Sing us a Song to Keep us Warm, There's Such a Chill
June 16, 2012 12:06 PM   Subscribe

In the wake of their grunge-y breakout hit "Creep" and the success of sophomore record The Bends, Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead were under pressure to deliver once more. So they shut themselves away inside the echoing halls of a secluded 16th century manor and got to work. What emerged from that crumbling Elizabethan castle fifteen years ago today was a shockingly ambitious masterpiece of progressive rock, a visionary concept album that explored the "fridge buzz" of modernity -- alienation, social disconnection, existential dread, the impersonal hum of technology -- through a mosaic of challenging, innovative, eerily beautiful music unlike anything else at the time. Tentatively called Ones and Zeroes, then Your Home May Be at Risk If You Do Not Keep Up Payments, the band finally settled on OK Computer, an appropriately enigmatic title for this acclaimed harbinger of millennial angst. For more, you can watch the retrospective OK Computer: A Classic Album Under Review for a track-by-track rundown, or the unsettling documentary Meeting People is Easy for a look at how the album's whirlwind tour nearly gave Yorke a nervous breakdown. Or look inside for more details and cool interpretations of all the tracks -- including an upcoming MeFi Music Challenge!

Album tributes and cover versions:

Quinton Sung deftly recreates the whole album in 8-bit chiptune style

Stereogum's OKX: a multi-artist tribute (previ-ously)

Strung Out on OK Computer: The Vitamin String Quartet's classical cover of the album

Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Radiohead: Airbag - Paranoid Android - Subterranean Homesick Alien - Let Down - Karma Police - No Surprises

Amazingly choreographed renditions from the University of Arizona marching band: Airbag - Paranoid Android - Fitter Happier - Karma Police - Exit Music (From a Film) - Lucky

Individual tracks:

"Airbag" (notes)
Inspired (along with several other songs) by a car accident Yorke and his girlfriend had been in years before; muses on "the feeling you get when you realise that you've just missed having a serious accident, and the feeling of elation that follows."
"Paranoid Android" (notes)
The most ambitious track, a mutating six-minute sprawl in the tradition of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and the Beatles' "Happiness is a Warm Gun" that took the band eighteen months of practice to play live. Rooted in a harrowing experience Yorke had in a druggy Los Angeles club, he later passed the track off as a lark, but NME's Luke Lewis (who declared it the best single of the last 15 years) objects:
Far from penning a universal hymn of woe, Thom Yorke claims he picked the title as a self-mocking "joke", and says the lyrics are "not personal at all." Bassist Colin Greenwood remembers the writing process being "a laugh", the result of "getting wasted together". When the band came to actually play the song live, according to guitarist Ed O' Brien the whole thing was "completely hilarious" and had them "pissing ourselves as we played". Anyone would think they'd written 'My Humps', not one of the towering rock songs of the 20th Century.

And yet... they protest too much. I have a theory. I think that Radiohead knew they'd written an era-defining masterwork, but - in a very British way - felt embarrassed by the grandeur of their creation, and ever since then have bashfully tried to make light of it. They're not fooling anyone. [...] Anyone with ears and a brain can tell that this is a song about the horror of modernity. Thom Yorke surveys the whole grand sweep of humanity and finds he's disgusted by all of it. [...]

Besides, this idea that 'Paranoid Android' was intended as a joke - a sozzled attempt to rewrite Queen’s 'Bohemian Rhapsody' - doesn't quite tally with Yorke's own account of how he wrote the lyrics. They came to him at 5am following a hateful night out amongst coked-up music biz types in Los Angeles.

"I was trying to sleep when I literally heard these voices that wouldn't leave me alone," he recalled in 1997. "Basically 'Paranoid Android' is just about chaos, chaos, utter fucking chaos."

When pressed to reveal more about the "kicking squealing Gucci little" piggies who inspired the song, Yorke described them as "inhuman… you do often see demons in people's eyes. They're like fucking devils…. Everyone was trying to get something out of me. I felt like my own self was collapsing in the presence of it."

