I’m so impressed with Radiohead. I was a fan back in the days of The Bends (y’know: before they literally, if not metaphorically, sold out), and have more affection for Pablohoney than most. But in an era when it’s trivial to get whatever music you want for free off your mate who happened to buy it, they accepted that fact and gave alternative distribution a whirl. And maybe it worked and maybe it didn’t: it depends on who you’re talking to.
Certainly marketing genius and total orphan Lily Allen, and internationally renowned cuttinge-edge futurologist Gene Simmonds are pulling the sort of pouts you’d expect from them both, and Guy Hands has a look on him like they just cancelled Christmas. But even in these hilariously gurning faces of criticism, and amid the wafting and intermittent atmospheres of genial misunderstanding of how content works these days from the TV and radio monoliths, Radiohead are keeping chipper. Far more so than I’ve ever seen them before, in fact. And when everyone’s on YouTube for free, letting rip with their Thumbs Down webcast, and accepting its reappearance—syndication, if you like—all over the shop very shortly afterwards, was a refreshing change from everywhere else exercising rigid control at the loss of an audience.
But for those of you (like me) who were thinking of taking part in Radiohead’s distribution revolution, yet weren’t keeping an eye on the time:
- The download-only area of “In Rainbows” closed this morning. I just managed to get a copy of the tracks yesterday: I’m sure if you’ve missed out then you’ll all know someone who’s got a copy they can loan you, right? Loan you until the plain old CD comes out at the start of 2008, right?
- Discboxes (40-quid monstrosities that I was secretly waiting till next year to buy) are actually already out and limited stock. I thought from various reportings of the event that they too weren’t going to be on sale till the new year. Get yours while it’s hot.
If there’s demand I bet there’ll be more discboxes, but frankly if Radiohead don’t stamp “SECOND IMPRESSION” over the next lot then I might sue. Actually, if my discbox doesn’t have “A TOTAL W.A.S.T.E. OF CARBON” scrawled over it then I’ll be terribly disappointed.