WHAT DO YOU RECKON?
by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.

 
Photo by lilie-melo - liliem.over-blog.com

Radiohead - "Reckoner". Instead of heartbeat, I've got heartbeats. Instead of tomorrows, I've got tambourine. Every bang and scatter of drums is another movement of hands. That's what we do, us. We wander & wander, we get lost and try to get found, and we move our hands. From windowglass to desk-top to kitchen table; from handle bars to steering wheels; from bus-poles to tree-trunks. Clasp your hands at your chest, clasp them behind your back. Then in hush you'll move your hands from fumbling to touch, from shoulder, to hand. to hip, to fingers against her cheek. Clasp her hands and keep them clasped with yours. Don't tremble, don't blink. Instead of heartbeat, you've got heartbeats. Instead of tomorrows, you've got tambourines. "In rainbows," Thom Yorke sings, lingeringly, with his hundred reflections; and you can hear what it sounds like to come back to life.

[Photo by the marvelous lilie-melo]

--

Also: Dan wrote a piece on his friend N's band Bad Flirt at ajisignal.com. They have a show on Sunday at La Sala Rossa.

Posted by Sean at October 26, 2007 8:30 AM
Comments

Easily my favorite song on an amazing record.

Posted by sjoswick at October 26, 2007 10:25 AM

It's funny to me that so many people like this song best when it's the one I wish they had left out! Like, I think the album would've been stronger if they'd switched this out for "Bangers and Mash," not only because I think that's the best of all the new songs, but because the record gets a bit too same-y in mood and tempo after "Bodysnatchers."

Posted by Matthew at October 26, 2007 10:45 AM

Have you heard the newly recorded "Bangers and Mash" somehow?

The only songs on the album I really have time for, individually, are "Reckoner", "Nude" and "Videotape". But they're so beautiful. I love the modesty of the approach, the way all the beauty resides just in guitar tones and drum sound. (Thom's vocals are in a lot of ways the least compelling parts of the record.) The saminess is what redeems the album for me - the songs, separately, don't stand up as well as Kid A or Amnesiac. But instead there's just 40 minutes of loveliness. It's weird to hear a Radiohead album that feels influenced by Spoon (the emphasis on instrumental tone, the modesty of arrangement, the amount of *space*) - makes me think y/our Jim Eno/REM dream might one day manifest. There's also a lot of Sea and Cake in this one...

I find "Reckoner" ridiculously moving, though; not the lyrics or even the vocals at all. Just the persistence of it, the way the percussion GOES AWAY and then comes back; so generous in its return. So warm. Skin on skin, and starlight, somehow.

Posted by Sean at October 26, 2007 10:52 AM

Thank you thank you for comparing Radiohead to Spoon. Those bands are two my favorites and with In Rainbows you just voiced thoughts that I was too afraid to articulate out loud. And thank you for featuring them; I like to think my email had something to do with that. :)

But I find Thom Yorke's voice to be the most moving part of all, at least in terms of individual songs. I probably wouldn't listen to House of Cards on repeat if it weren't for Thom's falsetto in the beginning and end (and dare I say that it reminded me a little bit of Bob Marley in Don't Worry, Be Happy?), and I found his falsetto particularly at the climax of Reckoner.

Posted by Phoenix at October 26, 2007 5:52 PM

That song just stands out, one of the best things they've done. (1st listen = !?!?, 2nd listen = wow, 3rd listen=dear lord, 4th listen = I AM IN LOVE).

Thinking about the early lyrics of the song ("feeling pulled apart by horses" "pay the right price"), I feel like this song is expressing some horrible thing or reality, but in a very beautiful way, having totally accepted it, that there is nothing else you can do, but still smiling.
Thom said he wanted to write his angry songs in a very sunny/smiling way, as Bob Marley did on Uprising, and I feel like he's finally succeeded.

So your comments about "generosity" and persistence above ring very true Sean...

Posted by Matthew in London at October 28, 2007 3:33 PM

..Been waiting for a post including some new Radiohead stuff. Very awesome that this is the song you chose that stood out to you, I completely agree. Thanks for the post.

Posted by tim at October 28, 2007 5:02 PM

This is also my favorite one from IR. The building moment when the drums come back is one of my favorite radiohead moments of all time, you express as grandly as ever, sean, the reason for it's beauty.

Phoenix: That would be Bobby Mcferrin, not Bob Marley. Never Bob Marley.

Posted by Moka at October 29, 2007 5:15 PM

also this is interesting if you haven't noticed:

http://www.citizeninsane.eu/audio/inrainbows.mp3

the part with the voices before the drums come back are saying "in rainbows". This clip dubs the instrument and main voice so you hear it.

