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Fitter, Happier: Watch Radiohead play the Electric Factory on the OK Computer tour in August of 1997

Radiohead
Radiohead in Philly, 1997 | still from video

Around the beginning of this century, Radiohead lost interest in being a rock band. And can we blame them, honestly? Any doc you’ll watch on the “alternative” era — from the band’s own Meeting People Is Easy, released in 1998, back to 1992’s The Year Punk Broke, documenting Sonic Youth’s run on the European festival circuit — demonstrates how for all its perceived authenticity, this generation of artists was never completely unspoiled by the gross clutches of corporate commercialism. Even if they kept it at a distance, global capitalism was never far, and it must have been exhausting and emotionally sapping: everybody around you is trying to use you to make a name or a buck, and your choices are either ride the wave and then check out, or play the long game flip it to your advantage.

Thom Yorke, Johnny and Colin Greenwood, Ed O’Brian and Philip Selway chose the latter route; each record they released was more challenging, and met with greater acclaim, and while none of their other 90s hits reached the chart-topping ubiquity of their debut single “Creep,” I don’t think you’ll find anybody arguing that Pablo Honey is their best album.

That honor typically goes to 1997’s OK Computer, a wild and wide-reaching magnum opus that dabbles in mind-bending psychedelic experimentation, the technical prowess of prog, and good old fashion anthems critiquing society and its mind-numbing, isolated, consumerist drudgery as the curtain fell on the 20th century.

But for all its unconventional intricacies, OK Computer still was, at its core, a rock record. This was before Radiohead began using its position and privilege to make, quite frankly, whatever the hell kind of music it felt like. Before the haunting minimal electronic tone-scapes of Kid A, before the broke-down patchwork of Hail to the Thief‘s unrest, before the orchestral elegies of A Moon Shaped Pool. And as such, Radiohead’s performance at the Electric Factory on August 24, 1997 was the last time they played Philly as a rock band. Continue reading →

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Radiohead reign over the Wells Fargo Center

Radiohead | photo by Natalie Piserchio | nataliepiserchio.com

Confession time: I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect when revisiting Radiohead in a live setting for the first time in a decade. Sure, I knew objectively that I would be witnessing a technically proficient and dynamic performance, rich with songs from one of the strongest catalogs in modern rock history. I also knew that I would be ensconced in the enthusiastic energy of the crowd who filled in before, full of fans that no doubt pored over the relatively restrained material that the band has released over the last ten years with the same piety they devoted to the more conventionally accessible albums that preceded it. However, I didn’t know what or how I would feel, personally, when the lights went down on Tuesday night and that opening twinkle of “Daydreaming” filled the still air of the venue. In an instant, it was like no time had passed. For the two hours and change that followed, it was like time ceased to exist altogether. Along with the rest of the rapt audience, I was treated to a transfixing, transcendent night of music—the first of two in Philly that closed out the band’s tour for 2016’s elegant A Moon Shaped Pool—that simultaneously felt like catching up with an old friend and discovering a new favorite artist all over again. Continue reading →

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Radiohead relaunches radiohead.tv with Coachella performance

Radiohead performing at Coachella | Image from video

Radiohead.tv is back in business, people. The iconic band recently resurrected the site so all Radiohead fans in the land shall have easy access to full set, live performances.

First up in the series re-installment is the band’s recent weekend two gig at Coachella. Sans first-week technical issues, Radiohead’s second performance spans a hefty two hours. Featuring an assortment of classics and fresher tracks, the setlist is bonkers. Continue reading →

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New Music Show Preview w/ Radiohead, Waxahatchee & more!

Radiohead-photo-Alex-Lake
Radiohead-photo-Alex-Lake

Our New Music Show returns after the Memorial Day holiday, and we’ve got some catching up to do.  Of course, Dan Auerbach just released Waiting on A Song so we’ll dip into that album.  Plus, we represent Philly with new music from The Districts, Waxahatchee (read below), and a super cool collaboration between trumpeter Matt Cappy and rapper Chill Moody.  Also, another song from Offa Rex (The Decemberists and Olivia Chaney) with Colin Meloy on lead.  And we’ll give you a preview of another tune from Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit’s new album.  Whew! We’ll hear all that and a lot more tonight starting at 8pm!

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Ross Bellenoit covers Radiohead’s “Lucky” for Future Corpses project

ross bellenoit
Ross Bellenoit | photo by Brett Wilshe

Ross Bellenoit continues to kick out the jams with his Future Corpses project, a year-long experiment in releasing monthly covers. We heard some unusual takes on Clapton’s “Lay Down Sally,” Iron & Wine’s “Innocent Bones,” and Genesis’ “It’s Gonna Get Better,” and now the local musician gives us an atmospheric take on “Lucky” by Radiohead.
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Ryan Adams releases tour footage video for new “Do You Still Love Me?,” covers Radiohead’s “Karma Police”

Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams | photo courtesy of the artist

With the release of his new Prisoner LP just a couple of weeks away, Ryan Adams is sharing some of the goods early. This week we get a brand new video for “Do You Still Love Me?,” a dramatic, classic-feeling rock ‘n’ roller that shows the XPN favorite recording in the studio and playing in venues across the country during last summer’s tour.

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