Right now, my brain feels like washed up kelp. So it goes when you’re up till 4:00 a.m. scrawling reviews about Thom Yorke and Flying Lotus doing a surprise set together at your favorite spot. Thanks to the Head Radio, the Low End has been vouchsafed as the epicenter of all things righteous. Admittedly, I have spent the last two years rambling hyperbolically about it to anyone who will listen, but it still feels strange to think that it has crossed into the realm of the paranoid android. No need for him to apologize for past snap judgments about squealing Gucci piggies. This is first-rate community service. And we can all agree that this place has metamorphosed for the better.
What’s weirdest is how organic it feels. Yes, there is something inherently surreal about one of the few rock stars alive doing the funky hen on a small stage in Lincoln Heights. But unlike Puff Daddy or Mos Def attempting to Swag Dracula a younger artist, you get the sense that Yorke has been appearing out of a genuine adoration for the scene. It’s not about cool or relevancy. At this point in his career, those are forgone conclusions. There was no initial out reach to Yorke from the LET artists. The man is apparently a Boomkat junkie, who discovered Lotus, Samiyam, Gonjasufi et. al, via the site’s recommendations. He wasn’t even added to the Alpha Pup/Brainfeeder promo list until last month.
The details and drama are all in the review. The definition of Meta is watching Thom Yorke DJ Radiohead songs and then singing over them like the world’s greatest Karaoke session. It was the sort of night you feel like you need to apologize for to everyone who wasn’t there. Thankfully, the best or worst element of modernity is our need to capture both the mundane and the marvelous. So photos below courtesy of David Bartholow, photographer for the great Gorilla. Video via whomever had a close vantage point and a shaky iPhone camera. More to be added as the day rolls on. I’m really excited about next week’s Low End, where a unicorn will be having a jam session with Jimi Hendrix’s ghost, and free acid will be passed out to everyone over 18. Not to be missed.
MP3: Radiohead-”Morning Mr. Magpie”