Britain’s seminal art-rock band Radiohead has never exactly gravitated toward mainstream exposure. But lately the quintet has been warming up to wider audiences — especially in America.
Agreeing to perform on Saturday Night Live’s 37th season premiere this year, as reported by USA Today and numerous other media outlets, is a pretty clear indicator of their intentions.
Of course, don’t expect them to trot out their most accessible material just because they’re in front of a TV audience. In fact, the only other time they performed SNL, in 2000, they played a freakish “The National Anthem” off the polarizing Kid A. Coming off the heels of the equally divisive The King of Limbs as well as full-band debuts of unreleased tracks “Staircase” and “The Daily Mail,” a similarly experimental performance may be in the cards.
Radiohead has also called attention to forms of media that have grown increasingly obsolete in the Internet age: In March, they addressed the plight of the newspaper when frontman Thom Yorke appeared unannounced in random areas of London to hand out Radiohead newspapers he designed with artist Stanley Donwood. This has led to some speculation that the band could have a similar message in store regarding television.
Alec Baldwin is slated to host the season premiere that night, setting a new record with his 16th appearance as host.