Hmm. So not quite dashed off as a rib-tickling novelty wig-out then? Lest you doubt that 'Paranoid Android' burns with a core of genuine misanthropy, note the hex on the single sleeve. The ensuing world tour was called Against Demons. 'Paranoid Android' is a song about seeing evil in the world around you, and being absolutely terrified by it.
Don't miss the phenomenal cover version compiled from dozens of amateur YouTube videos (previously). Other notable takes:

- Weezer
- Mike Massé acoustic guitar (previously)
- Christopher O'Riley on solo piano
- jazz pianist Brad Mehldau's 9-minute interpretation
- Male and female a capella
- early demo version
- Easy Star All-Stars reggae version
- Sia Furler's soul version
- University of Arizona marching band
- Big band arrangement

"Subterranean Homesick Alien" (notes)
Namechecks Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues and evokes the fanciful "Martian poetry" style to take an anthropologist's eye to mankind's troubles. The need for vintage soft keyboards has led to the track not being played on live tours in the last decade.
"Exit Music (For a Film)" (notes)
Written for the end credits of Romeo+Juliet and partially inspired by Zeffirelli's 1968 version, which had moved a 13-year-old Yorke to tears and wonder why the two lovers never tried to just run away from their families. The intimate vocals were recorded on the manor's stone steps.
"Let Down" (notes)
A melodic musing on the disappointment of glib sentimentality promoted in the media; guitarist Jonny Greenwood plays in a different time signature to amplify the feeling of disconnection and disorientation. For aural effect, it was recorded in the spacious manor ballroom at 3 a.m.
"Karma Police" (notes)
Named for a band in-joke about the "karma police" nabbing anyone who misbehaved, equated with the overly regimented atmosphere in large organizations. Originally passed on by Marilyn Manson, the concept for the backseat music video led to a hairy situation where Yorke was stuck in a car leaking carbon monoxide fumes (referenced later in "No Surprises").
"Fitter Happier" (notes)
A bleak piece dominated by increasingly surreal robotic pronouncements on ways to live a better life (voiced by the same synthesizer Stephen Hawking uses). Yorke claimed the list of imperatives was "the most upsetting thing I've ever written."
"Electioneering" (notes)
Late '90s Britain was swept by the landslide victory of Tony Blair's "New Labour" party, but this angry broadside held no illusions about modern politics. Inspired by both the Poll Tax Riots that helped remove Margaret Thatcher from power and the gladhanding "rope line" atmosphere that dogged the band's American tours.
"Climbing Up the Walls" (notes)
An eerie track from the perspective of various creeping horrors, from serial killers to insane asylums to "the monster in the closet." Prompted by Yorke's experience working part-time in a sanitarium emptied of many dangerous patients by Conservative budget cuts. Incorporates a string section modeled on Krzysztof Penderecki's nerve-wracking "Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima."
"No Surprises" (notes)
The first song recorded for the album (and on the first take). The music video, involving Yorke locked into a 2001-esque space helmet slowly filling with water, was somewhat disturbing to make, even with special effects tricks to speed up the submersion sequence.
"Lucky" (notes)
Recorded in five hours for a charity benefiting Bosnian War victims, the band considered this track their best. Brian Eno agreed, calling it "the most beautiful song I've heard for a long, long time."
"The Tourist" (notes)
A slower, spacier closing track written by Greenwood as a reaction the breakneck pace of the other tracks. Thematically linked to the rampant pace of technology as well as to the opening track's car crash, implying a kind of Joycean circularity to the album.
MeFi Music Challenge:

Recently announced and still open to applications is next month's Music Challenge -- multiple cover versions of every OK Computer track by Mefites of all stripes. Discussion is over in MetaTalk; here's the set list for now:
Airbag: unSane, The Great Big Mulp, naju, davejay, Corduroy, bedhead

