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Twisted Words
August 15, 2009 2:07 PM   Subscribe

A new Radiohead track has leaked.

Because of metadata in the leaked mp3, fans conjecture that a new EP, Wall of Ice, will be soon to follow. Or not Wall of Ice?

Included in the metadata are these words, which are not song lyrics:

i just wanted to reassure readers
that following representations
seeking confirmation
that before your very eyes
behind the wall of ice
that the box is not under threat
however they are set to remove
other boxes
in fact i have the list in front of me
i went to a briefing on their plans
and challenged them to tell me
exactly what the cost would be

they spoke in broad terms

All of this really just begs this question: are Radiohead XKCD fans?
posted by nosila (79 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have leaked
the track
that was behind
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for an album
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:15 PM on August 15, 2009 [16 favorites]


the tracks were cold and delicious
posted by zerobyproxy at 2:16 PM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


don't be litigious
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:18 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's a pretty good track. I'm psyched to see someone as big as Radiohead try this alternative release thing. OTOH, In Rainbows wasn't that great, innovative MP3 release or not. I also like the album format, so I hate to see that get tossed out.
posted by Nelson at 2:23 PM on August 15, 2009


It's amazing that such a big band is real art.

It's like the antidote to U2.
posted by plexi at 2:26 PM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


The poem is actually in the nfo file (text file included alongside the mp3).
Here's more from Sean Michaels, including a direct link to the original torrent
posted by robinhoudt at 2:27 PM on August 15, 2009


Thanks, robinhoudt. I meant to link that article in the FPP...somehow I left it out.
posted by nosila at 2:29 PM on August 15, 2009


*looks around for spare towels to clean up the obviously impending spoogefest.*
posted by hippybear at 2:30 PM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's amazing that such a big band is real art.

It's like the antidote to U2.


Guess there can't be love without hate.
posted by longsleeves at 2:34 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hate both Radiohead and U2, so I think that balances things out.
posted by item at 2:35 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I (thankfully) do not produce spooge, yet I greatly dig this track and can identify Bob Dylan at 50 paces. So there.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:47 PM on August 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


This doesn't really do anything for me at a visceral level, and I can't see how it's interesting in the context of their work or the general arc of pop music.
posted by phrontist at 2:50 PM on August 15, 2009


Eh, it's rather dull. Also, equating Radiohead to some sort of anti-U2 is an incredibly shallow observation.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:01 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


well I like it, but then I really love radiohead (I dont care for u2 altho their early stuff was pretty good) I am not sure if I would recognise bob dylan at 50 paces...so um, there.
posted by supermedusa at 3:04 PM on August 15, 2009


I like Radiohead, and I even like U2 if I close my eyes and try very hard to forget about Bono's smirking face.
posted by rokusan at 3:04 PM on August 15, 2009


I love (some) of Radiohead's tracks and (some) of U2's tracks. This makes me a very reasonable guy.
posted by Dumsnill at 3:09 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Okei, that sentence didn't make a lot of grammatical sense.
posted by Dumsnill at 3:11 PM on August 15, 2009


More Wire British links: Lester Freamon lives in London.
posted by hnnrs at 3:12 PM on August 15, 2009


Christ, we're all on plexi's idiotic dialectic now. If you like something, just like it. It's all goddamned pop music anyway and full of silliness if you really listen objectively. Don't feel like you always have to qualify your pop music tastes.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:13 PM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yes, but he's blind and a bit of a wanker.
posted by Dumsnill at 3:14 PM on August 15, 2009


I (thankfully) do not produce spooge, yet I greatly dig this track and can identify Bob Dylan at 50 paces. So there.

And if I see him I'm going to bust him for loitering.
posted by grobstein at 3:14 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love Radiohead and couldn't care less what the musicians look like--any of them.
posted by belvidere at 3:15 PM on August 15, 2009


Back in 2001, I attended a sneak preview of Spielberg's A.I. The movie has a pretty slow pace, and during one of the scenes with the robot gigolo, someone blurted out "I wonder how much he charges for radio head!" Everyone laughed. Thinking I had a winner of a follow-up, I yelled out, "Not as much as he charges for machine head!"

Crickets.

And that marked the first and last time I ever yelled out in a theater.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 3:18 PM on August 15, 2009 [9 favorites]


I like this track. Also in-pace with their musical progression - this song is very In Rainbows. Which is nice.

