The Lonely Minotaur

Music & Concert Reviews

Wading Through Radiohead’s Public Library — March 11, 2020

Wading Through Radiohead’s Public Library

The start of January brought Radiohead fans a tremendous late holiday surprise, an extensive online resource containing videos, music, artwork, websites, full concerts, playlists, old merchandise, webcasts and other assorted ephemera. The band has named it the “Radiohead Public Library” (https://www.radiohead.com/library/) and you can even create your very own printable library card if you fancy it. No longer do you have to hunt down old videos on YouTube or buy rare items on eBay. The Radiohead Public Library is now the go to destination for all your Radiohead needs. The collection naturally begins in 1993 with debut album Pablo Honey and travels all the way up to 2016’s magnificent LP A Moon Shaped Pool. Everything in between is an odyssey like voyage with countless jumping off points to get lost in for hours upon hours. Not everyone has the time to explore everything the band has just gifted us. That could take weeks, maybe even months to properly unpack. If you are looking for some of the very best bits from this massive archive, I’ve constructed a list of library highlights. Sadly there is no MTV Beach House from 1993. I suspect this list will need to be updated as time passes and future discoveries are made. The band themselves have even added to the library two different times since its launch. I suspect this will remain the case, especially with the looming announcement of a 20th Anniversary boxset for Kid A this coming October. That day can’t come soon enough. The Kid A section is surprisingly………….skimpy. Wink wink. A treasure trove awaits folks.

Live at the Astoria
27 May 1994

https://www.radiohead.com/library/#bends/1994-05-27-live-at-the-astoria

A setlist featuring many throwback cuts that have been missing in action for decades at this point: “Bones”, “Ripcord”, “Blackstar”, “Maquiladora”, “Vegetable” and “Pop Is Dead”. The evening ends with a killer version of “Blow Out” with an absolute guitar shredding hurricane of fury by Thom, Jonny and Ed. A real highlight.

MTV’s Most Wanted
05 October 1994

https://www.radiohead.com/library/#ph/1994-10-05-mtv-s-most-wanted

Thom and Jonny performed stripped back versions of Pablo Honey’s “You” and the newly written “My Iron Lung” which would later appear on The Bends in 1995.

MTV’s Most Wanted
18 August 1995
Radiohead cover Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better” which was the James Bond theme from the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me. Thom once proclaimed the Bond theme to be “Sexiest song that was ever written”. Also performed on the night was “Just”.
W.A.S.T.E. Newsletters Volumes 1-16

https://www.radiohead.com/library/#bends

A collection of hilarious band newsletters between 1993 and early 1997 with interesting antidotes from the road including a trip to Thailand’s red light district, Jonny DJing on Mexican FM radio, Ed and Colin appearing on KROQ’s radio show Lovelines, learning that Thom’s favorite film is My Cousin Vinny, Phil’s sugar addiction and music they were consuming while on tour: R.E.M., Black Grape, Tricky, Ennio Morricone, Beck and Teenage Fanclub.

