In Rainbows: Discbox at a Glance

Not to worry gay men of Canada! If you have received your discbox from W.A.S.T.E. and have been keeping tabs on the Ad Busters litigation then you won’t need to donate any organs anyway!

Here it is, laid out on my red Ikea rug (that the wife picked out)!

in rainbows discbox

Here is another angle not much different from the first but still worthy of posting a second, almost identical pick. BTW – the vinyl is eatable, edible, you can eat the vinyl in the event of a natural or nuclear holocaust. (not really but its so thick and chunky and sounds like a full meal!) “Bangers and Mash” is a super awesome b-side. Many boners have been popped for this one!


radiohead in rainbows discbox

Discbox has Arrived! In Rainbows

In Rainbows Radiohead coverOkay,

My discbox was sent to work instead of my house and we had a 2 week factory shutdown and it sat here and languished without being opened or listened to. Alas, it was on my desk yesterday, all brown cardboard and protected. I will take pictures tonight and post them. The download was nice but that fucking shit quality 128kbps does not do this masterpiece justice. Oh, and the extra disc is just as good, in case you were wondering. More on that later. Back to the listening…

Fire in Our Throats will Beckon…

Here is a great map of the the affected areas with info.

This morning I heard some pundit comparing Katrina to the fires in San Diego. There was a fair amount of speculation on whether the Southern California fires are more destructive or affect more people than Hurricane Katrina. Yes folks! American desire for old-fashioned competition is at its height when comparing tragedy. Over 500,000 people were given mandatory evacuation orders for the fires the past 72 hours in San Diego (upwards of 1 million have been displaced). According to San Diego officials in the newscast update from this morning (Wed. Oct 24, 2007) we’ve surpassed Katrina’s modest evacuation of 1.2 million (according to the Wiki entry regarding mandatory and voluntary evac). What those officials fail to mention is the difference in the populations of those people affected by the fires and those affected by the consequences of the storm. Lots of people may be unfamiliar with the disparity between the two. North County San Diego is populated in majority by middle to upper middle class Caucasian families. Whereas those most affected by Katrina where poor, black and in the most precarious of NOLA neighborhoods directly damaged by the broken levy.

The Witch Creek Fire, the biggest one in the county so far has scorched 150K acres and 750 homes/structures. That is massive. The Harris fire continues to blaze out of control and is moving into Mexico and of course we don’t get any news on what is happening south of the border, at least we won’t until the death toll or destruction gets so big, corporate news will HAVE no choice but to cover it. When it comes to the national embarrassment of Katrina, an embarrassment both the Bush Administration and the government of California refuses to repeat (thankfully) in their response to our current situation. It brings to mind the scenes of putrid water swirling, people on rooftops and total anarchy at the Super Dome, a ‘last resort’ sanctuary for the people who hadn’t been evacuated in time during Katrina. “The second day brought more horror, greater despair: The death toll exceeded 100 — in just one county” – Miami Herald, 2005

San Diego has been incredibly lucky in that we’ve only had minimal life lost (only 6 so far from the reports). Course they’re already putting the damage into numbers of double digit Billions. Our property value in SoCal is way higher than those in NOLA. Governor Schwarzenegger has been here since day one, shaking hands and visiting areas of devastation, almost definitely securing another bid for leader of the people’s republic of Kauli-for-nee-ah. Bush will be here tomorrow. He’s declared CA a federal disaster area. This tragedy has been handled superbly. And our leaders are patting themselves on the back already with the look of holy-shit-we-can-handle-this-thing plastered on their exhausted faces. All my friends on the coast and north of the 56 are safe and from most reports their homes are okay too. We still have another day or possibly two of these devilish Santa Ana winds. There will be questions after the smoke clears. People have realized the power of local government and the castrated sluggishness of bureaucratic federal government aid (or lack thereof for NOLA). We have seen the outpouring of compassion to the victims of the fires from our own community. An overwhelming about of aid from neighbors unaffected by the fires are giving as much as they can. There is a huge difference between SoCal and NOLA, and that is NOLA was a tragedy and the SoCal fires are a disaster. SoCal is being handled and marketed better than NOLA was and the cast of characters includes a former blockbuster movie star.

