Radiohead's "King of Limbs" drops early, music video for "Lotus Flowers" released

Band pulls a fast one by releasing "King of Limbs" a day before expected. Now it is time to dance!

Published February 18, 2011 5:19PM (EST)

Thom Yorke, sex symbol?
Thom Yorke, sex symbol?

Earlier this week, enigmatic English band Radiohead announced that their eighth studio album, "King of Limbs," would be released Saturday in never-before-seen "newspaper form." Interesting. Just as movies and television move forward in trying to add an extra dimension with 3-D glasses, Radiohead plans to change the medium altogether by turning music into printed words. Except not really, as we found out. "Newspaper form" just meant that for an extra $39 (the exclusive download is available on the band's "freeform official site" for $9, a departure from the group's last studio album, "In Rainbows" which was free), you get a bunch of art along with your vinyl and cds.

As we wondered how the band's twitchy, shy frontman Thom Yorke would pull off hyping an album in only six days, Radiohead threw another curve ball today by announcing that the album was ready to go, and would be released a day early. Why? Says Rolling Stone:

According to the band's representative, they chose to push up the release because everything was ready on their website and so, hey, why not?

We're not sure we believe the apparent blase P.R. structure surrounding "King of Limbs." After all, when you're a band as big as Radiohead and you're famous for your unconventional promotions (for "In Rainbows," Yorke told Wired magazine that he wanted to leak his music before anyone else could), the quick turnaround time could all be part of the plan. Less time for the publicity machine to do its job, but Radiohead has always relied on the word of mouth of its fans rather than a big corporate push anyway.

And what could be better than finding out your favorite band's new album has been the opposite of delayed?

Along with the album's release, a music video for one of the songs on the 37-minute album was put on YouTube today. "Lotus Flower" features Thom Yorke pop-and-locking in moves that remind us of that eerie dance from the midget in "Twin Peaks."

There is something sexy about Yorke in "Lotus Flower" as well. Unlike previous videos, Thom seems more confident, almost joyful, as he makes weird hand motions and swings his torso in time to the music. We're not sure if it could be called dancing, but it's certainly riveting to watch, and as weird as the band's plan for releasing its own music.

By Drew Grant

Drew Grant is a staff writer for Salon. Follow her on Twitter at @videodrew.

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