Radiohead

The Great Beyond

The Great Beyond

From before Twitler took office, I have felt that he would get us all killed. Today we dropped a massive bomb on Afghanistan, apparently, and are making threats to North Korea. So it seemed like maybe I should not keep holding on to my memorial service playlist but that the time is right to share it. After all, if we’re going to have World War III, I may as well make sure this is out there.

However, the caveat is not all of these songs are available online in the versions that I would actually like to use and it varies between Spotify and YouTube which ones had to be substituted. For that reason, I’m running down the list below. I also can’t help the visuals on some of these videos, which is why I prefer an audio only experience for this, but life could be short so I’m over it. YouTube above, Spotify below.

The Great Beyond
1. Angelika Suspended – Poi Dog Pondering (Spotify has the preferred version)
2. Just Breathe – Pearl Jam
3. If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out – Cat Stevens (here the YouTube is worth it for the Harold and Maude clips since that’s key to its selection)
4. Belong – R.E.M.
5. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi – Radiohead (Spotify for the studio version, though I like the Scotch Mist version fine, it’s not the “right” one)
6. Treefingers – Radiohead (optional – serves as a transition but could also be cut or used as music while people are milling about before things get started)
7. Blood of Eden – Peter Gabriel (YouTube is the correct version from Until the End of the World)
8. Calling All Angels – Jane Siberry with k.d.lang
9. Heaven – Talking Heads
10. Wendell Gee – R.E.M.
11. Untitled – R.E.M.
12. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) – Talking Heads

While there are a lot of songs that you might think I would have on a playlist for my memorial service, this is meant to be something you can actually play for assembled grieving friends and family and not bum people out too much. It shouldn’t make people feel worse. At the same time, sometimes it’s good to cry and let it out. The idea is that this should be in place of any hymns or prayers since I am not religious, though there are some songs that gesture toward that, after all I have a number of church-going family members, including my aunt the nun.

In the days to come I’ll take each one as a separate post with more details but for now I’ll let it speak for itself.

The Gloaming

Radiohead – The Gloaming

Oops, just had a Radiohead song two posts ago and another earlier during NaBloPoMo. Sorry, but I’ve been thinking about this album (Hail to the Thief) a lot lately. Both from the dark sound to the inescapable relevance of the lyrics. To say nothing of the title in this election year when the popular vote winner, for the second time in only 16 years, is not going to be inaugurated.

I can’t understand why the Democrats in Congress are not screaming their heads off. I can’t understand why the institutions are sitting on their hands. The man is not even president yet and already the roadblocks that ought to prevent the disaster that is being assembled are failing. How can he be allowed to still be running a tv show while he’s president? HOW?!?! How can he be allowed to still run his companies? Have his children in his administration? Have taxpayers pay for security for his building in NYC because he doesn’t want to live in DC full time? How can he NOT attend security briefings?! It’s another 9/11 waiting to happen, which will be followed by another war. Just stop! Say NO! I can’t understand. When Obama entered the White House he had to give up his Blackberry and follow protocols. Why is this not happening now? Because the Orange One is saying no? Then we fucking say no. No. He’s acting like a fucking toddler, we treat him like one. You do not reward tantrums. You do not get to be president if you refuse to follow the rules for that office. You want to stay in New York and run your businesses and Tweet at actors? Ok then, that isn’t what the president does. You will have to pick. And hey, no hard feelings when you pick the more glamorous, easy job you created for yourself instead of the very ugly and difficult job that has turned every man gray during his tenure.

The Democrats had better get their fucking shit together, and fast. With each nominee he names it gets worse and worse and worse. It’s right there before our eyes, he’s looking to dismantle every agency in the government. He’s got three or four generals ready to swear allegiance to him. Oh my god, how much more evidence do you need that this man is going to be the end of our democracy? Your alarm bells, they should be ringing. Something has to be done. The recount efforts seem stalled. The investigations into Russian vote tampering won’t happen soon enough. I’m ready for the Electoral College option, even though I was against it at first and still feel it would probably result in deaths. I like Lawrence Lessig’s proposal more than others I’ve read but I suspect there isn’t enough time left for that. Then there’s two or three legal though frowned upon ways to get Merrick Garland confirmed. There’s the run off election in Louisiana for the Senate seat and while I doubt that will help us out, my last ditch hope is that a handful of Republican Senators who still have a shred of decency left and who have spoken out against Trumpenführer could be convinced to jump ship. Defect. I’m looking at you John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins. Do it. What do you possibly have to lose at this point? Finally, if nothing else works, the Democrats have to block every last piece of legislation and every appointment he tries to make. EVERY. ONE. Stop taking that goddamn high road and get down in the street and kick some fucking asses. Stop waiting. Stop expecting him to follow norms. Stop deferring to the ways things have always been done. He has no intention of playing that game so why on earth are we?

 

2+2=5

Radiohead — 2+2=5

Nothing like a more than 13-year-old song to perfectly illustrate the situation we find ourselves in at the moment. How are we supposed to grapple with a society where 2+2=5? I really feel like it’s coming. It’s just a matter of time. So much of what Orange45 says is just completely false and millions of people either believe him or don’t care that he lies incessantly. Not to mention our public education system, which is already falling short, will soon be decimated. How can we restore the value of truth? How we can get people to care if someone is lying? How do you teach children not to cheat or plagiarize when there is no reason for them to not do so?

Can we maybe get out ahead of him and start rumors designed to focus his outbursts in favor of the outcomes we want to see? Tweet that the CEO behind DAPL, for instance, was once overheard saying something about O45s hair being fake, or whatever. Just make it up, that’s what they do. Then instead of 3 a.m. Tweets about how the press isn’t being nice to him, he’ll blast the oil barons. Any other ideas?

