Can't Live Without My Radiohead

For the record (pun intended): I paid £2.00 for my copy of Radiohead’s In Rainbowslast Thursday (3,50€ or $5.00 including tax). In short, the music was well worth the price, this from a hardened music scribe spoiled by free advance music for the past 15 years. Here’s to more name-your-own-price Internet downloads sold by millionaire musicians.

An instant classic, “House of Cards” distills everything you’ll like about the song into its first 30 seconds: the echo vocals, the guitar-lick hook. Sounds like a love song, but listen close and you’ll hear Thom Yorke’s lyric longing for “tonight” actually ain’t “tonight” but “denial.” The computer chip percussion of Kid A is trotted out for the opener “15 Step” then pretty much retired. The suckerpunch real opener is “Bodysnatchers,” the type of piledriving, postmodernistic rock you might’ve expected to be listening to by the time we reached the 2000s. “Reckoner” will make you wonder why hiphop has already drawn in Coldplay’s Chris Martin, twice, and not Radiohead’s Thom Yorke (yet). “All I Need” is great; “Jigsaw Falling Into Place” comes girded by Yorke’s bluesman-like moaning, just waiting for Moby’s sampler to program it into place.

I might’ve jumped the gun voting Thom Yorke’s solo record The Eraser one of the best albums of last year. In retrospect, it was really just a vote cast for the type of creativity and experimentalism he and Radiohead stand for. I got a great Radiohead concert story about getting tossed out of Madison Square Garden for smoking a blunt to “Dollars & Sense,” but I’m saving it for an anthology believe it or not (more info soon). This is where I came in (circa 1993); here’s “Creep”: