you must have been high …

I’ve been listening to Tool, a band you will quite often find in any “favourite bands” list that also features Radiohead.

The parallels are fascinating. Both bands emerged – or erupted? – during a moment when rock music was still all about grunge, but just as Nirvana was dissolving. Both Radiohead’s first album, Pablo Honey, and Tool’s – Undertow – came out in 1993. They were followed by The Bends (1995) and Ænima (1996), respectively. While Ænima was Tool’s widely acknowledged “classic” album, Radiohead’s classic, OK Computer, was released one year later in 1997.

More recently, Radiohead’s fanbase suffered during a hiatus of five years between the release of The King of Limbs (2011) and A Moon Shaped Pool (2016). But spare a thought for Tool’s long-suffering fans, who are speculating desperately about the release of the next album by their band, because the last one – 10,000 Days – came out ten years ago, in 2006.

Musical and lyrical parallels between these bands are apparent too. They are more complex, and the differences are just as interesting. But when looking for points of contact between the two bands, I was struck by these two songs – “The Pot”, by Tool, and “2 + 2 = 5” by Radiohead – as a case in point. Note the timing again: The Pot is from 2006, 2 + 2 = 5 is from 2003.

You could reasonably argue that both songs deal with government hypocrisy – “the pot” in Tool’s song is a reference to the notion of “the pot calling the kettle black”, while “2 + 2 = 5” in Radiohead’s song is about doublethink as conveyed by Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four. (Incidentally, 2 + 2 = 5 was on the Hail to the Thief album, whose title appears to be a skit on the name of the official Presidential Anthem of the United States, Hail to the Chief.)

Anyway, here they are …

 

 

Who are you to wave your finger?
You must have been outta your head.
Eye hole deep in muddy waters.
You practically raised the dead.

Rob the grave to snow the cradle.
Then burn the evidence down.
Soapbox, house of cards and glass,
So don’t go tossin’ your stones around.

You must have been high.
You must have been high.
You must have been.

Foot in mouth and head up ass.
So whatcha talkin’ ’bout?
Difficult to dance ’round this one
‘Til you pull it out, boy!

You must have been so high.
You must have been so high.

Steal, borrow, refer, save your shady inference.
Kangaroo done hung the juror with the innocent.

Now you’re weeping shades of cozened indigo
Got lemon juice up in your eye!
When you pissed all over my black kettle
You must have been high, high
You must have been high, high

Who are you to wave your finger?
So full of it.
Eyeballs deep in muddy waters
Fuckin’ hypocrite.

Liar, lawyer, mirror, show me what’s the difference?
Kangaroo done hung the guilty with the innocent.

Now you’re weeping shades of cozened indigo
Got lemon juice up in your eye, eye.
When you pissed all over my black kettle
You must’ve been!

So who are you to wave your finger?
Who are you to wave your fatty fingers at me?
You must have been out your mind!

Weepin’ shades of indigo shed without a reason
Weepin’ shades of indigo

Liar, lawyer, mirror for you, what’s the difference?
Kangaroo be stoned. He’s guilty as the government

Now you’re weeping shades of cozened indigo
Got lemon juice up in your eye, eye!
Now when you pissed all over my black kettle.
You must’ve been high, high, high, high.

Eyeballs deep in muddy waters
Your balls deep in muddy waters.
Ganja, please, you must have been out your mind!

 

 

 

Are you such a dreamer
To put the world to rights?
I’ll stay home forever
Where two and two always makes up five

I’ll lay down the tracks
Sandbag and hide
January has April’s showers
And two and two always makes up five

It’s the devil’s way now
There is no way out
You can scream and you can shout
It is too late now

Because you have not been
Payin’ attention
Payin’ attention
Payin’ attention
Payin’ attention
You have not been
Payin’ attention
Payin’ attention
Payin’ attention
Payin’ attention
You have not been
Payin’ attention
Payin’ attention
Payin’ attention
Payin’ attention
You have not been
Payin’ attention
Payin’ attention
Payin’ attention
Payin’ attention

Oh

I try to sing along
I get it all wrong
‘Cause I’m not
‘Cause I’m not
I swat em like flies
But like flies the buggers keep coming back
But I’m not
Oh hail to the thief
Oh hail to the thief
But I’m not
But I’m not
But I’m not
But I’m not

Don’t question my authority or put me in the dock
‘Cause I’m not
‘Cause I’m not
Oh, go and tell the king that the sky is falling in
When it’s not
When it’s not
When it’s not
Maybe not
Maybe not

Tracklists from A Moon Shaped Pool Live

These are the tracklists that were played – or were meant to be played – at Radiohead’s record store event yesterday.

