silence to the thief
Wednesday, May 28 2003
In bits and pieces, I found myself downloading the latest Radiohead album using my favorite peer-to-peer application, KaZaA Lite (the version of KaZaA that lacks all the annoying stuff). This album is called Hail to the Thief, and thus I thought it appropriate that I steal it even before it's been properly released. But then when I went to listen to some of the songs I'd downloaded, I found that about half of them consisted of arbitrary amounts of silence. What a rip off! I thought these bastards were supposed to be hailing my efforts!
In all seriousness, will right-wing Clear Channel stations actually play songs from an album called Hail to the Thief? Radiohead is perhaps the most popular rock and roll band these days, and its songs cannot be ignored, not even when the band does willfully weird things (like admitting to being picked on in high school). But naming their album with a pithy slogan referring to the 2000 Presidential election travesty makes the antics of the Dixie Chicks look like a youthful indiscretion. Then again, rock and roll has never been bound by the nationalist orthodoxy of pop-country. Such freedom is, after all, rock and roll's fountain of youth. (It used to be our country's too!)
I listened to some of the Radiohead songs and my first impression is one of surprise. There's nothing new here! Many of the songs have a dreary quality in which plaintively-delivered vocals seem to be swallowed by gratuitous use of studio effects, but always done in a way that wouldn't have seemed out of place as, say, a forgettable reject from Kid A. I'm open to having my opinion changed on this matter; after all, I had to eat hallucinogenic mushrooms before I realized the genius underlying Kid A. In the meantime, however, one song on Hail to the Thief stands out as intriguing: "Myxamatosis." Perhaps I only like it because it has a little pep to it and it actually seems to be heading somewhere. Call me old fashioned, but I really need that from a rock and roll song.
Despite intermittant rain, I completed the laying of stones for the second half of the front stoop project. This time I wore rubber gloves, but even so I found myself wanting to use my bare hands for some things. As I'd go to get rocks, I kept stepping in dog shit and not noticing it until the odor wafted up from below as I crouched over the rocks. There was also a dead mouse nearby in the flower patch and its decaying body imparted an unfresh quality to the air even when there was no dog shit.
To take full advantage of our new DVD player, Gretchen joined Netflix a couple days ago and we saw our first DVD today. It was the first three episodes of Six Feet Under, which we'd missed because we didn't catch up with the buzz about the show until the fourth episode.
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