Current TV has the full hour of Scotch Mist, an hour-long taping of Radiohead performing In Rainbows. I have to say, while I enjoyed the album, I think this top-to-bottom performance has even more soul in it; you really get a sense of the focus and craft of the songs as they’re played live. Oh, and you get some poetry and art, too — bonus.

As this is not the Beatles, you don’t get to watch Thom and Jonny arguing about the arrangements. Sorry.

This certainly gives more insight into the music. Sure, In Rainbows’ pay-what-you-will pricing may have overshadowed the actual music, and the “top album of 2007″ moniker from the music press almost seems too easy. But that doesn’t mean this isn’t great music. In fact, on repeated listenings I think I found what it was about the album that didn’t win over some fans initially: the narrative of the album itself isn’t quite as strong as the songs on it. As those songs sink in, for me at least, the writing stands up to some of Radiohead’s best — and having themselves as competition is hardly a blessing. While the media argues, again, about the future of music, it’s great to know great bands survive.

  • http://www.myspace.com/banquetmusic Chrisedmo

    Beautifully written. Couldn't agree more with every thing you wrote there!

  • http://plasticexplosives.net/lessons jonathan

    glad you came around, peter. such a great record.

  • http://plasticexplosives.net/lessons jonathan

    also, somebody should figure out what the hell kind of patch jonny's using for the beat to 15 step and post it.

  • ilo

    what kind of mic is Thom using?

  • dead_red_eyes

    That was great. I'd also like to know what mic Thom was using.

  • http://www.myspace.com/noou (noou)

    I LOVE 'In Rainbows'

  • samu

    I've had an odd time with this album. I love it while I'm listening, but can't remember a bar of it when I'm not. (This is unusual, so hopefully my brain isn't imploding.)

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @samu, I think that's a fair observation. I certainly feel, relatively speaking, that there was more melodic writing on some earlier albums. Not necessarily a bad thing, just the songs here are more abstract. I don't hear as many covers of them as we got from some of the other albums. (Radiohead has been almost like the Rogers & Hart of our time. Erm, like a weird version of them.)

  • matt

    isn't the mic an EV RE20?

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Matt — I think so. Should have offered a prize. (ummm… want a beat up old Shure?)

  • http://cornwarning.com kent

    Watching this after listening has the same effect as listening to My Bloody Valentine after reading the interview with Kevin Shields in Tape Op: It's not that they're doing anything that technically challenging or complicated; the effort goes into coming up with the songs and arrangements in the first place.

    I don't know anyone who covers Radiohead songs; I do know a lot of people who steal little chord sequence fragments, the way people used to do with the Beatles.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Kent — indeed, and I think any of us can have Radioheadisms slipping in even without thinking about it, they've become so much a part of our musical consciousness.

  • bliss

    Well, I can tell that the other day I was cornered by Jigsaw Falling Into Place for an entire morning. That's all I listened to. Phew! Glad that's over. But I loved Scotch Mist, and to be honest, I really liked the live version of the tunes better than the CD versions. Brought back memories of seeing Radiohead at Suffolk Downs Racetrack in East Boston, Massachusetts for the Kid A tour. Just a phenomenal show.

  • http://www.jaymis.com Jaymis Loveday

    Scotch Mist really made this album for me. I'm historically a huge Radiohead fan – they were my most loved band all though high school – but I've found myself listening less and less each year. I prepurchased In Rainbows and gave them some quids for it, listened once and didn't really return to it, until the other night when I discovered Scotch Mist, which really make the whole thing click for me.

    As a filmmaker who's trying to capture the meanderings of a rock band it's fantastic to watch, and especially how they've used low-end tech and different camera resolutions, formats, lenses etc. and still produced a coherent work from it all.

  • maomao

    Hey Kent,

    Regarding Radiohead covers, there's quite a few interesting albums out there.

    - Radiodread (OK Computer in reggae)

    - Exit music (various covers, great names)

    - Me and this army (hip hop a cappelas meet Rdhd)

    - OK X (but it's really bad IMHO)

  • bliss

    Yeah, Jaymis, I hear you with the low-end tech comments. The film was sort of social commentary, too. Like Big Brother stuff, CCTV, and such. Plus, I've always liked the look of low resolution digital video work that's somewhat or a lot noisy. Used in the right context it's really effective for adding atmosphere and extra dimension.

  • Damon

    it is my favorite of Radiohead's albums, in the same way Peter Gabriel's "So" is my favorite of his albums. For me, there is nothing better than a highly experimental artist who produces a very mainstream album. You get the best of both worlds.

  • samu

    Scotch Mist seems to have unlocked the album for me, somehow.

    Holy shit. Thank Darwin I was born on the same planet as this band.

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