I find the ‘from the Radiohead vaults’ list especially interesting; it’s on the second image below.

Instore_Tracklist 1

Instore_Tracklist.2

Instore_Tracklist.3

And below – courtesy of Geogogeogo – is a YouTube playlist of the ‘office charts’ compiled by Thom …

Q.E.D.

Radiohead played at Secret Solstice in Iceland last night. Here is Thom’s setlist …

RH Icelnd setlist

Keen-eyed observers will jump for joy because it looks as though there is a brand new song in their repertoire, called “Q.E.D.”.

Alas, this is the code they appear to be using for “Creep”, which is what they did in fact play in this slot, as you’ll see here …

 

 

I find the code intriguing. Q.E.D. – quod erat demonstrandum – means “which is what had to be proven”. Should we read anything into this? Probably not, but I am sure that we will.

By all accounts, this was an epic set, with the band full of energy after their two week break. They play Open Air St Gallen in Switzerland next, on 2 July. Unless, of course, they turn up at Glastonbury next week to play some of kind of secret set. They did this in 2011, as you can see here …

 

 

I’ll be at Glastonbury next week, swimming in mud no doubt, and have all possible sources of information primed and ready in case they turn up at Worthy Farm. I have my doubts, though.

In other news, I was very saddened to hear about – and see, via Periscope and YouTube – what took place at Istanbul’s Velvet Indieground, a record store, during the Radiohead event held there yesterday. I believe that religious freedom works both ways, and will add nothing more.

I also refer you to the statement about the incident issued by the band last night.

One of those who was present and involved happened to be outside the store at the time, dancing to Weird Fishes/Arpeggi – just before being beaten up. This has been a real favourite track of mine for a little while now, I love it to pieces.

Here is a gorgeous version of it. So play it now. As loudly as you can …

 

 

In the deepest ocean
The bottom of the sea
Your eyes
They turn me
Why should I stay here?
Why should I stay?

I’d be crazy not to follow
Follow where you lead
Your eyes
They turn me

Turn me on to phantoms
I follow to the edge of the earth
And fall off
Everybody leaves
If they get the chance
And this is my chance

I get eaten by the worms
Weird fishes
Get picked over by the worms
Weird fishes
Weird fishes
Weird fishes

I’ll hit the bottom
Hit the bottom and escape
Escape

I’ll hit the bottom
Hit the bottom and escape
Escape

Tomorrow’s Radiohead event

In case you are interested in the Radiohead event that will take place at selected record stores worldwide tomorrow, fresh details – together with a list of participating stores – can be found here. This, you may recall, is to mark the physical release of the band’s new album, A Moon Shaped Pool.

The gist is that there will be some live recordings from the three recent Radiohead gigs at London’s Roundhouse – I attended them all – plus some other music and artwork. If you happen to be passing a store, or work close by to one, this looks like something well worth going to.

Meanwhile, there will more Radiohead at Furillen.

radiohead the works poster 09

As mentioned earlier this week, I’ll be streaming the full set of Radiohead albums in order, on a playlist that is just over seven hours long. I’ll leave it looping for a day or so, so you can drop in any time.

In addition, there will be a slideshow of the artwork that has been released so far with this new album – and another slideshow consisting of around 400 pictures of the band that were taken throughout its history, starting in the late 1980s. There are some great pictures in the collection.

Finally, the exquisite Daydreaming video will be showing in the video room, which can be found in the hotel.

This is just my own small homage to a group of musicians that have – in my view – managed the rather astonishing feat of making incredibly relevant and challenging music for around a quarter of a century. Having just seen them live four times, I can tell you that they have lost none of their freshness and energy.

I was reading Mac Randall’s excellent history of the band earlier today, and rather liked this passage:

radiohead john cale quote

So if you haven’t heard the new album yet, do give it a listen. I promise you that it really is “music you haven’t heard yet” – and, surely, the most beautiful record that this band has made.

Scotch Mist

Ahead of the ‘special event’ due to be held in selected record stores tomorrow to mark the physical release of A Moon Shaped Pool, it’s worth reminding ourselves of previous Radiohead promotional events.

For example, this was a fifty minute video they put out on New Year’s Eve 2007, to promote the physical release of In Rainbows the very next day. The band had previously issued the album digitally on a ‘pay what you want’ basis on 10 October 2007.

It’s a nice video, with every song on the album, played in a variety of locations – including a very cool performance of Faust Arp by Thom and Jonny on a hill (at around the 16 minute mark).