Results for TV on the Radio

interviews

Julie Klausner

Julie Klausner Our guest this week is writer, comedian and actress Julie Klausner. Julie is the creator and star of Hulu's snarky comedy Difficult People. Klausner hails from New York City and grew up listening to heavy doses of both rock and roll and musical theatre. She also attended NYU where she was a first person observer of the exploding early 2000s rock scene which featured bands like The Strokes and TV on the Radio, and she later wrote a book about her experiences with people in the music industry. Julie has gone on to create and star in Difficult People, a comedy about two best friends pursuing careers in the entertainment industry in NYC with varying degrees of success. Julie talks with Jim and Greg about how she uses music in her show, her surprising love of Jethro Tull and tries to convince Jim that musicals are not always Trash Its.

Go to episode 621

Kelis

R&B singer/songwriter Kelis has been making music since her debut release in 1999…longer if you count her time at the "Fame" school (New York's LaGuardia High School of Music, Art & Performing Arts). But it wasn't until 2003's breakout hit "Milkshake," that Kelis really brought all the fans to the yard. That song, produced by Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes, went gold. But, Kelis' next step was surprising. She released 2006's Kelis Was Here and then took a big break…to go to culinary school! By this time she had married rapper Nas, and in 2009 they publicly announced their split while Kelis was 7 months pregnant with her son. All of that—motherhood, family and food—has made its way on to the new record, aptly titled Food. It's a focused reinvention of sounds, produced by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek. Kelis stopped by our studio to performed songs from Food and talk about the pitfalls of stardom, her breakup with Nas, and how Jerk Ribs found its way into a song title.

Go to episode 454
specials

Touch and Go Records

This week Jim and Greg wanted to take a look at one of the music industry's most important independent labels: Touch and Go Records. Touch and Go recently turned 25 and celebrated with a three-day bash at Chicago's Hideout Block Party. Over the course of the show, you‘ll hear why Jim and Greg wanted to focus on this modest Chicago label. You’ll also hear from the founder himself, Corey Rusk, and a number of the label's artists, including Scott McCloud from Girls Against Boys, Janet Weiss from Quasi (and formerly Sleater-Kinney), Ted Leo, David Yow from Scratch Acid and The Jesus Lizard and recording engineer and musician Steve Albini of Big Black and Shellac fame.

Touch and Go's founder Corey Rusk is known not just as a tastemaker with an incredible ear for talent, but also as one of the most honest businessmen in the biz. This is what separates Touch and Go from other labels, major and independent alike. Rusk's business model, which doesn't shy away from the Internet and which relies merely on trust and a handshake, has kept it going for 25 years, helping it to outlive its peers. Labels like Twin/Tone in Minneapolis, which launched The Replacements, SST in California which launched Black Flag and Hüsker Dü, and I.R.S. in which launched R.E.M. and The Go Go's, all emerged in the early '80s after punk's mainstream explosion and before alternative's reign. However, Touch and Go is the only one of the bunch not only to stay in business, but to do so successfully and independently.

The best way to understand the label's significance is to sample some of the music. You'll hear these songs in our short-but-sweet montage of Touch and Go music:

  1. Killdozer, "Hi There"
  2. Girls Against Boys, "Kill the Sexplayer"
  3. The Dirty Three, "Doris"
  4. Jesus Lizard, "Mouth Breather"
  5. TV on the Radio, "Dreams"
  6. Butthole Surfers, "Fast"
  7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Art Star"
  8. Calexico, "Cruel"

Touch and Go has put out a lot of music over the past quarter century, but Jim and Greg both manage to pick their single favorite T&G tracks. Greg goes first and chooses "Stage 2000" by Seam. Touch and Go is often thought of as the place to go to for loud, hard-edged punk music, and that is certainly true. However, their roster is actually quite diverse, and there are a number of bands like Seam, who are making beautiful, soft, melodic music.“Stage 2000”is on Greg's favorite Seam album, The Problem With Me. That album was recorded with Chicago producer Brad Wood, best known for producing Liz Phair's classic Exile in Guyville.

Jim's Touch and Go pick is "Kerosene" by Big Black off their 1985 album Atomizer. Though Atomizer was initially released by Homestead Records, Big Black moved to Touch and Go a year later, and the label reissued the band's entire catalog. So we'll let Jim slide on this one — especially since no one has been as closely associated with Touch and Go as Big Black founder Steve Albini. Albini came to Chicago to study journalism at Northwestern, and Jim can hear this sensibility in his lyrics. Songs like "Kerosene" are essentially sensationalistic tabloid stories backed with thrashing noise-rock.

