We’ve all been there. You’re enjoying a little coffee date with a pal, maybe you’re watching the footy (no you’re not), or maybe you’re just grabbing some din-dins with your mates. No matter what it was you were doing, you were enjoying yourself (except the footy thing. I’ll tell your dad, you fibber). And then, like a bolt from the blue, it strikes you out of nowhere, “What’s your favourite band?” It seems like a harmless enough question, and it might be. But the odds of your friend asking this so they can talk about Radiohead, how much they love them, and how you’re lesser minded because you don’t like them, are higher than the band members.
And it’s not like you didn’t try. You listened to, “Creep” and thought it was pretty good. Then you tried to listen to, “Kid A” and it was nothing like “Creep!” It’s too weird, artsy, or, more commonly, too slow. And I’m here to tell you that it’s fine! Not because your mate who’s a Radiohead fan won’t care; they will, they absolutely will. So, to save a few lives, here are some tips to convince your mate you love Radiohead.
Just say you hate Pablo Honey (Especially “Creep”)
You’re in the thick of it. Your other mates have left you. Kyle, the resident Radiohead fan of your group, has cornered you. Out of survival instinct planted into you millions of years ago to fend off sabre tooth tigers (Citation needed), you already told him that you, yes you, love Radiohead, and that they’re your favourite band. Kyle should be happy enough, but he’s asked you a question, only to sniff you out: “What’s your favourite Radiohead album?” Harmless, you might think. But oh no, this question has been designed over millennia to catch out fake Radiohead fans. And you’ll be fine! Just say, “Um, anything but Pablo Honey, hey.” Just make sure you elongate the, “anything,” and, “Pablo Honey,” the way you would impersonate a 12 year old that called you a dickhead on Facebook. You bloody made it, bud! Kyle’s convinced, but you’re not in the clear yet! Because he’s about to ask you….
Remember the three big ones.
“But seriously, what’s your favourite album?” Kyle sneers, and licks his lips the way he does, god I fucking hate Kyle. But it’s fine! Wipe the sweat off your brow, because all you have to remember is any of these three albums: Kid A, OK Computer and In Rainbows. Any of these three albums would be considered the “correct” answer.
Kid A: Some key pointers here. Just say things like “Yes, Radiohead really started to define their rock noise, and their style here can be felt across all of their albums. Dare I say it, across of all music!” Say it’s existential, too! Kyle will probably orgasm and try to hide it. He’s such a fucking snob.
Ok Computer: Ok Computer is a different beast of an album. It’s when Radiohead, “Really started to delve into their now signature electronic noise.” Also, say it’s existential.
In Rainbows: If you opt for this as your fave, just look wistfully into the distance, and say, “Ah yes. In Rainbows. God, I love that album.” Throw in an anecdote about how, “Nude” is a song you think about all the time, and that it’s sad and happy at the same time, and you don’t know how to explain it. Kyle might bite his lower lip and stare into the middle distance. Wanker.
If he doesn’t do that, just cry. It’s too much. You love Radiohead so much. They changed your life. They’re just so goddamn important to you, and without them, you wouldn’t love music. Sob. Throw yourself onto Kyle, because he hates human contact. The tears will ruin his cardigan, your breath will fog up his fake glasses, and you’re probably stepping on his op-shop leather shoes. He’ll probably step back at this point, he might even feel threatened someone likes Radiohead more than him. You’ve won, mate.
You’re welcome for all of that. Now, if you have a moment, I would love to know why Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” isn’t your favourite album. Is it because it’s too slow? Dude, you just don’t get it. Come back! I have so much to say about it!
Kevin Nguyen | @kevzies
Kevin is an adult in progress who loves pretentious music and talking in third person.