Music Monday: Some Radiohead, Sometimes

My husband, after much anticipation and waiting and frustration, FINALLY AND AT LONG LAST was able to download the first season of The Newsroom from iTunes. And we have been savouring the latest Sorkinisms like a fine wine. Okay, more like a very good beer, or a decent bar of chocolate, actually, but whatever.


One of the things I like about Sorkin shows — above and beyond the dialogue which is like music in and of itself — is the fact that there is often some music in the show. Not ambient music to boost the action, but rather a song playing in and around a scene to add some punch to what is happening.

And, as someone who lives her life in this way — with a SOUNDTRACK — I really dig some of the songs.

So, this week we watched an episode that included a Radiohead song, “High and Dry”. Now, Radiohead can be an acquired taste — honestly, I find quite a bit of their music to be somewhat pretentious and precious and up its own arse. But when they hit the mark, oh my dog — it is gorgeous and sparkling and brilliant.

Like “High and Dry”, for example.

Best listened to in the dark on headphones, or backing a great Sorkin scene. And the video’s a bit crap, but still. Brilliant.

So that got me thinking of other times when Radiohead’s really hit their mark.

Like “Fake Plastic Trees”.

The thing about Radiohead videos, though? Try not to look directly into the Thom Yorke for too long. I prefer listening on my headphones.

Because when you do listen on headphones, with just the music and no distractions, you can appreciate how songs like “Creep” come together. I mean, given that part of the song was inadvertently plagiarized, and part of it is an attempt by the guitarist to fuck it up a bit, and the subject matter is a bit… odd… all the various elements, even the discordant ones, come together perfectly.

It’s kind of dark and moody and slightly self-indulgent in tone. Not a sunny day sort of song. If you like that sort of thing.

Which I do sometimes.

Anyway, like I said, not all Radiohead does it for me. But watching The Newsroom the other day reminded me that sometimes, some of their songs really are quite wonderful, and listening to them curled up in the dark during a thunderstorm is quite possibly one of the best ways to appreciate them.