An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Yes, this is a post about Radiohead, you cannot possibly be surprised

Last Friday Radiohead released a new album called The King of Limbs. And oh, I know, you think Radiohead is overrated, what’s the big deal, blahblahblah.

So is sex with monkeys. But I’m not going to judge anyone’s hobbies.

INDULGE ME FOR A SECOND. Because they happen to mean a great deal to me, and not just because I’ve paid for tickets and airfare to see them live ten times. They always seem to release music during certain events in my life that have given more meaning to the lyrics and the structure of the songs. To me. I don’t expect anyone else to like Radiohead, but that doesn’t mean I won’t go batshit insane every time they release an album. Like I did on Friday:

After that last one someone replied to me on Twitter and said that just because I have as many followers as I do doesn’t mean I’m allowed to be a douchebag to my kids. And I was like, dude, I’m not being a douchbag. I’m being an asshole. Get it straight.

Radiohead also released a video for the song “Lotus Flower” and this is what is really interesting to me: most people, especially those who think Radiohead are overrated, are going to see this video and think WTF? Doesn’t he know he looks like an idiot?

Yes, actually. I believe he’s trying to look like one.

When I see this video I see the happy Thom Yorke who for a long time didn’t seem happy to be doing what he was doing. I first saw the band in 1998, and Thom barely moved on stage. That was back when they had hit it really big with OK Computer, and he was having a really rough time dealing with all the bullshit that happens around celebrity (something documented in a film called Meeting People is Easy). You could see him having a hard time.

During the last few shows I’ve seen, however, he danced around the stage like a lunatic, a joyous lunatic, clearly more comfortable with himself and his life.

I see that video and I see joy. Joy, a word you don’t really associate with Radiohead, and certainly not with that song. Which takes it to levels of such awesome that my head just exploded.

Also? Someone set his dancing to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies.” Aaaaaaaaaand genius.

(For what it’s worth, I’m loving the new album, particularly the song “Codex” which is so beautiful I want to cry. But I’m an asshole. I can’t be seen doing that.)

  • Daddy Scratches

    I think what you’re saying is that you like Radiohead? (I’m a whiz when it comes to reading comprehension.)

    True story: I saw Radiohead at a little club in Boston back in 1992 or ’93. Thom Yorke had Kurt Cobain-style hair. “Creep” was the only song anyone knew. We were there to drink, not see the band. Just a coincidence that they were playing.

    Recent Tweet of mine: “Just discovered that Thom Yorke’s 2006 solo album is amazing. Next on my agenda: Putting an African American in the White House.”

  • pehuff

    I think Thom Yorke might be a fan of Twin Peaks, with some of those dance moves!

  • Pixie

    I think I’m a Radiohead fan now!

  • Lauren3

    I know just what you mean. That video is freakin fantastic… reminds me a bit of the one for Street Spirit.

    I associate so many Radiohead songs with particular times in my life. For example, every time I listen to Let Down – one of my favorites – I think of my high school/college boyfriend. For years after our break-up, I couldn’t listen to it. Glad I have it back!

    Love Codex. They are perfect at the haunting piano music thing.

    Happy Radiohead Week! (Duno about you, but that’s about how long it takes me to stop listening to their new albums exclusively.)

  • adventuresindouble

    I saw the Very Last 1998 OK Computer show at Radio City. And while it is still one of my absolute favorite shows ever, Thom was severely depressed and just wanted off stage. I have seen them 6 times and had tickets and flown 3 more times to get to canceled shows. Radiohead is my abfab band. They always make me happy and have always released an album around a big even in my life.

    Now this album haven’t fallen in love with yet. I listened to it for 2 hours today. Hopefully I will get the hook soon. The video though, LOVE.

  • LillyO

    Why can’t people just get a sense of humor? I laughed so hard at your tweet about your kid’s hunger being surpassed by Radiohead (and dude, you typed it in Utah AND it got past the censors!!!). Heather, when in the hell will you learn to do 2 things at once (IE feed your spawn AND listen to music, all the while DANCING)??? With close listening, I have to admit I am still “getting” the new album, but I do respect it’s not the same-old-sloth and the same-old-style!

  • danielletheory

    i think my friend said it best:
    thom york dancing in this video looks like a cross between sufjan stevens and lucille 2. if anyone gets both of those references then they are automatically my friend.

  • AshesVonDust


    Hey, remember seeing Thom Yorke shake his head crazily for, like, twenty minutes straight? For most of the 90s? Of course you do. Here’s a riddle: did he start doing that because he was nuts, or did doing that shake a screw loose? Kinda “chicken and the egg” if you think about it.

    (Also, by nuts, I mean endearingly so. All my favourite people are crazy.)

