Sailing to the (Quarter) Moon in Yorke Town
Thom Yorke came to his town again Saturday night, and proved once more why he and his chosen mates (this time as a part of his Atoms of Peace) have won this town and all of rock and roll.
While we love others’ work at the (somewhat) micro-level, such as the quintessential, quinte-Cali songs and delivery of Pavement, at the macro-level Thom and his mates have captured the flag (due respect to the global aspirations of U2). There can be no better at casting aspersions (without beating heads) regarding the world’s eco/political state or previewing the pearly gates, and doing it with a musical complexity and beauty that is hands-held-high above all others.
Thom came ’round to Santa Barbara and its Bowl this time swinging, with Flea on bass, Nigel Goodrich on keyboards/guitar/backup vocals, Joey Waronker on drums and Mauro Refosco on percussion. Thom does the dance, Nigel fills, floods and harmonizes, Flea out-bobbles all other humans and brazenly techno-funks, while Joey and Mauro supply perfect, pounding percussion.
The Atoms of Peace played all of Yorke’s Eraser, significantly-enhanced stylee. And in between and around, Thom sat at the piano and without accompaniment wailed Radiohead’s Videotape (watch below) and Everything in Its Right Place, before gathering the forces for an indescribable enhancement of Radiohead’s b-sided Paperbag Writer (watch below). Everything and every movement was in its right and proper place. And all of the proceedings were presided over by an incessant quarter-moon (in this ten million town, apologies to Townes). Sailing to the (Quarter) Moon indeed.
Sure, we hoped for more, and more Radiohead songs, and deeply missed the Love Will Tear Us Apart Joy Division-cover that they delivered right before at the Fox Theater in Oakland. But we walked away knowing that we had been blessed by the best in the bidness.
This town is Yorke Town anew.
Below are others’ capturings. The first is of the Thom/Flea Show on Radiohead’s B-side Paperbag Writer, giving a feel for the driving, dissonant, techno-funk, and and some real dancing with the real stars. The second is vintage Thom solo on Videotape, with chromatic chords and sonorous-siren vocals (I was right next to this high (mos!)-def video-ist).