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TV on the Radio


Sierra Kay

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There must be another thread, but this is the only one I could find.

 

Belle & Sebastian, TV On The Radio men give intimate performances

Artists bring their 'Songs Of The City' to LA's Disney Hall

 

TV On The Radio's Kyp Malone and Belle & Sebastian's Stevie Jackson gave unique, intimate performances at Los Angeles' Walt Disney Concert Hall last night (January 8).

 

Armed with acoustic guitars and a grand piano, 14 acts performed songs influenced by various elements of big cities for 'Songs Of The City' -- part of the Disney Hall's Concrete Frequency series.

 

During each set, the artists explained how their songwriting has been influenced by the sights, sounds and experiences of big cities, whether living in them or simply travelling through on concert tours.

 

The Hall's stage resembled a living room, adorned with rugs and lamps as well as couches and armchairs occupied by artists watching their fellow musicians perform.

 

Also on the bill were Zach Rogue of Rogue Wave, songstress Inara George joined by legendary composer and Beach Boys collaborator Van Dyke Parks, Norwegian wunderkind Sondre Lerche, Los Angeles punk legend John Doe of X, actress/singer Zooey Deschanel with M Ward on guitar, songstress Annie Stela, local rockers Biirdie, Beastie Boys keyboardist Money Mark, and former Husker Du frontman Bob Mould.

 

"It's kind of nice to be here at Carnegie Hall West," Doe quipped before launching into a rousing acoustic rendition of X's 1980 anthem 'Los Angeles'.

 

Malone closed out the night with two haunting songs, including 'Today I Was A Desperate Bitch' featuring the evening's only electronic loop and whistling. "I'm really excited to get to play with all these amazing musicians," he said.

 

Other highlights of the evening included Lerche's energetic performance and stories of his home city Bergen, Stela's quiet-yet-powerful piano-based songs, and Belle & Sebastian's Jackson accompanied by Biirdie on the experimental number 'Electric Box'.

 

"It was a bit nerve-wracking because I'm used to being a guitar player surrounded by other musicians, so I asked Biirdie to join me for my second song," Jackson told NME.COM after the show. "I had never met them before but I thought they sounded good at soundcheck."

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Tv On The Radio new album streaming + review

 

You can listen to the new TVOTR album here:

http://www.myspace.com/tvotr

 

Pitchfork review (Rating: 9.2)

 

Dear Science, TV on the Radio's follow-up to 2006's Return to Cookie Mountain-- a dense and textural album with an optimistic core-- is catchier, but thornier than its predecessor. Musically, it's an instant grabber: Handclaps crack like fireworks. TVOTR's horns, courtesy of the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, sound punchier and brighter than ever before. Vocalists Tunde Adebimpe and guitarist/singer Kyp Malone thrive as dual frontmen: They're sexy when they're angry, and even sexier when they're not. And David Sitek's production is shiny and urgent, while his harsher synths and doo-dads hang back like a commentary track.

 

But making popular music sits uneasily with this art-rock crew, and so although this is TV on the Radio's slickest, catchiest, and potentially most popular LP, it nevertheless reeks with dread. Lyrics about the dead, death, and dying litter the album from its second line onward. Songs with sentimental titles carry the most dire lyrics-- like "Family Tree", a gorgeous ballad about forbidden love whose titular plant becomes a gallows. And the lyrics to "Red Dress" are almost childishly pouty. Assuming the role of industry-bred stars, TVOTR complain that instead of waving collective fists in the air, listeners are merely getting down to their Prince-like guitars and brash brass: "They got you tamed, and they got me tamed." But the self-hatred makes it engaging: "I'm living a life not worth dying for."

 

The promise of dancing away all your troubles hangs over every sweaty note, until TVOTR happily yank it away. On "Dancing Choose", the big chorus and synth power-chords interrupt the funk and double-time vocals to remind us this is a rock band, prone to making big statements. See also "DLZ", a half-rap, half-primal scream from Adebimpe that sounds like it's aimed at every figure of power in the world. But how do they follow that? With a big brash song about fucking. Anthemic horns and parade drums treat the whole thing like a football pep rally, "I'm gonna take you, I'm gonna shake you, I'm gonna make you cum." That could be their most transparent lyric yet.

 

"Shout Me Out" is the only cut that reveals any unselfconscious joy. With a chorus that borrows well from Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall", it comes the closest to the raw sound of their past works: Repetitive guitar and a chiming synth loop introduce Adebimpe singing a gentle verse, as the song builds to a fantastic, frenetic release and the electric guitar crackles and rails along. This is familiar territory for them-- and they get out fast.

 

Yes, this is shit-hot thrilling music. But it's also brainy and ambivalent, and more engaging for it. TV on the Radio remain a true Event Band, and the sign o' the times they capture here isn't audacious hope, or fierce revolution: it's confusion. They're the house band for a country that has no idea what'll hit it next, and Dear Science is a jagged landscape of self-doubt, Bush-hate, and future-fear. And once in a while, you still get some of their optimism. Take the first single and the album's fulcrum, "Golden Age", which ice skates to heaven on billowing horns, sweet swirling strings, a video that stars harmless dancing cops, and Malone's falsetto. Malone has said it's about "utopia." And he sings like he still believes in it. But he has nothing to back him up but the beat.

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I think I prefer it the other way round (like with Dear Science) where an album gradually gathers momentum and has a strong finish (I mean, Love Dog -> Shout Me Out -> DLZ -> Lover's Day? Get in there.).

 

Can I think of any more examples?

 

Hmmmmmm.

 

Viva La Vida? At least for me. It's a solid album, but it definitely does pick up after Chinese Sleep Chant.

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The new album has become on the most critically acclaimed album of the year on Metacritic with a score of 91/100. for those of you not familiar with the site they compile reviews from magazines websites and newspapers from all over the world and give the album an average score. a rating of over 75 is very very good and only a handful of albums get it. anything over 80 is brilliant and 85 is quite rare. so a rating of 91 puts the album in an elite group.

 

NB. In rainbows only got 88 but had a greater number of reviewers

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