Music Monday: Radiohead Songs, Radiohead Stories

A few weeks before my high school graduation, I found out that Radiohead would be performing at a brand new outdoor camping music festival up in New York by the name of Field Day Fest*. My friends and I were huge fans of theirs (plus the rest of the line-up: Beck, the Beastie Boys, Thursday, Bright Eyes, Sigur Ros, Blur, etc.) and it seemed like the perfect way for me to spend the last few days of my senior year. Sadly, as my friends Eddie and Jon** and I were on our way to Ft. Lauderdale Airport, I got a phone call from Ticketmaster informing me that the concert had been changed. Rather than being a multi-day camping extravaganza in Long Island, it would now be a one day concert happening at Giants Stadium …in New Jersey.

Suffice to say, we were pissed.

We left our camping gear with our friend and proceeded to hunt down a hotel to stay at for the duration of the trip (this was before the days of rampant smartphone use). The festival itself was basically a catastrophe. Aside from being screwed out of a lot of bands we wanted to see, it basically rained the ENTIRE TIME we were there. Sometimes it would be a light drizzle. Othertimes, full on thunder storm. And it didn’t help to be in a stadium with metal seats, feeling like the concert would turn in to a human BBQ any minute now. Still, we trudged on. And then we waited impatiently for Beck to play (I actually missed out on my only chance to ever see Elliott Smith perform on the outside stage – I am still kicking myself about that one), but he never showed. Turns out he got injured backstage and so the Beastie Boys came on and put on a good show. And then, after 10 hours of perpetual moisture, it was finally time for the main event.

Thom York stepped on to the stage, and the rain…. stopped.

It was magic.

You probably couldn’t measure the amount of joy I felt watching Radiohead play for the first time. Not only watching them play, but being in that moment, soaked to the bone from head to toe, shivering in the makeshift ponchos we finally bought for $20 a piece that were essentially just garbage bags with holes, starving after a day of being unable to eat anything more than disgusting, overly salted, giant pretzels, still semi-soggy from the rain. Utterly exhausted. But then, like I said. It stopped raining. And Thom began to sing. And the band played on. And they played for a good two hours, bringing me practically to tears at certain points. Goosebumps for hours. It’s still one of my favorite concert experiences of all time.

I think it was that experience that really made me realize just how much I love Radiohead.

I know a lot of people out there think they’re over rated. It’s true that they are essentially a pop band, a popular band, a band that almost everyone enjoys, even if they don’t normally like rock or electronic music. And honestly, the reason for this is that they’re just really fucking good.

Since then, i’ve had the opportunity to see Radiohead perform again twice, both times here in South Florida. They were amazing shows, but they still haven’t topped that first one. Now tonight, they’ll be playing Florida again and this will be the first time I miss them in almost a decade. I’m jealous, to say the least, of everyone that’s going. I have a lot of friends that will be attending for the first time, and I’m excited for them, but it doesn’t mean i’m not still sad about the whole thing. So i’ve decided to share some of my favorite Radiohead songs here for you. While I wanted to include amazing tracks like I Might Be Wrong and Exit Music (For a Film), I opted to go mostly with some tracks you might’ve never heard off different EP’s and singles. Enjoy!:

 

Gagging Order (COM LAG 2Plus2Is5Five EP)

This song is a rainy drive through a field full of flowers in bloom, a hug from someone you’d missed for far too long that’s aged more than expected, a night of insomnia in a hotel room far from anyone that knows your name, a kiss on the forehead at just the right moment from the right person. In short, it does things to a person.

 

Talk Show Host (Street Spirit (Fade Out) single; Romeo & Juliet soundtrack)

This is probably the most popular song out of this list and I don’t think i’ve ever met anyone that didn’t love this song, even if they weren’t big fans of the band. There’s just something about it. At the very least, it conjures up images of Leo DiCaprio back when I was 14 and found him extra swoon worthy. But really, it’s just a good song.

 

Permanent Daylight (My Iron Lung EP)

This song evokes such a feel for the 1990’s, it kills me. I didn’t actually discover this one until the advent of Pandora radio. It came on once and I said to myself that it sounded like Radiohead but unlike anything i’d ever heard from Radiohead (save maybe slightly reminiscent of Pablo Honey, but even then). Just a fun song.

 

True Love Waits (I Might Be Wrong – Live Recordings)

When people say they’re “moved” by a song, I generally feel that they should be talking about this song. I don’t really know what to say about it. It’s a goddamn fucking beautiful song. My vocabulary won’t allow me to go beyond that with this one. The feeling in my chest when I hear it can’t really be replicated. Because regardless of how we feel in our lives, we all just really want what this song says to be true.

 

Codex (King of Limbs)

In case you haven’t listened to their last album, King of Limbs, here’s one to reel you in. Words like ethereal come to mind, but I know that’s just trite. Take it for what it is. Let it breathe in to you.

