Listened The Bends Turns 20 from Stereogum

There are plenty of fans who wish that Radiohead had never moved on from that clear, grand, driven guitar-rock sound, or that they’d return to it one of these days. Maybe they still will; you can’t say anything for certain with this band. But even if The Bends is your favorite Radiohead album — some days, it’s mine — it works better as a crucial chapter in one band’s sprawling story. Radiohead’s restlessness — their drive to constantly find new sounds and ideas — is what defines them and what makes them probably the single most important rock band to emerge since Nirvana. In any case, as soon as Radiohead moved on to stranger sounds, a whole cottage industry of soundalikes popped up, striving to capture the same majesty as Radiohead had on The Bends. In a way, it might be Radiohead’s most directly influential album; there is, after all, no way Coldplay exist without that album. So there’s another first for The Bends: It’s the first time Radiohead moved on from a sound and left it for the rest of the world to process and adapt and devour. It wouldn’t be the last.

Liked How Radiohead Struggled to Reinvent Themselves While Making Kid A (Pitchfork)

When people hear “Everything in Its Right Place” in the future, it won’t sound alien or cold or difficult; it will evoke glitchy cell reception and patchy Wi-Fi and decontextualized social-media updates and the modern reality of omnipresent technological interconnectivity at the expense of genuine human connection. It will eventually seem logical—even the parts that aren’t supposed to seem logical. It will sound like screaming at your neighbors and never being heard, in an online landscape that is as dark, disorderly, and foreboding as a Stanley Donwood album cover. Or as inescapable as an arena you can’t ever leave. In time, many of us will feel like the singer in the successful rock band—surrounded by every convenience, and yet thoroughly alienated by this supposedly inviting world.

An excerpt from This Isn’t Happening, Steven Hyden’s new book about Radiohead’s prescient 2000 album.
Bookmarked Radiohead on Tom Waits (

“We could go and do it tomorrow if you’re talking about the extra material, but that’s not really it, that’s not really the point. It’s more about what sticks with us, and what takes on a significance. Like erm… like you have a song, like, erm… there’s a Tom Waits quote about songwriting, he says he’ll have loads of little ideas and stuff, he’ll leave them in his shed at the bottom of the garden, which is his studio, and he shuts the door, and it’s like they’re little kids and they all breed and when he comes back there’s loads of them… certain things have really flourished and certain things have died. You know, we could go and do it all tomorrow, but… when you write a song, certain songs you just forget about and certain songs increasingly take on a significance and just don’t go away, and I think that’s the most important stage, really, because I think anyone can just rattle ’em off. But it’s what ends up meaning something to you.”

A quote from Thom Yorke taken from Triple J ‘The J-Files’, february 2nd 1998
Liked Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien: ‘Cricket Was My Refuge’ | Wisden Cricket (Wisden)

If live music and cricket do have common ground in their public service, the blissed-out simplicity of bringing people together would be it. “There’s a ritual to it,” he says. “There was the chaos of the early years but as a band we have learnt to walk out on stage and feel relaxed so we can play and be in the moment. It’s all about how you approach that day. Maybe it’s age that helps, but I really believe in ceremony and that the preparation is the key. Great gigs are like ceremony, a sporting event is like a ceremony. There’s something that’s very deep about it.”

This YouTube video is a curation of tracks performed by Thom Yorke at the piano (with the aide of various electronics):

  • 00:00 Bloom @ Pathway To Paris
  • 05:04 Cymbal Rush @ The Henry Rollins Show
  • 10:03 Ingenue @ The Johnathan Ross Show
  • 13:21 Videotape @ The Basement
  • 18:02 Analyse @ The Basement
  • 23:00 Last Flowers @ The Basement
  • 27:30 Down Is The New Up @ The Basement
  • 32:51 Eraser @ The Latitude Festival
  • 37:33 Fog(Again) @ Paris Acoustic Session
  • 40:15 Like Spinning Plates @ Oakland Fox Theater
  • 43:30 Everything In Its Right Place @ Oakland Fox Theater

Although there is a lot of live videos out there, including DJ sets, however I am always interested in hear songs striped back.