Paranoid Android: InfidelZombie, chococat, Ardiril, Jofus, ignignokt, ZsigE

Subterranean Homesick Alien: snsranch, dobie, god hates math, Rube R. Nekker, burnmp3s, dismas

Exit Music (For A Film): askmeaboutLOOM, koeselitz, th3ph17, two lights above the sea, O9scar, the_very_hungry_caterpillar

Let Down: dubold, pyramid termite, The World Famous, curious nu, fleacircus, theichibun

Karma Police: uncleozzy, tigrefacile, erikgrande, Acari, michaelh, lazaruslong, modernserf

Fitter Happier: sleepy pete, azarbayejani, flapjax at midnite, Listener, threeants, freya_lamb

Electioneering: TwoWordReview, motty, muhonnin, roboton666, not_on_display, MrVisible

Climbing Up The Walls: Doleful Creature, Elmore, supercres, Captain Najork, Johnny Wallflower, Sebmojo

No Surprises: cortex, Grangousier, John Cohen, visual mechanic, OrangeGloves, the jam

Lucky: grog, cmoj, googly, idiopath, Karlos the Jackal, greenish

The Tourist: cathodeheart, qnarf, sinnesloeschen, Philosopher Dirtbike, evoque, zix
Other:
An entire OK Computer live show (previously)
Liner notes and artwork (part 2)
The album's cryptic liner art analyzed
Interview with cover designer Stanley Donwood
Were OK Computer and In Rainbows meant to be played over each other?
Radiohead and T.S. Eliot

Not from OKC, but this creepy animation based on "2+2=5" is worth watching (previously) as is the "Homeless Mustard" cover of "Creep" (previously)
posted by Rhaomi (66 comments total) 237 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thank you for this. Man, there is a lot to explore here. OK Computer is, by far, my favorite Radiohead album, and I'm looking forward to exploring all these links.
posted by Palquito at 12:12 PM on June 16, 2012


Fantastic post!

I love OK computer, but I have one Radiohead memory that sours me a little on it: We went to see them in the Ottawa conference center (large, stuffy room) on their album release tour. After a really fun opener, and after everyone crushed forwards in anticipation of Radiohead's entrance, they made us wait 45 F'n minutes! I nearly passed out from the heat. When they finally sauntered on to the stage, they were a) high, b) belligerent, and c) phoning it in. I was really disappointed.
posted by Popular Ethics at 12:17 PM on June 16, 2012


thanks it was the weekend and now it's radiohead world and i will watch all the things okay bye.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:20 PM on June 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


oh my gosh! you just killed my weekend.
posted by RockyChrysler at 12:26 PM on June 16, 2012


This is awesome.

The more people we have doing the MeFiMusic Challenge the better it will be. Sign-ups will stay open until the end of the Challenge at the end of July.

If you're on the fence or are not sure how, exactly, to get a track done, MeFiMusic regulars are generally happy to help anyone who needs advice or wants to collaborate.
posted by The World Famous at 12:27 PM on June 16, 2012


If you haven't tried listening to OK Computer and In Rainbows together (details in the "Were OK Computer and In Rainbows meant to be played over each other?" link in the OP), I highly recommend it.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:28 PM on June 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


OMG I listened the shit out of this album as a teenager. So good.

This is why we need to do a Voyager 3 mission, so that aliens know we produced something this awesome.
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:29 PM on June 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


the no surprises video is amazing. i know i was just at the right age to be really influenced by art/music/movies/etc, but there's something calming and unsettling about it to this day. if i'm having a sort of bad trigger day, watching it will center me and help me get back to good. i have a hard time watching it when i'm upbeat and happy because it knocks me off tilt. it's probably one of my favorite videos of all time.
posted by nadawi at 12:32 PM on June 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seeing Radiohead tonight in Toronto! This post is awesomely timed.
posted by smitt at 12:35 PM on June 16, 2012


This will be time well spent, thanks!
posted by safetyfork at 12:40 PM on June 16, 2012


