Radiohead Makes A Surprise Net Appearance

Radiohead made a surprise appearance on the Internet Thursday night with a three-and-a-half hour Webcast dubbed "Amateur Nite" that included bandmembers spinning discs, dancing around the studio, playing with sock puppets, flashing written messages, and even offering up a live performance of a new song.

The band had warned its fans to download a popular audio player in a net post last week, but otherwise, even the group's diehard followers had little or no advance notice of the event. The show got underway around 6 p.m. (ET), close to midnight for the band at home in England.

The new song, offered up with no fanfare and performed beside a Christmas tree, was titled "Knives Out." The Radiohead fan page FollowMeAround.com cites confirmation of the title courtesy of longtime producer Nigel Godrich. The site tells readers that snippets of the lyrics are available at the official Radiohead.com site and links readers to a page titled "we boild the head."

Guitarist Ed O'Brien

has been keeping fans informed of the album's progression in an online diary at the official site (www.radiohead.com) and has been mentioning a number of song titles, "Knives Out" among them. Back in September, O'Brien posted that the song was "sounding quite 'smiths-esque', especially phil who has got that mike joyce thing down to a tee."

There was little or no commentary from the band during the Webcast; the sound was almost entirely comprised of an eclectic mix of (presumably) the group's favorite tunes, which included tracks by The Fall, Miles Davis, Mahalia Jackson, Iggy Pop and Johnny Cash. The DJing was mostly handled by singer Thom Yorke and guitarist Jonny Greenwood, while drummer Phil Selway handled much of the camera work. Producer Godrich, guitarist O'Brien, and bassist Colin Greenwood were also on hand.

Radiohead began recording the album in Paris last February, moved to Copenhagen for a couple of weeks

in March, and settled into a studio erected in a Gloucestershire mansion in April. According to O'Brien, the band is currently recording and mixing in a studio in London. He reports that six of the tunes are finished.

The as-yet-untitled album is (unofficially) expected out in May or June of 2000.