I awoke this morning excited about watching my DVR. Last night I went to bed early but I recorded both the “Daily Show” and the “Colbert Report.” I always record the “Daily Show” but I set the “Colbert Report” to record because they were doing a special 1 hour show with interviews and performances by Radiohead featuring former Camp MMW 2009 guest professor Steve Bernstein playing trumpet in a killer horn section.
I watched the “Daily Show” program as well I watched online the extended interview he did with Congressman and Presidential Candidate Ron Paul. I don’t want to get into politics in this blog but for those of you who aren’t familiar with him, Ron Paul has some very interesting ideas that are worth listening to. I suggest following the links above and taking the time to hear him out.
Now, as for the “Colbert Report”. Radiohead was simply amazing. The scripted segments that Colbert normally do were funny and satirical and so were the interviews with the band but their performances were outstanding. Steve had some excellent melodies that he nailed perfectly in the 1st, 2nd and 4th songs. It automatically made me flash back to my time at his master class. Or when I was playing bass through Chris Wood’s set-up onstage in the performance hall while Steve Bernstein led us through changes off the top of his head. It definitely made me think of watching him perform on his slide trumpet with MMW on the 3rd night of camp in 2009.
Radiohead started out performing a very pretty ballad called “The Daily Mail” written by Thom Yorke. It was a kind of lackluster start to the performances. The next song called “Bloom” absolutely blew me away. In this tune they are using a “Riddim Style” with each member playing different rhythms in a way that time signature becomes irrelevant and it’s only the pulse of the music matters. Steve had a beautiful line as the band hits the “bridge” and is led into the final verse. The song made me immediately think of riddim practices at camp and watching MMW during the famed Bob Moses/Tupac Mantilla performance at this year’s camp.
The 3rd song of the show they played a tune called “Little by Little” that did not feature the horn section but was great nonetheless. Once again they used unusual time signatures and seemed to play opposing guitar and drum lines against one another to create their grooves and melodies. It is so obvious that Radiohead is one of the greatest bands of all time. Every single one of their albums has grown in maturity and their style has never stopped evolving. I am going to buy their new album right here off of their website and I suggest everyone else do the same.
The program concluded with a performance of the song “The National Anthem” off their 4th album called Kid A. That is one of my favorite Radiohead songs with one of my favorite bass lines of all time! The performance of that song was great even if they did fade out the feed at the end of the song because they went over Comedy Central’s allotted time slot. They also performed a final song called “Morning Mr. Magpie” that was only available to watch online at Colbertnation.com
Basically, the performance was incredible and inspiring. All performances can be seen at colbernation.com I highly encourage everyone to take the time out of your day and watch these or, better yet, just go to radiohead.com and download their latest album. Hell, download all their albums if you don’t have them already. Each one is one sort of genius or another.