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Alex Villa

My Spiritual Tales Featuring Thom Yorke

December 28, 2020

Radiohead playing the Pyramid stage in Glastonbury 2017, by Alejandra Villa

The first time I had a strong epiphany while watching Thom Yorke play was during the Radiohead headlining set at Glastonbury 2017.

I was standing in what some people refer to as the heart location of the earth’s chakra (whatever that means) according to some theories. I was surrounded by humans that believed in equality of conditions in a semi-utopia society for the 5 days of the festival. The one ticket that you get when the festival tells you it’s your time to be there. But you have to really want it to get there.

That night I understood that new-age spiritual concept of “oneness of the universe”, coupled with quantum-physic theories that allow us to be able to accept the idea of the non-linearity of time and space, and how Vonegut was onto something when he said “all time is all time, and so it goes”, that wherever we have been we will always be.

Yet, with all this beautiful truth that Radiohead gifted to me that night, I still have an opinion that is deemed as controversial among my social circle of melomaniacs:

Thom Yorke’s solo material is way above any complexity or artistry that Radiohead ever achieved.

Exhibit A:

Am I becoming my mom when she became a solo-Lennon person over any Beatles material?

(Except that Thom Yorke seems by all means to be a way more peaceful human being than John Lennon)

The first time I saw Thom Yorke play live as a solo act, was a winter night in San Francisco, 2 years ago.

I had just broken up with a 1.5 years old relationship over the phone on a layover in the Phoenix airport. I became a Bay Area nihilist soul for a week.

But I stayed an extra night over my work-visit days, to watch Thom Yorke play.

That night, his sweet melodic techno-pop made me realize that making art and expressing our identities through our appreciation of beauty is a purpose worth living for.

And that through embracing self-awareness through art and movement, I could finally also gain the strength that I need to admit my mental health battles (intense OCD, which leads to an addictive personality, and a brain that’s significantly slower than the neuro-typical average).

Then I saw Thom Yorke play once more, this time, through my self-appointed journey to find home while doing the "digital nomad" thing. Thom Yorke played his album Anima in Frankfurt. Which also happenes to be the hometown of Goethe. That visit led me to visit his house/museums, where I completed the third part of my Thom Yorke epiphany.

That moving around to find the place that I wanted to call home was something I had to gain strength for, and that I had found that strength inside of me.

Is it just me, or...isn't it anxiety inducing to see 2021 upon our faces and slowly realize that the problem was not in the year, but in the challenges we have to yet derive more strength from?

Still finding epiphanies through music. They keep me healthy.

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