Radiohead Vs. The Hold Steady: Whose Side Are You On?
Hold Steady guitarist Tad Kubler has caused the Internet to go nuts with his comments on Radiohead, which he made over the weekend to BBC6 Music. “I think they’ve lost the plot,” Kubler said when asked the now-standard-in-every-music-interview question about Thom Yorke et al’s recent album In Rainbows. “What are they doing? Where are they going? What’s happening? I don’t get it any more. They lost me. I still appreciate what they’re doing, or what they’re trying to do. But I think they’re trying too hard not to be Radiohead. That seems a little ridiculous to me.” Kubler then went on to praise… Oasis. Ooh, burn! Yorke and his bandmates were unavailable for comment, but the Internet was more than happy to rush in and fill that particular void.
Perhaps my favorite reaction came from former Idolator guestblogger Matthew Perpetua, who wrote–in a post titled “Apples vs. Dim-Witted No-Talent Hacks”–“The most charitable description of The Hold Steady would be ‘a glorified bar band with a tone-deaf asshole shouting over the top.’ … [they] are essentially just Nick Hornby as a rock band.” (Which isn’t far away from others’ assessments of the group.) Meanwhile, Pitchfork’s Marc Hogan referred to Kubler’s quote as the band’s “Sister Souljah moment.”
Somewhat surprisingly, not all the reaction I’ve seen so far has been pro-Radiohead; another former guest of this site, Sam Yurick, said that he’s kind of tired of the Radiohead hoopla and that praising In Rainbows for its distribution scheme is not unlike saying that Cloverfield should get an Oscar for its ads.
So readers, once and for all: How do you feel? (I was going to write “who could win in a fight,” but if we’re talking about sheer brawn, I think the winner is obvious.)