  • dooce


  • The General

    Well, I have to admit that I think Nirvana is way over rated. But, I haven’t really ever listened to enough Radiohead to make any decision about them one way or another. Having said that, I really liked the Lotus Flower song and that dancing? Totally rocked.

    Thanks for sharing it- can’t wait to check out the rest of the album. I always wanted to like Radiohead, maybe now I’ll be able to!

  • Alpha Monkey

    The dance looks a little like Martha Graham mated with the skinny one from Stan and Ollie.

  • lumoria

    This reminds me a lot of Sufjan Stevens when I saw him in concert just this past November. He danced throughout the whole concert, explaining that he felt that the dance and movement was what humans are supposed to do when they listen to music – I couldn’t agree more.

  • petit hiboux

    It’s been incredible to watch Radiohead evolve as a band (bought The Bends with babysitting money when I was 16 and it was the very first thing I ever listened to on my car CD player!) and stay pretty miraculously true to their vision without being afraid to try some new stuff and even fail from time to time. I think it’s why they have such a rabid fanbase – most people know authenticity when they see it.

    It’s also nice to see Yorke comfortable with his role and his performing. I saw the live twice in 1999 and the guy was basically a walking coma patient. I’m sure there was a lot of critical self-evaluation and hard work that brought him to this point. It’d be interesting to hear him talk about it.

    I think what’s so neat about the Lotus Flower video is that his dance moves are pretty freaking great, and the video highlights what an internalized thing dance can be when there’s just one person doing it. Imagine how different the video would look with anyone else in the frame! I love it.

    Okay, I’m done nerding out now.

  • EliBailey

    Radiohead has been my favorite band since 2004, when I was moving into a place of my own after a nasty divorce. After a long day of moving boxes and cleaning, my 15 year old son asked me to sit down and listen to a few songs, and I fell in love with them instantly. I don’t know what it is about Thom Yorke’s voice, but I relax immediately, every time I hear it, and I love watching him do that crazy shaking dance thing. I FINALLY got to see them live during the In Rainbows tour in May 2008. The concert was outside and it was an absolutely perfect evening in Dallas with a full moon directly over the stage, I was with my two favorite guys (new husband on one side; son on the other), and of course Radiohead was awesome. Best concert I’ve ever been to, and I can’t wait to see them again. In my opinion they are one of the best bands of all time.

  • BargainBex

    Here’s the dealio, yo.

    I, too, am in love with Thom Yorke and don’t really see the problem in wanting to take him around in my little pocket ALL. DAY. LONG. Then, when night hits, I can pull him out, prop him on my shoulder, and let him whisper-sing sweet nothings and lullabies to me until I fall fast asleep.

    Yeah. So I guess what I’m tryin’ to say is I totally feel you and what you’re saying about your love for all things Radiohead. Because I have it too. And for his rolled up white button-up and little jeans as well …

  • mom2meerkat

    I LOOOOOOOOOVE Radiohead! And, I’m hoping that this new album means tour this summer, because I’m totally going to every show within a 300 mile radius. (And maybe further)… and I’m going to get pit tickets for at least one of them.

    A lot of people are disappointed in their new album, but I’m not one of them. I think it’s great. The only song I’m not a fan of is song number 1: Bloom. But, I love Lotus Flower and Separator… and Codex… and all the other songs on the CD.

    I’m glad I’m not the only radiohead geek… because I think I make people sick by talking about them so much.

  • karmadarling

    Oh you make my life so rich!

    Awesome videos – and btw, I still cannot get over the Drunken Sailor one, friggin hilarious!

  • Lauren M

    Fake Plastic Trees=my grandmother’s death
    Kid A= newly married yoga CD

    Also, I think Thom knew someone would put his video to Single Ladies. So, the joke’s on us!

  • ktrockco

    I’ve seen Radiohead live 3 times.
    #1 was on my birthday at Red Rocks in 2003
    #2 was also at Red Rocks – my grandma has just died and left me some money, so I spent over $600 on 2nd row center tickets for me and my boyfriend. He didn’t even like concerts, but I didn’t care. I got Thom’s guitar pick.
    #3 I had to fly to Seattle because they SKIPPED COLORADO on the in rainbows tour!! I was in Seattle for less than 24 hours – two of my friends came with me.

    I’ve been playing the new album on repeat all day.

  • Lauren3

    Dude, I love that YOU love geeking out about Radiohead with us.

    Someday soon when I have some extra minutes I am gonna send you a community message that contains a theory about Kid A that is gonna make you POOP YER PANTS. Or maybe you’ve already heard it/thought of it so you won’t poop but maybe you’ll fart at thinking about it again.

    Also, my first Radiohead concert was outside, and someone barfed up a bunch of beer on my back. I was irritated, but it did not ruin things.

  • trixasaurus

    Okay, that last video is proof that YouTube is the greatest invention in the history of ever. Genius.

