Wednesday, July 26, 2006

05. skip divided

im in a skip divided malfunction
i flap around and divebomb
franticly around your light
enveloped in a sad distraction
i got your voice repeating endlessly
could you guide me in
could you smother me
i swoop around your head
but i never hit
im blinded by your daylight
electric veins passed through me
i thought there was this big connection

i only got my name
i only got this situation
i just need a number and location

without appropriate papers or permissions
im known to bite in tight situations
and as i head into french windows
i thought there was a big connection

i only got my name
i only got my situation
i just need my number and location

but the mole keeps telling me hey hey hey hey
the devil may hey hey heyhey
you are a fool for sticking round

ive tried every trick in the book
oh how come i
how come i loose

no one can undress your elliptical caress
dont look into my eyes
coz i'm desperately in love

when you walk in the room everything disappears
when you walk in a room its a terrible mess
when you walk in a room i start to melt
when you walk in a room i follow you roun dlike a dog
im a dog im a dog im a lapdog
im your lapdog

i just got my number and location
i just need my number and location


Now is that one of the love songs that you referred to earlier on?

Thom: Yeah... kind of. It's a bit messed up for that. It sounds like it's more of a love song than it really is. It's actually a song... it's more about the dislocation than anything else to me. when I... when I sing it, I always have this image of slick black oil.

So that's what you're thinking about when you're performing that?

Thom: "Yeah... that and sex."
--XFM | 21 August 2006

The world presented in The Eraser is full of paranoia and scary dysfunctional stuff.

Thom: I bet you thought, 'Oh, he's at it again...' (laughs). It certainly gets very dark in the middle, yeah - with 'Skip Divided', which is about complete disconnection.

That song sounds like someone having serious problems in their inter-personal relationships. Is it autobiographical? Or do these words just appear out of your mouth?

Thom: It's always both - he said, being nice and evasive. You always take things from what's happening to you and whatever psychic garbage that's lodged in your head.
--Mojo | July 2006

Saturday, July 22, 2006

06. atoms for peace

no more going to the dark side with your flying saucer eyes
no more falling down a worm hole that I have to pull you out

the wriggling twiggling worm inside devours from the inside out
no more talk about the old days its time for soemthing great

want you to get up and make it work
so many allies so many allies so many allies so many allies
so feel the love come off of them and take me in your arms

peel all of your layers off i want to eat your artichoke heart
no more leaky holes in your brain and no false starts

i want you get up and make this work
so many allies so many allies so many allies so many allies
so feel the love come off of them and take me in your arms

i want you to get up and make this work
i want you to get up and make this work

hey itll be okay


note:
the wriggling twiggling worm inside you
devours you from the inside out
digging catacombs through your soggy through grey brain matter
leaky holes in your heart
---------------
sundaycomedown
empty streets
ant powder

tennis ball
swollen lip
creamscryingcream
long long long long
hold me cool down

firework rocket
a braver man than eye

sunday papers
artichoke broken hearts
vodka
railings cling clang
the sound of empty bottles
berlin
in a sack
hang on
heavy metal

change
digital channel

'this is a stitch up'

they are only being nice because they want something

the chink in your armour
you fatal flaw
spitting an obligatory compliment to make me feel at ease

lunatic
soothsayer
naysayer
hypocrit
be amusing
be amused
makes notes
say nothing
admit everything
admit nothing

politics is poison
words are blunt instruments
you give nothing

so receive nothing
i am imagining
while people are carrying
tongueing
fucking
drinking

all on candid camera
right now this camera is saying nothing

(scrapbook, radiohead.com)

The Eraser song 'Atoms For Peace' is about Yorke grappling with his worrywart, paranoid-android tendencies. 'No more going to the dark side with your flying saucer eyes,' it begins. 'No more talk about the old days, it's time for something great.'

