32. Radiohead

I’ve been accused of being a music snob on many occasions. I take great offense to this statement. Of course, I take offense to it after I remove my headphones so I can actually hear you over this totally sweet song I just found that’s the solo project of the bassist for…aw shit. OK, so I’m a bit of a music snob. I can’t help it. I’m just easily bored and have access to the internet. Some people spend hours on Reddit, I listen to music. We all have our internet vices. I will say this, however: I will never be a true music snob. The kind that can spend hours talking about his collection of b-side tapes from a garage band that only put out a single EP but was seriously tremendously influential, guys. The reasoning is this: I don’t like Radiohead.

For anyone that reads any kind of music journalism, you’ll know that one of the prerequisites to be a music critic is that you have to unquestionably love every single thing that Radiohead has done. If Thom Yorke had a piano recital when he was seventeen years old, by god you’ll bet that a bootleg of that performance will fetch thousands of dollars from some adoring fan on eBay. The only thing you’re maybe allowed to dislike is their early grunge stuff.

When they looked like this.

Here’s the thing, though. Radiohead bores the shit out of me. Like, a lot. To the point where I’ve had this exact exchange at gatherings and parties for years:

Me: [Hearing song] What is this and why is it putting me to sleep?

Friend: It’s Radiohead.

Me: Oh, that’s why. Can we change it?

Friend: [As if this changes everything] But it’s Radiohead.

Me: [Keeps drinking]

I know that music taste is subjective. You, the reader, may feel compelled to say “Corbin, you’re a fucking retard. In Rainbows was like the greatest thing to happen to music since the invention of synthesizers.” And you can totally say that. I just won’t listen to you because I was too busy cranking up The House That Heaven Built and rocking the fuck out.

That’s not to say I haven’t given them plenty of chances. I’ve listened through Kid A and OK Computer (which Pitchfork editors are required to masturbate to twice a month) and I do enjoy a couple of their songs. But it’s always disconcerting to hear people talk about their albums as the crowning achievement in music for the last twenty five years. I feel like there’s something wrong with me. Perhaps there’s some part of my ear that isn’t working that, if activated, would open me up to the brilliant and immersive world of Radiohead and make me re-grow my virginity so I could surrender it to Thom Yorke.

Also, to save time and webspace, this is the same entry I would have for Animal Collective.

In closing, I will leave you with a few bands who I fully believe are worth your time.

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2 thoughts on “32. Radiohead

  1. Friendly tip for the future: There is no such thing as a hipster band because “hipster” is not a genre. “Hipster” is a word that people in marketing made up to sell Urban Outfitters and Mumford & Sons.

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