SOUNDTRACK: TV ON THE RADIO-Dear Science, (2008).
The problem with TV on the Radio for me is that their first EP is so damned good that anything else they do pales in comparison. Having said that, Dear Science, comes really close to topping that EP. I liked Cookie Mountain (their previous disc) but I felt like they put so many elements into the mix that it detracted from the best part of the band: Tunde Adepimbe & Kyp Malone’s vocals.
And so, on Dear Science, the vocals are back up front where they belong. This disc is a lot less busy, which may seem a little like selling out, but instead, it just heightens the complexity and originality of the band’s work. The disc rocks hard but it also heightens some really cool jazz and dance elements. But it all comes back to the melodies and vocals for me. And on Dear Science, they pretty much outdo themselves.
And you can dance to it!
[READ: September 30, 2009] Shiny Adidas Tracksuits and the Death of Camp and Other Essays
After reading David Foster Wallace’s essay in this book, I looked at the other articles here and decided to read the whole thing. And I’m really glad I did. It’s an interesting book full of, funny and often thought-provoking pop culture articles circa 1996. As with some of the other pop culture/political books that I’ve read several years after they were relevant, it’s often weird to look back and see what things fully occupied the popular landscape at the time. And, when a piece is completed dated, it’s pretty obvious, and sometimes unintentionally funny. But there are many pieces here that are timeless (or at least hold up for a decade), and those are still really good reads.
This book also does a good job of summarizing the tenor of the defunct Might magazine. A dose of irony, a splash of humor and a lot of criticism of what’s trendy.
The strange thing to me about this book, though is the targets that they chose to go after sometimes. Rather than critiquing right-wing attitudes or corporate shenanigans (which they do touch on), they really seem to be after pop and rock celebrity. For instance, there are two separate articles which take a potshot at Eddie Vedder (this was around the time of the Ticketmaster fiasco which didn’t put him in the best light but which could hardly be seen as only self-serving). This seems rather unfair, unless his sincerity could really be called into question by a bunch of ironic jokesters. Magazines like Radar and Spy used to do snarky articles like this. I’d always thought that Might was a little better than that. But indeed, there’s one or two pieces here that have a holier- (or perhaps indier)-than-thou attitude. Which may have been fine in the 90s but which seem petulant now.
But aside from those, the irony-free pieces are very enjoyable. (more…)