kottke.org posts about Radiohead

First photo of RadioheadMar 25 2013

Technically this photo was taken several years (probably in 1986 or 1987) before Radiohead officially came to be, but it features four out of the five members, back when the group was called On a Friday.

Early Radiohead

From left to right, Thom Yorke, Phil Selway, Ed O'Brien, and Colin Greenwood. This occasion marked one of the last times that Yorke smiled for a photo. (via buzzfeed)

Weezer covers Paranoid AndroidJun 01 2011

Depending on how you feel about Weezer and Radiohead, this is either the best thing in the world or nails on a chalkboard.

(via devour)

Radiohead, bigger than The Beatles?Feb 22 2011

Tim Carmody gives props to Radiohead for their rare combination of longevity and relevance.

Still, I think music fans and cultural observers need to grapple with this a little: Radiohead's first album, Pablo Honey, came out 18 years ago. Here's another way to think about it: when that album came out, I was 13; now I'm 31. And from at least The Bends to the present, they've commanded the attention of the musical press and the rock audience as one of the top ten -- or higher -- bands at any given moment. You might have loved Radiohead, you might have been bored by them, you might have wished they'd gone back to an earlier style you liked better, but you always had to pay attention to them, and know where you stood. For 18 years. That's an astonishing achievement.

As Anil has his hands busy with a new baby, I'll wade in here and point out that Tim's examples don't include any pop, rap, R&B, or hip hop. Jay-Z hasn't been around as long as Radiohead, but he's getting there. The Beastie Boys had at least 15 years. Madonna and Michael Jackson each had 20 culturally relevant years, more or less. I'm probably forgetting a few, but yeah, that's still not a long list.

Out of nowhere, a new Radiohead album!!Feb 14 2011

At least out of nowhere for me...I had no idea this album was coming. Anyway, it's called The King of Limbs and the digital copy is out on Feb 19th. Huzzah!

The lost Radiohead albumDec 14 2010

It's called 01 and 10...ok, it's not really a lost album. But apparently if you take the first five songs from OK Computer (from 1997) and the first five songs from In Rainbows (from 2007) and alternate them, the songs fit together musically and lyrically to form a coherent album.

Consider that In Rainbows was meant to complement OK Computer, musically, lyrically, and in structure. We found that the two albums can be knit together beautifully. By combining the tracks to form one playlist, 01 and 10, we have a remarkable listening experience. The transitions between the songs are astounding, and it appears that this was done purposefully.

The lyrics also seem to complement each other. There appears to be a concept flowing through the 01 and 10 playlist. Ideas in one song is picked up by the next, such as "Pull me out of the aircrash," and "When I'm at the pearly gates, this will be my videotape."

(via prosthetic knowledge)

MP3 sound quality: good enoughSep 03 2009

Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood doesn't think that the supposed low sound quality of MP3s is something to get worked up about.

We had a few complaints that the MP3s of our last record wasn't encoded at a high enough rate. Some even suggested we should have used FLACs, but if you even know what one of those is, and have strong opinions on them, you're already lost to the world of high fidelity and have probably spent far too much money on your speaker-stands.

This conversation with Greenwood is part of a new series by Sasha Frere-Jones' on the sound quality of recorded music.

No more Radiohead albums?Aug 11 2009

Thom Yorke says that there will be no more Radiohead albums.

"None of us want to go into that creative hoo-ha of a long-play record again," he said. "Not straight off ... It worked with In Rainbows because we had a real fixed idea about where we were going. But we've all said that we can't possibly dive into that again. It'll kill us."

No!! (via @davidfg)

Kanye, Radiohead, mashupOct 29 2008

Love Lockdown + Reckoner. Kanye mashed up with Radiohead, I pretty much gotta post it. (via delicious ghost)

Radiohead and Google, together at lastJul 14 2008

Radiohead + Google + data visualization + lasers = I am contractually obligated to post this. Google has the backstory and some code for Radiohead's new music video, which was "filmed" using lasers instead of cameras. (via jimray)

Radiohead's Nude played by old computer hardwareJun 06 2008

An inventive cover version of Radiohead's Nude played by the following instruments: Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer, Epson dot matrix printer, HP Scanjet scanner, and an array of hard drives. Skip ahead to 1:08 if you can't wait through the opening. This isn't the correct technological time period to be steampunk. Bitpunk anyone? (via waxy)

Radiohead on iTunesJun 05 2008

After months/years of the band putting the kibosh on it, Radiohead albums are finally available through iTunes. (The albums have been available at Amazon's MP3 store for months.)