Oddly enough, has been a good source of local news. Don’t rely on CNN to give you an accurate report of how many people are at Qualcomm. BTW – Chargers and Aztec games have been postponed, at least at the Q for this weekend.

A brief suggestion of songs for a mix.
These are examples of songs that have been coming up in the random for the past three days. I’m not sure if there is some sort of cosmic design for the way music affects a person during times of stress but a lot of these tunes are apropos of our current fiery California situation.

1. Grinderman – “When My Love Comes Down” from Grinderman
2. PJ Harvey – “One Line” from Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
3. Radiohead – “Reckoner” from In Rainbows
4. Boys Sets Fire – “The Power Remains the Same” from The Day the Sun Went Out
5. Turbonegro – “City of Satan” from Party Animals
6. Les Savy Fav – “Raging in the Plague Age” from Lets Stay Friends
7. !!! – “Me and Giuliani Down By The School Yard (a true story)
8. Pelican – “Autumn Into Summer” from The Fire in Our Throats…
9. Ennio Morricone – “Un Uomo Da Rispettare (Titoli)”
10. Doves – “Sky Starts Falling” from Some Cities
11. The Velvet Underground – “Sweet Jane”
12. Pegboy – “Field of Darkness”
13. Counterfit – “Suckin Ma Nuts” (outtake from actual song with D Essr on Vox)

Radiohead: In Rainbows [a review]


I got a prompt from Radiohead’s W.A.S.T.E. this morning with a link to the downloadable version of their 7th studio LP and felt this was a benchmark in my life as a music consumer. ‘Pay whatever you want,’ is a concept I could get used to. I’m just crossing my fingers hoping that this is the end times for major record labels and all their vile, exhausted schemes.

Nothings stuck out immediately, well, not truthfully. “Bodysnatchers” completely destroys in all it’s ripping guitar awesomeness. It’s going to be really hard to find any fault on this gem of rock beauty. Like their best records, Radiohead get into your heart by surgically removing your skepticism. Radiohead make records, unlike popular music artists, who make singles, which is why the release of In Rainbows is so exciting to an audiophile like myself. Though with some scrutiny this particular album seems more song oriented than their past bouts.

Looking forward to December when the ‘Disc Box’ ships, almost like I’ll have a new opportunity to rediscover In Rainbows on vinyl. I love vinyl, its warmth, that hiss, some day my children will listen to old records on my Benjamin Miracord (once owned by their Grandfather) and scratch their heads in wonder asking; ‘why does it sound so scratchy?’ I’ll laugh, as I put the needle down on my 180 gram copy of In Rainbows and say, ‘that’s the sound of authenticity kids! Listen to how amazing “Nude” sounds, the music is practically naked! And by the way, side 2 is always better.’

The reverb drenched effects of ‘All I Need’ fortifies this ethereal track, anchoring it once the drums kick in, washed out crash cymbals punctuate Thom’s melancholy warble. The folkiness of “Faust Arp” with orchestral accents and flat picked acoustic guitar break up what would seem like side 1 from side 2, (if this was vinyl) quite nicely.

Track 7, “Reckoner” comes through the speakers like some lost child, clapping hands, shaking tambourine, stomping bells, grinning solemnly. Johnny Greenwoods got that whole arpeggio clarity thing nailed. And Thom. He who spells his name with a silent ‘H’ wails beautifully along a syncopated beat. This song is the centerpiece, one that ties past efforts together with the current effort. You can hear bits of Pablo/Kid A/OK Computer and Hail to the Thief in this song.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m of the type that has enjoyed all of their releases and has relished each for the unique way each was composed and released. My initial, immediate impression is that I like the second half of the record better. The second half doesn’t seem quite as esoteric as the first. Thom’s lyrics are more informed; at least they seem so on “House of Cards.” Where it seems the last 8 years of a nightmare world where Bush is the president twice over and Iran could be the next target of a ‘coalition of the willing’ could be coming to an end. A hopeful tune on a Radiohead album? Yes! But it is a song that is hopeful in that dreary, sweater wearing British way. A real house of cards can’t stand up to strong winds, maybe collective outrage fatigue has hit its tipping point and people are ready to actually put their foot down and say ‘enough!’

