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Hail to the Thief in 50 Words
6.25.2003 by Sean


Radiohead's new album, Hail to the Thief, is their sixth. It was recorded in L.A. with Nigel Godrich, who produced each of the band's three previous LPs.

We've asked a collection of writers, musicians, actors and wise-men for their thoughts on this much-heralded release. They have answered, each in more-than-forty-nine, less-than-fifty-one words.

(Some of you may note the lack of female representation here. Our response: Sadly, they don't answer our email.)

This is Hail to the Thief in 50 words.

50 words by Nathan Lane

1. Head hits on waydown
2. They're coming
3. Forget forget
4. Survival sneak
5. What we do
6. Speaking of
7. The Stepmom Twist
8. Um..
9. You're right, puppets
10. Blinds let in sun.
11. Muck, cake.
12. Sick the Smile
13. Just for now
14. Horror show

Nathan Lane contributes to the weekly Tangmonkey column, "Waiting With Nathan". He has appeared in over forty films, including The Lion King and The Birdcage. Look for him on the CBS sitcom Charlie Lawrence, and in Butley, at Boston's Huntington Theatre, in January 2003.

50 words by Anthony Miccio

Thom Yorke sounds like he's falling down a well on nearly every track. I wish he'd hit the bottom and crack his skull so that Michael Jackson could join the group and help create a paranoid, alienated album that might genuinely be fascinating, involving, coherent and catchy. But he won't.

Anthony Miccio's reviews have appeared in the Village Voice. For more, read his blog.

50 words by Sean Michaels

They've come back to shore. Sand turns to concrete. Lanes, stripes, dust. Jumping round a terror, smelling it. Intuition, hunch and dark déja vu. They keep backing off (boring, cowardly) – "I Will," "Sail," "Scatterbrain," "Wedding." Spare me.

But "There There": in the midst of it – thick, lush, dripping. (Go deeper.)

Sean Michaels is the Music Editor at Tangmonkey.com, where he last reviewed Nina Nastasia's Run to Ruin. His blog is called said the gramophone

50 words by Win Butler of the Arcade Fire

The only time I heard this record I was laying in bed around noon...regine was cleaning or doing something on the computer, listening to the album....I was half awake and half asleep...when I woke up I didn't know if I had heard it... in my dream I didn’t like it.

The Arcade Fire will shortly enter the studio to record a new single and b-side, to go alongside their recent self-titled LP. Catch them at Casa (Montreal) on June 29th, the Rivoli (Toronto) on July 3rd, and the Elbow Room (Ypsi, MI) on the 6th.

50 words by Michael Daddino

Every day, on my way to work, I pass by a grid of promo posters plastered on a building under construction. The poster looks like the streets of lower Manhattan turned on their head, steel buildings and concrete lots replaced by garish "ideas," black paint bleeding upwards into the sea.

Michael Daddino writes about music at epicharmus.com.

50 words by Ned Raggett

I don't really care about it being a concept album or whatever the hell it is. It doesn't hang together as such and I don't really mind that, actually. I just want to think about the way "The Gloaming" sounds like a slow fade into a nightmare. And I will.

Ned Raggett nurses his copy of Loveless and writes for the All Music Guide. View his outdated website, or contact him at ned@kuci.org.

50 words by Kevin

Radiohead are back from the stratosphere, sounding almost ordinary. Where are the strings? Where are the horns? Where are the funeral dirges? Sadly, no surprises. "I will eat you alive" is the scariest lyric. The handclaps are overrated, as is "2+2=5". "Myxamatosis," "Punch Up At A Wedding," "Backdrifts" are fantastic.

Kevin writes for Tangmonkey Music. He last reviewed M. Ward's Transfigurations of Vincent.

50 words by The Unicorns

Remember when your mom came to tuck you in and she told you you had a recessed testicle and that, once puberty arrived, you'd have to go to a doctor and they would have to pull it out of your stomach? This album is alive in about as many ways.

The Unicorns are currently at work on their second album, to be released on Alien8 Recordings. Their first collection of "crackle pop/paper scissors rock" is available is certain places.

50 words by alex63

Like good tea HTTT is a perfect blend of many different varieties: Ambient, progrock, goth, dronerock and electronics. Add to this Yorke's pure sad asexual though sexy voice. His vague lyrics picked up from everyday conversations reflect the currently prevailing gloomy and grim atmosphere. A glacier-volcano erupting frozen lava.

alex63 lives in Germany. He writes the excellent close your eyes.

50 words by David Newfeld

Slightly morose undertone, a trademark of the group intact on this disk. If you told me it was Blur, I'd say "it's pretty cool I suppose," and then just get on with my day. Are the songs really there? I still prefer The Clash, The Shangra-Las or Herb Alpert.

David Newfled is a Toronto-based producer best known for his work on Broken Social Scene's Juno-Award-winning You Forgot it in People. He contributed most recently to Hawaii's new, self-titled album.

50 words by Dan beirne

I'm tired of reviewers always challenging authority. "How can we know it's good?" We start at that every time.

But some things are pre-established as good, so that's that. This is an exciting rampage, and as long as I know someone's in charge of the revolution, I'll be okay. Wait--

Dan Beirne contributes to the weekly Tangmonkey column, "Waiting With Nathan". He is a member of sketch-comedy troupe Better Than Shakespeare.

50 words by Jonathan Meiburg

It's nice to hear a band with the bucks to do anything decide to just be a band again. The bleeps and glitches sound a little perfunctory, but most of the melodies (RH's not so-secret weapon) are strong as ever. The single best pasty, dejected rock band on a major.

Okkervil River are currently completing the follow-up to their masterpiece of bloodthirsty and melancholy folk, Don't Fall in Love With Everyone You See. Their split EP with Julie Doiron is now in stores. Shearwater reenters the studio in July.

50 words by david Antrobus

Bob Dylan said "People goin' down to the ground, / Buildings goin' up to the sky." Then those buildings came down to the ground with the people in them, and everyone was sad. Some got mad. They found some scapegoats. Then Thom Yorke got sad (sad is mad without the energy).

Vancouver's David Antrobus has written for Flak Magazine, Pop Matters and Trouser Press.

50 words by Dusty Dewan

On Hail to the Thief, Radiohead retain the dark undertones of Kid A and apply it to the best songs they have compiled since OK Computer. "Where I End and You Begin" and "A Wolf at the Door" alone make up for the pretentious "Special Edition" packaging. Dance, you fucker.

Dusty Dewan writes for Tangmonkey Music. He last reviewed Clown Down's Living Alone.

50 words by Wil Wheaton

The Bogeyman's mouth hung open in a silent scream. His eyes were hungry, hateful. His black tongue flashed across jagged and uneven teeth.
I smelled his Terror.
His roar filled my head.
I began to cry.
He pulled me close to his face, and tasted my tears as I died.

Though best known for his roles in Stand By Me, and as Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Wil Wheaton has since won acclaim as an writer, improv'er, and blogger. His first collection of stories, the autobiographical Dancing Barefoot, is now available on Monolith Press.

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