'Quite a personal song, really,' Yorke sniffed. 'Trying to correlate my life with choosing to do this, and choosing to get over the fear which is a constant thing I have. Being a rock star, you're supposed to have super-über-confidence all the time. And I don't.' A pause. 'And it was my missus telling me to get it together basically.'
--Observer | 18 June 2006

07. and it rained all night

and it rained all night and washed the filth away
down new york air condition juice drains
oh click cclick clack of the heavy black trains
a million engines t in neutral
oh theticktocktick ofa ticking timebomb
in 50ft of concrete deep underground
one little leak will become a lake
says the tiny voice in my earpiece
so i give in to the rhythm the click click clack
im too wasted to fight back
oh tick tock goes the pendulum on the old grandfather clock

i can see you
but i can never reach you

and it rained all night and then all day
the drops are size of your hands and face
the worms come out to see whats up
we pull the cars up from the river
its relentless invisible indefatigable indisputable undeniable
so how come it looks so beautiful?
how come the moon falls from the sky?

i can see you
but i can never reach you


note: 'it relentless invisible indefatigable undisputed
undeniable so how come it looks so beautiful?', 'it relentless invisible indefitagable undisputed undeniable so how come it looks so beautiful? how comes the constellations shines? how come sun still reflect s frrom the moon?' ('scrapbook', radiohead.com)

Q: "What have you learned about yourself - as a songwriter - from making The Eraser?"

Thom: "I got a lot more confidence. I go through phases where I have absolutely no faith in anything I've done at all. But I was actually talking about what I was doing again. I'd ring up a friend, say 'Listen to this', and play him the bass riff on 'And It Rained All Night'. It was things like that, little pockets of excitement that I'd missed for so long."
--Rolling Stone | 1 June 2006

"'And It Rained All Night' has this enormously shredded-up element of 'The Gloaming', not that you'd ever [notice]. I remember doing that in New York. I couldn't sleep one night, and it was one of those New York things, where the rain just chucks down. The rain was so loud."
--Thom Yorke, Rolling Stone | 1 June 2006

Thom: "My favourite was 'and it rained all night', just because I'd never written a lyric like that before. It was basically a cut-and-paste of something I'd written, where I had my lounge just covered in bits of paper, and one was four pages long, which I cut down and cut down--all the way through thinking "this is never going to work". Then we actually ended up recording it on a full moon through the night, because I have one of those big, fat telescopes my partner bought me, and since Nigel is the only one who knows how to use it, when he comes to my house it's like 'come on, set it up for me'. So I'd go up to the roof and look at the moon an then run back downstairs and quickly write away. Back and forth, it was really good, actually; it surprised me to write that lyric. And it reallly surprised me that I got Nigel's voice in the headphones at the end going, 'yeah, that's good', because all the way through I was thinking 'this is so wack, it's never going to work'."
--Paste | August 2006

07. and it rained all night

and it rained all night and washed the filth away
down new york air condition juice drains
oh click cclick clack of the heavy black trains
a million engines t in neutral
oh theticktocktick ofa ticking timebomb
in 50ft of concrete deep underground
one little leak will become a lake
says the tiny voice in my earpiece
so i give in to the rhythm the click click clack
im too wasted to fight back
oh tick tock goes the pendulum on the old grandfather clock

i can see you
but i can never reach you

and it rained all night and then all day
the drops are size of your hands and face
the worms come out to see whats up
we pull the cars up from the river
its relentless invisible indefatigable indisputable undeniable
so how come it looks so beautiful?
how come the moon falls from the sky?

i can see you
but i can never reach you


note: 'it relentless invisible indefatigable undisputed
undeniable so how come it looks so beautiful?', 'it relentless invisible indefitagable undisputed undeniable so how come it looks so beautiful? how comes the constellations shines? how come sun still reflect s frrom the moon?' ('scrapbook', radiohead.com)

Q: "What have you learned about yourself - as a songwriter - from making The Eraser?"

