Tag Archive for 'Radiohead'

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Concert Review: Radiohead – March 15 2012 Glendale, AZ

Last week I drove out to Glendale, Arizona for to see my seventh Radiohead concert. I’m proud of the fact that I have seen them once per album since 1997. And while I cannot say this was as epic as some of the shows in the past, it was a total blast and quite memorable for a few reasons.

First, an indoor arena has a significantly different feel than the big outdoor concerts they have been focused on the past 10 years. While the capacity of the arena in Glendale was not drastically smaller than, say, the Hollywood Bowl (surprisingly very similar), the fact that it was indoor with a general admission floor gave a much different experience. You could actually see the band! I could, anyway, as I was on the floor, not too far back from the stage. This video is indicative: it seems to have been shot and zoomed over my head.

That video also brings me to my other point about Radiohead’s setlists. Most bands will play their new songs pretty straight, while maybe experimenting a bit with their older songs. Radiohead? The exact opposite. As you can hear with this old song (“Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box”), it sounds fairly similar to the recorded version on Amnesiac. But compare that to the new “Bloom” at the top, which has expanded and blown up into an entirely new experience. Most of the new King Of Limbs songs were like this. “Little By Little,” while dark on record, sounds downright menacing live. “Good Morning Mr Magpie” is sped up. “Feral” explodes into some crazy thing, somehow becoming one of the more exciting songs in the set. (Why can’t it sound like that on the record?!) The new songs were pretty mindblowing, and that is what I will remember most of all about the music this tour.

But then, the converse is true too: the old songs sound exactly like you’d expect. I love hearing the songs fucked with and expanded like this and why can’t they do that with the old songs too? Doesn’t have to be drastic, but “Paranoid Android” and all those sound like they always have. Do they have to? If they can experiment with “Feral,” why not the old stuff? I do not mean to diminish the excitement of hearing the “Airbag” riff in person, don’t get me wrong. I definitely recognize how great it is to still go to a show, 15 years later, and still have that “Paranoid Android” crowd frenzy. But it did make me wonder if they cruise through certain things to some extent? I don’t know, I’m conflicted on this–torn between wanting more experiments but also loving their back catalog. In the end though, Radiohead on cruise control still sounds like this, so I’m just nitpicking:

Other little thoughts: “Lotus Flower” appears to be their new most-popular song, the crowd went crazy for it, along with old faves like “Idioteque” and “There There.” I really can’t imagine them dropping any of those from any set they do, ever.

Outside the King Of Limbs stuff, they also played recent tracks like “The Daily Mail” and “Identikit.” A few other new songs have shown up on this tour, but those were the two I heard. Thom told the crowd that their goal was to play more new stuff–looking back is ok but looking forward is what keeps them going. “Identikit” reminded me a bit of “Lotus Flower,” maybe just less seductive. That’s first impression though, and will be curious if they release it soon (Thom said it was his favorite new song). They did release a live version of “The Daily Mail” recently, and it’s been growing on me quite a bit.

Anyway, Radiohead’s songs are so good and they’re such amazing performers that there’s no way a show won’t rejuvenate you.

- almostaghost

Life In Mixtape Form #43

Life In Mixtape Form #43 from almostaghost on 8tracks.

Next week’s should be awesome–I’m roadtripping out to a Radiohead concert in a few days. ūüôā Until then, here’s this week’s.

- almostaghost

Coachella 2012 Saturdays

As I continue to go through the Coachella lineup, I get even more stoked. The Saturday lineup is particularly intense and exciting, and I cannot wait. I touched on it a little in looking at the Friday lineup, but Saturday is an even more British day! I’ll have an accent by the end of the day. There’s literally no way I’ll be able to see everyone I like on the Saturday, conflicts will abound. This mix is a little long, my 23 favorites from the day.

UK: Radiohead, Laura Marling, SBTRKT, Buzzcocks, Kasabian, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Squeeze*, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds*, Kaiser Chiefs*, Sub Focus*, Jacques Lu Cont*, The Big Pink*, The Vaccines*

Canada!: Feist, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Dragonette, Destroyer*, Zeds Dead*,

I’m particularly excited for the women artists this day: St. Vincent, Laura Marling, Feist, Azealia Banks, tUnE-YaRdS, Grace Potter, Keep Shelly In Athens, Dragonette

Reasons I’m even going to Coachella this year: Radiohead, Bon Iver

Artists everyone else is a little more exicted to see than I: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Jeff Mangum, tUnE-YaRdS, Childish Gambino*

Old bands/Coachella reunions: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Buzzcocks, fIREHOSE, Squeeze*

Artists I now dig who I just learned about from doing this: Azealia Banks, Gary Clark Jr., tUnE-YaRdS, fIREHOSE, We Were Promised Jetpacks

* not on this mix

Coachella 2012 Saturdays from almostaghost on 8tracks.

