Monday, February 04, 2008

Life before Radiohead and the Super Bowl

It turns out that before Radiohead, Thom Yorke was in a band called the Headless Chickens, who recorded apparently only one song, entitled "I don't want to go to Woodstock". Which I found somewhere on teh intarwebz and subsequently listened to.

It's fascinating to look at the development of Radiohead-related projects. This song, recorded in the late '80s, is a three-chord shoegaze track with a very distorted guitar sound - reflecting the trends in indie music of the late '80s. Of course, as we all know, when Radiohead broke through with "Creep," they were classified within the post-grunge movement - also the trend at the time. Though the band(s) merely follow(s) trends at this point, the Headless Chickens track is a very good listen - it's too bad they didn't break through, as they would have been a good pop band with a unique edge in their incorporation of two violinists.

Of course, we all know that Tom Petty headlined the halftime show last night... but after the commercial break following the performance of Petty's final adult-contemporary tinged country-rock song, there was a jarring surprise. The telecast opened up broadcast of the second half of the game with, of all things, an Arcade Fire song.

Now I don't watch football, so it was rather coincidental that I was in front of the television at that exact moment... which, apparently, Pitchfork have written about with an enviable amount of sarcasm here. It turns out that there's some sort of legal issue. FOX didn't obtain permission for broadcasting the bit of "No Cars Go" (the last part of the Neon Bible version, I believe)... we'll have to see what ensues.

It reminds me of how back in New England, the sports radio station would occasionally broadcast bits of Pavement songs before cutting to the next inning of a Red Sox game. And how NPR often plays bits of more AC-oriented indie artists (Wilco, Sufjan Stevens) between segments on their newscasts.

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