This morning, Nigel Godrich announced via Twitter that he will be uploading the entire archive of his 2006-2009 online concert series, From the Basement, onto YouTube:
Godrich began the project back in 2006, inspired after watching the Rolling Stones’ fiery concert film, Rock and Roll Circus, with Beck. He said in an interview to Pitchfork that same year, “We were just saying how amazing it was to see such a snapshot of that time: You get to see them, warts and all…hanging out with John Lennon and Eric Clapton and all these people. [We were] just saying what a shame it was that there wasn’t anything that really felt as honest as that anymore, at the moment.”
While wanting to replicate the concert film’s ability to capture the pulse of the era’s music scene, Godrich was equally inspired by the atmosphere of the BBC television concert series he grew up with, The Old Grey Whistle Test. Wanting to bring that same energy to his new project, he settled on the principle that, “It’s just about having friends and close associates you know and just creating a relaxed atmosphere conducive to making something cool.”
The concert series was filmed in BBC’s (now set for closure) Maida Vale Studio 2—the same studio where Bing Crosby gave his last performance—and saw bands as far ranging as Thundercat to The Shins, though it’s most remembered for its Radiohead footage, which included full sets of their albums, In Rainbows and King of Limbs, among other performances.
Only a handful of videos from the archive are online so far, but more are promised to come. Watch “Blue Orchid/Party of Special Things to Do” by The White Stripes below. While you’re here, check out the 2008 From the Basement footage of Radiohead’s In Rainbows.