ATOMS FOR PEACE SOLD OUT AT ROSELAND BALLROOM
The more you try to erase me the more I appear…
iPhones worshipping Thom
The click click clack of the heavy black trains
I just need a number and location
All photos by Betina Bethlem
I started listening to Thom Yorke’s solo album, The Eraser, during dreary, body-crushing, beleaguered commutes through the underground Midtown inferno. The emphasis on electronic beats, wailing minor chords, and Yorke’s uncharacteristically (for Radiohead) “pop” singing style, mingled with the stressful grit and grind of peak urban travel to a somehow unsettling effect. Sometimes an ominous feeling, enhanced by the songs, would rise in my belly as my body lurched to regain balance in the train vestibule staggering violently onward to work. The music made me moody. During mornings in particular, I would often switch mid-Yorkean yowl, to something that felt more lighthearted.
Still, the discomfort came paired with an odd pleasure. I liked the songs and their perceived strangeness. Though they contain forceful, undeniable tinges of Radiohead, they come in an alien electro-pop package. On his own, Thom Yorke is more accessible. In a twisted way, The Eraser sounds more experimental because the Radiohead-inspired raw material comes injected with mainstream elements.
I wish I had written about the Atoms for Peace concert at Roseland Ballroom on April 6th when it was fresher in my memory. Life got in the way, no regrets. I can say that seeing Thom Yorke in a smaller venue (i.e. not a stadium) was an incredible treat, and I loved the band. Flea had blue hair, Mauro Refosco had groovy Brazilian instruments, and Thom had his always enigmatic energy and squiggling dance (which I and many others blithely imitated all night long).
There’s no time to analyse.