Hard to believe there once was a time in the mid-’80s when Radiohead was just another vagabond group playing its inventive, heavily synthed tunes on the streets of Oxford, England. By the time I moved there in 2001, living in a tiny flat above the cobbled stones where they’d honed their craft, Thom Yorke and his cronies had already hit the charts and left town. Damn. But during my four months in Oxford, buskers hoping to emulate the group would begin playing every Saturday at 8 a.m. (Again, damn.) Some were OK, most weren’t, and none had the makings of Oxford’s next big thing. Annoying as it was to be woken in this fashion, I still had Kid A to lull me to sleep at night and OK Computer to supply the soundtrack of my mid-collegiate existential crisis. (That’s why I moved to England, see? It’s more existential-crisis-friendly than Seattle.) Today, more or less crisis-free, I’m just as deeply enamored of their latest, In Rainbows, famously released as a pay-what-you-think-it’s-worth downloadable album. Go. Be astonished. Just don’t wake me up with your Radiohead-wannabe band tomorrow morning. Liars open. White River Amphitheatre, 40601 Auburn-Enumclaw Rd., 360-825-6200, $35–$55. 6 p.m. LAURA ONSTOT

Wed., Aug. 20, 6 p.m., 2008

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