Current TV has the full hour of Scotch Mist, an hour-long taping of Radiohead performing In Rainbows. I have to say, while I enjoyed the album, I think this top-to-bottom performance has even more soul in it; you really get a sense of the focus and craft of the songs as they’re played live. Oh, and you get some poetry and art, too — bonus.
As this is not the Beatles, you don’t get to watch Thom and Jonny arguing about the arrangements. Sorry.
This certainly gives more insight into the music. Sure, In Rainbows’ pay-what-you-will pricing may have overshadowed the actual music, and the “top album of 2007” moniker from the music press almost seems too easy. But that doesn’t mean this isn’t great music. In fact, on repeated listenings I think I found what it was about the album that didn’t win over some fans initially: the narrative of the album itself isn’t quite as strong as the songs on it. As those songs sink in, for me at least, the writing stands up to some of Radiohead’s best — and having themselves as competition is hardly a blessing. While the media argues, again, about the future of music, it’s great to know great bands survive.