Thursday, June 12, 2003

Head music

Buying a new Radiohead album is rather like meeting the band on the side of a field. They hand over the new record and start walking across to the other side. On the other side of the field is their next album. You follow for a while, but then you think you can get to the other side on your own. Having plotted your own course when you get to the other side you wait for the next record to be handed over, but the band are on a different corner entirely. It’s only at that point you realise that’s where you’re supposed to be. Each new album is a readjustment of your musical belief system, Indie pop, to stadium rock to DJ Shadow, to Warp Records to well, have no idea what side of the field we’re on at the moment, but I like it.

I have great affinity to Radiohead, for one, they’re from Oxford so we have the greatest brains, music and football team in the world. There was a time when it wasn’t wholly unusual to see Thom Yorke slouching around the city in enormous neon orange combat trousers, or Johnny Greenwood looking like a student, unless of course, it was a student who looked like Johnny Greenwood, who could tell? We also saw them the week they released Creep at Kingston University. They were very noisy, I wasn’t sure whether Greenwood could actually play, Yorke, the same sniffy urchin he is today, hung to the ceiling like a chimpanzee. In a ropey case of six degrees of separation, Choggaz was in a band who supported a band whose drummer was Radiohead’s soundman in the early days. Via a range of festivals, medium sized venues, through to stadiums we also saw them playing in front a majestic backdrop of the dreaming spires mottled by teaming rain in South Parks, Oxford. All that and, of course, they’re innovative and popular. What nirvana.

I am, however, currently loving King of the Boots, a triple CD-ROM of bootlegs I bought from Rough Trade last year, but hadn’t trawled through properly until very recently. Currently soundtracking my early summer are two fantastic Freelance Hellraiser mixes which cuts up D12, Depeche Mode, Brittany Spears, The Beastie Boys, Christina Aguilera, The Strokes and Shirley Bassey and some absolutely bitchin’ party hip hop.


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