- almostaghost

2011 – Wrap-up and Mix

^ first, a mix. It’s not ALL songs from my top 20 albums either. I do like other things too. ūüôā

And had a couple of requests for an extended list, so here it is. A few that narrowly missed the top-20 just came out, and if I’d had them longer and given them more of a chance, they could’ve climbed up. Artists, next time, release your albums before November, kthxbye!

1. Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest
2. The Antlers – Burst Apart
3. Radiohead – The King Of Limbs
4. The Kills – Blood Pressures
5. Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow
6. The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient
7. Lia Ices – Grown Unknown
8. Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver
9. The Black Keys – El Camino
10. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
11. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
12. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
13. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
14. Thurston Moore – Demolished Thoughts
15. Eleanor Friedberger – Last Summer
16. Cut Copy – Zonoscope
17. Disappears – Guider
18. Youth Lagoon – The Year Of Hibernation
19. Vetiver – The Errant Charm
20. Bjork – Biophilia
21. Death Cab For Cutie – Codes And Keys
22. Sophie Zelmani – Soul
23. Little Dragon – Ritual Union
24. Gudrid Handottir – Beyond The Grey
25. My Morning Jacket – Circuital
26. Radical Face – The Family Tree: The Roots
27. Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean
28. Tom Waits – Bad As Me
29. Feist – Metals
30. Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
31. Anna Ternheim – The Night Visitor
32. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Hysterical
33. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
34. R.E.M. – Collapse Into Now
35. Rachel Goodrich – Rachel Goodrich
36. Bell X1 – Bloodless Coup
37. Dum Dum Girls – Only In Dreams
38. Wilco – The Whole Love
39. Wire – Red Barked Tree
40. Marketa Irglova – Anar
41. Marissa Nadler – Marissa Nadler
42. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne
43. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Mirror Traffic
44. Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam
45. Release The Sunbird – Come Back To Us
46. CANT – Dreams Come True
47. Babette Hayward – You Might Be Somebody
48. The Roots – Undun
49. Wild Flag – Wild Flag
50. Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What
51. Thea Gilmore – John Wesley Harding
52. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
53. Blood Orange – Coastal Grooves
54. The Black Belles – The Black Belles
55. Alela Diane – Alela Diane & Wild Divine
56. Snoop Dogg – Doggumentary
57. Washed Out – Within And Without
58. Ringo DeathStarr – Colour Trip
59. Pterodactyl Plains – In The Air
60. Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials

that’s enough; all 60 of these I do like! You can listen to my 20 favorites on my Spotify playlist. Add me on there!

Thanks for reading. Thanks for following along. Thanks for talking about music, making recommendations, and sharing stuff with me. On to 2012!

- almostaghost

AlmostAGhost‚Äôs Best Albums Of 2011 ‚Äď #3. Radiohead – The King Of Limbs

The King Of Limbs

don't blow your mind with why

In the first season of Mad Men, Don Draper tells a room of hippies that the “universe is indifferent.” This bums them out, but it does get to the heart of Don Draper — this idea is how and why he feels free. (Sorry if you don’t know the character.) Similarly, on The King Of Limbs, Radiohead’s universe is a tumultuous one, and probably also an indifferent one. From within that tumult, Thom Yorke, as always, is trying to feel free.

The first few tracks depict the universe. Oceans bloom, jellyfish float by, the universe sighs. A no-good magpie steals memories, magic, melodies. “Obligations / complications / routines and schedules / drag and kill you,” Yorke sings on the dark “Little By Little.” These are hardly unusual depictions for Yorke, who regularly writes of the havoc in the universe in his songs, from car crashes to ice ages to spinning plates to weird fishes and worms. Metaphors? Sure. But also a world in constant upheaval.

That’s all well and good, but it’s just a set-up for the second half of the album. While this havoc goes on all around, Yorke keeps confronting it head-on. “And while the ocean blooms / it’s what keeps me alive,” he recognizes. This confrontation leads to a freedom, a state of mind, where there’s nothing to fear and nothing to doubt:

– “We will shrink and be quiet as mice / While the cat is away / Do what we want”
– “I will shape myself into your pocket / I will shrink and I will disappear”
– “Jump off the end / Into a clear lake / The water’s clear and innocent”
– “I think I should give up the ghost” (a phrase defined as “ceasing to exist” on dictionary.com)
– “Finally I’m free of all the weight I’ve been carrying”
– “Put the shadows back into the boxes / I have jettisoned my illusions” (on a b-side that didn’t make the album; shared below)

Those are all from the last four songs on the album; and clearly tie them all together. He is free. I’ve read a lot of different interpretive angles about Limbs, from climate change to suicide to dreams to Buddhist rebirth to whatever. And I’m not going to try to get that specific on it (besides comparing it to Mad Men, of course). But that is to say, these are some pretty deep songs when you look at them closely. (Just like Mad Men.)