Also, wtf U2?
posted by alona at 3:20 PM on August 15, 2009


please confine your opinion to one of the following:
a) track rocks, just like pretty much everything they've done
b) track sucks, just like pretty much everything they've done
c) track's okay, but why can't they make another record like the bends?

and, honestly, who gives a fuck about U2 (though I have to admit to kinda digging that song in the blackberry commercial)?
posted by brevator at 3:24 PM on August 15, 2009


I once spooged on Bob Dylan.
posted by item at 3:26 PM on August 15, 2009


I like this, though I think they could just record some eerie backing music while Yorke reads the ingredients to hamburger patties in a lilting falsetto and I'd still be a happy camper.

Would not be able to recognise Bob Dylan under the hobo beard, likewise Bono witout the Big Ass Glasses.
posted by Jilder at 3:33 PM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


So Bob Dylan, Bono, and Thom Yorke walk into a bar. They begin fighting over what to play on the jukebox. After no consensus can reached, Bono and Dylan decide to conspire against Thom and begin playing some Coldplay. Disgusted, Thom leaves as the other two share a hearty laugh. After picking themselves up, they decide to select another song. Bono drops a coin on the ground and asks Dylan to get it. By the time he comes back up, Bob notices a smirk on Bono's face. "Oh no," he thinks, and before he can get a word out, Your Body Is a Wonderland begins playing. Bono doubles over in laughter. "You're a motherfucker!" screams Dylan as he storms out. Bono collects himself and wonders what to play next. He begins shuffling through tracks when the autoplay feature takes over. All that's heard through the speakers is, "¡Uno, dos, tres, catorce!" Disgusted, Bono walks out.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 3:48 PM on August 15, 2009


This track is meh; sounds like every other Radiohead song. I think they confuse this for style or something. I'm rather ambivalent about Radiohead. I want to like them but I think they would be better if they made a lot less music to cut out all the bland similarity. Still, I'm thankful for Radiohead because without them this awesome cover would never have been made.
posted by effwerd at 3:53 PM on August 15, 2009


I generally quite like Radiohead. Excited to see how this unfolds.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 4:13 PM on August 15, 2009


I don't know what's making me geek out more: Radiohead, the secrets in the metadata (a great place for hiding things!), or the possibility of an XKCD reference! It's like finding an unreleased Talking Heads track encoded in a ENIAC punch card that was hidden behind the canvas of a framed painting of Calvin and Hobbes.
posted by MoreForMad at 4:25 PM on August 15, 2009 [6 favorites]


I loves the Radiohead, and this track is great. It has made me happy. And that particular emotion has been in short supply this last week, so thank you, nosila.
posted by dbiedny at 4:35 PM on August 15, 2009


I'm really snarky about Radiohead and I still love this track anyway. Very cool.
posted by The World Famous at 4:42 PM on August 15, 2009


I think Radiohead is

☐ AWESOME
☑ BASICALLY OKAY, SOMETIMES
☐ LAME

and my opinion on this song is that it is

☐ ROCKTACULAR and/or "REAL ART"
☑ DECENT BACKGROUND MUSIC
☐ "MEH"
☐ EMETIC

(My wholly unique contribution to this thread is complete.)
posted by decagon at 4:43 PM on August 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


(just want to raise the possibility that this track is not radiohead at all, despite thom yorke's vox. they haven't said word one about it. at least from a production perspective, it sounds unfinished. not bad, just not consistent - they typically produce the shit out of their music. i wouldn't be surprised if it was a thom yorke solo endeavor or a genuine leak of something they had abandoned some years back. i'd love to be wrong.)
posted by fingers_of_fire at 4:56 PM on August 15, 2009


Yes, but what happens when you play the track backwards? Do Paul and the Edge rise from the dead?
posted by blucevalo at 5:07 PM on August 15, 2009


I think they could just record some eerie backing music while Yorke reads the ingredients to hamburger patties in a lilting falsetto and I'd still be a happy camper.

They're very much aware of that, of course.
posted by effbot at 5:20 PM on August 15, 2009


For one microsecond, I thought the article was about Radio Shack :)
posted by MrLint at 5:26 PM on August 15, 2009


For one microsecond, I thought the article was about Radio Shack :)

That's understandable. After all, Radiohead is changing its name to "The Head."
posted by The World Famous at 5:29 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I so very much enjoyed everything up to and including OK Computer, which is where I felt they'd peaked. It's just one of those albums that you make, as a band, and then should realize you're probably never going to top it. When I heard Kid A for the first time, I remembered an interview with Roger Waters, circa 1995, where he said that he felt Pink Floyd should have broken up after Dark Side of the Moon. It's probably pretty difficult, if not impossible, for a band at the top of their game to have the wisdom and perspective to say, "Yep, this is it, fellas. The crowning touch. Time to pack it in." I don't dispute their previous innovation and brilliance for a moment, and I think OK Computer will one day be regarded as one of the greatest releases ever. But Radiohead have been rehashing different variations of Kid A for how many years now? Nearly ten? C'mon, guys. Hang it up before you make the equivalent of the Final Cut.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:03 PM on August 15, 2009