Tibetan Freedom Concert

Radiohead take to the stage to play an 8 song setlist that would feature R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe joining the band to perform lead vocals during “Lucky”. It is also pretty clear the band were really into parachute pants during the summer of 1998. Strange days indeed.
Amateur Night II
One of Radiohead’s earliest innovative webcast streams. This one taking place during the recording of the band’s upcoming album Kid A. The real treat of this web show was an early demo of “There There” which features different lyrics from the version found on Hail To The Thief and rocks much much harder at almost 7 minutes in length. Hopefully more stuff like this appears on the pending Kid A boxset due out this October.
Radiohead would initially promote their newest album Kid A by performing a series of concerts with a carnival like atmosphere housed in a traveling Big Top tent complete with Victorian era ticketing. A very cool and unique idea. I also wish Radiohead would resurrect “Motion Picture Soundtrack” for future tours.
EMI & CANAL + present Kid A : Amnesiac In Paris
28 April 2001
A mashup TV appearance of tracks from both Kid A and Amnesiac. The night would conclude with a thrashing cover of Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl”. Definitely a performance worth checking out. Despite taking a deep plunge into electronic music Radiohead still prove they are the mightiest guitar band in all the land when they want to be.
Later Presents… Radiohead
The calling card for this Jools Holland appearance is New Orleans jazz funeral tune “Life In A Glasshouse” which to my knowledge is the only time the band performed the track in a live setting. Radiohead are even backed by the Humphrey Lyttelton Band who performed the track on Amnesiac.
The Gorge, Washington
About 35 minutes into this Kid A/Amnesiac tour stop in the state of Washington fans are treated to a new unreleased song called “Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses”. This would later be known as the first incarnation of future In Rainbows track “Reckoner”.
Beacon Theatre, NYC
05 June 2003
Part of the now defunct MTV $2 Bill Concert Series, Radiohead would take to the stage to preview material from their new album Hail To The Thief. Best of the bunch would be the acoustic rendition of “True Love Waits” to end the show. It would still be another 13 years before an official studio version was released. I think I love every single version of this song.
A legendary concert performance at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.  I think this gig still holds the title for longest ever Radiohead concert at nearly 2 and a half hours and 28 songs. Radiohead spent most of that early summer road testing new material across North America that would eventually materialize on their 7th LP In Rainbows in October 2007. The band would play 6 unreleased songs on the night: “15 Step”, “Weird Fishes”, “Videotape”, “Nude”, “Bodysnatchers” and “House of Cards”. For my money the best ever version of “Videotape” (35 min mark) was performed at this show. The band would later strip back the tune to its most basic elements but prior to that it was a proper rock-rave up. Hopefully a future anniversary edition of In Rainbows will gift us a studio version of this incarnation of “Videotape”.
Another famous Radiohead webcast. The best part of this evening’s broadcast were the three awesome cover songs. The first being The Smiths’ “The Headmaster Ritual”, the second New Order’s “Ceremony” and lastly Bjork’s “Unravel”. Also played were “Bodysnatchers”, “Faust Arp”, “Reckoner” and “I Might Be Wrong”.
Radiohead would delight 200 fans at a small intimate club show that saw the band play their new album In Rainbows from top to bottom plus an encore of old faithfuls and a solo acoustic version of “Up On A Ladder”. This might be the smallest show the band has performed in over 20 years. Wish they would do more of this type of stuff. Granted scoring tickets would be next to impossible.
Possibly my favorite track from In Rainbows. This performance of “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi” is outstanding. Not just from the band who is on point the entire time but also the way the director cut his cameras to show all the best aspects of the band at the right moments.
Radiohead did very little promotion for their 8th album The King of Limbs in 2011. Just a handful of stops ranging from Glastonbury, Saturday Night Live, Roseland Ballroom and The Colbert Report. This performance is an extended set from what was seen on the main broadcast that night (“Morning Mr. Magpie”). The band would also play “The Daily Mail”, “Bloom”, “Little By Little” and “The National Anthem”. As the From The Basement session from December 2011 would also prove, the material found on The King of Limbs really transcends to another level of excellence when performed live compared to the final studio versions.
This is the closest Radiohead came to giving the fans a From The Basement type release from A Moon Shaped Pool. It would be just Thom, Jonny and a drum machine sitting around a campfire in the Hollywood Hills while being directed by filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson. I kind of wish they did a third tune for this series with Paul Thomas Anderson like a “Desert Island Disk” or even “True Love Waits”. There are so many beautiful tracks off A Moon Shaped Pool. I want to see them all shine in different presentations.
19 Songs For 2019 — December 29, 2019

19 Songs For 2019

Another year has come and gone. It seems like time is passing more quickly as we get older in life. Funny how that works. Luckily for us the music being made keeps getting better and better. I know it sounds awful to say but I find myself listening to more and more individual tracks than full fledge albums. Perhaps I am part of the problem feeding into the Spotify user ethos, any song at any time. It is almost too tempting to pass up. Sure there were plenty of albums I loved, Thom Yorke’s Anima, both Big Thief records and Strange Ranger’s Remembering The Rockets but not enough to merit a Top 10 or 20 rankings. At least by me anyways. Having that been said, this year was a particularly strong one for individual singles and album tracks. Here are 19 of my favorite songs of 2019. With some good fortune 2020 will grant us a similar listening experience.

Big Thief – Not

 

Thom Yorke – Dawn Chorus

 

Bon Iver – Naeem

 

Spoon – No Bullets Spent

 

Clairo – Bags

 

Wilco – Love Is Everywhere (Beware)

 

Better Oblivion Community Center – Dylan Thomas

 

The National – Where Is Her Head

 

Tame Impala – Patience

 

Vampire Weekend – Harmony Hall

 

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – This Is The Place

 

Thom Yorke & Flea – Daily Battles

 

Mannequin Pussy – Drunk II

 

Coldplay – Arabesque

 

Haim – Summer Girl

 

Sharon Van Etten – Seventeen

 

EOB – Brasil

 

Liam Gallagher – Gone

 

Billie Eilish – When The Party’s Over

Thom Yorke’s ANIMA: A Track-By-Track Breakdown — June 30, 2019

Thom Yorke’s ANIMA: A Track-By-Track Breakdown

This album was a solid four years in the making with a handful of mini tours previewing future material. Once again Thom teams up with producer Nigel Godrich as bandmate and creative partner. I feel fortunate that we are now in a phase when so many Radiohead projects are seeing the light of day. Between Thom’s new solo record ANIMA, last year’s film soundtrack to Suspiria, Jonny Greenwood’s film scores to Phantom Thread and You Were Never Really Here, to Phil Selway’s solo albums/movie soundtrack and Ed O’Brien’s upcoming solo debut due this fall. That is not to mention the Ok Computer mini disc leaks of early June and a heavily teased 20th anniversary Kid A/Amnesiac boxset reissue for October 2020. These are very happy times. Before you know it Radiohead will be gearing up for LP10. 

