For a band that used to shun the spotlight, Radiohead seem to be actively annexing it of late. Three new RH developments that my colleague Gary Susman pointed out to me today:
1) Radiohead is headlining Lollapalooza ‘08, along with Rage Against the Machine, Kanye West, Wilco AND, interestingly enough, NIN. One wonders if they’ve made up, or maybe just figured out that the Internet is, after all, large enough for the two of them (big ups to the voracious appetites of young ‘uns in cyberspace!)
2) Radiohead has partnered with Pitchfork to kick off their new video section with an exclusive performance of “Bangers & Mash.” (No comment here, save props to Pitchfork for a clean interface and a small but decently curated selection thus far.)
3) Radiohead has turned its W.A.S.T.E fan site into a place to, like, [insert valley girl accent] network socially? Here, now, you can upload profile pictures, post photos and video clips, invite friends to join, as well as buy “stems” (i.e., separate components of a song — guitar, voice, drums, etc.) to remix RH songs at your leisure. (Caution, freeloaders: you need to pony up $5.94 for the complete bundle to remix “Nude,” the song currently on offer.) Keep in mind that you do not own your new creation — sayeth iTunes via RH, “You don’t have legal ownership of this music simply by cutting it up or whatever.” Oh, snap!
I’m starting to feel a little like a microscopic organism in Radiohead’s cyber petri dish. What else can we make our fans do? Since I’m one of probably eight people in the world who think that In Rainbows was a little disappointing (and I consider myself a pretty RH big fan), I might be a little soured on the whole Radiohead 2.0 thing. But then again, I tend to be overly cynical when it comes to fansploitation. What do you think?