The metadata wasn't in the mp3 file, it was in an nfo that was in the torrent along with the mp3 file. Another possible coincidence (or part of the fun) is that the track is 5:32 long, the exact same length of the Radiohead song released last week, in memory of Harry Patch.
posted by rbf1138 at 6:04 PM on August 15, 2009


It's also interesting that the band or their management have yet to comment. The song is being played on Sirius/XM radio the past few days, as well.
posted by rbf1138 at 6:06 PM on August 15, 2009


(just want to raise the possibility that this track is not radiohead at all, despite thom yorke's vox. they haven't said word one about it. at least from a production perspective, it sounds unfinished. not bad, just not consistent - they typically produce the shit out of their music. i wouldn't be surprised if it was a thom yorke solo endeavor or a genuine leak of something they had abandoned some years back. i'd love to be wrong.)

I can tell you without a from listening that the drummer is Phil Selway, and the kit he's playing on, as well as the way the drums seem to be recorded, are identical to the In Rainbows tracks. I can't argue with the assertion that it doesn't seem fully fleshed out/finished/produced, though.
posted by rbf1138 at 6:09 PM on August 15, 2009


A new Radiohead track has leaked.

out of who's ass?
posted by sexyrobot at 6:09 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


fingers_of_fire and rbf1138: My first reaction was the same – this just doesn't really sound finished to me. I'm pretty certain that it's Radiohead, though.

I too am interested to see how this plays out. I can't say I'd be sorry to have a new Radiohead EP come Monday. I didn't like In Rainbows too much at first and didn't listen to it for months after the first listen, but I went back to it and it has really grown on me.

Sorry for the somewhat shitty quality of the FPP, particularly for the mistakes in the details. Thanks, peeps, for straightening that out.
posted by nosila at 6:35 PM on August 15, 2009


Ack.

1. The idea of an EP released on Monday is a piece of fan jizz/speculation based on nothing but a date in the nfo file and some serious beanplating over the text.
2. Somebody Googled "wall of ice" and found the cartoon. Highly doubtful that there's any connection.
3. The wallofice.com website is a hoax.
4. The band probably leaked it themselves given that they've been silent since it hit the web on Wednesday. Usually when an actual leak occurs there's official and unoffical reaction very quickly.
5. It's most certainly recently recorded Radiohead, not a left over from Hail to the Thief of something.

It's actually been really interesting to watch this play out as the most wishful thinking on Atease has become seriously reported rumour. I mean, if an EP is released on Monday I'll be happy, but very surprised.

The simplest explanation for this is that the song is the one which (and I had really hoped that this was actually not happening) they were supposedly going to contribute to the Twilight soundtrack, and that somebody got carried away and leaked it.
posted by jokeefe at 7:19 PM on August 15, 2009


Also, the reaction from the fanbase has been extremely positive (not always a given, there was a lot of negative responses to Harry Patch (In Memory Of) by some people whose taste is located somewhere near their asses who didn't like it as much as I did.

And no question that it's Radiohead, that's unmistakeably Jonny, Phil and Thom.
posted by jokeefe at 7:25 PM on August 15, 2009


Unless, of course, they planted the EP idea on the Atease boards themselves, which I wouldn't put past them, the bastards. [/rambles]
posted by jokeefe at 7:32 PM on August 15, 2009


I started the huge atease thread, and I can tell you the theories werent planted. The theories are all based around recent interviews with Thom and Johnny where they infer that future releases will be digital EPs released directly, without press hype and fanfare first. This is one of the most prominent pieces of evidence being used in the primary hypothesis:

From an interview with Thom in the July/August 2009 issue of the magazine The Believer

THE BELIEVER:...This isn't the end of Radiohead album art as we know it?

TY: No, we've actually got a good plan, but I can't tell you what it is, because someone will rip it off. But we've got this great idea for putting things out.

THE BELIEVER: In a digital realm?

TY: In a physical realm and a digital realm. But, yeah.. no, I can't tell you what it is. [Laughs] Sorry to be so vague about everything.

///

THE BELIEVER: Do you think [the In Rainbows pay-what-you-want method] worked?

