Radiohead have an odd sense of timing. The morning after a strange night for the music business at the Grammys—which saw Bob Dylan sound like a black metal vocalist, and Arcade Fire win the big award for Album of the Year—there was an announcement that a new Radiohead album was to be released on Saturday.
A new Radiohead album is going to be an event—simply because they manage to be critically acclaimed, sort of weird and popular simultaneously—and now, the group is releasing its second album without a label, largely doing sales through the Internet. Just as when Radiohead released their last album, In Rainbows, in 2007, everyone will be forced to again listen to new-media pundits rattle on about how Radiohead are going to save the music industry through their major-label-less venture.
While the major labels have indeed committed a number of evils on both music and musicians over time, people seem to forget why Radiohead are famous in the first place and have millions of fans willing to buy their newest album (in seven different artsy formats!): They used to be a product of EMI, a giant conglomerate that spent a lot of money making sure you've heard of Radiohead.
We don't know how music will be sold a year from now. We do know that your friend's band, which has played seven gigs in town, isn't likely to make a living selling music online, because unlike like Radiohead, they're not famous. Remember: When it comes to news about the Internet changing everything, it's all a matter of perspective.
THE WEEK ON THE RANGE
We brought you Sen. Jon Kyl's retirement announcement and let you know what kind of political dominos might start falling as a result (more on that in The Skinny this week); followed the latest developments in Egypt; told you that the state parks were facing dire budget woes thanks to cuts from the Arizona Legislature; and shared a lengthy Q&A with mayoral candidate Jonathan Rothschild.
We celebrated the news that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords asked for some toast, indicating that she had spoken for the first time since being shot in the head on Jan. 8; told you that the new federal courthouse in Yuma was being named for Judge John Roll, who was slain in the attack; and brought you a message from Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, who told Gabby's Facebook friends: "The doctors say she is recovering at lightning speed considering her injury, but they aren't kidding when they say this is a marathon process. There are encouraging signs every day, though."
We encouraged you to check out Art After Dark at the Tucson Museum of Art (and urge you to check out Borderlandia while it's still there); shared some music from Kinch (and told you to check out their show at Plush); posted fresh entries in the Food Truck Diaries; and suggested you stop by the new HUB Restaurant and Ice Creamery, or the second location of Monkey Burger, which have both opened downtown.
We filled you in on top Jeopardy! answers (or would that be questions?); introduced you to some dogs and cats that need new homes; linked to some delightful Super Friends valentines; noted R&B artist Marvin Sease's passing; and drew some intriguing correlations between people who drink beer and people who are willing to have sex on a first date.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
"Wise-Guy, I guess you're right. Jon Wolf is a hero. His business should thrive because of this."
—TucsonWeekly.com commenter Tucson Doc, sarcastically (we assume) responding to one defender of photographer Jon Wolf (Media Watch, Feb. 10).
BEST OF WWW
For Tucson Weekly TV, we went to Solar Culture to see some of the works in the Tucson Sculpture Festival, which is taking place at several venues in the downtown Warehouse District, with 29 artists showing more than 100 works of art. This Friday, Feb. 18, the festival comes to an end in spectacular fashion with magicians, puppets, acrobats and a marching band at Solar Culture. Our website has more details.
We also kick off our new, expanded Snapshot feature on The Range. We're collecting photographs and multimedia pieces that reflect our community, starting with a series of photographs from Josh Morgan, who captures a number of haunting images from Miracle Valley, the abandoned legacy of a radio preacher near Bisbee.