Musically, of course, Radiohead keeps expanding their sound. My understanding from following them for so many years now is that after every album, they nearly break-up, and then totally rebuild how they create music. The end result may stay the same (killer songs), but the process evolves. The King Of Limbs seems to me to borrow a lot more from electronic music (that gorgeous “cat is away” break in “Lotus Flower,” the creative drums/percussion on “Separator” and “Bloom,” the vocal loops of “Give Up The Ghost,” etc.). In some ways, this is the Radiohead album that feels less like a band performance than ever before; but perhaps that was in reaction to their last album, which totally felt like that.

I’ll be honest here too: out of all Radiohead albums this is probably the one I’ve obsessed over the least. It’s still better than most everything out there though, and that’s why it’s one of the best albums of the year. I won’t claim to be unbiased on this list–it’s Radiohead and I’m me and they’re going to be ranked high. Regardless, I’m sure everyone I know who might possibly be reading this probably has already heard The King Of Limbs. (If not, why are we friends?*)

Radiohead “Supercollider”

Radiohead “Separator”

*lol j/k**
**sort of

- almostaghost

Life In Mixtape Form #34

Last 8 days, in mixtape form.

I fell behind on my reviews and won’t be quite done for the new year. I hate to linger on too long after January 1st, so I’ll get the last five albums up and done (and a nice long mix) in the next couple days. Have a good New Year’s! Thanks for reading, on behalf of everyone at this blog.

- almostaghost

cyanide breathmint’s best of 2011

This seems to be getting more difficult every year! 2011 was filled with so much great music and I feel like I had such little time to appreciate that. This year’s rankings were truly the hardest ever to compile. Looking past the sheer volume of great new (and “newish”) acts which have emerged, old favorites returned with new offerings, there’s also the fact that my tastes have been diverging in two distinct directions.

My love for shoegaze has has come into the forefront this year, somewhat shattering the usual suspects for top 25 positions. Nevertheless, all those beautiful walls of noise simultaneously crashing down upon my ears couldn’t ever make up for good song writing and talented vocalists. I think that’s reflected in the mix of albums in this year’s Top 25.

I had originally planned doing “reviews” for the top 10. However, I only had enough patience and focus to get the top spot for you. I have included a sample mp3 for each of the top 25 albums. If you would like to grab all of these at once (plus a few bonus tracks), click here.

[UPDATE DEC 26 2011] The honorable mentions have been updated after reading my colleague betweenthesound’s amazing 2011 write up. If you haven’t seen that, you should go read it now¬†(or perhaps right after you finish this post). She managed to (once again) slam me with a gang load of records that were way beneath my radar, but that would definitely have put huge dents in my Top 25 list as it stands.

Without further ado, here they are…

Top 25 Albums:

25) Asobi Seksu РFluorescence

Asobi Seksu – Counterglow


24) The Mountain Goats РAll Eternals Deck

The Mountain Goats – High Hawk Season


23) The Dodos РNo Color

The Dodos – Companions


22) Radiohead The King Of Limbs

Radiohead – Morning Mr Magpie


21) Brute Heart РLonely Hunter

Brute Heart – Hunter


20) Future Islands РOn The Water

Future Islands – Give Us The Wind


19) Dearling Physique РDeadeye Dealer

Dearling Physique – Oh This Currency


18)¬†Neon Indian – Era Extra√Īa

Neon Indian – Polish Girl


17)¬†‚ąÜAIMON – AMEN

‚ąÜAIMON – AMEN


16) Thurston Moore РDemolished Thoughts

Thurston Moore – Orchard Street


15) Screen Vinyl Image – Strange Behavior

Screen Vinyl Image – My Confession


14) The Vera Violets РIn Between Fires

The Vera Violets – Down Tonight


13) The Horrors РSkying

The Horrors – Endless Blue


12) Ladytron РGravity The Seducer

Ladytron – Moon Palace


11) The Antlers РBurst Apart

The Antlers – Every Night My Teeth Are Failing Out


10) Active Child РYou Are All I See

Active Child – Shield & Sword


09) I Break Horses РHearts

I Break Horses – Winter Beats


08) Atlas Sound РParallax

Atlas Sound – My Angel is Broken


07)¬†Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know

Laura Marling – All My Rage


06) Zola Jesus – Conatus

Zola Jesus – Hikikomori


05) PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

PJ Harvey – In The Dark Places


04) M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

M83 – Raconte-Moi Une Histoire


03) Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi – Love Won’t Be Leaving