Huh. I'm really not a Radiohead fan, but with all the meat in this post, I will have to give this album a quality crawl-through. Thanks so much for posting!
posted by hippybear at 12:43 PM on June 16, 2012


OK Computer was, I believe, the third album I ever bought. It scared the shit out of me the first time, and I listened over and over again.
I need to give it another listen.
posted by Gordafarin at 12:45 PM on June 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just love how OK Computer melds Krautrock, Pink Floyd, and Rush with U2.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:49 PM on June 16, 2012


here's the set list for now:

Not quite accurate — InfidelZombie and I traded so we're doing "No Surprises" and "Paranoid Android," respectively.
posted by John Cohen at 12:49 PM on June 16, 2012


Very, very nicely done.
posted by valkyryn at 12:55 PM on June 16, 2012


Flagged as fantastic. Nicely done.
posted by HumanComplex at 12:56 PM on June 16, 2012


"Paranoid Android" (notes)
The most ambitious track, a mutating six-minute sprawl in the tradition of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and the Beatles' "Happiness is a Warm Gun"


The structure is actually not that similar to "Happiness is a Warm Gun," in which each section occurs only once. "Paranoid Android" has more repetition. It's more reminiscent of the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations": verse, chorus, verse, chorus (sounding deceptively conventional up to this point), an energetic bridge, then a dramatically slower and quieter interlude, and ending with a brief reprise of an earlier, faster section.
posted by John Cohen at 12:56 PM on June 16, 2012


Killer post!
posted by Exchequer at 1:09 PM on June 16, 2012


The OP mentions they haven't played Subterranean Homesick Alien on tour the past decade... Not true! They brought it out, dusted it off, and have been playing it on the current tour this summer.
posted by Windigo at 1:15 PM on June 16, 2012


I like that the post immediately following this one is about W.A.S.T.E.
posted by jokeefe at 1:31 PM on June 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fuck. They just announced the stage for the Toronto show tonight has collapsed. At least one dead, several injuries.

Fuck.
posted by Windigo at 1:42 PM on June 16, 2012


WTF?
posted by jokeefe at 1:49 PM on June 16, 2012


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/06/16/toronto-stage-collapse-radiohead.html
posted by Exchequer at 1:49 PM on June 16, 2012


Finch, anyone we know? The people on rail? Fuck.
posted by jokeefe at 1:49 PM on June 16, 2012


Sounds like the doors were not open yet...
posted by Exchequer at 1:51 PM on June 16, 2012


Oh, okay, the gates hadn't opened yet, I forgot the time difference for a second. Damn, this is terrible.
posted by jokeefe at 1:51 PM on June 16, 2012


Photos (FB)
posted by Exchequer at 1:52 PM on June 16, 2012


I had a comment typed about this great post, but adding it now seems stupid. :( :( :(
posted by sparkletone at 1:52 PM on June 16, 2012


Wow, that's terrible. All part of the NXNE festival that Toronto throws. (I only know this because I was in Toronto last weekend to see Einstein On The Beach, and the weeklies were talking about NXNE and how Radiohead was going to be there, etc.)

Just proof that Luminato is the superior Toronto arts festival. :P
posted by hippybear at 2:05 PM on June 16, 2012


I don't think there's any mystery about the title - it comes from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Episode two, I think. Zaphod says it. He's also the source of "Marvin the Paranoid Android", of course.

I was working at Design Clinic in Islington as an artworker. They had someone with connections in The Industry who provided a pre-release tape, so by the time it came out I'd heard half of it many times. The left half (as there was one speaker on one side of the studio, where I was sitting, and another at the other). So I bought it the day it came out at the Our Price on Upper Street, took it home and was finally able to listen to the whole thing, left and right, for the first time. And the second. And several more times that evening.

I expressed the opinion on here once that it was the last really great album - the last one with that kind of status in the wider culture that Dark Side of the Moon or Sgt Pepper's has - and was mocked, though I must say I still believe it.

