Christmas came early for Radiohead fans. Well, I know that at least for me, it did. I came home to see it sitting there. The box. The dimensions of a record sleeve, but thicker. I gently peeled the packaging tape off, and removed the card-board wrapping.
In Rainbows, in the flesh. I took each part out. Inspected both records. Looked through the record’s accompanying booklet, and then on to the lyric book that splits the section where the two cd’s are located. I skipped the main disc, which is already well logged in my brain, and went to the coveted bonus disc.
It starts out with a mostly instrumental track, MK1, with a piano part resembling aspects of disc 1 closer, "Videotape."
2. Down is The New Up. “Nothing's gonna happen without a warning, Down is the new up, what is up, buttercup?” Is it a commentary on today’s politicians? The transitory nature of people’s opinions? “Your services are not required, your future's bleak, you're so last week”
3. Go Slowly. Another song from this collection that screams that things aren’t going too well, but there is a chance to change it, that “there is a way out.”
4. MK 2 sounds like a b-side from OK Computer, once again instrumental. It reminds me of “A reminder” once again quietly asking someone “if I take a chair, start to talk shit”.
5. Last Flowers to the Hospital. One of the lost Radiohead tunes. It was originally recorded for OK Computer, but their need for perfection left it off the disc. Supposedly a sign one of the members saw on the roadside in Oxford. Also was called “Cogs” for some time. It has joined the ranks of songs super fans thought would never see the light of day, but here it is, on the cusp of 2008. “It’s too much, too bright, too powerful”
6. Up on the Ladder. Sounds like a tune with the Greenwood touch. Drum machine metronome beat, light synth, dirty guitar. And then the Radiohead signature static. It is another song that’s been around for a while, but perfectionism gets in the way of releases.
7. Bangers & Mash . Beautiful mostly indecipherable Thom Yorke lyrics. I remember them playing it in Boston in June of 2006 and my friend Chris and I afterwards just would say “Bangers and Mash!” In celebration of all this odd new music we had just been attacked with.
8. 4 Minute Warning. Disc 2 ends with a “light moment”. Four minutes long. Tambourine. It is hope in the midst of violence, and one of the most beautiful things I have heard in ages. “this is just a nightmare, but soon I'm gonna wake up, someone's gonna bring me 'round.”
This is not merely a consolation prize for those that decided to shell out the eighty bucks for the hard copy. This is not a random collective of left over tracks. It flows with the same brilliance as In Rainbows disc one, and compliments it rather than merely accompanying it. Now just ask your friend who bought it to send it over.