**** Fist of Adonis
*** Backdoor Buzzer
** Ass Master
* Rear Ender
By now, you've downloaded the new Radiohead album off the internet. You probably did it right after Kid A came out eight months ago, so by now you know that there is little here that will truly blow your mind. In fact, I would go so far to say this Kid A outtakes record is a wanky piece of shit. Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone and Spin will probably pretend they "get it" by calling it "ART," but I think that's bullshit. If Radiohead is art, then our world is finally in the last stages of replacing the Magrittes and Schieles with the Weiden + Kennedys and Viacom's design team affiliates. Now, let's quantify. Track one ripped off its beats from Depeche Mode's "Waiting for the Night" (released 11 years ago). Track two: Thom Yorke wails like a nun to a backdrop of four piano chords that shove the sentiment of "I am dramatic" down your throat. Track three: Depeche Mode, again--this time with that oh-so-brilliant backwards talking. Let me tell you how they make their voices go backwards: they talk through a microphone into a computer recording program like Pro Tools or Cakewalk. Then they click a mouse. Voila! "ART." My friend said, "The last track's the best." Is it the best because there's some New Orleans jazz in there? Is it the best because Radiohead is actually a mainstream band that puts thought into their music? You want thought, go listen to Edgard Varèse's Ameriques symphony. He wrote that fucker in 1918. But even if you happen to be a die-hard fan, this album is not that great--has some good tracks, but mostly disappointing. To the haters: Let's bust down Thom Yorke's door with a big log and take him OUT! JULIANNE SHEPHERD
VARIOUS ARTISTS Is It... Dead?
(Sub-Pop, Crash Rawk Records, RocknRollplay Records)
I put this on and skipped straight to "Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922- )" by the erudite and militantly pro-library metal band Bloodhag. My regular gal responded "Oh Jesus, not more Cookie Monster music,"--a reference to how many of the "singers" in modern metal/hardcore bands sound like the infamous Sesame Street glutton. I've never have a good comeback and am always at a loss to explain my love of this oftentimes brutal (Botch, Teen Cthulhu), occasionally cartoonish (Bloodhag) brand of rock-n-roll. Perhaps it goes back to some childhood discontentment, perhaps to Sesame Street itself. It was a pretty weird show: seven-foot talking birds, furry green misanthropes living in trashcans, the Rain Man-esque, number obsessed Count. You could drop a fortune on therapy trying to undo the damage, or you could save money and self-medicate with the cathartic aggression of Is It... Dead? Northwest noisemakers Homo-Eradicus, Akimbo, Raft of Dead Monkeys, and others offer a (mostly) warp-speed tour of the pissed kid's psyche--and that's good enough for me. JOSH HOOTEN