 

Trans Atlantic Drawl (Amnesiac single)

How. Awesome. Is. This. Song. !? No, really. That’s all I can say about it.

 

Fog (again) (COM LAG 2Plus2IsFive)

This song is running around as a child, dirt on your knees, imagining the world. This one is being in the middle of the ocean, where the stars are their brightest, feeling cool night air, unaffected by the rest of the world. It just is.

 

How I Made My Millions (No Surprises single)

This is my last one. I actually just discovered it while hunting down fantastic songs by Radiohead. Listen and you’ll get it.

 

I have too many other songs that I would love to include in this, but you’ll have to do some Radiohead research yourself to find what your favorites are. To those hitting the show tonight, have a blast! I’ll spend tonight reminiscing about all the wonderful moments shared with their music, til next time.

 

*If you really want a good review of how this day went down, read that article. Nail on head.

**Names changed as usual.

This Week In Amazing: Miami Winter, Enchanted Santas, Impossible Missions, and the Spiders from Mars

If the first week of 2012 is any indication of what is to come this year, it may very well be the end of the world.

Alright, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but these first few days have been admittedly too much fun (if such a thing exists). It’s been deliciously cold out (cold for Miami, that is), so it’s been difficult not to be out and about. There were about 3 days in a row where my main mission was to find a good place with coffee and pie, a la Twin Peaks (holy crap someone get me this shirt!!). In between these days have been hang outs revolving around playing pool and watching movies. My pool game has sadly not gotten any better in the past few days, but I have to say it’s definitely improved in general over the past few months. As for the movies, we saw Young Adult a few nights ago (I’m still trying to write out my disappointment about this film in a separate post) and this past Sunday, I took my dad to watch the latest Mission Impossible film for his birthday. Maybe it’s because I didn’t exactly have high hopes for it, but MI4 wound up being exactly what it was supposed to be: mind-numbingly entertaining. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Simon Pegg, and hell, Jeremy Renner isn’t exactly hard on the eyes. See for yourself:

On top of all of this, there have been nature walks in parks (and almost getting pegged by the Frisbee golfers), my first time feeding my baby nieces (messy, to say the least), bonfires and barbecues in backyards (not to mention unpasteurized Gouda), drinks with the ladyfriends (at Fox’s, Mr. Moe’s, Sunset Tavern, Sandbar, and Titanic’s – all places I should be piecing together some reviews for soon), and the rediscovering of good music.

In particular, I’ve been indulging myself in a lot of Radiohead (the Com Lag and Airbag/How Am I Driving? EPs to be specific) and David Bowie (namely: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars). Getting lost in music again is inspiring me to bring back the old podcast, maybe even if it’s just mini-mixes for now. Will be trying to get something going for that in the near future.

Quite possibly the best night so far of 2012 though involved a trip to that Miami holiday staple: Santa’s Enchanted Forest.

Santa’s is the annual winter-themed carnival that graces Tropical Park from November to January. Like most Miamians, I’ve been visiting the Enchanted Forest since I was a little kid – I’ve even got the Polaroids to prove it. Of course, back then it was much smaller and a lot less expensive. Nowadays, the roughly $27 entry fee gets you admittance into the park where you can indulge your inner child while walking past Christmas-y dioramas, watching acrobats and clowns and the occasional fire-breathing act, stuffing your face on elephant ears and other fried goodies, and riding everything from rollercoasters to ferris wheels to the infamous Himalaya (“Let me hear your screaaaaaam!” is a popular phrase you’re sure to hear if you happen upon this particular ride). While this was a place I used to absolutely love coming to as a kid, it was sometime around early adolescence that I decided I was “too cool” to keep going to such a “childish” establishment. Luckily, the older I get, the less I care about ever looking goofy or silly, so my friends and I revived this old tradition last year and have since come to enjoy it as one of our new winter traditions. This time around, we over-indulged in cotton candy and nachos, enjoyed defying gravity on numerous rides, and even made friends with some enterprising, traveling caricature artists. And of course, there are more details about all this, but for that you’ll have to wait til I jot ’em down in the book (wink, wink). Suffice to say that sleep has been lost, memories have been made, and plenty of cafe con leches have been drunk in between. So is the good life.

On a side note, I’ve got my first part-time gig going for the year and quite hopefully more work to come. If all goes well, I may be returning to the store to reward myself with this dress:

I’ve spent far too much time wearing the same tired old things. 2012 requires drastic wardrobe overhaul!

For now, it’s time to continue with the writing goals and see where the rest of the year takes me.

 

How was your first week of 2012?

If it hasn’t been spectacular just yet, start adding a little magic to your life. Take an alternate route home sometime. Talk to the stranger next to you. Do something completely unlike you. You might be surprised at how much these little details can alter the course of your day, your week, your year.