“Jigsaw Falling Into Place,” is a driving tune. That acoustic guitar leads the rhythm, pushes the beat, its percussive tonality compliments the eeriness of Thom’s ghostly backup vocal track. A song with a million layers. A song with a dozen implications. The lyrics, like black suited paramilitary troops, invading the urban squalor of the mind through the canals of the ears to whisper answers in the form of questions. Its nice to know Radiohead can inspire creative thinking without bludgeoning listeners with concepts such as global warming, er…while singing about climate change.

I’m anxious for the vinyl to ship. It is annoying listening to this band without some sort of visual guide for the songs. I hate not being able to sit down and open a gatefold read lyrics to every song and get totally immersed in the world they’ve created. I’m happy to report that I will be receiving the ‘Disc box’ with its book, art and two vinyl’s (one In Rainbows and the other is just ‘other’ they didn’t fit on the album). I like the way Radiohead define their art and appreciate the way they defy consumer culture by delivering a product worth every penny.

So as you wade through the static of the ever present TV Eye, ignore the man behind the curtain and take a listen to In Rainbows. [fuck, sorry, I just wrote that then realized how lame a reference Oz was] My biggest complaint about this record, or rather digital release – no cover art! WTF?



Radiohead: In Rainbows

Everyone was busy finding out that Britney lost custody of her two sons yesterday. That must suck. Just another example of America eating its young, devouring the product to spite the progeny. Should Viacom be thanked? Les Monves and his team of super villain ‘big business’ acolytes help manipulate another stars destruction. Oh well. Federline seems like a pillar of the community, let him raise the boys to the relative dissapproval of the decency and families-first police.

That is unimportant though in the grand scheme of things, that news item and what the NY Times is reporting that Black Water staged a cover-up, allegedly paying off families of victims killed in the debacle (and possible other episodes). Private security is market-speak for ‘mercenary’ and as long as folks have a firm understanding that these guys get paid way more than volunteer soldiers, they should still be held accountable for fuck-ups as colossal as allegedly killing 8 Iraqi civilians on Sept. 16th.

Swimming through all the news I heard that Radiohead announced their plans to release their latest record, In Rainbows. This is culturally significant because Radiohead is the greatest rock group of my generation and I don’t care if you disagree. Actually it is significant because the band is releasing their 7th studio album online for “whatever you feel like paying,” which is hilarious and a huge sign that the billion dollar music industry had better start paying attention. They are also releasing a ‘Discbox,’ containing two LP’s, one with the entire In Rainbows and another, second LP with ‘extra songs,’ plus a bunch of art and a booklet. Sort of like what they did for Kid A with the CD release but about 100 times better because not only do you get vinyl, you get access to it all in MP3 format – and it’s not Kid A. How about that? So I bought it. I got sucked in. I bit the lure and swallowed the hook. Good job Thom and Co., now we’ll have to see if we can sync it up to Lightyears or maybe Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards with a bong load or two [like PinkOz!!!]. Its a gift that’ll be good enough for me and my wife, who is also a huge Radiohead fan.

This was the best news I have heard all week. Now I have something to look forward to. Black Water, Britney, Illegal Foreign Occupation of a sovereign country, Darfur, Monk Protests in Myanmar – all that shit just slides to the back for a few brief minutes. I’ll let you know how the vinyl is as soon as I get my hands on it. In the meantime I’ll report on how the MP3’s sound as soon as I get access on Oct. 10th.

Who needs record labels?

UPDATE: Check out the Review!