Friday, February 18, 2011

King of Limbs - Nothing to Say... yet...

nothing to fear...nothing to doubt....and nothing to say...just yet...


I am trying to write about another band.

But the giddied cacophony of the internet has intervened to shove another, bigger band, down my throat. All day long across the gaping digital sidewalks of The Facebook, and knotted seaweed sprouts of blog upon blog upon blog,I felt this surreal, internet-set avatar-equivalency of being swept up with the pursuing hoard of screaming fans chasing down the four mop tops in the “Hard Day’s Night” video.

Only instead of the Beatles, this was Radiohead. The Oxford esoterikans have released their eighth album today (King of Limbs, for digital purchase/download, a day early, likely purposely, than they’d previously announced) and music journos, however savvied or diluted, tripped awkwardly onto their laptops, sprinting off without a stretch or a warm-up…

Scoops are ludicrous in the internet age. Who are you trying to impress? A review of a Radiohead album will not hold much water on a day like today…the converted, the crazed and the longtime connoisseurs will be too busy drowning themselves in the sounds – squirreled away somewhere, head-between-headphones, nestled into their breakfast nooks or basement laundry rooms or bedrooms, or trotting along with their iPods, taking in this latest piece of work from an already highly acclaimed band (to levels of digital-era deification), ...then, who really cares what you think…

...the UK’s Guardian prefaces its initial post with an acknowledgment that this is merely the “first…” review… a nod to its apparent need to "get the story out" so to speak. But, whether telling or not, they seem to think it “hardly sounds like a band breaking new ground.”

So this begs the question, …whether, especially since their 2007’s In Rainbows having utilized an ingratiating/intriguing “pay what you want” price tag and now with Limbs'-comparable ‘tablets dropped down to the mountain’ abruptness of arrival… have Radiohead albums become more about the experience? The discovery experience, particularly.

The same excitement and, yes, legitimate exhilaration, that we all, around the world, shared today, after clicking…and listening.

Click and listen. And know in the back of your mind, listening to those sparse yet striking guitars, spectral strings mingled with synthesizers and chilling wafting vocals as they emit into your ears…that you are synced up with many, with your veritable Radiohead nation. Or, take heart in being (or convincing yourself that you are) an outsider to the madness, the somewhat partypooper who stands at the side of the auditorium shaking his head at all these screaming fans (yet still nodding his head/tapping his toe).

Something zany happened today. And the sheer energy of those around you demanded that you yourself, if not now, then certainly later, give your own attention to it. Is it some sick water cooler phenomenon? Can we not resist running alongside the mob of screaming fans, down the alleys of the internet, chasing our new Beatles?

In any case…there’s nothing that needs to be said about this record right now. Because it’s your record. We’re at a maddening point where it will not make any difference what anyone writes about it today...

We’ll just have to, as the Guardian suggested,…wait for those “second…” and third reviews.

See what you find.


Hear it.

Get it.

And if you think that's zany, it's considerably shadowed by the recent Lady Gaga zaniness.

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