    And geeking out about Radiohead should be REQUIRED, damn it.

  • Susabelle

    I’m so excited about “King of Limbs”! I just now listened to “Codex” for the first time (because all of you are raving about it), and yes, it’s wonderful. I love the spareness. The rhythm reminds me a bit of Pyramind Song (although of course it’s not the same time signature). Tom’s voice is just as beautiful as ever.

    I have to say I’m also a bit nervous about the album, because I’ve read some critical reviews that aren’t kind. I love “In Rainbows” SO VERY MUCH and I think every note in every song on it is utter perfection. And I want to be just as swept away by “King of Limbs.” But that’s probably asking too much. I mean, what are the chances of feeling that way about two albums put out by any group?

    It will take me a while, possibly weeks, to hear the whole album, because I can’t listen to it at one go. I have to approach Radiohead songs slowly and savor the layers of complexity and listen to them over and over before I can really appreciate them.

    I am thrilled to be able to geek out about Radiohead here! I think it’s the main reason I signed up for an account. I don’t know of anywhere else I can kvell over the love I have for Radiohead–none of my friends listen to them. My husband doesn’t share my love for them, but he has promised to take me to see them in concert someday, if I’m ever lucky enough to get the opportunity.

  • tiny apple

    dude, i’m so excited!!

  • SomethingChangd

    I just wanted you to know that not only have I seen Radiohead at Glastonbury (and come on, how cool is that?), but in 2001 I watched them soundcheck in an amphitheater, literally the only person watching in the 12,000+ seat venue. They did about 5 songs (and I’m a terrible person and don’t remember what they were) and it was amazing. Oh yes.

  • commasplice

    My sister loves Radiohead so much that she bought tickets to a concert of theirs (first time they’d been to our area in 5 years) that was to take place ten days before she was due to have her son. The kid was born the day before the concert. There’s a possibility he will never be forgiven for that. Good thing he’s freaking cute!

  • MoostacheMama

    So I finally broke down and registered for the Dooce Community just so I could share this story:

    My best friend’s mom got us tickets to Radiohead in Toronto as a high school graduation present. We drove from Detroit all the way through to Buffalo (we were staying the night before with a friend who had moved to NY), and when we crossed the bridge, we noticed that all the stoplights were out. Huh. Cell phone service dead too. Weird. Got to my friend’s house, and he had power….unlike the rest of the freaking ENTIRE EASTERN HALF OF NORTH AMERICA. Yup. August 2003. Concert was cancelled, rescheduled for a Wednesday in October. Being as that was the middle of the semester, there was no way we were gonna make it. And thus, my one and so far only opportunity to see my favorite band live was cruelly ripped away from me. I’m still upset.

    Maybe they’ll make it within a day’s drive of my current locale. And I do mean within 24 hour’s drive. I have. to. see. them. At least once.

    Loving the new album – all of their albums are viscerally connected to particular stages of my life and I can’t wait to see what memories will become attached to this one 🙂

  • pastry_child

    I think MY friend said it best with: Quick! Someone make a video of Beyonce dancing to “Creep!”

  • shauna

    Oh Heather. I cannae believe it’s been ten whole years of loving that you love Radiohead so much 🙂 And yes, it is bloody brilliant to see a joyous Thom. Still holding out for a Joy of Ed calendar here, though.

  • kmjoslo

    Also had to finally join so that I could leave a comment. Did my masters in Oxford from ’98-2000, big Radiohead fan, had a few Thom Yorke sightings but only one that was particularly memorable. On my way to a tutorial, late as always, had to duck into a shop to pick up something on the way, took longer than expected, blah blah. On the way out (with my awesome yellow Walkman blaring in my ears), I literally smashed into Thom Yorke on the sidewalk outside. He gave me a strange look/smile, I apologized and sped off. Took a couple seconds before I realized that it was Thom Yorke I smashed into, and then I felt strangely awkward about the fact that OK Computer was what had been blaring through my headphones. How weird would it be to get run down by someone whose attention was diverted by your own voice in their head?

  • magwilky

    People need to get a sense of humor! That tweet was high-larious!

  • smodan

    Loaded on my iPod for beach in two weeks! Sunset. Codex. Tears. Joy.

  • fromthecompound

    That twitter follower is right. Being an asshole to your kids is not allowed just because you have a lot of followers…it allowed because you gave birth to them! If you don’t teach kids “asshole” when they’re young…they may turn out like that moron!

  • Susabelle

    NME is conducting a poll for greatest Radiohead track ever. Not only do you get to vote, but you get to listen to each song as an album/video or live version. I’m seeing some concert footage that I’ve never caught before–so awesome! I guess MY kids won’t get fed today…

  • Lindsey

    @Lauren3! “Let Down” is my favorite track. I love them tons, too.

