Sunday, July 10, 2011

Radiohead fans love Radiohead

Today I had some time to waste and decided to watch some songs from Radiohead's recent In The Basement sessions, which features songs from their latest LP and personal non-favorite King of Limbs.   I hadn't listened to KOL in maybe a couple of months.  And it was really only a handful of times.  Nothing on it really grabbed me like past albums have.  Honestly, I feel it is a mediocre Radiohead album -  below Hail to the Thief and above Pablo Honey, in my ranked order of Radiohead albums (every Radiohead fan has one).

I didn't watch the videos in chronological order.  I picked randomly.  But by the time I got to the 7th song, I realized that a) although I am not a huge fan of KOL, I had watched most of the videos from the session and b) most of the videos from the session had roughly the same number of views.  There wasn't a big disparity at all between video views.  To me this represents the dedication and loyalty of radiohead fans and is a true testament to just how good this band is - or was, depending on what side you're on.

It was interesting to see and hear Radiohead play these songs live as a band.  The studio versions sound  so "produced" to me as if they were written and recorded in the studio, track by track.  It sounds more like an electronica album than say a "band" album - and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

By the end of it, I walked away with a slightly different perspective on the KOL material.  I actually think some of these tunes are better in this live format (Bloom, Magpie and even Feral) than on the record. Some of Thom's melodies are still borderline grating, though.  And for the most part, I feel like a lot of it has been done before, so I wouldn't say that this is a step ahead for Radiohead.  But despite all of this, I watched every video, and it looks like other Radiohead fans did as well and I think this says a lot.

Ranked Order of Radiohead Albums (Best to Worst)

OK Computer
Kid A
In Rainbows
The Bends
Hail to the Thief
King of Limbs
Pablo Honey

Das Racist Announce New 'Relax' LP

Das Racist is one of my favorite rap groups to come out in the past couple years. Although I must say, it took awhile before I jumped on the band wagon.  On the surface, Das Racist seemed as though they shouldn't be taken seriously, mainly due to their goofy lyrical content and half-baked music videos.  However, once you delve into their first two mix tapes (Shut Up, Dude and Sit Down, Man), you realize that these guys are truly skilled rappers with solid flow, clever rhythms and infectious beats.  So yeah, they should be taken seriously.

I'm really looking forward to their forthcoming LP, Relax, set to be released on September 13th. It features production from Diplo, El-P, Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij and Yeasayer's Anand Wilder and includes guest verses from El-P, Despot and Danny Brown.

Here is Rainbow in the Dark, from Shut Up, Dude: