Radiohead and the Philosophical

I am fully aware that this is not a discussion board of a musical nature, but I am a fan of the band Radiohead. I think thier music is very creative and interesting. However, i must say that I find Thom Yorke’s lyrics to be a bit indiscernable, and esoteric at times. Also, thier music is quite spastic and frenetic, some may even say John Cage-esque in the sense that it is not music at all(sometimes) but noise to provoke emotion.(which is a whole other debate) Anyone have more insight than me as to what philosophic system they are functioning under?

“I am a fan of the band Radiohead.”

Don’t look for no anwsers from Uniqor, punker.

Dionysian frenzy or nihilism…


Dionysian frenzy hmmm…do expound! uniquor, I got a laugh out of your response. I admire your cander.

“expound”, “cander”…

Do explain!

if radiohead are philosophical, they are very practical.
“people are aware, they just arent bothered”
but to be honest, most of the songs arise from fear of cars, fear of hospitals, fear for the environment and fear of the current political system. All of which is quite rational IMO.
Being artists they are more concerned with expression then argument.

And er, they’re not punk, they are rock, though quite techno influenced.

Listen to some of the older B-sides that are concerned with love (well, obsession) and such if you want a more rounded view. Record companies dont seem to like releasing their slow songs (well pyramid song… but neh). “A reminder”, “molasses”, “how i made my millions”, “you never wash up after yourself”, “true love waits” and the absolutely bloody amazing “talk show host”.
Oh and “street spirit”, I hear thats quite a good song. :smiley:


it is in a little book written by Nietzsche… “The Birth of Tragedy”


what in you world are you people talking about here? radiohead is completely philosophical… i would put their expressions somewhere between existentialism and phenomenology… and i could easily see putting them in the same category as Albert Camus or Franz Kafka

[i]That there, that’s not me
I go where I please
I walk through walls
I float down the Liffey

I’m not here
This isn’t happening
I’m not here, I’m not here

In a little while
I’ll be gone
The moment’s already passed
Yeah, it’s gone

I’m not here
This isn’t happening
I’m not here, I’m not here

Strobe lights and blown speakers
Fireworks and hurricanes

I’m not here
This isn’t happening
I’m not here, I’m not here…[/i]

See…yeah, that has been exactly my inclination as well. maybe some eastern thought too? It’s hard (for me anyway) what to make of such lyrics as:

Sit down
Stand up
walk into the jaws of hell
anytime. anytime.
we can wipe you out
the raindrops
entire song

i would be inclined to agree with you, except that song is about Thoms rather difficult time at glastonbury where those things happened, and he felt that he really didnt want to be there. He was quoted as saying “Im not here, this isnt happening” about the “Strobe lights and blown speakers
Fireworks and hurricanes”

"Sit down
Stand up
walk into the jaws of hell
anytime. anytime.
we can wipe you out
the raindrops "
Is political, if anything, not philosophical.

So, is it your contention then that Radiohead is much more politically charged than anything and that thier rather abstract music is just a result of paranoia and possibly drugs rather than trying to portray any philosophical worldview?

He lives around the corner from me, want me to go ask him? :slight_smile:

well, you can call it paranoia, but they’re quite right in most cases. Probably not drugs though, most of them are family men, and they’ve never wrote about them favourably that i know of (“Oxygen should be regarded as a drug”). Just think of it as self-aware commentary on the current human condition, or, as they would probably prefer, damn good music.

Im not saying their music isnt insightful, just not philosophically so, at least, not in the academic sense. You can of course use the term philosophy to describe a “world view”, but i certainly hope thats not the kind of philosophy we are discussing here. :smiley:

“if you want to be entertained, go see Hanson”

Don’t belittle me, oresco, I called it paranoia because I had heard Yorke say himself that he’s paranoid and has found a way to make a living at it. See, I should have known i couldn’t have started a simple conversation about them without having one of thier uptight, over-analytic snobs go to war for them. (pardon the pun)

sorry. the dangers of text only means you dont get the tone of what i was saying. honestly, no snobbery was intended. :smiley:

i was saying YOU were being over-analytical, i just interpret them more straightforwardly. This IS a philosophy forum, you should expect some uptightness, and perhaps you should ease up yourself?
perhaps respond with a counter argument?

Cheers! :slight_smile:

Well, my apologies, true indeed about the text not conveying the tone. And I also see what you mean about my being actually more analytical in that regard, having said that, I don’t usually equate philosophy with uptightness, I see that for the sceintists, the purpose of philosophy should be salvation as one professor put it, but that is a whole 'nother cup of tea, which reminds me…

“And er, they’re not punk, they are rock, though quite techno influenced.”

I classify pop, rock, techno, punk… as punk. PUNK: whoever tries to Romanise Philosophy.

Wotinell’s that mean?

They’ve got a great ear for melody and harmony, especially using techno tools that most “techno” acts use in ways that become straightforward, then boring, then tiresome. I’m impressed with them for that.

But damn, they’re depressing. Some of their stuff has a little o’ the old musical ultraviolence, or Dionysian frenzy, but too much is straight-up uncut Will to Nothingness. And that I cannot abide.