STREAM: Thom Yorke’s New Solo Album, ANIMA

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has released his latest solo album, ANIMA, to streaming services. The physical edition comes out July 19. Yorke continues to explore his nervous dread of modern life over skittering, twitchy beats. It’s cautiously optimistic music that requires an attentive listener, despite being enveloped in existential unease.

Director Paul Thomas Anderson, who worked with Radiohead on the video for “Daydreaming,” has directed a short film to coincide with ANIMA’s release and features Yorke and actress Dajana Roncione. It is streaming now on Netflix.

Frank Ocean Teases Crowd with Radiohead Snippet

Frank Ocean teases the crowd at the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York with about a minute of Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees” from its second LP The Bends. I realize this was all over the internet yesterday, but I just now listened to it. I wish he had been given more attention from the chattering audience, so he could have found his footing faster. That guy has a golden touch. Channel Orange is an incredible debut, not just from a singing/songwriting standpoint but the production is mind-blowing. And one minute of this cover is just NOT ENOUGH.

VIDEO: Radiohead “Lotus Flower”

If you pre-ordered Radiohead’s The King of Limbs, you may now download the digital version, a full 24 hours earlier than expected. I’m on my first listen as I type, but the volume is too low to get the full impact because I can’t crank it at work. Only eight songs, but they are mostly between four and five minutes long.

Beck swoops in and finishes the fight

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My favorite piece of news in the past week is Beck’s musical response to that clueless buffoon from The Fiery Furnaces, who tried to insult Radiohead, blog-style, but missed the point completely. And in attempting to cover his ass retroactively, took a swipe at Beck. Well, Radiohead, in their lofty chairs of utter superiority, ignored the noise from the male half of a middling indie rock duo, but Beck took a measured swing  and, of course, won handily.

As you may well be aware, Radiohead wrote and recorded a song a few months back as a tribute to Harry Patch, the last surviving UK veteran of World War I, who died at the age of 111. Well, dingus extraordinaire, Matthew Friedberger from the unlistenable duo The Fiery Furnaces, decided out of the clear blue to mock Radiohead for their tribute song. Except, he lambastes them for all the wrong reasons. See, Friedberger somehow mistakenly thought that Radiohead had paid tribute to Harry Partch, an American composer famous for his microtonal scales. He proceeded to trash Radiohead for their pretentiousness and calculated cultivation of cool. Except, whoops, wrong dude. Friedberger then released a confusing, self-mocking statement wherein he tried to make the whole thing sound like a deliberate joke. Never mind that it was awkward and, well, wrong. The last line of said statement is where it gets good: “Matt would have much preferred to insult Beck but he is too afraid of Scientologists.” So, ok, who doesn’t like a good Scientology joke? But the context of his snark just sounds like a desperate attempt to change the subject.

So, Beck quietly takes this all in and releases a tribute to Harry Partch, both defending Radiohead and dogging Friedberger in one fell swoop. Well played, sir.

Thom Yorke assembles bizarre backing band

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Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke is putting together an odd assortment of musicians to help bring his solo album, The Eraser, to life. The band consists of a few recognizable names, including Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, and Beck sidekick Joey Waronker. To say that many Radiohead fans will be baffled by the inclusion of Flea is an understatement, but all obvious dick sock references aside, Flea has wildly diverse taste in music. So, despite vast stage persona differences (that make me chuckle just thinking about them on stage together), I could easily see Yorke and Flea sharing some common ground as music fans.

In this interview with Adam Buxton at the recent Latitude Festival, Yorke discusses a few monikers for the group, including Mr T, Thomosexual and Yorkie Fruit and Nut Bar. I stand firmly behind Thomosexual. That shit is gold: