Merry Christmas from Radiohead: Lost track potentially called "Putting Ketchup in the Fridge" resurfaces online

thom yorke silly.jpg
Hold onto your hats!
Whichever one of you asked for a new Radiohead song for Christmas, thank you. To be honest, you should have been a bit more specific, but we at Backbeat are counting our blessings regardless. According to the epic Brit rockers' obsessive fansite, Atease.com, the long-lost track you are about to listen to below has made its way from somewhere within the band's early '90s Pablo Honey days to its post-King-of-Limbs, Jonny's-really-into-soundtracks days just in time for the holidays.

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Thoughts on Five Songs While I Quietly Freak Out and Try to Work

lee_hand.jpg"Young Americans"
David Bowie
Singles
You already have an opinion of this song. Hell, most hipsters have probably held at least three opinions of this tune over the course of their lives, and may be formulating a new one even as they read this. You probably ignored it as a kid when it was everywhere, hated it when you were trying to be part of some “cool” scene in high school and love it now as an ‘80s dance-night staple. Me, I still think Bowie himself nailed this one perfectly when he called it plastic soul, the phoniest thing he’d ever heard. Or maybe I dreamt that.

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Thoughts on Five Songs While I Pretend to Work

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“One After 909”
The Beatles
Let It Be...Naked

My single top Rock 'n' Roll fantasy goes as follows. The Beatles are in trouble and Paul clings desperately to the idea that he can save the band by convincing John that the only thing to be done is to head out on a secret, small-clubs-only tour where they will show up randomly at bars and play only their favorite Chuck Berry-influenced faves. I am alive, of concert-going age, and stumble into a bar in Manchester to catch a set by these furry phantoms, who sound an awful lot like...no...it is! This track has everything you might want from a Beatles track: Paul and John getting along for long enough to record vocals together, Harrison loosely wailing through a great rocker, and BILLY FUCKING PRESTON!


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Random Thoughts On Five Songs While I Pretend To Work

lee_hand.jpg"Light Your Windows"
Quicksilver Messenger Service

One of the most interesting run-ins with a drunk I ever had was in San Francisco. My fiancee's father insisted that, while vacationing there a few years ago, we stop into a bar called The Saloon. Built during the Civil War, The Saloon is a North Beach landmark that sits just a block up the hill from Lawrence Ferlingettis's City Lights bookstore and has the dubious distinction of being one of the only establishments to survive the 1906 earthquake. It's also a phenomenal place to catch a live blues show. That summer day, we popped in to The Saloon and happened upon an impromptu wake for a man named Chet Helms. Helms was the founder of Big Brother and the Holding Company and actually recruited Janis Joplin as singer for that outfit. Around the bar there were old hippies ready and eager to regale us with stories of the Summer of Love and all things Helms. We picked the drunkest, least coherent, and probably least honest soul in the joint – or maybe he picked us – and sat at the bar buying him drinks in exchange for the history lesson. And this is where I first learned about Quicksilver Messenger Service. Our drunk history professor was appalled to learn I thought QMS was just a film about bike messengers starring Kevin Bacon and told a long and rambling story about how, if not for the late Chet Helms, QSM would never have been introduced to the loving hippie hordes of the San Francisco scene, and how in fact it was Chet Helms who bought them their first organ when they had no money. Whether or not any of it was true, I don't know and couldn't care less. We got wasted, and raised our glasses over and over again to the legacy of a man who I'd never heard of before but whose honor was a great excuse that day for feeling good about daytime drinking. By the way, this song I haven't written about is really good.


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Thoughts on Five Songs While I Pretend to Work

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“Back to My Old Ways”
Dr. Dog
We All Belong

Every time I hear the tinkly piano into to this song – the only one I like by this band – I think of Bobby Bare Jr. Bare is my favorite live performer touring these days, and I caught up with this hero of mine when he opened up for Dr. Dog last March. I walked up to him at the merch table during Dr. Dog's set and told him that he and his band have that certain something very few live acts can achieve, an emotional energy that turns his recorded songs into a series of single events that combine for an amazing overall live experience. I paraphrased. He thanked me and asked me what I thought of Dr. Dog. I said not much. He said I needed to hear the album. I told him I had the album and didn't love it, but didn't hate it, and that the only thing I could say about the live show was that the band reminded me of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. Then Bare, one of my heroes, told me he was going to walk to the other side of the venue. In hindsight, next time I meet one of my heroes, I will offer him or her a beer on my tab instead of insulting his or her friends.


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Five Random Songs From My Work iTunes, October 17

lee_hand.jpg"The Underdog"
Ga Ga Ga Ga
Spoon
This one goes out the entire National League. My brain is hopelessly and disproportionately dedicated to baseball at the moment, sorry. Hearing this song first thing in the morning guarantees that I will be humming Spoon for the rest of the day. The little Austin band that could has long been the next big thing, and if the radio success of this ridiculously enjoyable tune doesn't finally bring some substantial commercial success to compliment their indie cred (the latter will of course destroy the former, thanks to snobs in tight pants everywhere) I don't know what will.


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