And Radiohead (OK Computer in particular) do seem to have the kind of worldwide popularity that The Beatles have. I can't understand why, exactly, but I'm glad.
posted by Grangousier at 2:08 PM on June 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The RH fan boards are reporting that no audience members were hurt (there was one group, first in the queue since this morning, who the band had told security to let in early). So far one dead, one critical, two others injured, and rumours of others trapped under the wreckage. All band members (both Radiohead and the opening band, Caribou) are okay; they had just finished soundchecking. This is both terrible and dismaying, as RH have an excellent track record around crew safety and are always hugely professional.
posted by jokeefe at 2:14 PM on June 16, 2012


Flagged as "fantastic," thanks so much. The stage collapse is a terrible thing.

I guess I really do have to record this for the Challenge, now that I've been mentioned in two separate threads. "Climbing Up The Walls" did not resonate for me as much as the rest of the album, but your notes have given me insight into the song and a good starting point for my arrangement. Thanks again.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:11 PM on June 16, 2012


p.s. - maybe the stage collapse story is worth a separate thread so we can continue discussing the album itself here.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:19 PM on June 16, 2012


Yes, if someone could flesh out this incident with a little context, that would be a great FPP. We have seen several recent collapses in such as the Big Valley Jamboree in Alberta in 2009, the Indiana State Fair in 2011 and Cheap Trick in 2011 at the Ottawa Bluesfest, but those all happened during bad weather, and today has been a gorgeous day.

Fantastic post, favourited all to hell (well, just once) and a really sad day.
posted by maudlin at 3:33 PM on June 16, 2012


Thank you for this post. It seems bittersweet with the awful news. I feel terribly guilty for wondering if they will still play in Berlin in a few weeks, I haven't seen them for a few years, apart from spotting Thom, Jonny, and Colin at the Barbican not long ago.

OKC was hugely important to me then, and now. I took my MeFi name from The Bends but OKC came out when I had just turned 18 and everything was changing. Paranoid Android remains my favorite song of all time, of any band.
posted by wingless_angel at 3:38 PM on June 16, 2012


Obligatory: Radiohead Therapy Session.
posted by Sandor Clegane at 3:39 PM on June 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jeez, what a sad and horrible thing to happen right in the middle of such an awesome and epic post.
posted by snsranch at 3:46 PM on June 16, 2012


I just love how OK Computer melds Krautrock, Pink Floyd, and Rush with U2.

I was just thinking I needed to finally sit down and listen to the whole thing, and then I read this...
posted by bongo_x at 4:13 PM on June 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Truly amazing post. The only thing I would add is The Easy Star All Stars' reggae remake, Radiodread, which was blessed (and praised) by Radiohead.
posted by bpm140 at 5:14 PM on June 16, 2012


Stanley Donwood & Thom Yorke's album art, starting with OK Computer, was a huuuuge influence on me. OK Computer through Hail to the Thief are some of the rare few albums that I almost have to listen to while sitting down with headphones, poring over the album art, completely immersed.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:32 PM on June 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Count me as another who was tremendously influenced by this album. It's interesting that the band members seem to regard Lucky as their best. I have always loved the entire album, but that track in particular has always struck a chord with me for some reason.
posted by jamincan at 5:49 PM on June 16, 2012


Thanks for the post. There's a record listening club starting up near me soon, and we're doing OK Computer for the first meeting. This post will help inform the discussion.

For now I just feel incredibly sad about the stage collapse. After last year, for this to happen in perfect weather hits hard. I spend a fair amount of most summers on or around festival stages as a volunteer or audience member (and had to ride the bus past the Bluesfest wreckage twice a day for several weeks last summer) and for some people nerves were on edge a bit already.
posted by valleys at 5:50 PM on June 16, 2012


OK Computer through Hail to the Thief are some of the rare few albums that I almost have to listen to while sitting down with headphones, poring over the album art, completely immersed.