Thom: "I got a lot more confidence. I go through phases where I have absolutely no faith in anything I've done at all. But I was actually talking about what I was doing again. I'd ring up a friend, say 'Listen to this', and play him the bass riff on 'And It Rained All Night'. It was things like that, little pockets of excitement that I'd missed for so long."
--Rolling Stone | 1 June 2006

"'And It Rained All Night' has this enormously shredded-up element of 'The Gloaming', not that you'd ever [notice]. I remember doing that in New York. I couldn't sleep one night, and it was one of those New York things, where the rain just chucks down. The rain was so loud."
--Thom Yorke, Rolling Stone | 1 June 2006

Thom: "My favourite was 'and it rained all night', just because I'd never written a lyric like that before. It was basically a cut-and-paste of something I'd written, where I had my lounge just covered in bits of paper, and one was four pages long, which I cut down and cut down--all the way through thinking "this is never going to work". Then we actually ended up recording it on a full moon through the night, because I have one of those big, fat telescopes my partner bought me, and since Nigel is the only one who knows how to use it, when he comes to my house it's like 'come on, set it up for me'. So I'd go up to the roof and look at the moon an then run back downstairs and quickly write away. Back and forth, it was really good, actually; it surprised me to write that lyric. And it reallly surprised me that I got Nigel's voice in the headphones at the end going, 'yeah, that's good', because all the way through I was thinking 'this is so wack, it's never going to work'."
--Paste | August 2006

08. harrowdown hill



dont walk the plank like i did
you will be dispensed with
when youve become
inconvenient.
did i fall or was i pushed?
did i fall or was i pushed?
then where's the blood?
where's the blood?

im coming home i am coming home
to make it alright so dry your eyes
we think the same things at the same time
we just cant do anything about it
we think the same things at the same time
we just cant do anything about it
dont ask me ask the ministry
dont ask me ask the ministry
we think the same things at the same time
there are so many of us so you cant count
we think the same things at the same time
there are so many of us so you cant count

up on harrowdown hill
caught between the shadows
thats where i am
slumped against a tree.

can see me when im running?
can see me when im running?
away from THEM
away from THEM
i cant take the pressure
none cares if you live or die
THEY just want me gone
THEY want me gone

im coming home im coming home
to make it alright so dry your eyes*
we think the same things at the same time
we just can’t do anything about
we think the same things at the same time
there are too many of us so you cant
there are too many of us so you cant count

it was me led into the backroom
Harrowdown hill
it was me led into the backroom
Harrowdown hill
it was a slippery slippery slippery slope
it was a slippery slippery slippery slope
i feel me slipping in and out of consciousness
i feel me slipping in and out of consciousness
i feel me _____






I called it "Harrowdown Hill" because it was a really poetic title. To me it sounded like some sort of battle, some civil war type thing. Finishing the song, I was thinking about the 1990 Poll Tax Riots another of England's finest moments, when they beat protesters, and you know, there were old ladies there and kids with families. I didn't expect that many people to realize that Harrowdown Hill was where Dr. Kelly died. I'm not saying the reference isn't there, but there's more to it.
- Thom Yorke | Los Angeles Times

Is the song 'Harrowdown Hill' really about the suicide of weapons inspector and government scientist Dr David Kelly?

'It is,' says Yorke with some reluctance. 'But I've got this thing where I don't want to make a big deal out of that because I'm very sensitive to the idea of digging up anything that the Kelly family... I don't really think it's appropriate for me to say, 'Yes, it's about that', because I'm sure they're still grieving over his death.'

But Harrowdown Hill is the name of the Oxfordshire woods where Kelly's body was found in July 2003. I remind Yorke of the lyrics: 'You will be dispensed with when you've become inconvenient... up on Harrowdown Hill... that's where I'm lying down... did I fall or was I pushed...'. That's quite direct stuff.

'It's the most angry song I've ever written in my life,' he nods grimly. 'I'm not gonna get into the background to it, the way I see it... And it's not for me or for any of us to dig any of this up. So it's a bit of an uncomfortable thing.'

Did the Kelly affair crystallise everything that was wrong and venal about the whole Iraq adventure for Yorke?