02) Brief Candles – Fractured Days

 

Brief Candles – The Sentiment


01) Ringo DeathStarr – Colour Trip

In nearly every review, interview, blurb, or blog post post you’ll read about Ringo Deathstarr, you’ll find three common elements.

1. Trio from Austin

They’ve actually gone through a couple lineup changes over the past 5 years, but have mostly stuck to this formula. The creative element is lead vocalist/guitarist Elliott Frazier.¬†After bassist Alex found her way into the band (2007) by apparently just showing up for practice, things have mostly settled down, just finding the right drummer (as of this writing / hopefully “final” – that’s¬†Daniel Coborn).

2. These guys sound like My Bloody Valentine

Drownedinsound put it this way ”¬†If in the meantime you‚Äôve lost your copy of¬†Loveless, you could do far worse than listen to¬†Colour Trip.” Yeah, it’s true. Too bad Loveless

3. The bassist (Alex Gehring) (now going by “galexy”) is so hot

So there, that’s out of the way.¬†If it’s a more recent post you might read about how these kids just toured the UK/Europe with The Smashing Pumpkins. I have to admit kind of hate those dudes, but ultimately it means more exposure for Ringo Deathstarr and so I guess it’s not a bad thing. Moving beyond those tidbits, you get into a the music.

In case you haven’t noticed I don’t do traditional reviews. I leave it to others to finely dissect the record. Instead of telling you how it sounds (just listen for yourself), I offer you how the record felt.¬†Colour Trip hit hard for me. This was probably my favorite record Fever Ray’s 2009 debut, and going back further it would have to be Snowden’s Anti-Anti (2006). Before I totaled my car, this record could very often be heard at extremely high decibels pulsing through the streets of Baltimore weekday evenings. Dark ¬†reverberation¬†and the haunting fuzz draped chanting of Alex form the basis of my song of the year – Two Girls (stream/download below). For the life of me I can’t tell you what the fuck she is¬†saying, but she is¬†saying¬†it just right. Besides being the single most addicting track of 2011, there’s an equally worthy video directed by Alex, which you can also find below. Be forewarned: One might say it’s NSFW.

Ringo Deathstarr- Two Girls


Honorable Mentions [Highly Recommended]

Austra – Feel It Break
Girls – Father Son Holy Ghost
Hunx & His Punx – Too Young To Be In Love
Metronomy – The English Riviera
Radical Face – The Family Tree – The Roots
Shad[]wb[]x – Lady Doome [EP]
St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
SBTRKT – SBTRKT
Washed Out – Within & Without


Honorable Mentions [Enjoyed]

Arc In Round – II [EP]
Apparat – The Devil’s Walk
Battles – Gloss Drop
Björk РBiophilia
Big Black Delta – BBDLP1
Bombay Bicycle Club – A Different Kind Of Fix
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
Brazzaville – Jetlag Poetry
Chad VanGaalen – Diaper Island
Class Actress – Rapprocher
Com Truise – Galactic Melt
Computers Want Me Dead – Computers Want Me Dead
Cut Copy – Zonoscope
Destroyer – Kaputt
Dolorean – The Unfazed
Ducktails III – Arcade Dynamics
East River Pipe – We Live in Rented Rooms
Echo Orbiter – More Batteries
Feist – Metals
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
Grimes & d’Eon – Darkbloom [split ep]
Haley Bonar – Golder
Haujobb – New World March
Hercules & Love Affair – Blue Songs
High Places – Original Colors
IAMX – Volatile Times
Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean
Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow
LAKE R‚Ė≤DIO – Delta
Little Insects – Brighter Than Darkness
Lorelle Meets The Obsolete – On Welfare
Lumerians – Transmalinnia
Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
Malajube – La Caverne
Morpheme – Infection
Niva – Feverish Dreams [EP]
Mogwai – Earth Division [EP]
Music for Headphones – Life.in.Mono
Niva – Feverish Dreams [EP]
ohGr – Undeveloped
Passwords – Passwords
Phantogram – Nightlife [EP]
Pipes You See, Pipes You Don’t – Lost in the Pancakes
Prefuse 73 – The Only She Chapters
Rachel Goodrich – Rachel Goodrich
Seapony – Go With Me
Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde
Starfucker – Reptilians
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Mirror Traffic
Stevie Nicks – In Your Dreams
Stumbleine – All for your smile
Taken By Cars – Dualist
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Belong
The Rosebuds – Loud Planes Fly Low
The Sea and Cake – The Moonlight Butterfly
Tropic of Cancer – The End of All Things
TV On The Radio – Nine Types Of Light
Tycho – Dive
Ume – Phantoms
Vondelpark – nyc stuff and nyc bags [EP]
Wagon Christ – Toomorrow
Warm Ghost – Uncut Diamond EP
Wooden Shjips – West
Woodsman – Mystic Places
Wire – Red Barked Tree
Young Galaxy – Shapeshifting
Yuck – Yuck
††† Р† EP