Welcome to the 1970s, when albums had huge art and sitting with the jacket while listening was a common pass-time.
posted by hippybear at 5:51 PM on June 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Really nice interpretation of "Airbag" on this album, which sadly doesn't appear to be attested online.
posted by kenko at 6:09 PM on June 16, 2012


Goddammit I have to go to the emergency room because I just put my finger through the glass on my phone favoriting this post.
posted by hypersloth at 6:40 PM on June 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Easy Star All Stars' reggae remake

My favorite cover of Let Down.
posted by mediated self at 7:03 PM on June 16, 2012


they shut themselves away inside the echoing halls of a secluded 16th century manor and got to work. What emerged from that crumbling Elizabethan castle

So, that wailing I hear occasionally in that album, is that because this was a haunted castle? That finally explains it.

I"m joking of course. Love Radiohead, saw them open for REM many years ago before OK, but really like their newer stuff. Not many groups can move beyond their genres and "sound", let alone create new ones. Horrible shame about tonight.
posted by formless at 7:08 PM on June 16, 2012


apart from being one of the best albums ever, OK Computer also has some of the best B-sides of any album, ever:

Polyethylene (Parts 1&2)

Pearly

A Reminder

Melatonin

Meeting In The Aisle

Lull

Palo Alto

How I Made My Millions
posted by moorooka at 7:35 PM on June 16, 2012 [14 favorites]


Meeting People is Easy is such a piece of crap. Between the woe is me moping by Thom and the repetitive film-school film tricks it's hard to watch, even with the excellent concert footage from the tour. OK Computer is one of my favorite albums OF ALL TIME, but they should have gotten a better director to make that film.
posted by Fister Roboto at 7:39 PM on June 16, 2012


I agree, moorooka. "Lull" is one of my favorite songs by them, let alone b-sides.

I love it that this band cares enough to keep on trying to make good, interesting music.
posted by Red Loop at 7:47 PM on June 16, 2012


I don't believe tonight's show was part of NXNE, just coincided with the festival. I feel awful for all the friends of mine who were going to the show, including some who flew across the country. But of course that is trivial compared to the accident and death itself. I have other friends in that line of work who have posted today about the need for increased training and respect for safety with the industry. Let's hope this provokes at least some change.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:20 PM on June 16, 2012


Posts like this one are why I keep coming back to Metafilter. Amazing.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 9:29 PM on June 16, 2012


The one good thing about Meeting People is Easy was Follow Me Around. I still wish that song had been released.
posted by wingless_angel at 11:42 PM on June 16, 2012


Flaming Lips played a massive free concert at Toronto's Yonge/Dundas square as part of NXNE tonight, and they did a great cover of "Knives Out", after acknowledging the tragedy that happened. They ended with "Do You Realize", which seemed majestically poignant under the circumstances. Crazy day.
posted by Crane Shot at 11:48 PM on June 16, 2012


I didn't read the comments before my last comment, truly horrible what happened.
posted by hypersloth at 1:39 AM on June 17, 2012


First up, great post, Rhaomi. It sucks that it's caught this tragedy.

.

I don't know if he's still with them, but a friend of mine's son was part of Radiohead's crew on previous tours (perhaps as a guitar tech?). I never met the son but the way his dad described it, working for them was akin to the best job in the world. The pay was excellent. I believe everybody, including the band, made the same daily wage, with the only difference being that the band and certain key positions also had a piece of the overall profits. Also, the key road crew personnel were kept on retainer (ie: regular pay checks regardless of what was going on), so that the Radiohead live machine could always be assembled at short notice.

Anyway, here's a band that seemed to truly care about everybody in its operation, and so I can only imagine how gutted everyone must be feeling today.

