Midnight Opening

As Simon rightfully points out, the best part of Radiohead’s release strategy is that it’s brought back a touch of mystique. Normally, we’re assaulted by a barrage of interviews, selective tracks previewed on Pitchfork, followed by a leak of the album’s contents, anywhere from a month to six months away from a physical CD release.

“Our new album is out in ten days.”

Today, then, was the great leveller; the media experiencing for the first time as we did, getting our emails at six in the morning and downloading the 160k MP3 tracks from their webserver. And perhaps it shows once again how far the NME are behind the curve, fighting a pointless battle to try and relive 1977:

He added: It wasn’t even the music necessarily, it was the thought that went into the Sex Pistols that was important. But buying the single will at least be the first step to realising that for anyone who doesn’t know the band’s history or legacy.

Is that really what they’ve come to? I understand that every ex-NME reader has to go through a process of dismissing the paper after they stop buying it (though I do recognise that the period that I bought it was far from a golden age), but really? We have to buy the record to understand their legacy? How punk.

Anyway, In Rainbows. It’s still settling in, I have to say. It’s sparse where Hail To The Thief is dense, warm where Kid A is cold. Zigs where it should zags. But still Radiohead. Even if they have added some laughter (sampled, obviously).

A full review, however, seems pointless. Go over to the site and download it for yourself.

currently playing: Belle And Sebastian – Expectations

There Is A City In The Distance. And Kylie Is Driving Towards It

Paul Morley talks about In Rainbows. By which, I mean, that Paul Morley talks about In Rainbows.. Meaning, Paul Morley talks about In Rainbows.

currently playing: Radiohead – Weird Fishes/Arpeggi

Join Usssssss…

Buy yourself a turtle-necked sweater at the door!

currently playing: Radiohead – A Wolf At The Door (It Girl. Rag Doll)

Shamelessly Stolen From Kieron

The new single from The Indelicates. How we used to live indeed…

currently playing: Bloc Party – Flux

One of the downsides…

…of a postal strike is that on Wednesday, I may drown in an avalanche of Amazon-related parcels. Still, up the workers and all that ;).

currently playing: Tindersticks – I Know That Loving

Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend Is Too Stupid To Know About

Can’t read a word of it, but possibly the greatest title for an MP3 blog I’ve ever seen.

And look what their choice for today is. YEAH! YEAH!

Standing Down For The Man

I think it’s quite apposite that John Harris’s defence of record companies appeared alongside reports of the RIAA’s victory over Jammie Thomas. It’s rather hard to dredge up any sympathy for a group of companies that have inflicted a $220,000 fine on a person for sharing 24 songs (monetary value from iTunes: $23.76. It’s also worth noting that she got away lightly - if it was determined that she was sharing the files ‘wilfully’, she could have been liable for a fine of $150,000 per song). Especially when, during the course of the trial, they attempted to deny the existence of the space-shifting precedent defined in RIAA vs. Diamond Multimedia.

And really? The Klaxons and Kasabian as art over the marketing department? Sure, they're not exactly Rihanna in sales-stakes, but neither are they Disco Inferno. Kasabian are exactly sort of Britpop-revival-by-numbers band that bumps up a record company's figures, aren't they?

I'm not going to deny that record companies can be very helpful to a band (I'm a Factory fanatic, after all). I just don't think the current giants are good examples of this tradition. When even Kelly Clarkson has trouble getting her album released, there's something wrong in the Big 5 (or is it 3 now? Sony-BMG-Universal, EMI, and…Warners, I guess?)

Anyway, make mine a 99!

KLF – Justified and Ancient (Make mine a '99')

Once Again…Back With The Renegade Master

The soldiers’ paradise of the USA.

currently playing: Lucky Soul – Ain’t Never Been Cool

They're not wise!

Stupid wisdom teeth. Ow.

That is all.

Except that I’ve just created the most wonderful Mary Sue for a story…

currently playing: Left Banke – Walk Away Renee

Ten Years. Ten Years! TEN YEARS!

The Sound of Summer

The Odeon on Oxford Road, shortly before the end.

My first night at university was a disaster. The hall (St. Anselm’s Hall, or ‘Slems’ to alumnus, in a further attempt to create an Oxbridge atmosphere) opened up the bar to welcome the new first years inside its doors. This sounds like a great idea, and for most, it probably was, but sadly, I meekly fell in with a bunch of people on my corridor who by the end of the night were openly calling me a ‘trainspotter’.

This was not exactly what I had in mind.

Monday fared little better. After a day at the Computer Science building (now the Kilburn Building, of course; that afternoon, Tom Kilburn came in and spoke to us) in blessed anonymity, it was time to face the bar again. The girls of sister hall Ashburne came over to sample the delights of our bar. If the previous night was depressing, this was torture. Goodness knows what I was expecting; a group culled from memories of Angela Chase, Rory Gilmore and Joey Potter, probably. You see why I fared a touch better in America. By the end of the night, my feelings of inadequacy were total. I couldn’t see myself lasting the week.

On Wednesday afternoon, even the safety of the CS department was taken from me. They held a ‘wine and cheese’ afternoon so everybody could settle in and get to know each other. But the cliques had already formed and I was left with nowhere else to go except the Arndale Centre and the Northern Quarter. Solace in my record collection.

But Wednesday wasn’t finished with me yet.

I wasn’t going to go to the St. Gabriel’s Hall Bop (I did mention Oxbridge, didn’t I?). My experience on Monday was enough to know that I would spend the night alone and hating myself, flushing red whenever I had the misfortune to accidentally glance at a girl. However, Greg persuaded me to go with him (this was before the famous “Ian Goes To A Young Conservatives Meeting’ that swiftly ended that association).

It was awful. As expected, I sat alone for the the whole thing. Everybody else was having fun and dancing. I sat and brooded. About how I wished I could be like them, rather than antipathy, I might add.

Twenty minutes from the end, she sat down.

I can still remember how she just appeared in front of me, rubbing a can of Diet Coke across her forehead and saying how worn out she was.

Helen and I talked until the end of the Bop; about music, the courses we were talking, Maine Road, nothing and everything.

I went back to St. Anselm realising that she could have sat anywhere amongst the empty seats, but she didn’t. She sat with me.

It was going to be okay.

Nothing happened, possibly because I was An Idiot, but it was enough; the nights spent talking about NME covertapes, the first of many copies of OK Computer, laughing at the hypnotist at the ball, chance meetings in the street, and all the rest. But I should have probably danced more.

Then, in due course, the Table formed; a chance meeting in the snooker room with The Stone Roses’ Second Coming of all things, brute-forcing The Kevin Bacon Game, alt.blake-isms, Scream, Scream 2, Grosse Pointe Blank, the epic Titanic viewings, a £2.99 Best of New Order tape, the family tree of Richard O’Brien, drinking a pint of mild with Mark Radcliffe, seeing Kenickie bathed in glitter, and countless other weird and wonderful events. Here’s to Oxford Street and The Mancunian Way. Aside from the muggers.

currently playing: Ultrasound – Floodlit World