Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm Going Radiohead Crazy: Get Your B-Sides Here + Take Two Update

You know that period of time after you see a band live where basically all you listen to is their stuff? Yeah, that happens to me really badly whenever I see a show. It's happened for The Hives, Interpol, Daphne Loves Derby, and most recently Radiohead. Last year, right after the release of In Rainbows, I tracked down a ton of Radiohead b-sides over at The Good, the Bad, & the Unknown. I think in light of my recent Radiohead binge I'd like to point people on over there to listen to the two b-side "albums" he made over there: Caisson Disease and Photographic Memory. My favorite things about his b-side collections are that the titles that are inverses of actual releases (e.g. Photographic Memory instead of Amnesiac) and the awesome custom album covers. Check them out, these tracks are just fantastic and are really hard to track down one by one.

And in the spirit of there being some "unofficial" albums of b-sides, I'll update my Take Two from yesterday.

Caisson Disease

"Maquiladora" - That guitar riff, man does that just epitomize the sound of the 90s to me. Hearing Yorke wailing over those dueling guitars is magnificent. I find myself wondering why some of these tracks didn't make the album, but then I remember that the albums are pretty much perfectly sequenced and pared down so there's no filler. These songs work as a b-side collection, but I wouldn't ever really want one of them messing up the images I have of the albums as they are.

"Coke Babies" - That fuzzed out ending is pretty sweet, and I love the semi-floating feeling of the guitar and the drums up until the fuzzing of the chorus. For a gruesome song title, its a pretty sweet sounding track, which is all the more sinister. Considering the amount of material Radiohead releases and the number of songs they hold over from session to session, they really do have an amazing back catalogue of b-sides from over the years. To be able to get multiple collections out of the b-sides is intense, especially when they form albums that dwarf other bands' actual recording output in terms of quality.

Photographic Memory

"Lull" - The shortest song I put on the whole list of Radiohead songs, but I love the guitar work here. All of these songs are culled from different sessions so it's a little hard to place these thematically with one record or another. Caisson is from The Bends-era, and Photographic Memory is from Ok Computer until after Amnesiac, so I'm not really sure where to place this song amongst the records, but I really like it on its own. After a couple more re-listens, the drums are fantastic as well. Short, sweet, simple, altogether not really the kind of track that Radiohead releases, but still awesome. It shows how well they'd do if they were just playing straightforward rock, but we know they're capable of much, much more.

"Talk Show Host" - In a list of my favorite songs of all time it's a all-out-brawl between this song and "2+2=5" for the Radiohead slot (I limit myself to one song per artist). The atmosphere, the guitar, the vocals, the lyrics, the Romeo + Juliet connection, everything just fits for me. The first time I listened to the song outside the film, my jaw dropped I was in so much awe of its beauty.

Okay, now I'm going to stop with the Radiohead overload and try to write something else for once. Just give me a few days or something.

1 comment:

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