.
posted by philip-random at 10:59 AM on June 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just to note: the person who was killed is Scott Johnson, Radiohead's drum tech.
posted by jokeefe at 12:56 PM on June 17, 2012


Sweet Jesus, Rhaomi. I don't know if you're a man or a lady, but I've decided that I love you and I want to have your babies. As soon as science makes such a thing possible for me. Fingers crossed!
posted by Ducks or monkeys at 3:21 PM on June 17, 2012


Shit. I'm sorry about that comment. I didn't realize what had happened. Probably not the time for joking around.
posted by Ducks or monkeys at 3:45 PM on June 17, 2012


Meeting People is Easy is such a piece of crap...

'Meeting People is Easy' is a somewhat harsh antidote to the conventional banal rock-band documentaries which had come before it. Yeah, it's hard to love, but there is a strangely compelling unique banality to it.

Also, some silly poll recently voted 'Paranoid Android' the greatest song of recent whenever, and I myself tend to agree.

And we all feel bad about the Toronto Tragedy. The Sunday Papers had condolences from the fans who regretted the loss of life more than missing the show...
posted by ovvl at 5:25 PM on June 17, 2012


'Meeting People Is Easy' is exactly the same as 'Spinal Tap', except that it has a spaceship docking and a Scott Walker song.
posted by ovvl at 6:07 PM on June 18, 2012


Radiohead just announced on their Facebook page that they're canceling a number of shows this summer because they have to redesign and rebuild their stage. They also said that a significant amount of their backline equipment was also destroyed.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:53 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, I love OK Computer. It's just a perfect, perfect album, at least to me. I think I'll be listening to it when I get home tonight.
posted by sarcasticah at 5:18 PM on June 21, 2012


Postponed, not cancelled. It's incredible that with all that they're going through, only 7 shows are affected.
posted by wingless_angel at 2:09 AM on June 22, 2012


wingless_angel: "Postponed, not cancelled. It's incredible that with all that they're going through, only 7 shows are affected"

I'm sure something as big as one of their tours is a force of momentum. There are probably a number of people whose yearly livelihoods depend on it (who were friends with Scott Johnson), and it's a conflicted decision they made after working out something.

That's my guess from far, far away.
posted by Red Loop at 6:11 PM on June 22, 2012


From the "Better Late Than Never" files, some more great links before the thread closes:

I'm kicking myself the most for not mentioning Glastonbury '97. Two weeks after OK Computer's release, amidst torrential rains that turned the fields into a muddy swamp and played havoc with their equipment, Radiohead took to the stage and put on what's regarded as one of the most spectacular live performances of all time. You can watch BBC footage of the epic concert on YouTube, or download select recordings from the set list.

There's another (amateur, but uncut) recording of the full concert here. The full set list:
Lucky
My Iron Lung
Airbag
Planet Telex
Exit Music (For A Film)
The Bends
Nice Dream
Paranoid Android
Karma Police
Creep
Climbing Up The Walls
No Surprises
Talk Show Host
Bones
Just
Fake Plastic Trees
You
The Tourist
High And Dry
Street Spirit (Fade Out)
More:

Hi-res scans of OKC's beautiful, beguiling liner art, including the cryptically-transcribed lyrics

(Incidentally, does anyone else think the cover art happens to look a lot like an outstretched hand? Didn't realize it till recently.)

Do Cute Kids Like Radiohead? "Paranoid Android", as reviewed by hilariously adorable British tykes

A lengthy Uncut article on how all the tracks came together

The album's B-sides, uniformly excellent:

Polyethylene (Parts 1 & 2)
Pearly
A Reminder
Melatonin
Meeting in the Aisle
Lull
Palo Alto
How I Made My Millions

Also, while there are still a few weeks left to enter the Mefi Music Challenge, entries are already rolling in. My favorites of the ones I've heard so far: hanoixian's Subterranean Homesick Alien mariachi cover, and cortex's garageband punk take on multiple tracks (complete with backstory!).

And no Radiohead thread (Radiothread?) would be complete without Yorke's transfixing Lotus Flower moves (prev.)
posted by Rhaomi at 8:29 AM on July 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


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