Red Hot Chili Peppers and Radiohead

2023-12-07 @Blog

That’s virtually all I listen to these days and for a couple of months now. Nothing of Jazz, or Classical or even progressive. Not even the albums I’d scrupled over four score and ten times. Maybe an occasional Cure early album as an exception. Some Jimi Hendrix a couple of weeks back. But really, it’s been 95% about these two bands.

Nor am I watching any video content. Nothing of photography, however scarce I pursued this exercise prior. No fine art. Haven’t entered a single museum since returning to Brazil.

It’s simple. Being a creative period for me now, I’m being economical with squandered energy. These periods are far and in between. I’m too familiar how this unwinds. Should I scatter, creative poverty is a short step away. So I’ll cling to it with my teeth if I have to, adhere to my unsociable morning routine, for as long as sustainable, be it another day, week or month or more.

And like some obsessive ceremonial practice, I’ll listen to these two bands. Simple music. And Radiohead, well, simple enough.

Interestingly - though I’ve known these bands since the 90s, I’ve spent most of my life listening to the same 90’s albums of both: RHCP’s Blood Sugar Sex Magik and One Hot Minute, and Radiohead’s OK Computer. No earlier nor later material of either band seemed to much catch my attention.

Yet something altered very recently, this very year. I’ve relistened to RHCP’s earlier works, and explored, conscientiously, virtually all subsequent albums to the very latest (everything besides for B-sides or unreleased material). And while I still prefer BSSM and OHM as whole albums - especially OHM, however unpopular - being my preference for their earlier funk influences (and some psychedelic of OHM), I’ve enjoyed anywhere from 7-15 songs from every subsequent album (usually the greater portion): pretty impressive for a band.

Now Radiohead, though I’ve only so far proceeded as far as In Rainbows (2007) - what a mind blower. What fascinating arrangements. I can’t even claim OK Computer as a favourite anymore, however much of a masterpiece. I’ve simply become enchanted by Kid A and In Rainbows, the others not trailing far behind. While prior, I found those electronics unlistenable. Extraordinary. And what melancholia! - Nearly every song evokes that impression. And still, it sets the proper mood.

How did this even come about? I guess understanding these albums to be good, a priori, I forced myself to really tune it: the same approach I applied to cultivating taste for anything initially deemed intractable.

For now, this is the music for me.

Questions, comments? Connect.