Thursday, 26 February 2009

Being awkward

You know I'm never awkward and/or contrary on purpose don't you? But after the last post I had an overwhelming urge to post some Radiohead. I didn't really listen to them when they were first popular (I was too lost in the world of the rave...I didn't listen to anything that slow for years!) but in recent years I have listened to some here and there and my significant other is quite keen. They have more than a whiff of Pink Floyd don't they and I've listened to that very English rock band too...on and off...over the years. As much as anything else Radiohead do have some quite lovely songs (and you know me and songs). Here's one ('High and Dry' from their 1995 album 'The Bends' ):

I always laugh because the first line 'Two jumps in a week...' makes me think of the film 'Rita, Sue and Bob too' (very Northern English and vulgar...funny and horrible...). Also watching this clip reminds me how exciting music videos were when they first came out...people still make them (I suppose) but they don't seem to have much impact any more (how much detail can a fan see watching everything via a tiny mobile phone screen for a start?). In contrast I remember being in a London nightclub/disco in about 1983 and the whole club stopping to watch the video to Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'. I can't say it was my favourite song or anything but the video was a big event (I was about the stage where I would go anywhere and listen to anything). This Radiohead video is quite engaging in its way...but it's fairly forgettable too.

This clip also reminds me of how I used to listen to my much older sisters' records (45s!) when I was little. One of them had got married to the sounds of Cliff Richard's 'Congratulations' and the record was still hanging about the house (mixed in with their Beatles records, I think). I remember the b side was called 'High'n'dry'' and I played that side over and over (I was about 5). I thought there was no way that would be on YouTube but what do you know...yes, way!

It seems to be a bit out of synch...but it is from 1968. And what is Cilla wearing? Pantomime clothes?

Have you lost all respect for me now? Remember the Jukebox of Cringe posts at Xmas? You thought Mariah Carey was as low as I could go...and you were wrong! In my defence it's been a bit of a twisted week...what with thinking about public performance on Sunday (see post below) and a trip here and there and reading more of Don Paterson's aphorisms. I enjoyed Paterson's 'The Book of Shadows' so much recently that I picked up 'The Blind Eye' again (that's the second book of aphorisms from 2007 – I bought them in reverse order). There are so many good ones in 'The Blind Eye' that I could, once again, quote it all day...but here's just one to chew on for now:

“Only the mad are safe from doubt. I am always bewildered by those who regard a revised opinion as a sign of weakness; it strikes me as a fine guarantee of the commentator's sanity.”

So you see...sometimes I like Radiohead and sometimes I don't! Here's another one of theirs to finish on – one of my very favourites (from 1997's 'OK Computer'). I love his voice, Thom Yorke, and that pained look he gets on his face so often. I wonder if he ever sings Cliff Richard songs or Lloyd Webber showtunes or Disney theme tunes in the shower. You never know. He's probably awkward and contrary too.


Rachel Fox said...

p.s. What with Barbara Smith and her Nick Laird and the dishwasher post and now this (Cliff Richard, Radiohead and Don Paterson all in one) I think it may be competition time. Which unlikely companions can you get into post? No judges, no prizes...just the fun of the challenge!

Dominic Rivron said...

Must say I love Radiohead too. Karma Police is probably the track I most often turn to, when the mood grips me. Full blast.

This household boasts at least one Cliff Richard fan - and poets who are Cliff Richard fans have an honourable precedent in the form of Rik in The Young Ones, of course. :) I never see that programme without thinking I must have been horribly like him when I was a student.

Rachel Fox said...

Yes I probably had my Rik moments too...wasn't writing poetry really though then. And I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a Cliff fan! One was one song...about 37 years ago...(protesting desperately...) I was 5!

Bizarrely I was listening to BBC Radio Scotland in the kitchen this afternoon (they have a good DJ called Tom Morton on 2-4pm and I catch some of it now and again). They were using some of 'Karma Police' for a Radio Scotland advert ('this is what you'll get...'). Most strange and unexpected!


deemikay said...

I had a bit of a Radiohead worship thing happening when I was in my late teens / early 20s. I wanted to be Jonny Greenwood and envied him his ear defenders and arm brace (from playing too loud and playing too hard). Ahhh.. happy days.

I actually prefer their later albums (Kid A and onwards). That's being *completely* awkward. :p

Cliff Richards? I grew up thinking he was an uncle - he was always in the house! (my mother loved him, you see...) As such, I can say, without irony, that Wired for Sound is great. :)

Rik and I are waiting for the rest of the world to catch up...


