Rainbow Connections – or, It’s Beginning To And Back Again

In Rainbows25 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 Montréal, which is in the Province of Québec. A trip to Québec 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 à 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.

4 thoughts on “Rainbow Connections – or, It’s Beginning To And Back Again”

  1. Here’s another connection for you: the best track on Dots and Loops is ‘Rainbo Connection’, IMHO.

    Enjoy your blog Sean and I like the facelift, it’s easier on the eyes. Your blog posts are on the fringes of my own personal (music) and professional interests (digital media rights, use, archiving).

    And here is another connection: I found you via the blog of an old early-90’s mutual friend (JasonT). I know several of your other LSS friends as well although I don’t think we ever met. I just saw PatrikP for the first time in about 10 years on your Flickr pix to the right here…This interweb thing is cool…

  2. Hey there, Peter. No, I can’t recall that we’ve ever met either – but certainly there’s some crossover interest btw us, judging from your blog & research interests.

    I’m actually curious about postdoc & teaching/research opportunities at U of Amsterdam – but you’re in quite a radically different department than what I would fit into. Any tips on studying there would be helpful though, if you have any, and the time to spare ’em. Keep in touch! -Jean.

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