Man of War

Not me, obviously. Personally, I avoid all sorts of violence unless I’m absolutely sure that I’m going to come out both victorious and unscathed. And those conditions are so rarely guaranteed that I’m basically deeply into self-pacifism these days.

No, I’m referring to the new Radiohead video, of course. From the ever so good new album, which I have really been enjoying, and is already in my top 4 albums for 2017*.

There seems to be some confusion as to what exactly this video is meant to be telling us. No-one seems very sure and everyone is taking a different message from it.
I am also confused as to what exactly is going on. Some sort of descent into anxiety, paranoia and madness? And when he falls over on the railway tracks [spoiler – he falls over on some railway tracks, by the way] is that him taking his medication, with calming, but transient results?

Or is it merely a reminder that otherwise apparently normal places can get much, much spookier when night falls., just like Bergvliet does (especially on Fridays)?

Yes. “Bergvliet is flippin’ terrifying in the dark”. I think that’s actually the message they are trying to get across here.

 

* Current other three contenders at this point (in no particular order):
Elbow – Little Fictions
Future Islands – The Far Field
a-ha – As yet untitled acoustic release, Nov/Dec

20 years of OK Computer

It’s twenty years to the day since Oxford band Radiohead released OK Computer.

I lived in Oxford back then, and the local HMV on Cornmarket Street opened at midnight for Radiohead fans to buy the album before anyone else in the UK got the chance – no mp3s or downloads back in those days, remember.

And yes, I was looking forward to the release, but wasn’t a HUGE fan, so I wasn’t planning on heading into town. But then, finding myself still awake at the witching hour, thought “why not?”, jumped on a bike and hit the High Street.
I was only just in time. The crowds (such as they were) had gone (it doesn’t take long for 50 people to each buy a CD), and the staff were about to close up, but a friendly guy let me in just before locking the door, and I got my CD and my free poster (woo!).

The album was definitely one of the best releases of the 1990s and has aged really well. And yes, the CD is still somewhere safely boxed up in my loft. The poster never made it out of the damp Cowley Road flat we lived in though, and even the branch of HMV succumbed to the pressures of the modern retail environment and closed in 2014.

Favourite track? I liked all of it, but the slower stuff hit home more for me – No Surprises, Exit Music (For A Film) and of course Karma Policeas mentioned here.

Burn The Witch

Trumpton and Camberwick Green vibes for Radiohead’s latest, dark offering.

I watched this several times, loving the sinister events apparently passed off as normal by the town official.

Some stark messages for the modern society there, with lines like:

Loose talk around tables
Abandon all reason
Avoid all eye contact
Do not react
Shoot the messenger

Blimey. It’s serious stuff.

Tenuous a-ha link: This chilling video and messages in the song frightened The Living Daylights out of me?

Fake plastic…

Trees No! Puffins!
Fake Plastic Puffins!

Wait, what?

Remember Radiohead telling us about Fake Plastic Trees?

Her green plastic watering can
For her fake Chinese rubber plant
In the fake plastic earth
That she bought from a rubber man
In a town full of rubber plans
To get rid of itself

Here they are doing it at Glastonbury in 2003. (You may remember that I was there.)

And let’s not knock it, because it’s a great song.
But we’re not on about Fake Plastic Trees. Fake Plastic Trees are so passé.
You want to know about the puffins; the Fake Plastic Puffins.

w704

The FPPs are being deployed on the Calf of Man – that’s the small uninhabited island off the southwest coast of the Isle of Man (just next door to the Chicken Rock, actually). And they’re being deployed with a purpose – to encourage Real Meaty Puffins (RMPs) to come and breed again on the island.

Puffins are both gregarious and notoriously unadventurous; they won’t try new nesting sites (technically, puffins live in burrows, not nests, but still…) if there aren’t already some puffins there. But it seems that they don’t need to be RMPs – they can be FPPs and still have the same effect.
Puffins aren’t ever so observant and are a bit daft, it would seem. Aukward.

Manx National Heritage are pretty excited about being involved in the project, and have promised to keep us updated on its progress. I follow them on Facebook, so I’ll pass any news on to you. I know you’ll be interested.

(Thought: Maybe I need to install some Fake Plastic Blog Readers here…? Hmm…)

Meanwhile, here’s another great post about Puffin recipes.
You’re probably best to use RMPs rather than the FPP version for these though.

Anyone Can Play Guitar

Although of course, it’s not strictly true that anyone can play guitar well. But I was reminded of this vintage Radiohead track this week and felt the need to share:

 

This was actually my first introduction to Radiohead, on a Parlophone (careful now) cassette tape given to us freshers in our first week at Newcastle Uni. I’m going to have a dig around at home and see if I can find it – the track listing would be “interesting”. This was the standout track (and the second best on their Pablo Honey album), but there were other good tracks on there as well.
The Frames’ Masquerade was one – I’ll list the others when if I find the tape.