Short interview with bassist Colin Greenwood aboutApr 03 2008

Short interview with bassist Colin Greenwood about the State of Radiohead, among other things.

Pitchfork: The Pitchfork review of Hail to the Thief put forth the idea that "anything Radiohead does from here on out will sound like Radiohead"...

CG: That's like a late-night stoner comment. At about three in the morning -- after you've put on Captain Beefheart and you put the red scarf over the light bulb -- it makes a lot of sense. But the next morning you're like, "I don't know, maybe the world is fucked and we didn't solve it." So I don't know about that.

Sounds like he's got Pitchfork figured out. And as your musical sommelier, I'd recommend the 2007 In Rainbows with this interview.

A comparison of the Last.fm chartOct 17 2007

A comparison of the Last.fm chart and the official UK downloads chart after Radiohead's In Rainbows was released online last week. The top 10 on Last.fm: all Radiohead. Official chart: nada. (via adactio)

Marginal Revolution and CNN (and New YorkOct 11 2007

Marginal Revolution and CNN (and New York magazine and Reddit and etc.) asked their respective readers: how much did you pay for In Rainbows, Radiohead's new album which is only available as a pay-what-you-want download. I paid around £8.50 (~ US$17), which splits the difference between a typical album price in the UK and the US. (Actually, what I did was download it from elsewhere because Radiohead's online store was down yesterday morning and then went back to pay for it just now.)

Radiohead has a new album coming outSep 30 2007

Radiohead has a new album coming out called In Rainbows. It's only available from their site for now, either as a download (released Oct 10) or as a "discbox" that includes the CD, a bonus CD, two records, and assorted photos, books, etc. (released Dec 3). (via rex)

Update: Also, Radiohead is letting the buyer choose his/own price for the online album. This has been done before, notably by Magnatune, who offers albums for between $5 and $18 with a recommended price of $8...and people often pay more than the recommended. (thx, greg)

Update: Singer Jane Siberry does variable pricing for her music as well. Siberry also cleverly lists what other people are paying (currently $1.18 per song, a bit more than the recommended $0.99). Freakonomics explains. (thx, phil)

If you thought that Nevermind's 15th anniversaryJun 15 2007

If you thought that Nevermind's 15th anniversary made you feel old, try this one on: Radiohead's OK Computer was released 10 years ago tomorrow. (via 6f6)

This is brilliant: the weird video ofApr 06 2007

This is brilliant: the weird video of Dick Cheney lurking in the bushes during a press conference at the White House with Radiohead's Creep playing over it. "I want you to notice when I'm not around...." (via cyn-c)

Video of a live performance of CreepMar 08 2007

Video of a live performance of Creep by a Radiohead quite different than today's version.

Interview with Thom Yorke about politics, hisJun 26 2006

Interview with Thom Yorke about politics, his solo album, and Radiohead's impending (yet distant) new album. (via dooce)

Listen to three tracks from Thom Yorke'sMay 31 2006

Listen to three tracks from Thom Yorke's new solo project, the eraser. Radiohead it ain't, and I'm not sure I like it.

Neil is compiling a list of notableOct 07 2005

Neil is compiling a list of notable musicians who blog...help him out in the comments. So far, he's got Franz, Radiohead, Shatner (!), Ted Leo, M Doughty, etc.

Plastic recently considered the question of perfectAug 30 2005

Plastic recently considered the question of perfect albums, those where every song is great and you never want to skip over them. Philip compiled a list of the responses; Radiohead's OK Computer and Miles Davis' Kind of Blue came out on top.

Radiohead has a weblog, although it justAug 18 2005

Radiohead has a weblog, although it just got going and Thom's the only person who's posted to it so far.

