It’s bloody horrible outside. The weather’s cold, wet and wild, and the sky is an uninspiring shade of grey. We spent the day shuffling around like zombies and waiting for five o’clock. It’s hard to get going on days like this, so I really need the right tune to pick me up.
Fluorescent Radiation, from Foetus’s soundtracky side-project Manorexia, is just such a treat. It makes me feel exactly like I’m being given a nice hot bath and a back rub after a really hard day – more overwhelming relief than mere enjoyment. With each alternately jarring and soothing stroke of the strings, it feels like knots of tension being teased out of my spine.
John Carpenter’s 1983 adaptation of a Stephen King novel has aged well. “Christine” is a ’58 Plymouth Fury – a classic car in bad shape – but nerdy teen Arnie (Keith Gordon) thinks he can fix her right up. He just underestimates just how much it will cost him.
The plot is pretty standard fare for King, and events unfold predictably enough. The satisfyingly evil villains meet satisfyingly gruesome ends, and the film is a fairly fun slasher movie when all is said and done.
If you are in a band, you are going to be lusted after by fans in the audience. Being a “sex symbol” is on page one of the job description – and fitting any narrow definition of conventional beauty is immaterial: even Thom Yorke is sexy when he’s dancing like a loon.
I do recall a friend, when I was in my early teens, vowing to “never wash again” when she was splashed with the sweat of the lead singer of the band we were watching. The same girl accidentally sent Richie flying when she burst into the Manic Street Preachers’ dressing room, gasping that she “really respects their music”, while really meaning that she wanted to do things to him that monkeys wouldn’t do to each other. Bless her! She was just 14. That lust, even underaged and unrequited, is part of the job – as was the obligation to scribble an autograph and politely send her away.
Even so, there are boundaries to the expression of said adoration. I don’t think anyone would advocate groping band-members of any age or gender, because really it’s just not on. What’s a guy to do, go on stage with a Do Not Touch notice pinned on to his hairy chest? Sometimes you can get away with stuff at a gig that you couldn’t outside the venue, but sheesh. Nick’s hilarious, spot-on reaction earns my eternal respect.
We were arguing about music generally, and then J linked me to a band he’d been listening to recently called Mastodon. This isn’t the actual song he linked to, but I think this otherwise fairly generic metal song does have some interesting bits, and I’d stand to hear more.
Last one here, and as we found out yesterday, I will keep buying Radiohead albums as long as they make good ones. I was never particularly enamoured with Pablo Honey, but The Bends, OK Computer and In Rainbows are among my favourite ever records. At the persuasion of The Internet, I’ve been forced at gunpoint to listen to the three Radiohead albums I didn’t have the patience with before, so here I am – for the last time – with Hail to the Thief.
2 + 2 = 5 opens strongly, but tapers rather than builds towards the centre. The explosion of sound in the second half sounds oddly muted – more of the vague angst of Pablo Honey than the middle class rage of The Bends. It’s almost punky, but without the energy.
By the time Sit Down Stand Up kicks in, I’ve worked out why I’m just not getting on with these albums. Let’s pause a moment to reflect on the good albums, and take the opening tracks: Continue reading →
I will, of course, put my money where my mouth is. The one Radiohead album I’ve truly despised is the one I paid the most for, but if Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief have even three truly good songs apiece (which Spotify shall reveal), I’ll buy each album, so there is a point to this.
I’ll admit to being intrigued from the first few bars of Packt Like Sardines in a Crushed Tin Box, since this isn’t what I was expecting them to do. Strange sampled clangs start and stop unpredictably. When the song does kick in, it’s immediately a lot more interesting than anything on Kid A. Oh, I like this right away. It’s not just using the sounds of IDM, it’s understanding how dance music actually works. It’s not just the beats and the samples, but the textures and flow that’s important. If you keep this up, Radiohead, you’ve just made a sale.