Jane, You Ignorant Slut

Bandwidth and Night Court go Radiohead to head

On Saturday, October 4, Radiohead visited Sound Advice Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. Everyone was there. Opinions were split. Night Court, our illustrious nightclub diva, and Bandwidth, New Times'fabled Bard of the music scene, well, disagreed. No they more than disagreed. They erupted. Thus, you have it: Our first-ever columnist free-for-all, Nightwidth.


Night Court:It was a particularly arid evening in South Florida, dusk was settling gently in as thousands of actual Radiohead fans trekked like pilgrims toward Sound Advice Amphitheatre and filed into their seats to experience the explosion of creativity and imagination that was the October 4 concert. And there you were, you ungrateful swine, with the stubs of your free tickets jammed in the pocket of those jeans you wear every single day. Before the show even started, you were preparing your speech on how mediocre it was.

Bandwidth:Whatever. Yeah, my notebook was in my pocket, but I couldn't see wasting ink on something so middling. And I didn't go there with my mind already made up. Nor, like you, was I drunk and sweaty in the middle of a mosh pit, which obviously clouded your judgment. Besides, what do you know? This was only your second concert ever. Despite what your mommy told you, Sesame Street on Icedoesn't count.

Night Court:You insipid cynic. Maybe Sesame Street on Ice was a little too "mainstream" for your elitist bent, but it needs to be said that when Snuffy slapped on his blades and sliced a double axle, it was almost as mind blowing as when the neighborhood kids came 'round to kick the Grouch in the stomach and steal his 40. Yet, not even that compares to the sensational moment during the Radiohead concert when "2+2=5," a number that heralds the demise of our archaic system of logic, flooded from the stage and the lights went up. There was Thom Yorke mounted on a stage monitor like a musical Napoleon sneering as he overlooked his minions. Then his mouth broke into an ironic smile, and he ran to the microphone. We in the front were showered with his glory.

Bandwidth:At least you're not bathing in patchouli, raising your finger in the air while twirling and praying for a miracle. Still, if all it takes is some English dude with a Clay Aiken haircut smiling ironically to dampen your rag-wool panties, you're in worse shape than I thought. Seriously, there's no cultural revolution happening at Radiohead's shows. "2+2=5" sounds like a Coldplay song performed on a slide rule. What, you don't get enough math in summer school?

Night Court:As I recall, I wore plain cotton panties that night so as not to distract the musicians from the über-fabulous task at hand. A true genesis: yet another album in which Radiohead absorbs the chaos of modern existence, synthesizes it with the wisdom of a shaman, and performs it in a way that is not only more intelligible but deliciously danceable. I know you're too apathetic-chic for such unguarded self-expression, but have you listened even once to that Hail to the Thief album I burned for you? Oh, by the way, weren't Yorke's Mighty Mousean moves a vision to behold?

Bandwidth:Radiohead? Danceable? Are you sure you weren't at home watching a Jamiroquai video? I've listened to Hail to the Thief, and Amnesiac, and Kid A. Let me break 'em down for you: It's all self-important British guitar rock with some synthesizers, drum machines, and dorky falsetto vocals thrown in. Why so many undiscriminating fans think Radiohead is this year's Pearl Jam is beyond me. Why, I remember seeing Radiohead back in 1995 after their rented van with all their instruments was stolen from the parking lot of the Motel Six where they were staying. You know what they did? Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood played an acoustic set on borrowed instruments. And it was special. Good times. Nobody needed a synthesizer or stupid lyrics about drunken weddings. All we had was "Creep" and a few "Fake Plastic Trees." And we liked it.

Night Court:Hi, my name is Bandwidth. Back when I was a whelping lad with a soul, back when I still had eardrums, I could cause that blank look of nonrecognition (that gives me such a rush) to come over peoples' faces when I dropped the name Radiohead. Yes, those were the days when the band was at its best. And "Creep," yes, the profundity of the lyrics "You're so very special/I wish I was special" gripped my innards. Far more profound than anything they've done since. Much better than "Paranoid Android," for instance. Did I mention that my name is Bandwidth?

Bandwidth:I know you are, but what am I?

 
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