Thirteen favorite albums of the last twenty yearsJul 11 2005

Spin magazine's recent list of the best albums from the last twenty years (as well as MSNBC's alternate list) got me thinking about what my favorites list from that era might look like. Since I'm not Spin and my musical opinion doesn't carry any weight, I felt free to list what I like, influenced me, continue to find enjoyable, and will still listen to in the future instead of what's actually good...whatever good means.

In rough chronological order and briefly annotated:

  • Nevermind, Nirvana - As I've mentioned before, I was a late bloomer musically. Nothing outside of Casey Kasem and his Top 40 countdown existed for me when I was a kid. And when you're listening to music like that, it's hard to get excited about music in general...I was pretty much apathetic about the whole thing. My freshman year in college, a guy on my floor got a nice stereo system for Christmas and when he threw on Smells Like Teen Spirit, that was it. I'm sure the bands and songs that opened your mind to the possibilities of music and life were a lot better, but you can't really choose how/why/when/where that happens.
  • Rave 'Til Dawn, Various - This is the worst album on the list but may be the most influential in terms of my future listening habits. For a kid who grew up in the country and went to college in a small Iowa city, hearing rave music for the first time was a complete revelation for me. I had no idea people were making music like this, so fast, so joyous, so unlike anything that anyone I knew would enjoy listening to. I loved it immediately and have been a huge fan of electronica ever since.
  • The Chronic, Dr. Dre - Introducing Snoop Doggy Dogg, probably my favorite rapper. So smooth. And Dre's beats are among the best in the business.
  • Siamese Dream, Smashing Pumpkins - College junior, couldn't get laid...isn't this what I was supposed to be listening to?
  • The Downward Spiral, Nine Inch Nails - I still tell anyone who will listen that Closer is one of the best pop songs ever made. Pretty Hate Machine was probably the better album, but I fell in like with this one first.
  • Entroducing..., DJ Shadow - One of the most solid debut albums in the past 20 years.
  • Orblivion, The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds is my favorite song from The Orb, but Orblivion is the album I'll never get tired of. Saw them spin/play live in Minneapolis once and when Toxygene came on, it was almost religion.
  • Homework, Daft Punk - Around the World is my answer to the question, "if you were stranded on a desert island and could only take one song with you, what would it be?" I've probably listened to it about a thousand times in the past 8 years and I'm still not sick of it.
  • OK Computer, Radiohead - Somehow it wasn't until mid-2000 that I heard this album (old habits die hard), but it didn't take long to become a favorite. Still their best...although I haven't given their earlier stuff the attention everyone I know says it deserves. Radiohead = favorite band.
  • Bedrock, John Digweed - Cheesy trance music, but I love it. This album reminds me of my (then) new Jetta and fine times in Minneapolis.
  • Agaetis Byrjun, Sigur Ros - I found Sigur Ros while poking around on Napster looking for an advanced copy of Radiohead's Amnesiac. Boy, I thought, this Amnesiac album is going to be fantastic, but what happened to the vocals? Oh, heh.
  • Boards of Canada, Geogaddi - I can't remember how I found out about Boards of Canada. Online somewhere probably, downloading mp3s off of Limewire or something. After hearing a few songs, I immediately procured Geogaddi and Music Has The Right To Children from my nearest CD shop. Fantastic stuff...they make me wish I could make music.
  • Give Up, The Postal Service - Might be too early to tell, but I think this is a classic.

Conclusions: I seem to like all sorts of music, but the common thread is the mainstream-ness of these albums; they're typically the most popular examples of a particular genre, style, or time period. Gangsta rap wasn't that mainstream at the time, but The Chronic went multi-platinum. Nevermind was grunge for the mainstream, and The Downward Spiral was one of the few industrial albums to make it big. The same for Rave 'Til Dawn, Daft Punk, DJ Shadow, Smashing Pumpkins, and Sigur Ros, if to a lesser extent.

Spin names Radiohead's OK Computer the bestJun 22 2005

Spin names Radiohead's OK Computer the best album from the last 20 years.

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