A pause. 'Um, I guess I didn't see it in terms of Iraq, but obviously, yes. What disturbed me the most about it was the way that the Ministry of Defence in this country is able to operate. I think it's a profound cancer at the centre of this society.'
--Observer | 18 June 2006

"Harrowdown Hill" has parts that sound like a love song ('I'm coming home, so dry your eyes'), but there's menace in the opening lines ('You will be dispensed with when you become inconvenient') and other parts sound like a grim political showdown ('there are so many of us that you can't count'). Yorke had already written part of it when he realized it was about David Kelly, a chemical-weapons inspector in Iraq who committed suicide in 2003 after being connected to a leak of British intelligence about weapons of mass destruction. The body was found in a wood near Yorke's former school in Oxfordshire.

Thom: The government and the Ministry of Defence were implicated in his death. They were directly responsible for outing him and that put him in a position of unbearable pressure that he couldn't deal with, and they knew they were doing it and what it would do to him... I've been feeling really uncomfortable about that song lately, because it was a personal tragedy, and Dr. Kelly has a family who are still grieving. But I also felt that not to write it would perhaps have been worse.
--The Globe and Mail | 14 June 2006

"Harrowdown Hill" was kicking around during Hail to the Thief, but there was no way that was going to work with the band.
--Thom Yorke | Rolling Stone | 1 June 2006

... when he explains why he titled the album The Eraser, he’s more forthcoming.
“I was reading this book about the death of Aldo Moro, the head of the Christian Democrat party in Italy who was murdered by the Red Brigade in the ‘70s—which was a big deal when I was a kid. Before he died he’d written all these letters and was disowned and ‘erased’ from Italian Politics. Even before he died everyone was saying, ‘Well, he’s obviously lost his mind; the person writing these letters to newspapers in desperation is obviously not the real thing.’ It got me thinking. For me, a lot of the record is about living in a world where things like Iraq happen. You pick up The New York Times and there’s one little column saying ‘a bunch of soldiers blow away 100 people they’re trying to save because they were on speed’ and over on another column there’s some other small piece on how they should be brought home. OK and next page—the ability to erase these people from one’s [consciousness], partly in order to exist day-to-day, exists. Also, all these nightmare scenarios that are going on in the background. In Britain, it’s almost too much the other way. People in the U.K. are constantly talking about climate change right now, but the big fear is that it’s become some bizarre fad, and I’m a bit freaked because it doesn’t really work like that. Talk about ‘erasing,’ what about New Orleans? I mean Stipe and some other artists have been talking about it, but, oh my God, how can you do that? How can you erase all these people like they don’t exist? Obviously there’s the personal thought of me trying to erase this or that from my mind to move on because there are all these things going on, and then I thought, ‘No, the record is much more a response to the political environment and general public psyche.’ It’s a response to the ability to [snaps his fingers] and these issues can just go away.
“In Britain there was a massive thing called the Hutton Inquiry, where there was this scientist, David Kelly, who was the chief chemical-weapons person in Britain. He was a whistle-blower on the lack of WMDs in Iraq. He was rather inconvenient, much like [outed CIA operative] Valerie Plame, so he was outed by the U.K.’s Ministry of Defense by saying he was a leak, and that he was the one talking to the press when he shouldn’t., and he ended up ‘committing suicide.’ I feel really funny talking about it because he lived locally to us and I have friends who know his family, and to me, it’s this incredibly dark period in British life, where basically the entire country held the prime minister responsible for it because his press man said, ‘I want this guy rid of, I want him erased; I want him gone.’ So there was this Hutton Inquiry, which naturally said the Ministry of Defense was probably at fault with the way they handled his outing, so obviously the prime minister can’t be held responsible, which everyone thought was a croc of shit, but—poof—it went away; it was whitewashed. It was erased, and the culprits are all still there, and this poor man died for whatever reason. It seems lie this very, very small thing, but it’s an expression of something much wider and much more frightening.”
--Paste, August 2006


video

09. cymbal rush

try to save but it doesnt come off the rug
try to build a wall that is high enough
s'all boiling over
s'all boiling over

try to save your house
try to save your songs
try to run but if follows you up the hill
s'all boiling over
s'all boiling over

your loved ones
your loved ones

a normal conversation
a normal conversation
you should a took me out while you had the chance

all the rooms renumbered and the loosers turned away
dont turn away dont turn away
you should a took me out while you had the chance

there were ten in the bed and the little one said roll over


you should a took him out while you had the chance.
--"scrapbook", radiohead.com

Will you be playing any of these songs live?