Traffic – ANIMA picks up where Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes seemingly left off. Very similar DNA on this track to many of those tunes and is also featured as the middle section of the ANIMA one reeler by Paul Thomas Anderson on Netflix. 

Last I Heard (…He was circling the drain) – Sonically feels like another version of “Interference” from Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes. A good thing in my opinion as that was a stand out song. Thom describes a dystopia of human sized rats and swimming through the gutters. 

Twist – One of the crown jewels of this record. A long time live favorite which exceeded all expectations on the record. There is even a call back to “15 Step” with children shouting “YAY!”. The real treat of this song is the three minute coda which was previously known as “Saturdays”. Definitively one of the best passages of music Thom has cooked up as a solo artist.

Dawn Chorus – A long time rumored Radiohead song with a mixed bag of fact and fiction surrounding it. Believed to be many other songs (“Open The Flood Gates”, “Wake Me Before They Come”) Thom performed live over the last decade but it ended up being none of those. A devastating beautiful spoken word track that looks back on a life worth living twice despite any hardships. One of the best keyboard melodies the man has ever committed to tape. Sounds like the older brother to “Glass Eyes”. Looking forward to this one live. “Dawn Chorus” is also the final song in the ANIMA one reeler which ends in a surprisingly romantic way for a Radiohead related project. A visually stunning finale to Paul Thomas Anderson’s 15 minute short. 

I Am A Very Rude Person – The most Radiohead like sounding song on ANIMA. Could easily have been on A Moon Shaped Pool. The first guitar notes of the album are heard here. Very heavy on the bass which translates into some fantastic grooves. The ending choir effects are a nice touch. “I have to destroy to create”. 

Not The News – A song that just makes you want to dance and give way to whatever impulses you might have. I consider this the lead single for the record despite not officially having one. An IDM banger. The orchestra swell mid song is truly hair raising stuff and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Jonny Greenwood was a part of that moment. This is also the opening montage to the ANIMA film project. 

The Axe – If the Black Mirror TV show had a theme song this would be it. Humanity vs. technology. Thom wanting to take an axe to our over reliance on technology reminds me of Pink Floyd’s warnings that “one of these days I’m going to cut you into little pieces”. A real album highlight for sure. Nigel Godrich with some of his best production work.

Impossible Knots – On first listen this track sounds like Thom’s other side project Atoms For Peace. Great pulsating bass lines and cameo drumming by Phil Selway. Likely to be a favorite of many who listen to this record. 

Runwayaway – Beginning with guitar noodling that sounds like an outtake of Radiohead’s “These Are My Twisted Words” before morphing into its own unique creation. Thom even revisits his Quasimoto style vocals not heard since the Amnesiac days. The final moments of our journey through Thom’s dreamscape subconscious. Time to wake up….

Grade: A    (Thom’s best solo work by a wide margin)

Thom Yorke Announces “Suspiria” Soundtrack Album…. — September 4, 2018

Thom Yorke Announces “Suspiria” Soundtrack Album….

What has only been teased and hinted at over the last year has finally been confirmed today. Thom Yorke is indeed back with a brand new soundtrack album for the upcoming horror film Suspiria which is out stateside October 26. The album will feature 25 tracks ranging in scope from proper song structures, instrumental compositions and brief interludes that are heavily influenced by Berlin in the late 70s. Also of note is that this is one of the few Yorke projects in recent memory not to feature longtime producer and collaborator Nigel Godrich at the helm. This time Yorke is co-producing the record with Sam Petts-Davies.

To kick things off, a supportive single was released across various musical outlets titled “Suspirium”. It is a simple yet melodic piano ballad with a haunting Yorke vocal delivery. Hopefully a song like this will be performed on Yorke’s upcoming North American tour in November. One can only pray it will be along with other key tracks from the film. Yorke described the making of this soundtrack as “a form of making spells” and seeing what transpires in his home studio. As of now we have heard only “Suspirium” along with short instrumental pieces heard in the film’s two trailers that remind me of the work Philip Glass did for the Vietnam War classic Hamburger Hill.

 

Tracklist

  1. A Storm That Took Everything
  2. The Hooks
  3. Suspirium
  4. Belongings Thrown In A River
  5. Has Ended
  6. Klemperer Walks
  7. Open Again
  8. Sabbath Incantation
  9. The Inevitable Pull
  10. Olga’s Destruction (Volk tape)
  11. The Conjuring of Anke
  12. A Light Green
  13. Unmade
  14. The Jumps
  1. Volk
  2. The Universe is Indifferent
  3. The Balance of Things
  4. A Soft Hand Across Your Face
  5. Suspirium Finale
  6. A Choir of One
  7. Synthesizer Speaks
  8. The Room of Compartments
  9. An Audition
  10. Voiceless Terror
  11. The Epilogue

 

You can pre-order the album here:

https://store-us.wasteheadquarters.com/products/suspiria-music-for-the-luca-guadagnino-film