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Arts and Entertainment

Thom Yorke Surprise DJ Set at Low End Theory

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The rumors were looking good. And then it was off. But around 11 p.m. as a line snaked around the Airliner in Lincoln Heights, Radiohead's Thom Yorke had literally no choice but to show up and get behind the 12's.

Pop & Hiss' Jeff Weiss got caught up in the middle of the madness at the normally more subdued Wednesday night Low End Theory club:

“We have a very special guest tonight … act like he’s one of us. He is one of us,” said Daddy Kev, the Low End Theory co-founder. Shrieks (male and female.) Clouds of smoke. A girl in front of me texted to a friend: “I’m looking at Thom Yorke….ahhhhhhhh.” Murmurs all saying the same thing: I can’t believe this is happening. But it was. Despite an initially cool reserve, Yorke soon got down and dirty, unleashing a sweaty funk that spanned house, minimal techno, dubstep, Afro-beat, and hip-hop. Jaylib bled into Burial. Major Lazer slurred into smooth house. Modeselektor merged with Fela Kuti’s “Zombie,” into krautrock. The lights dimmed and the crowd kept bouncing. A robot remix of M.O.P. and Busta Rhymes’ “Ante Up,” passed the pipe to Madvillain’s “America’s Most Blunted” — Yorke’s notoriously eclectic tastes distilled into an hourlong dance party.

It was the first public appearance of any member of Radiohead since the February 18th release of
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The King of Limbs. Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, who continues producing film scores on the side, told British radio last week that the band is back in the studio. And we've gotta hope there's more to come on the heels of Limbs, which, clocking in at under 40 minutes, certainly leaves us wanting more.

Might there be a Coachella appearance in some form or fashion from Yorke and crew?

Tom Diehl of Rolling Stone has more details from the Airliner:

Watching him spin, it was clear Yorke takes his DJing as seriously as his main gig: He worked the mixer with abandon, favoring clean, smooth blends at times, rough transitions at others; he started very seriously, concentrating on his song choice and mixing, but as the set progressed he began to loosen, displaying the trademark dance moves from his live performances as well as videos like "Lotus Flower”; he even pogo-danced like a nutter during Major Lazer's raucous "Pon De Floordrop.” Other highlights on his set list: Squarepusher's deconstructed two-step classic "My Red Hot Car," and two odd Eighties New Wave jams, Kraftwerk's "Pocket Calculator" and "The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum)" by Fun Boy Three.

Some great pics from last night at Knocksteady's blog.Did you make it in to Low End Theory last night? Share your photos and video clips in the LAist Featured Photos flickr group.

Here's a short, dark clip from the Fela segment of Yorke's set: