I had a thought today: listening to these same carols and ditties year after year after year is like tuning into a “classic rock” station and hearing The Dark Side of the Moon or “Stairway to Heaven” or Ten for the twenty millionth time. We need some new Xmas music, badly.
I have a theory about this CD: it represents ideas Thom Yorke brought to the Radiohead table that were rejected by the band (including, perhaps, Yorke himself) in favour of going back to the drawing board, and/or better demos from the singer, along with ideas from his bandmates. Although “solo” projects often signal a dilution of energy for bands, this bodes very well for the next full band effort. The better parts of “The Eraser” remind me of nothing so much as pretty much what I would have expected from the next Radiohead album, sans band. In other words, I get my pseudo-Radiohead fix (especially from “The Eraser,” “Analyse,” “The Clock,” “Harrowdown Hill,” and “Cymbal Rush”) and look forward to a new band release hopefully within a year or so. (Where I agree particularly with Pitchfork is that Jonny Greenwood’s Bodysong is a better listen.)
This near-masterpiece, by Ford Pier, may be the most obscure and underrated CD I own. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone else who owns it (with the obvious exception of Veda Hille, in whose wonderful band Mr. Pier played for many years). The songs are frenetic, inventive, insightful, often hilarious, and tuneful. There are at least two potential singles (“Charmed, I’m Sure” and “Why On Earth”). I’m not sure whether it’s available anywhere other than from Six Shooter Records (unfortunately the site is frame-based so you will have to search out the Ford Pier and on-line store pages manually).