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It’s Christmas in August for Radiohead fans. Pitchfork reported yesterday that yet another new Radiohead track has hit the Internet, the second in a week!
The first—“Henry Patch (in memory of),” a paean to the eponymous last British World War I veteran, who died in July—was announced on the band’s Web site and covered widely in the press. The latest one, called “These Are My Twisted Words,” appeared yesterday without fanfare on a Radiohead fan site. Its origins are, apparently, a mystery—so much so that Pitchfork was unable to verify that it’s actually a Radiohead song. (It definitely is.)
The appearance of these two singles is part of a Web-era trend that has bands releasing material bit-by-bit, rather than in LP-sized chunks. Although musical purists might decry the incipient death of album, Thom Yorke—perhaps music’s purest purist—isn’t one of them. He hates making albums, calls the process “creative hoo-ha,” and finds recording them insufferable. This from the architect of arguably the best album of the 1990s.
unrelated news, Slate’s Emily Yoffe today writes that because of something to do with the distinction between dopamine and opioids, animals are driven into insatiable fits when given morsels of sustenance at a time, rather than a full ration.
So, is our reverence for albums simply arbitrary, based on archaic packaging methods? Is the serialization of music going to turn us into crazed lab rats?
While you think about it, enjoy maybe-Radiohead’s latest song: