Home > Red Spiral Notebook > [February, 1995] Radiohead Early Adopter

[February, 1995] Radiohead Early Adopter

“We scratch our eternal itch, a twentieth century bitch…”

2/12/95

Did the Village thing with Anita Saturday. Got neon yellow mascara, some more new music (finally got Dandelion, great CD), old clothes and other random stuff (expensive habit, but the high lasts longer and has no side effects really).

Anita got a Radiohead EP that was released last year called “My Iron Lung.” We listened to it when we got back to my house and I loved it. (She’s smitten with Blur, by the way).

I decided we need a hangout, so next time we go [to the Village] we’ll hunt down a coffee shop or something like that.

Finally got NIN Demos & Remixes. Funny stuff. “ringfinger” used to be a song called “twist” which has this whole spoken word interlude (which includes Trent saying “is this thing on?”).

WDRE is playing “supernaut” which is long, screamy and wonderful. Glad I have it on CD.

How am I going to work out this Mercer thing?…

[First off, I realize that "expensive habit" line insinuates that that "random stuff" makes it sound like I bought drugs, which is absolutely, positively not the case. The miscellaneous items were probably things like stickers with band logos or the latest issue of SPIN magazine. Just want to clear the record on that point.]

When it comes to music, I’ll be the first to admit that I am usually late to the party. I often get into a band after they’ve broken up or (and this may be even worse) already toured for their best album (Nine Inch Nails and The Self-Destruct tour being a noteworthy exception). Shameful as this is to confess, I’ve even discovered “new” music from car commercials.

One band I take pride in loving from their very first album is Radiohead. “Creep” was good, but I adored all of Pablo Honey, which I owned on cassette (to this day, I can’t believe “Stop Whispering” and “Anyone Can Play Guitar” weren’t huge hits, the latter not even released as a single). I listened to Radiohead’s debut album and Belly’s Star non-stop during my sophomore year of high school and even think of the two as companion albums in a way. Both had their moments of darkness, sweetness, strangeness, and catchy pop. Both will forever musically represent 1993 for me.

Radiohead’s second album, The Bends, wasn’t coming out until March (spoiler alert: there’s an upcoming diary entry expounding on it), so we were happy to have this EP to tide us over until then. The second track on it, “The Trickster,” is one of my favorite Radiohead songs to this day (if you like the band but haven’t heard it, go download it NOW; I won’t even be offended if you don’t read the rest of this entry in your rush to own this terrific tune).

It was around this time, Anita’s musical tastes and my own began to diverge. She was gradually adopting more Brit-pop and, later on, indie music, whereas I was headed for a gloomier alternative sound that would eventually (and unsurprisingly) lead to the world of goth. In the meantime, Radiohead was the perfect bridge that fulfilled our joint musical needs, balancing mood with melody, quirkiness with accessibility.

I still listen to Radiohead today. Considering my history is studded with questionable music taste, it’s nice to have a band like this to balance out the scales.

  1. December 2, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    it still bums me out that pablo honey is entirely disregarded by new fans of the band, and even the band itself. it’s an awesome album.

    • December 2, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      Agreed! And even though they were initially lumped in under the “Brit-Pop” umbrella, they had their own sound from day one and a refreshing lack of swagger/ego.

  2. Liz
    December 2, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    totally agree with you about “Stop Whispering” and “Anyone Can Play Guitar!”

  3. December 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Man, I remember being completely obsessed with trying to find music that nobody else knew about- it was torture! I had a bit of a breakthrough when I started reading Poppy Z Brite (when she was in her goth phase) and started by any and all music she referenced in her books, but until then I just had MTV. I actually didn’t get into Radiohead until I moved to NZ, we saw them live last month and they were pretty great.

    • December 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      Oh, those first few Poppy Z Brite novels totally rocked my world! By that time I was familiar with most of the bands mentioned in the books and it was so cool to see them referenced.

  1. October 14, 2013 at 8:31 pm

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