Plans are what happens if you’re lucky. I didn’t get to see Atoms for Peace in Santa Barbara.  There was a small crisis involving a left turn accident and insufficient funds to rent a car. . But I did get to see them at the Hollywood Bowl.   So I was lucky.

I went with a friend who is about to turn 71. Although she consistently calls Atoms for Peace Radiohead and tells me that she is going to get Thom to give her a hug one day, her enthusiasm for the music is genuine and amazing.  She has a highly syncopated soul.

We spent some time near the backstage gate because we happened to park beside it.  We talked to some fans and some guards and staff. Everyone was friendly and you somehow felt more connected to a family, which Radiohead fans definitely are. When we arrived someone was just taking delivery of a guitar that Thom  had signed for charity. Pretty thing. And I sent Flea a wristband as a present on a whim with my eye fetish on it. Who knows if he got it, but it’s the thought that counts. Oh and I got a good snap of Mauro giving the high five to one of the fans, Ian, who wished him a happy birthday. Thom came out and hovered in conversation with a guy for a while, and you somehow knew he was there, he has an energy even from a distance that is palpable. As if someone had thrown something into a pond and the ripples were reaching out from him as the center.

Eventually we went inside. My friend listened to half the concert with her eyes on the boys, saying from time to time, “That bass player is the bomb diggity.” And , “Look at them moooooooove!” And she also said quite seriously “This is a turning point for popular music. They’re just changing the direction of the whole thing like when the blues turned to rock and roll.” Did I mention she’s a classical pianist?  Did I mention she is seventy years old.

I can’t imagine having a better companion for the show. She listened to the other half  of the show with her eyes closed and she was a sight to behold. “That song took me somewhere,” she said wistfully.  Me too.

Thank you Thom and Flea for moving like that, words can’t describe it really.   Thank you Mauro and Joey for playing with each other like you shared a single brain.  And Nigel for holding down the fort.   And James Holden for opening the show beautifully.   Thank you Atoms for Peace for being the Bomb Diggity.  Pat Troise


It’s Thom Yorke’s birthday and that makes me so fucking happy.   My life, so many people’s lives, would be so different if he were not born.   In big ways:  would there even be a Radiohead?   And in an uncountable number of small ways – everyone who ever listened to a song he sang, every path he walked on, ever cause he ever championed or disdained, his friends, his family, everyone he encountered – is changed.  I have friends whom I would not have.  I have sounds in my head and heart that would not be there.  I have ideas about things I would not have.  I have pictures and experiences of Coachella, of Club Amok, of stopping everything just to listen to a song and think,  Or feel.    I hope he feels lucky to be himself and happy today to celebrate himself.  I know we are lucky to have him.   Happy birthday to Himself, Thom Fucking Yorke.

Move Through the Moment

So many compulsions —

You can’t stop, can you?

Neither can I,  but for me it’s words.

Half as many imperfections

a shatterbox on legs driven by

the rhythm


except to display your

soul and behave as if you have not

Fresh and wet

Slipping out of the womb

As a beautiful veal calf

Not yet saved from the slaughterhouse

But too pretty to eat

Just yet

I come in peace

I bear no knife or fork

Only a desire to consume the supernatural

Through the pores of my skin.

Pat Troise

(thank you to Aro0 for the inspiration)

SAIL TO THE MOON: A You Tube Lullaby

ImageTonight when I couldn’t sleep I was wandering around the virtual world and intermittently taking things out of this puppy’s mouth while she hung out with me in my studio, and I came to visit Sail to the Moon.   Maybe because this white dog is so like the moon.  Note to self:  moon as dog = English bull terrier.

One song.   Just play it over an over again.   Listen and watch different versions, so many versions!  Le Reservoir.  Jonny’s, the way he looks when he plays, making me cry.  Well, that kind of thing happens at four in the morning.   The song has brought me out of myself and into the moment, but not the present moment, the moment that was captured in the video.  Not that moment either, of course my mind’s recreation of that moment as if I’d been there.   Weird.   Here I am at Glastonbury.  Not.

Thom’s wearing four wristbands in the unplugged version. I think about wristbands and what’s so cool and so weird about them.  They kind of remind me of the tags farmers put in cow’s ears to identify them and yet I still have my own Coachella wristbands on for the past two years because …. Well, because I do.  The moon – I mean the puppy – ate most of my Club Amok band when it fell off earlier tonight.

Versions with comments entirely in Spanish.   A comment on another version with some guy saying he’s learning piano just to play Radiohead.  I understand.  Ohmygod there is a version with some chick doing dancy acrobatics in a sheet hanging from the ceiling while a kind of jazz band riffs away.  WTF?????   Brothers in their underwear playing in their living room, the light coming through yellow curtains is gorgeous and they actually look like a painting that someone ought to do.    This actually makes the thing worth watching.

Back to Radiohead.  The album version.   I want to eat this song.  Bite by bite until I am full of the moon. And it gets to be five in the morning.  So I listen to one more version.   Not Radiohead.   Warren Lain.   Beautiful.

And I can finally go to sleep.