    Please put me down for a spot on the Thom Yorke Polly Pocket time-share.

  • BarbaraLynn

    Joy is EXACTLY what I thought when I watched this video for the first time last night.

    And it’s also why I love this Napoleon Dynamite mash up sooooooooooooooo much…

  • Dani

    Geek out all you want. I get it.

    I’m not a Radiohead fan but I do have bands I get the same way about. And singers I have imaginary lives with that do not involve my husband and daughter.

  • Daisy-girl

    He kind of looks like Smigel from Lord of the Rings – a little

  • Erin47

    That dancing is exactly how I imagine every musician feels (or should feel) about his/her music. If it doesn’t take over your whole body, it’s not yours. So in love. Thanks for posting.

  • Jen

    I remember where I was and what I was doing the first time I heard Creep back in 1993. I remember when my friend bought me the album OK Computer for my birthday the year it was released and I literally screamed and jumped up and down. I remember the first time I heard Pyramid Song – the video came on late one night on 120 Minutes, so hauntingly beautiful. I have CDs of all my favorite Radiohead songs that I used to listen to at work over and over all day long, completely hypnotized and enraptured by Thom’s delicate, yet so powerful voice. That voice has gotten me through some pretty shitty times.

    They’re truly in a league of their own. I love music and listen to a wide variety, but there is a special place in my heart for Radiohead. I live in fear of the day they decide to retire. Thom *has* to live forever. Or at least until I die 😉

  • Narwhal
  • Becky Cochrane

    I don’t know crap about Radiohead, but I love it when someone finds and expresses their joy in something, so your Radiohead freakout made my day happier. Also, if you never did or said another thing to make me laugh, posting the Thom Yorke “Single Ladies” video will be enough. Thank you.

  • Petit Elefant

    Holy crap, that Beyonce song + Radiohead = pure happy. Thanks for making my Monday-ish Tuesday tolerable.

  • BostonNic

    I’m totally and completely obsessed with Radiohead, and Thom himself. Seen them a few times, my favorite being at the Boston Bank of America Pavillion where I nearly peed myself at them ending the show with THE most kickass rendition of Everything In Its Right Place. I may or may not have danced my ass off.
    I cannot stop listening to the new album.
    I’ve also been obsessed with the dancing video.
    And umm to Beyonce? Hysterical!!

  • sugarleg

    true story, I was kinda standing next to you at a Radiohead show:

    Outside Lands Fest, SF, 2008 was my FIRST Radiohead show ever. over the years I have been on the opposite end of the planet as them when they toured, much to my bummer. I too have worn holes in my Radiohead CDs so imagine my head exploding glee when they came to me.

    so there I am in the masses with my hipster hairdresser and friend as concert-mate, a few sound system wig outs, but everyone dealing okay when I look up at the gal in front of me on her iPhone, tweeting someone, and yes, this was all still pretty new. well shit, it was Maggie Mason and she typed out to @dooce that it was sardine-style packed and that she felt bad about the sound dropping out.

    I was basically peeing my pants I was so excited. dooce, Mighty Girl AND Radiohead.

    awesome. oh, and been listening to “The King of Limbs” since Friday. love it.

  • cattail722

    Doooooode, I am so digging the new album. Took a few listens before I “got it”, but am falling in love with every listen, and hear something new every time. I just knew you were going to post about it! Thank you!

  • Yolanda

    I love the sh!t out of Radiohead. And I love the sh!t out of you for loving Radiohead and tweeting and writing about your love of them. But I assure you, they have been writing the soundtrack to my life, not yours. I am certain of it. Pablo Honey is one of the few albums (cassette at the time) I bought within seconds of hearing a single on the radio (Creep, of course). I literally heard the song, split in two, asked my brother to take me up to The Warehouse (a long dead record chain) and I bought that album. I listened until the tape stretched and warped…and I bought it again.

  • grlally1

    Also a religious follower of Radiohead and haven’t stopped listening to the album since it came out! All my other favorite songs have just been put on the back burner..
    Anyways, I loooooved the video for Lotus Flower. There was one comment I read on it and I really couldnt agree more. It said something like anyone who hasn’t tried to dance like that or gets the urge to at the sound of this song isn’t human.

    I want to put Thom Yorke in my pocket

  • gialac

    How weird would it be to get run down by someone whose attention was diverted by your own voice in their head?

  • shaneenmarie

    great blog. lovely post. i’m supposedly giving birth in a couple weeks & am wondering if the digital album is worth buying for the event (to add to my labor mix as “in rainbows” is) or should i wait for the CD to come out (i prefer the old skool/physical/art format). thoughts??

  • uthostage

    OMG! Why have I never listened to them before? WHY?


    And some people really need to lighten up. Sheesh! I totally would have written the same thing. 😉

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

read more