Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Something Brief About Radiohead

After my first boyfriend and I broke up, he got really into Radiohead. This was the April 2000, so he must have been listening to Kid A. It was the end of my freshman year of high school, and I had no experience with the band. Sometimes my ex and I would attempt to have amiable conversations outside the school while waiting for our parents to pick us up. He normally started off with some kind of backhanded compliment, such as "You're not dressed so slutty today."

And then he would start talking about Radiohead. Did I know, did I know, that Thom Yorke hated performing? That he performed with his back to the audience? Because all he cared about was the music? Did I know this?

No, of course not. I didn't listen to the band - although I did have a distinct memory of purchasing OK Computer in the seventh grade, hating it, and giving it to my mom - and I couldn't figure out what my ex was all worked up about. Later that year he wrote a bunch of poems with suspicously Radioheadesque titles: "Music (for the closing credits)," "IamnotwhoyouthinkIam," etc. And that was pretty much the last gulp of his engagement with popular culture before ascending into Grateful Dead cover band heaven, where he remains to this day.

Now, almost ten years later, Radiohead is a pretty undeniable cultural force. I went to see Radiohead in Milan on June 17. It was awesome. Thom Yorke did not, in fact, perform with his back to the audience. He danced like he was having a constant sexy seizure and stopped only to announce the football scores. And I wasn't dressed slutty, either.

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