TONIGHT: Karma Police State


Radiohead plays The Susquehanna Bank Center tonight. Astonishingly, tickets are still available. This despite the fact they have been on sale since February. This despite the fact that every other tour date — including shows as far off as November — have long since sold out. Shame on us all.

RELATED: The strange mime-meets-epilepsy dance that bowler-topped Thom Yorke does in the video for “Lotus Flower” exemplifies the oblique dichotomies that King Of Limbs occupies: the twilight zone between funny and serious, between form and shape, between hue and color, between agony and ecstasy. Like so much of the music Radiohead has made in the 21st century, it sounds like it was made by paranoid androids — one part chimerical electronica, one part rock noir, one part accident and one part invention. The twitchy, inscrutable swirl of sonics is riven with anxiety and phantom menace — like we’ve rigged the Nostromo to self-destruct in five minutes and we’re racing for the escape pod amidst the steam and sirens, knowing fully well it will take us six minutes to get there — and offset by the minimalist operatics of Yorke’s vocals, which have the same effect as horses at a riot. It is his unique brand of genius that he can make every song sound like an accusation and an elegy all at once. What exactly he is on about remains open to debate and the particulars probably best left to the obsessive narratives and counter-narratives of message board exposition, but suffice it to say King Of Limbs‘ eight songs are ghost stories from inside the machine. – JONATHAN VALANIA