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From Radiohead to Velvet Underground: The Far Out Weekly Playlist


The weekly playlist, a new feature on Far Out, wraps up the previous seven days across the website and brings them all together into one handy place. Whether this is a thirst for new music or an old favourite with a landmark celebration, here is your one-stop-shop for all your music needs.

The past week has been a spirited one in the world of music, with several records and influential critical figures celebrating their respective birthdays. One of the essential albums of the 1990s is Radiohead’s The Bends. It managed to stand out like a sore thumb while everybody was getting drunk on grunge or Britpop. They decided to circumvent either scene and stay true to themselves by producing a masterpiece that was incomparable to anything else.

The Bends turned 26 on March 13th, and Far Out celebrated the album’s legacy by noting how “Radiohead fooled everyone with The Bends”. They gave the impression that they were a Britpop band. From three guitars to Thom Yorke wearing the colour button-up shirt with a leather jacket; Johnny Greenwood beating on his Fender Telecaster; they were a slightly evolved Radiohead from the guys who made ‘Creep’ and Pablo Honey had presented Radiohead as a pre-emo pop-punk bunch of whiny teenagers who wrote a brilliant anthem for the socially anxious.

“The evolution now revealed the Oxfordshire boys as sophisticated young men undergoing an existential crisis — so still anxious, but more grown-up, with more style and development.”

It was a week to remember for John Cale, who not only celebrated his 79th birthday, but the iconic album The Velvet Underground and Nico also turned 54. We looked at how Cale went from the Welsh Valleys to his role in The Velvet Underground that saw him became one of the most prolific forces of all the alt-pop greats, pushing the musical boundaries into a whole new sphere.

While he is rightly viewed as one of New York’s kings, Cale’s breeding ground in Wales helped shape him into the man he is today. He always dreamt of escaping from Garnant, and you won’t envisage a home much more polar opposite to the small Carmarthenshire town than the hustle and bustle of New York City. Even though his early years in Wales were painful, Cale still regularly returns home and shares a bond with the country that’s impossible to shake.

With a relentless desire to keep things fresh, Cale made the bold move to leave the group in 1968 after growing tired of Lou Reed’s dominant creative control. The Welshman immediately became one of the most sought-after producers in music, working with bands such as The Stooges and taking flight on an illustrious solo career.

Another British icon who blew out the candles on his birthday cake over the last seven days is Pete Doherty, who turned 42 on Friday. To commemorate one of the greatest wordsmiths of the last twenty years, we explored his career with The Libertines, Babyshambles and beyond through his finest lyrics.

Undoubtedly a controversial figure in the rock ‘n’ roll scene of the ’00s, one thing that has always been pure about Doherty (no, not that) is his complete immersion in his work, especially the act of writing lyrics.

Doherty, the son of a military family, grew up in the UK and Europe’s army barracks. Floating around the grounds, Doherty found solace in the written word and soon began composing his own poetry. At age 11, he picked up a guitar, and the world seemed to click for the naturally charismatic Doherty. Achieving 11 GCSE’s with seven at A* showcased that Doherty was a truly gifted kid. But it would take him meeting his songwriting counterpart, Carl Barat, for his talent to be truly unearthed.

This week, we welcomed NewDad on Far Out for our New Noise feature, which looks at a different exciting new band each week and why you need to get this new artist in your life. There are few bands as tantalising right now as the Galway four-piece NewDad, whose potent blend of spacious sounds taken down a fuzzy, distorted lane makes for a swaggering debut EP, which is out on March 26th. While the pandemic has prevented the group from getting out on the road to play to their newly-recruited fanbase, their newly recruited followers have found a tonic for the current situation in the band’s offering of escapism.

Their debut EP is a well-rounded effort that shows a band who are rightly-confident in their abilities and take risks throughout the six-tracks leading to an all-mighty crescendo on the stirring titular track. There’s no doubt that only more and more people will join NewDad’s plentiful admirers once Waves is released, with 2021 set to be the year when they finally get to celebrate their achievements so far, and this is still only the first chapter of their story.

The Far Out Weekly Playlist:

  • U2 – ‘When The Streets Have No Name’
  • John Cale – ‘Paris 1919’
  • The Supremes – ‘I Want A Guy’
  • New Dad – ‘Blue’
  • Biggie Smalls – ‘Mo Money Mo Problems’
  • Amy Winehouse – ‘Rehab’
  • The Libertines – ‘Time For Heroes’
  • Blur – ‘Coffee & TV’
  • The Velvet Underground & Nico – ‘Sunday Morning’
  • Radiohead – ‘Fake Plastic Trees’
  • Fiona Apple – ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters’
  • The Strokes – ‘Bad Decisions’
  • Patti Smith – People Have The Power’
  • Kanye West – ‘Black Skinhead’
  • Charlie Parker – ‘Summertime’