Friday, March 09, 2007

Just because you feel it doesn't mean it's there

Hail to the Thief was the fifth straight Radiohead album to be nominated for a Grammy - Best Alternative Album. (Why do they continue to call it "alternative" when it's pretty much all I listen to?) Lame as the Grammy's may be, you know you are making an impact when you are hailed as an indie savour, while simultaneously being recognized by mainstream awards like the Grammy's.

But I'm afraid Hail to the Thief, Radiohead's most recent studio album, is going to be shortchanged by me today, as the day somehow
got away from me, as Fridays often will.

So I will let the songs speak for themselves. I must first tip my hat, though, to the video game noises on Sit Down. Stand Up and the slow dirge-like hand claps on We Suck Young Blood.

And if you are deriving any enjoyment out of this Radiohead week series at all, then I urge you to visit Fearless, who is offering some very fine Radiohead b-sides. Fearless' theory (and I believe he is absolutely right) is that you know a band is great when their b-sides would be anybody else's a-sides. That is certainly true of Radiohead. Please go listen to the song Fog, if nothing else. You won't regret it.

We haven't really watched any Radiohead concert footage yet (with the exception of that Thom Yorke dancing clip), and this footage of the performance of There There is exceptional. Not only is it a beautiful song, but it clearly highlights all the band members performing their magic. Too often concert footage of Radiohead concentrates solely on Thom, and while he is mesmerizing and imminently watchable, Jonny, Ed, Colin, and Phil are all amazing musicians and performers in their own right and deserve to be showcased as well. This performance has some fabulous moments when the entire band except Thom is on drums. Marvelous stuff.

Today's Friday Random Playlist is not entirely random, as I began it with a random pick from Hail to the Thief naturally, in honour of Radiohead week:

Myxomatosis - Radiohead
Birds and Stars - Natalie Merchant with Billy Bragg & Wilco
Bastards of Young - the Replacements
Brave New World - Public Image Ltd
the Beat - Elvis Costello
Funky Monks - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Time's Arrow - the Weakerthans
Our Lady of the Shooting Stars - Mary Gauthier
a Summer Wasting - Belle and Sebastian
the Boy in the Bubble - Paul Simon
Finally, I apologize for hogging your blogging time, but it is shameless self-promotion time again.

Have you heard the new Bloc Party album, A Weekend in the City? Did you think it lived up to expectations after their debut Silent Alarm took the world by storm?

Do you care what I thought?

Please drop by the Record Room for my review of A Weekend in the City. Once again I will attempt to lure you into a dark alley with mp3s. And maybe I will open my trenchcoat.


Malnurtured Snay said...

I guess it means you live an alternative life, don'tcha think?

Allison said...

Huzzah!!! I'm excited to read your review about Bloc Party, as we've discussed, I think A Weekend in the City is very much a slow burner, but holds a strong flame.

Toccata said...

The lure of the alley is just too enticing I'm on my way there now.

Dale said...

Nice reviews everywhere Barbara. You really are brilliant at it. The Radiohead week's been a success I'd say!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the nod Barbara. I remember the first time I heard Myxomatosis it was a live recording and I too was gobsmacked by the drums.
Nice random playlist, I love Funky Monks.
And in my opinion A weekend in the city is better than silent alarm. Definitely a move forward.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Sadly, no, Mal Snay, my life is pretty conventional. I'm not really a boring person, though, I just play one in real life.

Have to agree with you, Al. It's impact is not as immediate as Silent Alarm's, but it's deeper.

I'll be waiting, Toccata. I'll be the one in the fedora.

Aw shucks, Dale. I hope I haven't bored too many people, but I've been enjoying the exercise. And I may have to do this again in 10 years when OK Computer turns 20.

You've been to a Radiohead concert, haven't you, Fearless? From what I've seen of concert footage, they would be an amazing band to see live (and are on my list of bands to see before I die), except for the hordes of obnoxious audience members.
I think Weekend in the City shows real growth and proves that Bloc Party has staying power.