Friday, March 16, 2012


I'm still not producing any fiction that is bloggable, so in lieu of that, I wrote this Actual Blog Post:

So I just turned 24, and it's sort of a weird age for me so far. I really enjoyed being 23, for kind of weird and arbitrary reasons. I'm not ready for 24. But oh well? I don't exactly have any say in the matter.

But while I was turning 24, or really a couple days before it, I got to fulfill a major dream of mine which I have held in my heart for basically a WHOLE ENTIRE DECADE! I got to see Radiohead live in concert.

I haven't talked a whole lot about me and who I am and what I like, but I'm gonna do it now! The medium-length version of the long story is this: my dad is a big nerdy music professor and I am his big nerdy daughter, and when I was 13/14 he got to go on sabbatical to teach music in this little country called Estonia, and he took the family with him and we got to live there for a year. How awesome was this?

Um, pretty awesome.

Anyway, while there, little Emily, who was still pretty much a blank slate at the time, was exposed to a lot of different exciting life experiences which would go on to shape her into the being that she is today. This sounds like exaggeration, but I don't really think of it that way. Many of the interests/attitudes I have now, I can trace back to that time. I mean, obviously the period before that time was also important and hasn't, like, gone away, but basically what I'm saying is without living in Estonia, I don't think I would be nearly as interesting. Who can say? I'm just gonna assume that's true.

POINT IS, one of the major developments in these formative years was taste in music. Before Estonia, my taste in music was my dad's taste, which is fine because he has really good taste! And really broad taste. And his position as a music professor nestled in the heart of, you know, hip college students, gives him a lot of opportunities to hear rad new stuff. But still, my exposure was severely limited until I gained a new important music teacher: MTV. I didn't watch MTV before Estonia, where I watched it pretty much nonstop, as it was one of three general types of TV that was in a language I could understand (the others being news and cartoon network). We started taping (like on a VHS tape) all the different music videos we saw and loved. Some of them are hilariously nineties. Some of them are crazy and European. Many of them are still awesome. One of them was this totally awesome video for Radiohead's earth-shatteringly fantastic early hit, Just.

Almost immediately, the entire family was hooked, and this prompted my dad to purchase three albums (The Bends, Amnesiac, OK Computer) all at once for Christmas, without having heard hardly any of the songs. Best random purchase ever. Now it is years later and we are all still strong Radiohead disciples and we have all their albums and we love them.

My dad and my brother got to see Radiohead live in Madison Square Gardens in 2006 or so, and I missed out because of Reasons. But obviously that went straight onto my bucket list, for some possibly imaginary day in the future.

Fast forward to now! Living the poor life with a girlfriend who lives in St. Louis, trying to figure out where in the world I want to move to. For a little while (plans have changed, as plans do), we were talking about me moving to St. Louis. This plan was with us back in November. And wouldn't you know it, around that time my dad showed me that Radiohead was touring and one of the places they were hitting was St. Louis, and the tickets were going on sale within a few days of his showing me this. And the dates hovered right around my birthday. Seemed pretty perfect! During college, when girlfriend and I wanted to visit each other, we would set the dates based on whatever show/musical/opera we wanted to see together. We would purchase our tickets and then we were locked in to the trip. It was a little way of ensuring the trips would happen. So, I thought, why not do that again, and have the biggest trip of all (actually moving to St. Louis) coincide with this major concert bucket listy dream of mine?

Well, the whole move thing ended up not happening. But I was not about to miss Radiohead! So I went down to visit her, and I SAW RADIOHEAD, and now I am going to tell you a little bit about it.

It was a concert! You've been to concerts! They are loud and bright and exhausting and really fun, hopefully. It was happening in the Scottrade Center, which is an enormous freakin hockey stadium, and I was all alone due to Radiohead not being totally in line with girlfriend's music tastes (getting over this was one of the most courageous things I did for our relationship). I was way up in the nosebleeds, literally as far away from the stage as I could get. Top back row. Didn't matter! It was awesome. I was fortunate enough to wind up next to a guy who'd also come alone, and we sort of became concert buddies. The friends you make during concerts are the best, right? That is, if you're fortunate enough not to be near loud assholes or anything. I may have been a bit bothersome to the people on the other side of me BUT I WAS EXCITED, OKAY? It was my first time and I was surrounded by Radiohead concert veterans. Sheesh.

Anyway, it was a pretty mind blowing experience. They did a lot of my favorites--not Just, sadly, because I don't think they really do anything from the dark ages of Pablo Honey/The Bends anymore, to the intense chagrin of SO MANY FANS--but fortunately I am not one of those fans who only likes a particular flavor of Radiohead. To me, Radiohead is exciting specifically because they are endlessly inventive, and with each album they're trying new things and going in new directions. It's sort of a wild adventure being a fan of theirs, and I have always been game for whatever they've thrown at me so far. So this was really exciting and I sort of couldn't believe it was happening to me and the light show was amazing and they are just so professional and it sounded so good and I'm going to stop now because I'm devolving into flails.

I'm not going to go into anymore crazy detail because I have something slightly better. Between each song, the lights would go down and you'd see this ocean of darkness dotted with the little green rectangles of iPhone light. So, after doing a lot of work scouring YouTube, I have put together a playlist of the stuff they performed that night. I got every song and I put them in order. I know it's not nearly as interesting when you weren't there to begin with, but you must feel free to peruse it nonetheless.

My specific recommendations are Morning Mr. Magpie (the video on that is particularly awesome), Karma Police (which has Shenanigans), Identikit (NEW SONG NEW SONG), There There and Lucky. They're all pretty amazing. I also must apologize for Little By Little being in three pieces... no one uploaded a full version, maddeningly enough. And Feral is also incomplete, and unlabeled... no one uploaded that song at ALL apart from this incomplete one, which I found by near miracle, since it is untagged and unlabeled. But in general, it's pretty comprehensive, and I hope you enjoy it.