Sunday, October 9th, 2011
Radiohead cover Portishead
radiohead.comThe key to being a brilliant British band circa 1997 was, clearly, to have “head” in your name somewhere. What other explanation could there be for Radiohead and Portishead to each release career highwater albums OK Computer and Portishead within four months of each other? Probably about as good odds of both band choosing to follow said successes up in decidedly unconventional fashion – Radiohead by basically abandoning their sound by going experimentally electronic in time for the new millenium and Portishead by basically abandoning music for a decade.
A decade later, though, both had largely come full circle – Radiohead with their most guitar-based and pop-oriented effort in years with In Rainbows and Portishead putting the finishing touches on the harrowing Third, one of the highlights of the record was the stark “The Rip”. Radiohead took to playing the song in soundchecks while touring In Rainbows and in response to fan demand to hear what such a thing might sound like, they released a video of Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood playing it acoustically in someone’s living room. Or hotel room. In any case, the coming together of the two British musical icons broke the internet, just a little.
Portishead are currently on tour in North America – ostensibly in support of Third but really just because they haven’t been in forever; they have two nights at The Sound Academy in Toronto starting tonight. Spinner and The National Post have feature interviews with the band. Radiohead released The King Of Limbs earlier this year and follow it up with the TKOL RMX 1234567 remix album this Tuesday. NPR grabbed a chat with Thom Yorke and Ed O’Brien while they took up residence in New York over the last couple weeks, playing theatre shows, late night television shows and not playing Wall Street protests. And oh, it was Thom Yorke’s birthday on Friday. Happy birthday, Thom!