The King of Limbs

Concert Catch-Up Week, Day 3: Radiohead
(click here if you missed Day 1: Todd Snider, and here if you missed Day 2: Justin Townes Earle

I love picking music apart. Like some eager high school biology student with a scalpel in his hand and a dead frog lying belly-up on his desk (The album art above seems downright icky after reading that, doesn’t it?), I like dissecting songs, finding out what makes them tick, what makes them exceptional, and what they reveal about the people who wrote them. Actually, “like” might not be the right word to use; after years of playing in bands and nearly 250 posts on this here blog, this type of analytic thinking has become almost totally involuntary. I’ll sometimes catch myself coming up with angles for posts about even the dumbest pop music, like why that video of Jimmy Fallon and the Roots playing “Call Me Maybe” with Carly Rae Jepsen is actually pretty great, or how “Am I The Only One” by Dierks Bentley perfectly encapsulates the way relationships with your friends evolve during your mid-20’s (please someone dare me to actually write this).

With this propensity in mind, I had a quick chat with my brain as we hurried into the Verizon Center to catch the beginning of Radiohead’s June 3 performance. It went a little something like this…

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M. Ward

A Wasteland Companion

“Unique” is an abused word. It’s not quite in the same red headed stepchild territory that “like” and “literally” occupy (full disclosure — I’m doing some serious glass-house stone throwing right now, being both a card-carrying abuser of “like” and “literally” AND a red head), but “unique” finds itself being used to describe music far too often by my count, and I generally try to steer clear of it. But after seeing M. Ward perform at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. two Sundays ago, I can’t help believing that he stands apart from the rest of the musical landscape in ways that feel totally deserving of the word. Two of these ways were espcially striking…

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