thom's_teeth
Joana. [One nice article that I read this morning - possibly flawed translation]

Music for the head. Music made for the sensibility, for the provocation of minds. Radio head. Music to listen, music to see. Now that ‘Kid A’ won’t have any promotional video – not even, by the way, any single –, it’s justified to remember the videography of one of the most graphic bands of all times; and one of those who make the best music, as well.
After ‘Ok Computer’, the so highly acclaimed album, Radiohead make another record with a graphic and minimal title: ‘Kid A’. Those who know the whole panoply of graphic creations that accompanies the band’s releases, with special incidence in the 1997 record, will understand that the pictorial component of the music (which serves it or is served by it) is never neglected. The iconography, that one visit to followmearound.com may reveal, and particularly the videos that they’ve signed ever since the beginning, are elements almost as significant as the songs, in the construction of the Radiohead obtuse artistic building. After OKC’s anti-single ‘Paranoid Android’ (which is more than 6 minutes long), the band decided, for the release of ‘Kid A’, to not select any other single, nor play videos. They are courageous, praise-worthy (as they are marginal), possibly odd attitudes; but, analysing one entire career, it’s concluded that they are merely coherence options, from a band that always praised the image, the pictorial capacity that the music holds, of building scenarios and panoramas and project characters and ideas and restlessness with a suggestive sonorous background, schematic, susceptible of opening to the listener a slice to lurk at the proposed imaged universe, or to set up its own narrative of action. ‘Kid A’ takes those premises to the limit: while listening to the record I can only picture the musicians looking at their songs and thinking: how are we going to do this now? It’s like having a series of beautiful bricks, each one of them with its own different shape, and wanting to build a wall with all of them. It’s not easy, but once it’s accomplished, it’s definitely one unique and peculiar wall. And it’s hard to decode the mental access to these tracks (better than calling them ‘songs’ – as in ‘Kid A’, there are songs and non-songs, melodies and only sound, choruses and instruments, electronic and organic). It’s a disfigured album, that refuses to fit, that is deformed and harmonic. Like Thom Yorke’s teeth.
I love the singer’s teeth. In almost every Radiohead video, there they are, frighteningly authentic, horribly the proof of what we are and where we weaken, of what we assume and what we pretend, of the truth and the mask. Holders of a magnificent videography, Radiohead play authentic works of art, small teasers with an aesthetic and contemplative intention, whose sense is intensely amplified by the musical contribution. Does the music live a lot from this or none of this survives to the music? Are they the two independent props to the brilliance that is in both subjacent? Let’s take ‘Fake Plastic Trees’, from ‘The Bends’. Any video is a good example: there’s coherence here, a management of conceptuality that associates and separates them, makes them unique but brothers. Directed by Jack Scott, it seems to be an allegory to the voracity of mass consumerism – the band’s members are strolled, inside shopping carts, through the hallways of some pseudo-supermarket, where the potential clients act gestures of unbalance and the labelling machines are used as weapons of violence. The products at sale, all equal, insist in the danger of the type, of the series, and the plastic air, disposable of everything that is strongly contrasted with the image of Thom’s fingers, and the fabulous teeth. In the end, a generalised stampede empties the hyper; almost, for a child resists. Recurring character in Radiohead’s videos – it’s suffice to remember ‘Street Spirit’ or ‘Paranoid Android’ – the child represents the purity in a lost world. Radiohead don’t promote themselves as saviours. Just as they never appear alone in a video: there are always figurants that are even often the true protagonists.
In ‘Paranoid Android’, Radiohead are evoked by Robin’s cap and by the adventures at the bar where he and his friend Benji drink – the band is sitting on one of the tables. But the entire action is centred on these two characters, created by Magnus Carlsson, that travel in a taxi to a big city and whose life is suddenly crossed with a failed congressman’s that also decides to get pissed. This demented animated illusion was not welcomed – to begin with, MTV censored the mermaids’ and the whores’ breasts, yet they weren’t shocked with the man who chops his own arms and legs off with an axe – and will remain for posterity as one of the less normal videos in rock’s history. It’s bizarre, twisted and sarcastic: in the pet shop, two hamsters are copulating. Robin, as the innocent prototype, plays table tennis with an angel. Thom Yorke sings ‘God loves his children’.
At the edge of consciousness. Like ‘Street Spirit’. Filmed in a desert under the boundaries of L.A., by Jonathan Glazer, theme of ‘The Bends’ it is, for Thom, the ‘purest one’. The singer’s incredible testimony on this song that can be seen on followmearound.com, can only be fully understood when accompanied with the video. Black and white and adorned with a series of effects that coincide, under the same plan, slow motion images and regular speeded images. Elegant and oniric, ‘Street Spirit’ trades the tempos and the rhythms and chooses sand to represent the passage of time. The musicians smile, pleased; like us. Thom Yorke does not hide those teeth. The child, always the child, is there: and faces, with the same impertuberance, a ferocious dog and an ugly insect. Dancers cross the scene, completing with ineffable beauty a video of constant dark-bright. In ‘Karma Police’, of OKC, Jonathan Glazer relapses in a language of the oblique: we are sitting, driving a car, in whose back sit is Thom, who sees a man running, running from us. The car, of red seats, plays with him a playful chase, retrieving to gain balance and attempting a thrust. Before everything, however, in some illogical inversion of the story, the car ends up consumed by flames. Other unpredictable endings: those of ‘High & Dry’ and ‘Just’, both from ‘The Bends’.
The first, at the Dick’s Diner restaurant (3188 Alvarado St., San Leandro, California), films, in the hands of Paul Cunningham, the meals of various common people, those who sing the lyrics. Heavy secrets are fathomed in the faces of clients and employees, a plot that has its beginning in a mysterious suitcase that unfolds flash-back moments and ends in the explosion of an automobile. The bathroom scene – where we once again meet a child – is revealing. As for ‘Just’, it’s practically a fable, shot by Jamie Thraves in London. At the bottom of an apartment block, the band, while playing, witnesses an unusual scene that happens on the street: a man lies down on the pavement, with no reason for such. The concern, admiration and consequent indignation of the people who pass by, that insist – we know it through the dialogues’ subtitles – on knowing the reason for that sudden attitude (which has its origins next to a bathtub, like on ‘Paranoid Android’). The man succumbs, we are not privileged with the information: and Radiohead assure us that they will never reveal the secret. The truth is that all the passer-bys lie, still as dead, on the street, at the end of an innocuous but intriguing bizarreness. From the window, the band’s members lurk: once again Thom Yorke’s teeth are present. Not, however, with the same persistence of the ‘No Surprises’ video, by Grant Lee, for OKC, in which Thom’s head, stuck in a glass helmet, occupies the screen, devours it without make-up and with an unshaved face and his teeth approximate us like never before. The song’s lyrics are reflected on the glass, which slowly commences to be filled with water, leaving Thom submersed for 57 seconds, like a head conserved in phormol, while small lights behind us flicker, as in a subway station. It’s each one of us, in each moment, like a hallucination, the called looking at the feeling and the absurd, the beautiful and grotesque, admiring or hating the impression of a bite in the video.
{Mσnica Guerreiro, in ‘Blitz’}
000928
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freakizh ah, wonderful,

great article for an excellent band.
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