply, customers are invited to deface the covers as they see fit. Once the selection has been defaced, they will be replaced with a fresh batch. How cool is that!
For a closer look at the covers that came out slightly less blurred when snapped in a hurry during the dead period shortly before closing on a dull day, click here. (If I can be bothered, Iâll have another go during another lull in the working day. Or not.)
Taking the article âHatchet Piece (101 Things I Hate)â that appears in the book âCrackpot: The Obsessions of John Watersâ as read (which we should, because it was, by me, midway through an Arts degree when it was far more fun to read weird books on the lawn in front of the Main Quad at university than actually attend English, Psychology or Philosophy lectures), it turns out that I am not just one of the things John Waters hates, but in fact the one-hundred-and-first thing; the thing, he says, that he hates âmore than anything in the world: a person who confides, âI had the weirdest dream last nightâ¦ââ At the risk of angering the pontifex of perversity, I must tell you that this morning, shortly before I awoke, I had the most horrific dream I have had for some time.
When my dad died, I was plagued by dreams about him. Initially they were ultra-vivid visions: heâd be laying bright red bricks under a clear blue sky in the hot summer sun, and Iâd be helping him. Upon waking up, Iâd usually burst into tears â all those years of resenting having to play brickyâs labourer on weekends and school holidays when there was serious guitar playing, record shopping or flirting to be done, and now those days were the source of about the best memories my unconscious thought I had of the old man.
After the extra-sensory memory dreams came the stress dreams: often, the old man would have just discovered a terminal disease and weâd all panic and wonder how weâd cope if he didnât pull through. Iâd wake up relieved, knowing that it was just a dream, and then remember that he had been diagnosed with a terminal disease, that he hadnât pulled through, and that this sort of dream was part of the coping mechanism. I had a lot of these dreams in Italy especially, having gone over with my mum to settle the old manâs estate. In the early hours Iâd dream that he was lying in a death-like state, and panic would ensue until I realised I could hear him snoring. Then church bells would ring and all would be well. Iâd wake up, still hearing the church bells pealing from both our village cathedral and the one nestled on the side of the mountain facing our village, and realise that it was actually my mum snoring in the next room.
Although the emotions appear to be inverted, âinterpersonal relationshipâ dreams seem to be of a similar kind to the âcoping with the death of a loved oneâ dreams. They begin as erotic dreams prior to and during the actual interpersonal relationship, but afterwards theyâre just âallâs well in the relationshipâ dreams that invariably come after youâve been dumped. You awaken from a peaceful reverie to realise that, actually, allâs not well in your world. You suddenly realise that your stomach cavity is once again filled with lead, as it was when you woke up during the early hours of the previous morning. You wonder how on earth youâll get through another day and fall asleep again that evening. And so it goes...
My freakiest stress dream usually finds me sitting the English paper of the Higher School Certificate (commonly known as âthe HSCâ, Australiaâs âleaving certificateâ examination) again. I particularly recall having this recurring nightmare when facing extra difficult periods of employment, specificially at my last full-time job, as a Publications Co-ordinator at a school(!) Why the English paper? Possibly because it is the first examination in the HSC and so at the time was the most stressful; after getting through the first, the rest would have appeared less formidable. And yet, my less-frequently dreamt and scarier nightmare, in a similar vein, is of a mathematics exam. I donât know why.
Actually, my freakiest stress dream involves a scenario worse still than being thrown headlong into the examination scenario once again. It hasnât happened often, but occasionally I dream that I am on the stage, performing, but under-prepared. Originally, these dreams involved memories of actual performances Iâd been in, and amazingly, Iâd remember whole chunks of dialogue and song from school musicals. (âSo, if it ainât Prince Tiny and the âlittle leagueâ!â â my first line, as Freddie the Fidler, in Tin Pan Alley, the St Augustine's College musical from 1987. I was in Year 10. It featured girls from the local Catholic girlâs school, Stella Maris College, amongst whose ranks was a young Kym Wilson. She was fifteen, gorgeous and very popular amongst us horny and repressed Catholic school boys, so although I donât quite dream about her, I may have the occasional little âthinkâ about her before dropping off to sleep at night!)
Nowadays, these dreams still occasionally take place in the school auditorium. However, when they do not, school teachersâ faces accompany those of past employers throughout the audience. I am on stage alone. There is nothing prepared. I start to improvise. And it always goes well. Hats off to my Id! Why canât real life be that good?
So anyway, this morning I awoke from a dream that was worse than any of the above examples. In fact, I reckon it worse than all of the above put together. Hereâs my dream:
I return to the venue of a party â obviously a friendâs house in the dream, but one I donât recognise from my normal waking life â to retrieve a bunch of CD singles I left at the party the night before. But I canât find them. And I wonder why I possibly thought I could leave them to retrieve later. Amongst the missing items is the ultra-limited Costello/Nieve box set that was released nearly a decade ago now, as well as a pile of Radiohead CD singles, including the even older and rarer âDrillâ EP. Although I eventually find the Costello/Nieve box set (autographed, to boot! My copy ainât autographed in real life) I cannot locate any of the Radiohead stuff, and I am most miffed about losing the âDrillâ EP. I'm really despondent, disheartened, angry.
Eventually, I drift into wakefulness and start to tell myself I never took Radiohead CD singles to anyoneâs party. And then I realise Iâve never even seen a copy of the âDrillâ EP in real life, let alone owned one.
Do you think I should consider an alternative form of employment to working in a secondhand/collectibles music shop?