- breathmint

Life In Mixtape Form #27

#27! A lucky number! Is 27 lucky? It is now.

- almostaghost

Life In Mixtape Form #24

A particularly diverse bunch of 8 songs this time around, mmm tasty.

- almostaghost

Amanda Palmer August 8 2008 Lakeshore Theater Chicago

In 2008, I was in Chicago for a conference. As the plane landed I was looking up shows in town for my week stay and was shocked to find Amanda Palmer was playing a solo gig the next night. And it was totally sold out. I had seen the Dresden Dolls before, but this Amanda solo thing was brand new. Apparently she had done a record, which had leaked just before I left for Chicago, but I hadn’t heard it yet.

After spending nearly my entire first 24 hours in town making calls to the venue, record stores, ticket agencies,  and even asking the hotel concierge if he could help, the evening was upon me and I was ticketless. I decided to head down and see if I could just find tickets waiting in line. When I got to the venue, the line was wrapped around the building. I started walking down the perimeter, and asked if anyone had extra tickets probably each batch of 5 people or so. I got to the end with no luck. So, I turned around and walked straight back up and asked again.

This repeated for about an hour. I had asked many of the same people, probably 5-6 times if they had tickets. The evil looks I was getting were almost enough to make me give up, but I decided to wait in line and see if maybe somehow by the time I got to the front my luck would change. I had taken to discussing the Dolls and AP (FYI: this was the pre-AFP era) with a couple that had driven all the way from Green Bay. They had seen the Dolls about a dozen times, and encouraged me to keep trying. Overhearing our conversation, other people waiting in line shared encouraging words and one girl even said “you were meant to get in this show.” I tended to agree!

When I was about 40 feet from the entrance, a bad falafel saved me. This girl came up to me with one ticket in hand. Her friend had eaten some bad falafel and was leaving. The ticket was mine. Victory was mine. I triumphantly proceeded inside and after checking out some wicked merch I couldn’t afford, I found my seat. And then I was introduced to Vermillion Lies.¬†That could be a whole blog in of itself, but I reserve myself by relating to you that they ended their set with crowd holding hands, swaying, and singing along thusly.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/Hz-G9qE-r8w" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]

Suffice it to say that the night was off to a great start, and it was about to get even better! The lights went down, the cheering started, and then came the following. I ask you stop here, watch the video, and then continue reading.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/XTXsoi603yU" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]

Did you watch yet? If not, stop reading and play that video straight through. ¬†I’ll be waiting for you.

Done? Ok, so I will in no way make the implication that Amanda Palmer is Michael Jackson. But if she was, this was her Motown 25 moment. Ok, so I just took a break from writing and watched that performance of Billie Jean. I reiterate, Amanda Palmer is no Michael Jackson. Anyway, Amanda went on to play many songs from the forthcoming Who Killed Amanda Palmer record, mostly just blowing us away one song after another. There were also some Dresden Dolls songs, several covers, and two encores. The full setlist can be found here.  She closed out the night with her now famous ukulele rendition of Creep, joined by the sisters Vermillion. At the time, nobody had heard her do this before. It was so fucking special.

Of course, anyone who has seen Amanda before knows it ALWAYS feels that way. That, my dear readers, is because it ALWAYS is. What makes Amanda so special, is that she knows it’s all about the fans. She gives us everything she has to give, and thats why we always keep coming back for more. ¬†Unfortunately, this is the only video I could find of that closing number. However, despite the clipped audio, that crowd roaring pretty much captures the moment perfectly.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/kw9vRSu742Y" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]

If anyone reading this knows the girl who got sick on her falafel, or her friend who got me that ticket, please have her write me. I’d love to thank the both of you personally for having made possible one of my all time favorite concert experiences.

- breathmint