Posted by Moka at October 30, 2007 12:04 AM

You write so beautifully about music. This website is really a treasure. Thank you for this.

Posted by d at October 30, 2007 12:29 PM

OK, am I the only one who hears the Red Hot Chili Peppers in this one?

Posted by JKelly at October 30, 2007 12:33 PM

yes. yes yes and yes! i love the way you write about music. this is one of my very favorite songs on the album, along with 15 step, bodysnatchers, nude, and jigsaw and videotape. shit, that's more than half the album, isn't it? oh well. the only ones i really didn't care for were 'all i need' and 'house of cards', both of which seem to be on so many's best-of lists. i love how that works. anyway, i'm happy to have stumbled upon this wonderful and well-produced blog. i will definitely be returning.

Posted by Emily at December 19, 2007 6:58 PM

JKelly, you're not the only one who hears it! as soon as i heard the start fo reckoner for the first time i heard the chilis... i dunno if it's the similiarity toi the riff of scar tissue or some other song.... but it definately sounded like i'd KIND of heard it before.

Posted by Emanruse at February 20, 2008 2:46 PM

Post a comment







(Please be patient, it can be slow.)
about said the gramophone
This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

To hear a song in your browser, click the and it will begin playing. All songs are also available to download: just right-click the link and choose 'Save as...'

All songs are removed within a few weeks of posting.

Said the Gramophone launched in March 2003, and added songs in November of that year. It was one of the world's first mp3blogs.

If you would like to say hello, find out our mailing addresses or invite us to shows, please get in touch:
Montreal, Canada: Sean
Toronto, Canada: Emma
Montreal, Canada: Jeff
Montreal, Canada: Mitz

Please don't send us emails with tons of huge attachments; if emailing a bunch of mp3s etc, send us a link to download them. We are not interested in streaming widgets like soundcloud: Said the Gramophone posts are always accompanied by MP3s.

If you are the copyright holder of any song posted here, please contact us if you would like the song taken down early. Please do not direct link to any of these tracks. Please love and wonder.

"And I shall watch the ferry-boats / and they'll get high on a bluer ocean / against tomorrow's sky / and I will never grow so old again."
about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

Jeff Miller is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter or email.

Mitz Takahashi is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here.

Site design and header typography by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet. The header graphic is randomized: this one is by .
PAST AUTHORS
Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
our patrons
Said the Gramophone does not take advertising. We are supported by the incredible generosity of our readers. These were our donors in 2013.
watch StG's wonderful video contest winners
search


Archives
elsewhere
our favourite blogs
(◊ means they write about music)

Back to the World
La Blogothèque
Weird Canada
Destination: Out
Endless Banquet
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
Ill Doctrine
A London Salmagundi
Dau.pe
Words and Music
Petites planétes
Gorilla vs Bear
Herohill
Silent Shout
Clouds of Evil
The Dolby Apposition
Awesome Tapes from Africa
Molars
Daytrotter
Matana Roberts
Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
i like you [podcast]
Musicophilia
Anagramatron
Nicola Meighan
Fluxblog
radiolab [podcast]
CKUT Music
plethoric pundrigrions
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
The Clear-Minded Creative
Torture Garden
LPWTF?
Passion of the Weiss
Juan and Only
Horses Think
White Hotel
Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin)
Uno Moralez
Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
ftrain
my love for you is a stampede of horses
It's Nice That
Marathonpacks
Song, by Toad
In Focus
AMASS BLOG
Inventory
Waxy
WTF [podcast]
Masalacism
The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
Goldkicks
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
The Hood Internet

things we like in Montreal
eat:
st-viateur bagel
café olimpico
Euro-Deli Batory
le pick up
lawrence
kem coba
le couteau
au pied de cochon
mamie clafoutis
tourtière australienne
chez boris
ripples
alati caserta
vices & versa
+ paltoquet, cocoa locale, idée fixe, patati patata, the sparrow, pho tay ho, qin hua dumplings, caffé italia, hung phat banh mi, caffé san simeon, meu-meu, pho lien, romodos, patisserie guillaume, patisserie rhubarbe, kazu, lallouz, maison du nord, cuisine szechuan &c

shop:
phonopolis
drawn + quarterly
+ bottines &c

shows:
casa + sala + the hotel
blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
passovah productions
le cagibi
cinema du parc
pop pmontreal
yoga teacher Thea Metcalfe


(maga)zines
Cult Montreal
The Believer
The Morning News
McSweeney's
State
The Skinny

community
ILX