Sunday 17 August 2008

Radiohead- Music For a Hardened Generation Looking to Find Hope

If you were a teenage male in the early to mid nineties, there was one track summed up how you felt over and over again.

Every crush you had, every rejection you faced, you played that song.

And when I lost my first love, Joanna, yes I had this song on replay.

Because I wondered. What HAD I been doing there? She HAD been too good for me.
But I wanted her to notice. That I wasn't around. And it hurt me that I didn't think she did.

Teenage agnst. Teenage heartbreak.

Perhaps we are an embittered generation.
I think we turn into cynics young.

Certainly for much of my twenties, Fade Out was my most overplayed Radiohead track.

I think somewhere within it captures the deep sense of having given up already that kind of characterised my life for much of it. Fade Out was an early Saturday morning song, a song you play back home with your mates, with your ears still ringing, your pulse starting to slow, the pills wearing off, the pot slowly sedating you. The early morning traffic slowly buzzes past and you face the jaded reality of life again now the soulless excitement of an evening's ersatz fun has passed.

Fade Out was the backdrop to your life, a life where you hoped for nothing and paid for everything, one way or another.

No one was too good for you, you were as good as what you could get and you no longer gave a damn who noticed you when you weren't around. And you were dimly aware that you were fading out again.

You were too hardened and cynical any longer to really relate to Creep.

But the mournful melodies of Fade Out provided a backdrop to that walk to buy some fags, flicking through the mobile numbers you'd picked up over the night and wondering which ones you could be bothered to call.

Creep is the song of someone who knows how to feel, but doesn't know what to do about it.

Fade Out is the anthem of bitter disillusionment, of acceptance, of embracing and revelling in hardened cynical day to day existence, in all its empty mundanity.
And actually taking pride in it.

And that, perhaps, is what life does to all of us.

But maybe, perhaps, we have to return sometimes to how we felt as we lay on our beds pressing 'repeat' on the remote over and over again, to hear Creep just one more time.

Because I think, there comes a time when we have to learn to feel like that again.
Because we've learned since then.
We cocked it up then. But we're a lot older and a lot wiser now. If we took the sentiments we felt then, with the knowledge we've got now, maybe we really will find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

There comes a time to stop anaesthetising yourself.

Because when you do so, you find Creep is no longer the track for you.
It's this one.


Anonymous said...

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If I knew half of what I know now back when I was younger, I wouldn't have made half of the mistakes I did.

Anonymous said...

Live, learn, move on and experience something new :-) I know it is not quite so easy to do. But if you can manage it, it's worth it ;-)

Anonymous said...

I can't listen to music after that type of rejection. I watch Marx Brothers movies instead.

Anonymous said...

I think we turn into cynics young.

Kids (and yes, at your age you're a kid to me)grown up and old and cynicial way too young. Hell I didn't get cynicial till I was in my early 40's...

Anonymous said...

Radiohead rocks...thanks for this. Creep brought back memories for me too...drunk in pubs at 2am :)

Anonymous said...

God! Music can bring you down can’t it? ...and pick you up. .. and you can soo wallow in it either way.

I guess I tend to focus on and notice music that fits with a prevailing mood, like unrequited love, or if you feel you messed up with someone somehow, or are mad for someone, or you broke up. There is usually stuff out there you can make fit.

When I am really fed up a nice affirming romantic comedy, some chocolate and some good red wine…

What Nietzsche said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”. Mind you his hair really needed a style makeover, so how seriously can you take him? Surely a really smart person would have had deep thoughts and looked a bit more cool? ^_^

A song that usually picks me up is 'Perfect Day', by Hoku, sort of kick ass good mood stuff. Almost forces you to be cheerful.

Anonymous said...

Bunny- Yes, but only experience taught you that.
People who learn life through what others tell them, live lives others constructed for them.
People who learn life through their own successes and failures actually get to live.

CherryPie- It isn't always easy, no. But I think on the whole, it's better to regret something you have done than something you haven't done.
I think its freeing yourself from the baggage is the hard part.

X-dell- I'm prone to brooding from time to time.
I actually find music like this fires you up when you're in a black mood, it kind of envelopes you.

Wish You Were Here, by Pink Floyd. Class album when you're pissed off.

Fusion- Sometimes I think our generation got used used to being lied to young, but took a long time to work out what actually was true.

I do have a lot of faith in our generation though. I know a lot don't, but I think when our turn comes, we'll surprise everybody.

I think we're a lot wiser than our parents were :)

Kate- They have to be one of the greatest bands of the nineties. The only real question, is whether you consider The Bends or OK Computer their greatest album. I actually plump for OK Computer, because I thinkn its more stylistically compact and better sequenced than the bends, but I'm in a minority amongst my friends in this opinion.

Moggs- This is why I love Depeche Mode. I do not believe there is a situation in life for which a DM track can't be used as a backing track (in case you hadn't worked out, I'm one of those people always has music in their head).

When I'm really fed up, I have to go to the pub, I'm afraid. And get drunk. And do things I will regret in the morning.

I think Nietzche's hair was possibly not unusual for his time. Great man, anyway. I'm hoping one day to see his full rehabilitation, but sadly, popular prejudice still seems to be working against it.

I find 'Imagine' does that for me.

Anonymous said...

Crushed. The great benefit of a romantic comedy and some good wine is that provided you don’t overdo the wine there is no cause to regret it in the morning. ^_^

When dealing with chocolate I find it is always better to pre select the amount you plan to eat, put the rest somewhere inconvenient to reach, then break it into small pieces and let-them-melt-in-your-mouth…

As for rehabilitating Nietzsche... Frankly he would need a complete makeover. ;-)Cool hair cut, some gel maybe neat close cut facial hair with a beard. Fashionable glasses. You can’t excuse his hair based on his times, You’ll be trying to excuse the 70s next, or mullets. Really! ;-)

And he had some unfortunate views on women. >:-( He might as well have written the lyrics to Ace of Base’s “All That She Wants”. He should be so lucky.