Oh, and as for unlikely companions: I got Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Last Year in Marienbad, Jimi Hendrix, Euripides and the Starland Vocal Band in one post.

Rachel Fox said...

Impressive list of varied items for a post, D...not sure you've quite got the sense of covering extremes that Barbara and I achieved though (nothing mundane/cheesey/crap enough - not even your last item...I quite liked that). However you have more than made up for any shortfall with your admiration for Cliff - particularly that video. I watched about 10 seconds and then couldn't take any more. Some quite shocking commments underneath it too!


Rachel Fox said...

In fact so shocking that I forgot how to spell comment...apparently.

Jim Murdoch said...

I must listen to some more Radiohead then. I think I have an album lying around somewhere.

Marion McCready said...

I like the odd Radiohead, I love the High and Dry song but can't stand that last one on your post, so drooooning!!
Apart from the odd Christmas hit, the less said about Cliffy boy the better, lol!

deemikay said...

You *liked* the Starland Vocal Band? Yikes... it makes Wired for Sound seem like Bridge over Troubled Water. But that may just be me. :) Oh, and it's the song, not the singer, I'm showing my admiration for.

I think next time I bump in to Thom Yorke (well, you never know...) I'm going to suggest they cover WFS. They did Carly Simon after all:

I shall have to work on my extremes. :)

Rachel Fox said...

Now Jim I'm not sure this is the best band for you right now (considering your last post!). I would check with your doctor and see what they say...

And Sorlil...droning? Of course it's droning! It's Radiohead. But I love that second song...opening line 'a heart that's full up like a landfill''s grrrreat! Well, on the right day...

I went back and listened to the SVB again, D, and no, I do like it (a's not in my top ten all time hits or something). I couldn't have named the band...just knew the song vaguely from radio or something. I quite like all that 70s little-bit-folkie/country pop (I was the right age when it came out...about 6). And I looked...they wrote 'Take me home country roads too' pop country class! I bet you could play 'Afternoon Delight' on your ukele too and it would sound good! Perhaps inserted into a Radiohead medley...

Variety, people, is the new...rainbow!


Rachel Fox said...

As for 'Nobody does it better'...I'd not heard that version. Interesting...although of course much better sung by Carly (I'm quite a fan of hers too...all those 70s songs and photos...I was just born too damn late!).

deemikay said...

Variety indeed, and in everything. :)

I prefer the original as well... not Radiohead's finiest moment, but chucklesome. I was always disappointed that they never put in some approximation of the string arrangement at the end.

As for Afternoon Delight... yes, it's breezy and nice and happy. But oh so cheesy. And I *shall* play it on my ukulele. (I actually did work out an arrangement for You're So Vain... and, unfortunately, Copacabana. But I was asked to do that last one.)

Now, I have to get back to drawing maps of motorways in Glasgow. Yawn.

Rachel Fox said...

But in the 1970s that kind of cheese was so would have blinked at eyelid at that one! Also because it is real earnest 70s I can forgive it somehow. I have a lot more difficulty bearing 80s cheese personally (boiler suits, big hair, pouting serious Gary Numan faces and all that).

deemikay said...

Oh, the 80s were much, much worse.

Showaddywaddy - yes.
Kajagoogoo - no.

(It's just occurred to me that I've never had to write either of those band names down... so I don't know if I've spelled them right.)

Kat Mortensen said...

Well, I had to cut off that second Radiohead song because the cats were highly put off by those opening notes. I, on the other hand was cringing at the Cliff Richard (there was a time when I liked "Devil Woman", I do admit, but this was unbelievably bad) Bring back Mariah!

I was never a Michael Jackson fan either, but I do admit that was one fantastically captivating and shimmy-inducing video. I imagine Vincent Price felt right at home with Michael, having done "House of Wax".


I commented below, but I'll reiterate: best of luck on Sunday. Have fun! You'll be great!

Rachel Fox said...

Not one for the felines then! And another Cliff suggestion for the Jukebox of Cringe (I think that would be a really good name for a compilation series!). Cliff could almost have his own CD in said series...not that he'd care...kerching, kerching, whichever way it comes in...

And I will say (again!) I was 5 when I liked that Cliff song. I also liked kicking my brother and blowing lemonade down my nose at that age and I have stopped doing both of those.