Burn the Witch

Radiohead – Burn the Witch

I had a bit of a “low flying panic attack” today when I was getting a little too freaked out about what the fuck we are supposed to do to stop Orange45 and his cronies. I feel like the man with the clipboard in this video and the mayor-type person is Paul Ryan showing me around the new unified Republican government and no one else seems to be alarmed. Here they come painting red crosses on doors and everyone is just waving. So friendly! Swords and creepy masks, that’s totally normal.

Of course, nearly everyone I know is alarmed, and I’m only saying nearly everyone because I didn’t get into a conversation with the cashier at Target tonight. But still I worry. People got used to his vile statements throughout the campaign and they stopped being shocking to millions of people because he was always saying something even more despicable than he had before.

Don’t let them normalize this! Continue to be outraged and complain loudly to the people who represent you in Congress. He will never be normal. He will never be normal!!

 

Idioteque

Radiohead – Idioteque

Things have reached the tipping point, I really hope. Earlier today I was full of rage about the total ignorance and hatred that people in, or vying for, high political offices were spewing. Truly the most vile and disgraceful comments I have ever heard.

As the day wore on, however, I came to see things in a slightly different light. The statements about Syrian refugees made by Donald Trump and others are indefensible. So, now we know. Now there’s no more guessing just how stupid they are and just how racist and xenophobic they are. We no longer have to wait for the other shoe to drop, they’ve done it. They are showing their true colors, and anyone who still supports them is just as guilty.

This is really happening. Did you ever wonder how Nazi Germany happened? How someone who was as clearly unhinged as Hitler was could rise to power? This is how. Enough people who bought into lies told about those who practiced a different religion than the one they knew. Enough people who were small-minded enough to let fear take over their better judgement. And still more people who thought, well, I don’t want to confront anyone, I don’t want trouble, if I just keep quiet maybe it will go away.

I have it easy. My friends and family are equally disgusted by what’s being said and my elected officials are speaking out on behalf of the refugees. I don’t have to worry about getting into a fight with some relative at Thanksgiving about their backwards political views. I’m sorry if you do, but do it anyway.

Fake Plastic Trees

Radiohead – Fake Plastic Trees

The Bends was released 20 years ago today, so the music press tells me. I was pretty busy at work today and didn’t really pay any attention to the mentions about it that I saw go by, but as I was flipping through Twitter I saw an article where 33 musicians listed their favorite Radiohead songs. The part of the article that made the biggest impression on me was how all of these people talked about remembering this or that song from high school. Ooph. That made me feel old.

I feel the need to point out that the Radiohead band members are basically about my age, and they weren’t even called Radiohead until 1991, by which time I was living in DC and working at the Smithsonian. Not in high school. By the time their first album was out and “Creep” was big, I was not interested. For one thing, just as a matter of principle, I was wary of bands that got a lot of attention. I had just been through what one might characterize as a messy break up with a band because of my inability to handle just that. I was not going to let it happen so soon again. If Radiohead were that great, I was not going to fall for them. In fact, I was going to avoid them at all costs and I would maintain a willful ignorance about them for nearly 15 years. And for another thing, I was trying to carefully step away from the musical edge that I often found myself staring down; dark, introspective, angry, hurting or hurtful songs were dangerous for me. Where I’d been drawn to them for years, lived through them, took refuge in knowing I wasn’t alone because of them, I suddenly couldn’t handle it anymore. I didn’t listen to those kind of songs and feel comforted anymore, I felt like my bones were exposed. Everything hurt. What I did know about Radiohead was enough to tell me that I should not go near there.

Fast forward to 2007. I had just turned 40, I had two little kids and a job that was getting worse by the day. I was in a very static place and I’d packed away so much of what I had previously felt made me, me. I hadn’t even allowed myself to think about things like that because it seemed too risky to open all of that up. But then In Rainbows was released and I heard a song or two in my travels. Something clicked. “Bodysnatchers” felt like it was written for me. I downloaded it and would practically blow out my car’s speakers I played it so loud. I needed to feel it physically. And “Jigsaw Falling Into Place” made me dizzy with its perfection.  I adore everything about that song. I love that you can hear their fingers sliding across the guitar strings, I love that you can hear Thom Yorke’s frantic intake of breath, I love the quiet beginning and the roaring end. And the lyrics, whatever may have been the intention, made me think of an earlier me. The heady, swirling, sweaty, anonymity of a dark, packed club, yet the lights picking up something here, something there, possibilities and impossibilities colliding, getting lost between the notes, dancing. Those two songs convinced me to buy the whole album and from there I was hooked.

Over the next couple of years I acquired the rest of their back catalog and confirmed for myself that I was probably right to have kept them at arm’s length earlier because they had a powerful pull. By the time I got to Radiohead I had learned how to step back if I felt like I might get pulled under. I know they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I owe them a lot for showing me it could be ok, better than just ok, to open the door to those murky waters again.

Bodysnatchers

Radiohead – Bodysnatchers

Still marveling at the Radiohead show last night. So, so, great. There are videos from the show but they’re jumpy and the quality is mixed so I’m posting the album version. However, when they busted this out in the second encore, it was fucking amazing. Just as blistering as I always imagined it to be.

For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself.

2+2=5

Radiohead – 2+2=5

Got two tickets to Radiohead today. Phew! What a nerve-wracking experience that pre-sale is though. I almost think I’d rather go back to the days of sleeping out on the pavement at the Spectrum. I’m not even sure if my seats are together and will-call only which always makes me nervous.