25 minutes early, my Radiohead download activation code is emailed to me. Ten years ago, I bought my first Radiohead CD (OK Computer).
OK Computer comprised a significant portion of the soundtrack for a prolonged and significant breakup I was going through at the time, one ending a 7 year relationship (7-9 depending on who you talk to). Alright, Spiritualized’s Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space was a better record, and got more spin out of me at the time anyway, but this is a story of mirror images, spaced approximately ten years apart. If it’s any good, In Rainbows could become the soundtrack for what is thus far the happiest time in my life – happily married with a beautiful 3.5 month old daughter who babbles constantly and really enjoys singalongs, and professionally getting somewhere (not sure where yet, but it bodes interestingly).
I didn’t own a computer in 1997. Well, I had a 386 at my desk, but it was more of a curiosity, and didn’t connect to any internets. So I had no computer in the sense of what a computer is now. The computer I now own is involved in many (though not all) aspects of my life, including these internets we share. I’m presenting at a conference called 4S in a couple of days about the computer’s imbrication with networks of musical practice and listening.
I’m presenting at 4S, which is taking place in MontrÃ©al, which is in the Province of QuÃ©bec. A trip to QuÃ©bec in 1996 was the inciting incident for the breakup I went through ten years ago. Keeping with the dictum ’nuff said, ’nuff said. Just pointing out the mirror images: happy/sad, computer/no computer, OK computer/No Way computer (vis Ã vis the politics of DRM-free music as Refusal).
In Rainbows is pretty good, well into the third song. Pretty. Actually, there are moments that recall, albeit very subtly, the aesthetics of another cool pop record from 1997, Stereolab’s Dots and Loops. I probably can’t explain that one, nor include it in my hall of mirrors. I have been watching a lot of Godard lately, if that’s somehow connected.