“He buzzes like a fridge” – how appliances have inspired Radiohead

March 5th, 2012

Appliance Talk

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, a little-known band called ‘Radiohead‘ will be touring Australia in November 2012.

Upon hearing this news, some of the more fanatical fans could be seen dancing around their offices, hyperventilating with excitement, screaming “Radiohead are coming!” and weeping uncontrollably with joy.

‘Certainly, Radiohead is the best band in the entire universe,’ you are probably saying, ‘but what have they got to do with appliances?’

I’m glad you asked, my friend. Allow me to elucidate:

1. “He buzzes like a fridge / He’s like a detuned radio”

(Karma Police, from the album OK Computer)

One of the band’s most famous songs, the ‘fridge‘ reference in Karma Police indicates that frontman Thom Yorke’s noisy appliances are well overdue for an upgrade. Our suggestion: a 520L Westinghouse Fridge, which, according to our customers. “Runs very quietly.”

2. “Eating well / No more microwave dinners and saturated fats”

(Fitter Happier, from the album OK Computer)

Another track from Radiohead’s appliance-heavy masterpiece OK Computer, Fitter Happier is not so much a ‘song’ as it is, as one YouTube commenter puts it, “Stephen Hawking having a bad dream.” Thom suggests listening to it at 3am, but personally I prefer blasting hapless commuters with it on peak hour trains.

Anyway, since this song came out in 1997, Radiohead could be forgiven with equating ‘microwave dinners’ with unhealthy eating. For microwave cooking has come a long way in the last 15 years – especially with steam microwaves which help to retain the nutrients in food and enable healthier cooking without the need for saturated fats. Bam!

3. “This machine will, will not communicate”

(Street Spirit, from the album The Bends)

An oldie but a goodie, this song ends with the hauntingly beautiful refrain ‘Immerse your soul in love.”

But before Thom gets to the soul bit, he raises an important point about non-communicative appliances.

Thankfully for Thom the future is finally here, with LG releasing an ‘Internet Refrigerator’ that can map its contents and tell you when your food is about to go off. It can also contact an online grocery supplier and get them to send you milk when it senses you’re about to run out. You could probably also stream Radiohead songs on YouTube, making it easier for music nerds everywhere to get the nutrition they sorely need.

4. “Appliances have gone berserk / I cannot keep up”

(Last Flowers to the Hospital, from the Album In Rainbows: Disk 2)

In this song, Radiohead appears to be having trouble keeping up with the fast rate at which technology is evolving. It’s a problem that affects many people, but fortunately, all you need to do is subscribe to the Appliances Online blog and hey presto! You’ll be dropping terms like ‘pyrolytic’ and ‘silver Nano’ into your conversations like a boss.

Thom, no need to thank me. Just address those VIP tickets to ‘Louise’ at Appliances Online, cheers.

5. Pull/Pulk Revolving Doors – from the Album Amnesiac

While not about appliances per se, the vocals for this song are so heavily distorted they sound like they could have been laid down by “…a loquacious microwave oven.”

As Matthew Cooke (editorial reviewer at Amazon) goes on to say, “…Radiohead’s astonishing exploration of 21st-century anguish deserves credit.”

Which just about wraps up today’s comprehensive lesson about the ways in which appliances have directly influenced Radiohead. Stay tuned until next week when we delve into the ten greatest songs to do the vacuuming to, which includes many tracks from the Arctic Monkey‘s recent album Suck It And See.

Louise is a writer with a passion for appliances, especially those that involve food. She is particularly fond of ovens because they enable her to make cake. Apart from baking Louise also enjoys listening to alternative music, dying her hair various unnatural colours and writing poetry that has been described (by her Nan) as 'quite nice'. On her appliance wish list is a Hello Kitty toaster and 'Hero' the barking dog-shaped hot dog maker. She lives in Sydney. Google+

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