[The Past Presents] Catherine Wheel – Adam and Eve (1997)

Catherine Wheel

At this point in history I think it would be difficult to find many people who would exclude Radiohead’s OK Computer from a list of the best albums of 1997. I’d also wager that more than 70 percent of those lists would have OK Computer in the number 1 position. Few will argue that OK Computer is an album that will be listened to for decades to come. By 2000, Radiohead was basking in the glow of their fantastic follow-up album, Kid A, and were pretty well set up as one of the biggest bands in the world.

At the same time, another UK band, Catherine Wheel, was calling it quits. In 1997, Catherine Wheel also released an album, Adam and Eve. Like OK Computer, Adam and Eve was lauded by long-time fans and critics as the band’s masterpiece. Prior to this release, Catherine Wheel was known for their guitar-heavy shoegaze albums, particularly from their debut, Ferment, and its heavier follow-up, Chrome. Adam and Eve, the band’s fourth album, signaled a bold, exciting shift in the band’s sound, much like Radiohead’s leap from The Bends to OK Computer.

Catherine Wheel and Radiohead’s music followed similar trajectories in the 1990s. Both bands had highly successful debut records with big singles; Radiohead had “Creep” and Catherine Wheel had “Black Metallic.” Those debuts were followed by sophomore albums, The Bends and Chrome, respectively, which saw both bands brushing off a bit of the fuzz from their sound and pumping up the guitars. Catherine Wheel open Chrome with the thunderous “Kill Rhythm,” probably the closest shoegaze ever came to arena rock. Radiohead’s most popular track from The Bends was “Fake Plastic Trees,” which was one of the mellower tracks on the album. While The Bends was a great album it was clear that Radiohead needed a new direction or they would surely fade out.

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[Hype Hype Hooray] The Strange Evolution of a Band

Every [two weeks?] Jamie Hale takes a long, hard look at the music industry and the blog scene that feeds it. Here, he releases those findings and makes snarky, sarcastic remarks. Admittedly, both Jamie and Knox Road are a part of this scene. So sue us.

Here in Pocatello, an Idaho mountain town of 50,000, there is a blink-and-you’ll-still-see-it kind of music scene. That is to say, there aren’t many people who actually play music here. In that scene, it’s easy to notice guys like Shawn Barnby.

As I understand it, Shawn Barnby stared as a solo artist, playing open mic nights with his acoustic guitar and iconic rap-rock voice. With his talents he sings a sort of smooth blues pop (think a tougher Jason Mraz).

At some point, the solo artist decided to craft a band, called Shawn and the Marauders, with a drummer and bassist. The bass was later upgraded to Cello (how very classy!), which boosted their popularity, largely thanks to a handsomely-mustachioed cellist. After a few popular years they suddenly brought back the bass and added a female vocalist – a move that just might dub them: “The band that flew too close to the sun.”

They are Example #1 in The Strange Evolution of a Band.

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Radiohead has their cake and eats it too on The King of Limbs

I can’t even fathom the number of Radiohead reviews that start with: “How do I begin to pen a review on a new album from one of the greatest bands of all time?”. Come on, hyperbole! Yet, here I am, laptop in hand, with a keyboard begging to be mashed…and my thoughts escape […]

In Case You Missed It: Week In Review

Do you want to be an American Idiot? Because I do not want to be an American Idiot, nor do I want to be a nation under new media. Unfortunately, it looks like Broadway does want to be an American Idiot, considering the above commercial for the upcoming Broadway “adaptation” of the album. […]

Homeless person makes "Creep" into a tearjerker

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m late to the party on this one. So sue me (please don’t).

Anyway! A little while ago, The Opie and Anthony Show found this apparently homeless fellow on the street, brought him into the studio, gave him a beautiful Taylor guitar, and the rest, as they say, is history. Or […]

[MP3] Beck: “Harry Partch”

You like feuds, right? Because this new Beck song is the baby of the feud of the year and it’s pretty messy. The story goes like this:

Radiohead wrote a song back in August about Harry Patch, the UK’s oldest surviving WWI veteran (aww!). Well The Fiery Furnaces’ Matthew […]

Phenomenal video Saturday: Radiohead, ondes Martenot edition

I’ve been waiting, like, days to post this video, because it’s phenomenal, you see, and I have to reserve such phenomenal videos for Saturday. I guess. First iteration of PVS is right here.

This week we have a performance of Radiohead‘s “How to Disappear Completely,” a favorite of mine, performed live by Thom Yorke, […]

Shadows on a River earn comparisons to Radiohead and Elliott Smith

Shadows on a River’s debut album, Shadows on a River, has been compared to Radiohead and Elliott Smith. While I think there is some truth to these comparisons, especially on a couple songs in particular (most notably, “In Business,” which sounds like an actual mix between the two), Shadows on a River have […]

Radiohead performing 15 Step with the USC Trojan marching band at last night’s Grammy

Jealous, Chris Martin?

M.I.A., Radiohead go crazy with Grammy performances

M.I.A. and Radiohead are both slotted to perform at this years’ Grammy Awards, but these aren’t your mother’s performances. M.I.A is playing the show nine months pregnant, actually on her due date (coolest birth ever?). Meanwhile Radiohead is planning on playing with the University of Southern California marching band.

What, like […]