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Radiohead (#110 of 23)

Watch Radiohead’s “I Promise” Music Video Directed by Michal Marczak

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Watch Radiohead’s “I Promise” Music Video Directed by Michal Marczak
Watch Radiohead’s “I Promise” Music Video Directed by Michal Marczak

Radiohead doesn’t play by familiar rules, so it wasn’t a surprise to see news this morning of a music video for the unreleased OK Computer track “I Promise.” Last month, the band announced OKNOTOK, a 20th-anniversary reissue of their iconic Grammy-winning album from 1997. OKNOTOK will feature a remastered version of the original album, plus B-sides and three previously unreleased tracks. Among those three tracks is “I Promise,” and its accompanying video, directed by Michal Marczak, is of a piece with the themes of ennui explored throughout OK Computer and Marczak’s All These Sleepless Nights. The video, not unlike Marczak’s three features to date, is a hybrid documentary-fiction, in this case a reverie about Warsaw in nighttime and all the lonely people, including a man-robot’s head, who absorb the Polish capital’s mundane wonders while riding a city bus. This uniquely immersive video attests to Marcak’s knack for empathetically homing in on the essence of archetypical figures, people and environments alike.

Listen to Slant’s 25 Best Singles of 2016

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Listen to Slant’s 25 Best Singles of 2016
Listen to Slant’s 25 Best Singles of 2016

So many of the highlights and lowlights of the year in singles were, for better or worse, attuned to what feels like a worldwide drift toward maintaining one’s own financial and psychological (same diff) bottom line at the expense of anyone else’s. Beyoncé, of all performers, was far from immune, though her particular brand of exceptionalism continues to dress itself up in the finery of collective consciousness raising. Far more common were the unfussy, ruthlessly entertaining likes of Fifth Harmony speaking on behalf of Melania Trumps everywhere. Or Kanye West’s epic clapback against Taylor Swift, which in turn presaged his detour into the mental hospital, which we’ve now seen firsthand more or less counts as the first step in a presidential bid in 2020.

Watch Paul Thomas Anderson’s Music Video for Radiohead’s “Daydreaming”

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Watch Paul Thomas Anderson’s Music Video for Radiohead’s “Daydreaming”
Watch Paul Thomas Anderson’s Music Video for Radiohead’s “Daydreaming”

Three days ago, Radiohead released the first single, “Burn the Witch,” from their ninth studio album, along with its Wicker Man-inspired music video. And if that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, today the band has released the music video from another of the album’s tracks, “Daydreaming,” directed by filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson. In the video, the Inherent Vice director’s camera follows Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke through numerous locales, from hotel hallways to laundromats. The images, lucid and confrontational, exude an almost gestural quality as they cut from interior and exterior spaces, with Yorke waltzing in a sleep-like torpor toward a hole—or spacious studio igloo?—somewhere on a snow-capped mountain. The world here appears at once real and imagined, and by the time the fire within the hole lights Yorke’s face and the song grinds to a halt, Anderson dramatically reaffirms most of our beliefs about Radiohead’s music as, above all else, the prettiest soundtrack in the world to one man’s devotion to his own alienation.

Radiohead Drops New Single & Wicker Man-Inspired Music Video for “Burn the Witch”

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Radiohead Drops New Single & Wicker Man-Inspired Music Video for “Burn the Witch”
Radiohead Drops New Single & Wicker Man-Inspired Music Video for “Burn the Witch”

After a series of Instagram teasers and mysterious leaflets sent to fans that made mention of the song’s title, Radiohead has released “Burn the Witch,” the first single from their ninth studio album. Rumored to be called Dawn Chorus, the upcoming album will be the band’s first in over five years, following 2011’s The King of Limbs. “Burn the Witch,” which goes on sale at midnight, has reportedly been in the works for at least 15 years, as far back as 2001’s Kid A. True to the band’s long-established brand, the track melds digital and analog, with staccato guitar stabs, lush orchestral swells, and of course, frontman Thom Yorke’s sonorous wails undergirded by buzzing electronic sounds and Colin Greenwood’s distinctive bass. “Stand in the shadows/To the gallows/This is a round-up,” Yorke cautions at the song’s start, with all the paranoia and politically shaded intrigue we’ve come to expect.

The 10 Best Cover Songs from Tori Amos’s Unrepentant Geraldines Tour

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The 10 Best Cover Songs from Tori Amos’s Unrepentant Geraldines Tour
The 10 Best Cover Songs from Tori Amos’s Unrepentant Geraldines Tour

Tori Amos is best known for her brutally honest, often opaque original songs, like “Silent All These Years” and “Caught a Lite Sneeze,” but longtime fans also know her to be a consummate interpreter of other musicians’ work. In 2001, Amos released Strange Little Girls, a collection of songs originally written and performed by men, and she’s covered the music of everyone from Joni Mitchell to Metallica during her live shows. The crimson-haired singer-songwriter’s Unrepentant Geraldines Tour features a segment coined the Lizard Lounge, in which she performs covers selected by fans, and her Tori-fied renditions of Radiohead’s “Creep” and Madonna’s “Frozen,” not to mention a mashup of songs by feuding songstresses Sinéad O’Connor and Miley Cyrus, recently got the blogosphere buzzing. Amos, who celebrates her 51st birthday tomorrow, wraps up the North American leg of her tour in the great state of Florida this weekend, and while there’s bound to be more gems given the straddled-piano-bench treatment when she hits Australia in November (our pick: Aussie pop icon Kylie Minogue’s “Slow”), here are our favorites from 2014 so far.

Top 10 Radiohead Music Videos

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Top 10 Radiohead Music Videos

Alex Lake/Nasty Little Man

Top 10 Radiohead Music Videos

Exactly 20 summers ago, the world was introduced to Radiohead by way of their debut single, “Creep.” Thom Yorke and company may have soured to their very first modern rock hit, but as we said in our list of the Best Singles of the 1990s, for which the song ranked at #37, “Creep” is rivaled only by “Every Breath You Take” as the ultimate kind-of-obsessive/kind-of-romantic crush anthem, with guitarist Jonny Greenwood’s perfectly timed blasts of electricity turning it from slightly creepy to threatening. The track peaked on the Billboard pop chart in September of 1993, a full year after its initial release, and Radiohead would go on to become one of the most influential bands in rock history. On the eve of this anniversary, we take a look back at the group’s best and most innovative music videos.