TY: Oh, yeah. It worked on two or three different levels. The first level is just sort of getting a point across that we wanted to get across about music being valuable. It also worked as a way of using the Internet to promote your record, without having to use iTunes or Google or whatever. You rely on the fact that you know a lot of people want to hear it. You don't want to have to go to the radio first and go through all that bullshit about what's the first single. You don't want to have to go to the press. That was my thing, like, I am not giving it to the press two months early so they can tear it to shreds and destroy it for people before they've even heard it. And it worked on that level. And it also worked financially.
posted by rbf1138 at 7:40 PM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Dull.

I prefer bands where, were when they put out music, the story is about whether the music is good or not.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:04 PM on August 15, 2009


It's all goddamned pop music anyway and full of silliness if you really listen objectively.

Seriously? In 2009?

I've got a potbellied hipster you might be interested in buying, grandpa.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:07 PM on August 15, 2009


Well lahdee frickin dah drjimmy I'm sure your music collection is super swell and awesome.

Meanwhile, In Rainbows was their best album. OK Computer was great for the time it came out, but it's not the same.
posted by fungible at 8:12 PM on August 15, 2009


I have the feeling this is all just promotional work for a ski resort.
posted by chinston at 8:25 PM on August 15, 2009


Hey rbf1138-- of course, you have the same username over there. Yes, of course I read the Believer interview (and the following OMG RH have stopped making albums! stuff which was quoted from it and reprinted everywhere) and the recent interview with Jonny, as well (more relevant, perhaps, than the interview with Thom, as you know, was done during the Grammys, so it's older).

If this is part of a release strategy for new material, then obviously I'm interested in what they're going to do next; whether that's what this actually is, well the jury's out, for me. The one thing in particular that leads me to hope that the band themselves released it (rather than the Twilight theory) is that there's been nothing in the way of a response or a statement from Courtyard. When The Eraser leaked as you remember there was immediate and dismayed reaction; and of course part of the strategy for In Rainbows was to control and stage manage the inevitable leak of a new album. They don't like them. If something, an EP or another single, does appear on Waste on Monday I'll be happier than anyone, but I think a lot is being made of very little-- just the date on the nfo file. But we'll see.

On the other hand, that sure as hell sounds like Thom in the text that came along with the file. It's either him/Stanley/somebody who has studied the quirks of his writing closely.
posted by jokeefe at 8:27 PM on August 15, 2009


But Radiohead have been rehashing different variations of Kid A for how many years now? Nearly ten?

Marisa, you're joking, right? I *wish* they'd released another three Kid As, personally, but that's not what they've been doing at all.

*bites tongue*
posted by jokeefe at 8:30 PM on August 15, 2009


Metafilter: Well lahdee frickin dah
posted by applemeat at 8:39 PM on August 15, 2009


Yeah. All their music sounds the same. I mean. It's good. But it's all very similar.
posted by delmoi at 10:06 PM on August 15, 2009


It raises the question. Begging the question is like when you say, "He's unattractive because he's ugly."
posted by closetphilosopher at 10:29 PM on August 15, 2009


Prescriptivism ain't rock and roll!
posted by Burhanistan at 10:34 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


All that's heard through the speakers is, "¡Uno, dos, tres, catorce!" Disgusted, Bono walks out.

What's Bono got against Gil Scott Heron?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:04 AM on August 16, 2009


Marisa, you're joking, right? I *wish* they'd released another three Kid As, personally, but that's not what they've been doing at all.

*bites tongue*


Morning Bells was a near perfect song, no doubt about that. OK Computer, though, that was an album to be taken in all one piece. That's why it would drive me crazy to hear Paranoid Android on the radio, have the song come towards the last few seconds of the track and hear PEWPEWPEWYOU'RE LISTENING TO DC101!!! instead of Subterranean Homesick Alien. It wasn't a collection of tracks but a cohesive whole.

Hm ... on further reflection, this might be what I miss about music in general, really - albums to be listened to as an entirety instead of as a collection of tracks. The whole journey of going from one song to the next, from beginning to end. Lately, artists have been making releases; collections of individual tracks. I have to admit this has influenced my listening habits - I seldom open Rhythmbox and play an entire "album" from beginning to end anymore; it's usually an assortment of various tracks from this and that artist.

Don't get me wrong - I like being able to do that digitally, with such ease. Beats making a munch of mixtapes on blanks. I love the digital age. It just seems the idea of the album as a journey to be taken from start to finish is a concept starting to wane in recording studios.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:44 AM on August 16, 2009


Probably too late in the game to have this conversation here, but I agree with you, Marisa, that after OK Computer Radiohead sort of stopped making albums. I LOVE Kid A and Amnesiac (and am starting to love In Rainbows), but they are not really album's albums.

