Monday, November 30, 2009
The Five Best Bands from the 2000's: #1 - TV on the Radio
I don't even remember the first time I listened to them anymore. I do however, remember buying Dear Science the day it was released and not listening to anything else for the next 4-5 weeks. TV on the Radio's formula is fairly simple, it's somewhat of a transitive formula for bringing several genres of rock from the 60's and 70's into the new era; we love David Bowie and Bob Dylan, but we also love modern production techniques, so we're going to make music as Bowie and Dylan would using modern production techniques. Their setup is fairly simple; dual frontmen with Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone, a loose feeling of anything goes with their songwriting, and a free-flowing, somewhat unstable timeline of musical progression that you just can't put your finger on. I had a friend once who told me that she felt they were becoming more soulful over the course of their albums, and I guess there's some truth to that, but it's hard not to listen to some of their earlier work and not get sucked in to Adebimpe's voice like you would any classic soul singer.
I think what makes TV on the Radio the best is simply the fact that they're so easy to love. Beautiful, thrilling, complicated, dense; you could go on forever using adjectives to describe the type of music that they make. They're the anti-Animal Collective; they're not hard to love. They're one of those bands that after a few minutes of hearing them for the first time, one says to themselves, "yeah, I'm going to be following these guys for a while." They're the type of band that makes other people want to learn how to play instruments and start writing songs. They make albums that people put on as background music for studying, working out, driving, cleaning up around the house; you name it. They're universal for anyone who is a fan of any genre of not just rock but music all together. And that's why I think they're the best artists of this decade. They blend the wit of Elvis Costello's style of social commentary, the vocal techniques of singers ranging from John Lennon to Al Green with rhythms that knock your fucking socks off. They're an alpha=male band in a beta-male era of society. What more can a fan ask for?
My favorite track from them
On Letterman last year, this performance was just awesome.
Ahem, that's Bowie on the background vocals