Jonny Greenwood: Lights, camera...indie superhero action!

As 'Norwegian Wood' hits cinemas, the Radiohead stalwart tells James Mottram about shaping up to the Beatles and 'real soundtrack writers'

Album: Jonny Greenwood, Norwegian Wood (Nonesuch)

For his film-score follow-up to There Will Be Blood, Jonny Greenwood has chosen Tran Anh Hung's adaptation of Haruki Murakami's coming-of-age novel Norwegian Wood – a cult success globally, but a cultural landmark in Japan. Dealing with troubled adolescents in a sanatorium, it offers Greenwood plenty of scope for mournful progressions, bleak mist-curtains of strings, and more daring strategies like the looming dissonances lurking like massing insects beneath "Naoko ga Shinda", realised here by the BBC Concert Orchestra and The Emperor Quartet. A couple of tracks feature delicate tracery of classical guitar, but the most baffling feature of the album is the inclusion of three old tracks by Can, which possess a lightness, and dynamic character somewhat absent in the rest of the score.

OK, By Allan Metcalf

A brief history of a little marvel

The Word On: The king of Limbs, Radiohead

"The eight songs here are less like an album and more like two EPs in a set: one of spectral, understated ballads, and the other of spectral, understated takes on left-field electronic music." nymag.com

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Radiohead, The King of Limbs (Ticker Tape/XL)

The announcement on Valentine's Day of an imminent Radiohead album was greeted as enormously significant in many quarters, like Moses coming down from the mountain with a brand new slab under his arm.

First Listen: The King of Limbs, Radiohead

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Confessions (15)

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The return of Radiohead: No surprises? How about a new album...

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Price creep: Radiohead’s new album is no freebie

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Heads Up: Isn't it good? Murakami gets the movie treatment

What are we talking about?

Norwegian Wood, the film adaptation of Haruki Murakami's 1987 novel about those classic themes: love, sex, death, and liking The Beatles. The UK premiere opens the Pan-Asia Film Festival in March.

Album: Amanda Palmer, Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under (Liberator)

Following pretend conjoined-twin duo Evelyn Evelyn and an EP of ukulele Radiohead covers, Goes Down Under is a relatively conventional release from prolific singer-pianist Palmer.

Listen to This, By Alex Ross

Is there another music critic writing today who could change key within an essay from John Dowland to Led Zeppelin (specifically, "Dazed and Confused"), JS Bach to Robert Johnson, without fluffing the notes or tumbling into an ear-splitting dissonance? Alex Ross of the New Yorker can span endless octaves of period and genre without the slightest sign of strain. Those particular leaps between Renaissance dance and song, and the pillars of hard rock, come in a bravura piece on the chaconne and its offshoot the lamento: a descending bass line "like a chilly staircase stretching out before one's feet". Such strands of musical DNA migrate from epoch to epoch, culture to culture. They crop up as foundation and inspiration with a fertility that makes a nonsense of moribund divisions between the "pop" and "classical" traditions.

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