Let Down And Hanging Around: Radiohead’s Live From A Moon Shaped Pool Is A Waste Of Time

Radiohead release the physical versions of A Moon Shaped Pool today (plus the album comes to Spotify), and to celebrate they’re throwing a listening event at record stores around the world. Live From A Moon Shaped Pool is advertised to include an audio playlist curated by the band, an exclusive two-hour live performance video, free artwork by Stanley Donwood, and a contest. Based on descriptions of the event that have been popping up on Reddit, this event appears to be a W.A.S.T.E. of time.

Some stores did not have the promo materials available. Others are not streaming Radiohead’s audio playlist. Amoeba Records in LA gave away all their swag last night, including this button and poster:

In a pair of discussion threads, including one titled “Live from a moon shaped pool, don’t bother,” fans have been sharing disgruntled stories:

Spent 3 hours driving to Nottingham. I was given a grey card. And I get to listen to some dance tracks that have nothing to do with Radiohead for hours. The cards are nonsensical trash. A waste of paper, if you will. Something I thought Thom would’ve been against. I have wasted my fucking time.

Yeah I went to the store in Parramatta, Sydney. I was the only Radiohead fan there, minus the one other guy in the store, and yes it was just irrelevant dance music. I held the vinyl then left.

I don’t think it was meant for people to sit there for hours listening to the entire thing, but rather to meet with other Radiohead fans and socialize along with their tunes or the tunes suggested by them in their playlists. Which, if you were the only one present for it then that kind of defeats the purpose. I’m sure their plan worked better in the more populous record stores, but then sort of fell on it’s head in the smaller record stores.

Was at the one in Leiden. They stopped doing the Radiohead stream to play the new Peppers album. If you bought the record you would get a booklet, but I didn’t because I have the collectors pre ordered. I wrote down my name though for a chance to win prizes. But yeah, the store was empty, maybe like 3 other people just doing random stuff so I didn’t see any fans.

And here I am in Naples, Italy. The store didn’t even bother to stream from their playlist, they just played the tracks from the album and the place was just crowded with people queuing. I was quite disappointed,tbh. I just wish they release the basement thing a bit sooner.

Just went to the Berlin event during my lunchbreak. There wasn’t much to see, only 5 other people in the shop, the music that was playing was presumably from the office charts. The LPs were there to purchase (shrink wrapped), other than that just A4 laser prints of the tracks to be played. Had to ask especially to get one of Donwood’s how to brochures and signed a list to get into the draw for the items (fingers crossed). Actually considered taking a day off to attend, glad I didn’t!

I’ve just been to Flur, in Lisbon. They don’t have any special merch, aside from the LP and album (the “How to make your Moon Shaped Pool Artwork in 66 easy steps by Stanley Donwood” thingy wasn’t delivered, so they say). They do have the playlists streaming, though.

I am confused. They basically just compiled playlists they posted on das from the past five or six years. How is this exciting? This whole thing strikes me as lame, unnecessary and uncharacteristically uncool

Seriously this the lamest thing radiohead has ever done. How is this cool at all? All old office space playlists…bizarre frankly

To be fair, at least one person had a good time:

Just got back from the one in Wellington, New Zealand!
I’ve got to say, the quality of the recording was pretty great and it was cool to hang out with a few other Radiohead fans. Also managed to grab myself one of the ‘How to create your own moon shaped pool’ pamphlets!
Not only that, but the guy who worked at the store I went to actually happened to be one of my favourite local artists, Sheep Dog & Wolf! Managed to say hi to him and have a quick chat about the new album hes working on! He’s a such a genuine guy, and I was super stoked to meet him.
All in all a really great experience! Hope everyone has as good a time as I did!

In other Radiohead news, they shared their most recent A Moon Shaped Pool vignette today. Directed by Richard Ayoade, it features an excerpt from “Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief.” See if you can finish reading the song title aloud before the video finishes up below.