Thom: The guys are talking about including some of the songs in the set. They seem well up for it. At the same time, we've got a lot of new songs of our own which we need to sort through first. I don't want to make it a big priority because it would be a lot of hard work to reinterpret stuff like that. It could become a major headache. But Jonny and I did a version of "Cymbal Rush"--that's my favourite--at a benefit show recently [May 1st, at the Koko in London]. It came out quite messy, but we'd only had two days to rehearse it.
--Mojo | July 2006

Thom: "The words to 'Cymbal Rush' started out coming from a direct experience. But then I filtered out all the' direct experience' connotations until I was left with something else entirely."
--Mojo | July 2006

Thom: In the last song, "Cymbal Rush", the first bit you hear is something I had for three years, one little note. I could hear the melody in there straight away. But if you played it to anyone else without me singing it, you'd think, 'What's he on about?

Were these songs written in a concentrated period?

Thom: Absolutely, except for "Cymbal Rush"--that riff had been around for ages.
--Rolling Stone | 1 June 2006

the drunkk machine

the drunkk machine
spitting nonsense
spitting feathers
talking in toungues
swiveilijng heads
splitting hairs
dont listen
who is driving?
aquaplaning
hold on
i got a bad feeling
i got a bad feeling
i got a bad feeling
don't listen
swivelling heads
the drunkk machine
spits
who put it in charge?

scrolling lyrics in radiohead.com:
second: spitting nonnnsseeense spitting feathers talking in tongues..swivelling heads SPLITTIng HAIRs Don't listen...

third: I got a bad feeling.... ABout this. About this About this ....... Who put IT in charge ? the drunkk machine = .

jetstream

is this a free seat?
which way you heading?
you keep pushing and you keep pushing.
between the whipcrack
and the moonbeams
i said coachman where we heading?
the gleaming teeth
of the inbetween
i can hear some people laughing.
is this is a stitch up?
i am not willing
so i am turning you off and then i'm counting.
i regret.
i turn the clock back.
to where i wasn't taken in.
i jump out
of a window
and get lost in a jetstream.
this is a ghost coach
that we are riding
damp decay and splintering.
between the whipcrack
and the moonbeams
i can hear some people laughing.
We need a rubber man
we need a stretchy man
i'm not sure i am welcome.
you are a fool
and this is over
over the cliffs of Dover.
i regret.
i turn the clock back.
to where i wasn't taken in.
i jump out
of a window
and get lost in a jetstream.
you're beautiful
until i get close
you have the eyes of a mountain goat.
a coat of mildew
a bad smell
and the strap broke in my hand.
now i wanna turn back.
turn back.
i wanna turn back.
you need a rubber man
you need a stretchy man
you need a rubber man
you need a stretchy man
i wanna turn back
jetstream
i wanna turn back
you need a rubber man
you need a stretchy man
you need a rubber man
you need a stretchy man
i wanna turn back
i;m on my back
turn back.

a rat's nest

a rat’s nest
clicks on the phone.
I cannot help you.
caught by own worm.
caught in a rat's nest.
eat own young.
chew through wires
sewn up in stitches, stitches.
deny all knowledge.
paragraph 5.
subsection b.
the comittee is content. content.
to live in a rat's nest.
rat's nest


a rats nest
caught in own mess
setting the traps
nest full of rats

vermin
eat anything
flailing
chew through wires

sit at high table
eat wild boar

secret handshake
sleeves rolled
six of the best
crack whip
trousers down

mad old men
run this town
--scrapbook, radiohead.com.

iluvya