The video for ‘Friend of a Friend’ by The Smile has been released

Paul Thomas Anderson filmed the trio performing the song in a small auditorium in front of elementary school children. The reactions are priceless.

The reactions we read on social media every time Radiohead, Thom Yorke, or The Smile release an album are predictable and divided between those who shout masterpiece and those who consider it music for boring hipsters. The factions are created, and surprises are rare. So why not see the effect that the same music has on children who know little or nothing about it?

Perhaps this is not what Paul Thomas Anderson had in mind when he filmed the video for “Friend of a Friend,” released by the Smile last night, but the result is interesting. It allows us to see what happens when you make elementary school children listen to that strange and adult music, including the drummer Tom Skinner’s son.

So, there’s Yorke on bass, Skinner on drums, and Jonny Greenwood bent over the piano waiting for the kids to enter a small auditorium, and they start playing (the audio track is from the studio version).

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The children’s reactions? Some yawn dramatically, some are astonished, some listen lost in the music, some listen with a frightened expression, some try to keep the beat, and some don’t care and do something else. Some seem captivated, some bored, and some just don’t give a damn and do something else. And it’s priceless when a child, after the final applause, stands up and shouts a loud “boooo!” with all his might as the trio leaves the room.

“Friend of a Friend” is from the Smile’s second album, Wall of Eyes. Yes, it’s a good album and is definitely better than the previous one, “A Light for Attracting Attention.”

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