Monday, November 26, 2007

Why I Don't Love Radiohead and also, Hyenas and Spam Fiction

Whats that? you say, You don't love Radiohead?

No, no I don't.

Why is that? you say, How can you not love the greatest musical artists of the 20th and 21st centuries?

Okay, okay, well, if you insist I'll break it down.

First of all, the difference here between the words like and love is key. I don't hate the band.

To me really really great music isn't about impeccable craftsmanship, or an unassailable atmosphere of cool. If you want that, you can listen to Radiohead. You can also listen to Avril Lavine, 50 Cent, Britney Spears, Coldplay, Justin Timberlake, etc, etc, etc.

I like the music produced by all of them, I just don't love it. There is a point, I think, that excessive slickness and polish cannot carry music to. There is a point when a certain element of give and take is obliterated by too much attention to the stance being taken.

Thats not to say I look down upon the perfectionism that whoever ultimately writes these songs has. It's only that my appreciation of these is more on the level of aesthetic or that of craftsmanship, than on the level of really human.

I think we need music like this as sort of guideposts or light houses to remind us of where we are. They're the colossi and mountains that we use to ground ourselves, whether we reject them or embrace them. But we, the humans, are not mountains. And to me music isn't about being something larger than what we are. To me music is about being exactly what we are, even if it is showing that we are in fact larger than we seem at first glance. Listening to their last few years of music I don't really know anything about Radiohead except that they're really super duper ultra mega cool, and to me thats not enough.

Anyways, thats about all I can really say about it. If I do change my mind about the band I'll let you know.

Speaking of super duper ultra mega cool, these photos and others by Pieter Hugo are close.


For maybe one month some spam was getting though my filters on gmail. I think they updated their programs because it stopped happening. I saved a few of those that got through because I thought like I think a lot of people out there think; that the text those spam bots churn out is actually weirdly fascinating. Maybe it's like those big contraptions that make robot art. Can advertisers and scam artists be actual artists?

Today I came across a block of spam text that I had pasted to a notepad on my laptop. After a little googling I found a lot of spam, this site, and that the text was at least mostly ripped out of Harry Harrison's pulp science fiction action stories. Apparently the guys who work these spam engines use a ton of excepts from his books to try and crack though filters.

I guess some asshole out there is a Harry Harrison fan.

Below is Harry Harrison and below that is the text in question:

"...combat, why none of us would be here. Thanks guys. Mission complete bloke one of you what takes me to your boss, Svinjar. Guy what does I just changed the rules. You yourself told me that you are heading take the cretinous colonel or the sadistic sergeant with me. Sure. Fetch. rich and sexy contralto. a bit of fruit juice. The science building was empty when the Floyds help. And stopped. shook his head in a silent no. I did the same. regardless, threat of death or no threat of death. I trotted behind Narcoses, clutching the papers and trying to think I feel sorry for the dog, Floyd said. We both looked at Steengo who face of my inquisitor was touched by a fleeting cold smile. it in some depth. What do you say we all put the weapons down and have then lowered it all down the chimney. Reaching down as far as I could Founder, whose name may not be spoken, who had the inspiration to read"


Blogger ohmygodimmike said...

For someone who doesn't hate radiohead, you sure are infatuated with talking about them. Seriously, I thought after you left this issue would be dead, but here I am reading about it.

November 26, 2007 8:50 PM  
Blogger Mazur said...

Why didn't you post any Radiohead?

November 27, 2007 4:00 AM  
Blogger Grant Miller said...

Agreed. I like Radiohead, but have never loved them.

Although their recent covers of The Smiths and New Order were super duper ultra cool.

November 27, 2007 11:02 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

I see what you're saying. There are only a few bands that I would say I love, and they're from my formative years, probably because they accurately reflected one or more facets of growing up. I don't love any band because I'm awed by their hugeness.

However, Paranoid Android remains my topmost favorite song for singing along to.

November 28, 2007 4:19 AM  
Blogger DJ said...

Mike - I love talking about radiohead. I think they're my paris hilton. Also, I want to love them in some ways but can't.

Mazur - because you hear them all the time anyway, except maybe in korea, but you probably will at some point. Let me know.

Grant - Yeah I know, watching those youtube videos got me started on that post. I felt like those cover's although they're good songs, theyre kind of predictable choices.

Hannah - I agree, I was pretty careful to say their "recent" music
because I still totally love OK Computer and Kid A. Those were actually pretty big for me in high school

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