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  • Writer's pictureJohn Ambrose

What Are You Listening To? (archive - 6/23/19)

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

I'm listening to Kid A by Radiohead. Ok Computer also shown so that you can appreciate my cute 10" vinyl pressing of Kid A. Both are amazing albums. With Radiohead we get plenty of odd time signatures, modal harmony, obscure instrumentation and much more for a self-confessed music theory nerd like myself. I can easily lose several hours on YouTube listening to analysis of musical elements in Radiohead songs. And yet, for music that is so intelligent and unusual, I always find it easy to connect with. Experimental music is often much less accessible. It's worth noting that you don't keep a band together for nearly 3 decades with zero personnel changes if you aren't doing something right. Every member contributes something special. There is a lot of talk of Jonny Greenwood as a guitarist, but I find also Ed O'Brien so inspiring. He doesn't get anywhere near enough credit. For a band with so many textures, I think it's worth noting they record most of it live in the studio and pull it off in concert even creating audio loops live on stage rather than using pre-recorded samples. For a band who has embraced electronic music, they've never forgotten that music is meant to be performed, that music needs to breathe, grow and even be a bit unpredictable. Really they've made an art of fusing what I would call organic instruments with computers in a way that really paints a picture of this bizarre modern world. Also, that baritone saxophone on National Anthem, we can't forget about that.

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