I can tell you that a lot of people are mildly amused to find that my band puts so much effort into writing cohesive albums, as if we're adorably anachronistic. That attitude irritates the holy hell out of me. It's like the Strauss saying to Straus, "Well, isn't that nice, and my, you sure did put a lot of effort into that Zarathustra piece, but what people really want to hear is a nice little waltz."

I like a nice little waltz as much as the next person, but apples, oranges, etc.
posted by nosila at 7:01 AM on August 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I kinda forgot about Radiohead for a while there. Thanks for reminding me, nosila.
posted by orme at 8:41 AM on August 16, 2009


I love (some) of Radiohead's tracks and (some) of U2's tracks. This makes me a very reasonable guy.

You're a reasonable man, we'll get off your case.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:54 AM on August 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's all goddamned pop music anyway and full of silliness if you really listen objectively. Don't feel like you always have to qualify your pop music tastes.

Dude you're doing it wrong.
posted by xmutex at 9:41 AM on August 16, 2009


The beginning sounds like a video game song from way back when... annoyingly, I can't put my finger on it. Anyone hear it too?
posted by Ljubljana at 2:19 PM on August 16, 2009


Another piece of this puzzle...
http://www.waste.uk.com/Content/346.jpg
posted by rbf1138 at 8:57 PM on August 16, 2009


Context maybe? What are we looking at here?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:59 PM on August 16, 2009


This image was just found, just added to the radiohead store, if you add "346" to that url. The significance is that "345" leads to the image of the last product added to the store a few weeks ago. This seems to be a placeholder just added for something...and to many it looks a. a bit like the image from the ascii in the nfo file, and b. kind of like black cracks in white ice, doesn't it?
posted by rbf1138 at 9:06 PM on August 16, 2009


Ah, neat. Kind of intriguing, these stealth releases.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:10 PM on August 16, 2009


I LOVE Kid A and Amnesiac (and am starting to love In Rainbows), but they are not really album's albums.

Eh, I'm pretty sure Kid A epitomizes "album's album."
posted by rbf1138 at 9:39 PM on August 16, 2009


Yes, that image from Waste is starting to make me think that there's really something to all this-- the image when opened in Notepad is entitled Twisted Woods. And add that to the silence of the band/management over the weekend, and I'm starting to hit refresh on DAS rather too often....
posted by jokeefe at 11:53 PM on August 16, 2009


Marisa, you have no idea. Over the last few years RH have seen fit to set all kinds of puzzles and intrigues at the fanbase, and the vigilance has only increased with the In Rainbows announcement in 2007, which caused pandemonium on the fan boards (good times!). We're always waiting for the next surprise. more cookies....
posted by jokeefe at 11:56 PM on August 16, 2009


On the Radiohead blog:
So here's a new song, called 'These Are My Twisted Words'.

We've been recording for a while, and this was one of the first we finished.
We're pretty proud of it.

There's other stuff in various states of completion, but this is one we've been practicing, and which we'll probably play at this summer's concerts. Hope you like it.

Download the audio here or torrent here.
Jonny
The download is the same 320k mp3 with some print-it-yourself artwork.

So, uh, that's it I guess. OR... MAYBE IT'S A TRICK SO NOBODY EXPECTS THE ACTUAL EP THAT WILL COME OUT NEXT MONDAY!
posted by robinhoudt at 3:52 AM on August 17, 2009


[YAWN]
posted by hooptycritter at 4:16 AM on August 17, 2009


Marisa, you have no idea. Over the last few years RH have seen fit to set all kinds of puzzles and intrigues at the fanbase, and the vigilance has only increased with the In Rainbows announcement in 2007, which caused pandemonium on the fan boards (good times!). We're always waiting for the next surprise. more cookies....

I gotta admit, that is pretty cool. I love when artists surprise their fans. Like how Prince (I don't know if he still does this) would often end a big concert, then pack up a few musicians and head to some tiny local hole in the wall to play a surprise session for free.

Maybe Radiohead's next album will only be available locked in a safe in a room somewhere in Fallout 4, and you need a Lockpick skill of at least 100 to open it.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:18 AM on August 17, 2009


Well that was kind of underwhelming... maybe they'll release another song this week! Um.
posted by jokeefe at 10:39 AM on August 17, 2009


Final addition-- Maggie has video up of its first live performance yesterday at the Frequency Festival should anyone be interested.
posted by jokeefe at 1:26 PM on August 22, 2009


.... and which apparently the band liked so much they linked it on the official site. Well done Maggie!
posted by jokeefe at 8:15 PM on August 23, 2009


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