8 newspaper stories that could be Radiohead songs


This afternoon, at locations across Planet Earth, Radiohead's army of temp truck drivers will be delivering a not-affiliated-with-an-album, cheekily-named newspaper, The Universal Sigh. (Minneapolis will have papers at two distribution points tomorrow.) The carbon-neutral, hazily-defined project is a marketing tactic to be sure, but with no surface purpose other than getting Radiohead fans into public spaces to gawk in concert at each other in an air of zeitgeisty competition.

In the spirit of things, and to fête Radiohead's foray into the world of inky-fingered publishing, we've collected some newspaper stories that could sneak easily into the lads' canon somehow.

Powering Down for the Long Term
From the Wall Street Journal yesterday comes coverage of Japan's brand-new energy crisis and their options in dealing with it. Given Radiohead's long-standing advocacy for 'greenish' things, and interest in human-electro relations, this headline is just poetic enough to ease nicely into that discog.

How to Create a Scientifically Plausible Alien Life Form
You don't have to be a sci-fi geek or techno-theorist to be interested in this story, musical genius or not. io9's extensive, impressive foray into the at-least-plausible science behind real aliens seems rich for a run through the blippy, staccato machine of recent Radiohead.

866 Rescued By Carpathia...Mrs. Astor Maybe
The New York Times' headline following the crash of the Titanic must have been cheek-blanching to anyone reading it for the first time, but what really sticks out here in retrospect is the space devoted to the ships' most famous passengers: "Ismay Safe, Mrs. Astor Maybe." Begging for some Yorkian, barely-subtle analysis, yes?

Bridging the Abyss
Wow, synergy! Not only is this story headlined evocatively enough to be fodder for the Radiohead Song-Titling Robot v2.8, but the story itself is about the decline of the newspaper industry. Three years later we have The New York Times dipping their toe into paywalls, the first tablet newspaper, and no real answers except the continued existence of daily grey information books.

Time for Robin Hood to Make a Comeback
The city of Notthingham has apparently refused to leverage their built-in mythology to woo tourist dollars, instead trying unsuccessfully to brand themselves as a center of nightlife and shopping (and, funny enough, crime). Their spurning of easy history, and the ripe Robin Hood myth, would do well for an examination from Oxfordshire's balladeers.

Grand Plans for a $750 Million Theme Park Raise Great Doubt

The Hidden Life of Guns
The Washington Post's investigation into the movement patterns of guns in America seems fertile ground for hippy-sticks-a-flower-in-the-barrel critique vis-à-vis Johnny Greenwood's just-moody meanders.

Succeeds Only As A Caricature
I don't know if human memory extends a month into the past anymore, but if it does you might recall the glut of reviews Radiohead amassed within a day of releasing The King of Limbs. And how most of it was negative? Here's one of those. See what we did there?