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Atoms For Peace makes a Sonic Boom debut in Seattle

Timmy Held proudly holds up his new purchase

Timmy Held proudly displays his newest purchase

by Timmy Held

Atoms For Peace, a new supergroup featuring Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar, and piano), Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea (bass), longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich (keyboards, synths), Joey Waronker of Beck & R.E.M. (drums) and Brazilian instrumentalist Mauro Refosco (percussion) released their debut album, Amok, on February 25, 2013. It’s an excellent album that any fan of Radiohead or Yorke’s solo work would fall in love with.

However, this isn’t a review of the album.  Instead, this is the story of  how Seattle became the one and only city in the United States to receive a special privilege from Yorke himself and how one lucky SMI contributor got a piece of the action!

March 8th, 2013 I woke up and drank my morning coffee and perused my Facebook feed as usual. Pictures of cats playfully celebrating Friday and hyperbolic political posts scrolled past just like every other day. The question, “Why do I check this so often?” was just beginning to form, when it was answered out of the blue, with a status update from Seattle’s Sonic Boom Records. It read: 

Holy crap! Thom Yorke pulled Sonic Boom Records in a lottery to decide where to sell 100 limited copies of the new Atoms for Peace 12″. We’re the only store in the US with these and you can get them starting today. $16.99 (limit 1 per customer).”

Leaping into action was the only choice! A 20-minute drive stood in between the coveted vinyl and me. Hitting every red light between Capitol Hill and Ballard, I was sweating the possibility of showing up too late. Parking in front of the store was not an option, and my heart’s BPM skyrocketed as I found a space on a side street, paid for parking, and RAN the 2 blocks to Sonic Boom. Fortunately, the store wasn’t swollen with those with my same intentions. I was in time and snatched up my copy. “Sorry, one per person,” and  “Sorry, you can only purchase it in person,” on the phone was all I heard as I waited my turn.

Of course, I had to Instagram a pic of my treasure and share it on Facebook and Twitter. Just a few minutes later, a friend commented on the pic with a link to someone already selling a copy on eBay for $1800 – which sold within 3 hours!

So here I am in a very tough position. I love to collect cool and rare vinyl, but an extra 2 G’s would be pretty sweet. Currently, I’m leaning toward keeping it – but we’ll see…

Not only is he a multi-media journalist, he is also an accomplished musician. He is the founder of SMI and drives the creative look, feel and branding for the publication. His years of writing, arranging, and performing live music in a variety of genres inform his ability to communicate the message and the mechanics of music. Roth’s work on SMI reflects his philosophy that music is the universal language, and builds community. He believes it has the power to unite people of every race, religion, gender, and persuasion.