Go to episode 43
reviews
SeedsSeeds available on iTunes

TV on the Radio Seeds

For TV on the Radio, its 6th album Seeds marks a musical departure from past work and has Jim and Greg at odds. TVOTR has been a consistently interesting band, emerging from the same scene as groups like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Strokes. However many people wondered whether they would make a new album after their bassist, Gerard Smith, died in 2011 of lung cancer. Greg notes that he has greatly enjoyed TVOTR's past albums but found himself missing the“weirdness”on this one. He found the record to be very linear and melodic, and noted the group lost the elements of texture and surprise in these new tracks. Jim couldn't disagree more! He argues there are plenty of surprises with a mix of mourning and hard grooving tunes. Jim even thinks the track "Happy Idiot" is a thinking-hipster's response to Pharrell's "Happy." Greg gives it a Try It while Jim thinks he's just being grumpy and strongly gives Seeds a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 469
Return to Cookie MountainReturn to Cookie Mountain available on iTunes

TV on the Radio Return to Cookie Mountain

TV on the Radio's new album Return to Cookie Mountain is up for review next. The title comes from the name of a world in the Super Mario Bros. game series, solidifying the band's geek-cool status. TV on the Radio is known for its use of weird, atmospheric sound, as well as the falsetto vocals of its two singers, Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone. But on Return to Cookie Mountain, the band's first release on the major label Interscope, as opposed to the indie Touch and Go, these two features irritated Jim more than they pleased him. He would only Burn It. Greg, however, loves this original sound, and urges fans to Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 40
Nine Types of Light (Deluxe Version)Nine Types of Light available on iTunes

TV on the Radio Nine Types of Light

After taking a small hiatus and dabbling in film projects, TV on the Radio is back with its fourth album. The Brooklyn art rockers are one of the best bands to come out in the last decade, according to Jim and Greg. Nine Types of Light is a more optimistic, ballad-heavy album, which normally Greg wouldn‘t say is the kind of record for him. But it’s so layered and substantive that he says definitely Buy It. Jim puts them up there with Radiohead, and compares the subtle rhythms on this release to that on King of Limbs. He also praises the singing. Nine Types of Light gets two types of Buy Its.

JimGreg
Go to episode 280
Dear Science (Bonus Track Version)Dear Science available on iTunes

TV on the Radio Dear Science

The final album up for review is by Brooklyn indie band TV on the Radio. Now on major label Interscope, they've become one of the most talked about groups. Greg even put their last album in the #1 slot on his Best of 2007 list. Jim was not as big a fan of that record, but admits this one is stronger. They have success with their up-tempo tracks, but Jim becomes skeptical when the group slows down. He thinks they set their horizons a little too wide, and gives Dear Science a Try It. Greg is more positive. Return to Cookie Mountain was like a soundtrack to such a dark period in the world. With Dear Science, he can almost hear the clouds parting. The album is“weirdly optimistic”to Greg and deserves a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 150
SecuritySecurity available on iTunes

Antibalas Security

Antibalas, formerly Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, also has a new album out entitled Security. The Brooklyn-based band, who often plays in the same musical circles as TV on the Radio, modeled itself after Fela Kuti's Africa 70 band. Greg describes them as a true musical collective, and really enjoyed the fiery, polyrhythmic first half of the record. He thinks the second half is a little too subdued, and too controlled however, and can only give Security a Burn It. Jim blames that level of control and“sterility”on producer John McEntire, of Tortoise. He calls Security the coolest album that McIntyre has produced to date, but wishes it was a little more accessible, and a little less“skronky.”He also gives it a Burn It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 68
El PintorEl Pintor available on iTunes

Interpol El Pintor

Jim and Greg didn't expect to hear anything new from icy rockers Interpol after the band essentially broke up in 2010 after the release of its forth studio album. But, only a few short months after reuniting (now minus longtime bassist Carlos Dengler), the band who made a splash back in the early 2000's alongside other New York bands like The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV On The Radio, is back with a new album called El Pintor. Jim notes that the album's title is an anagram of the bands name, which he sees fitting as the record sounds like a simple shuffling of the band's familiar formula: lots of droning and moaning over updated Joy Division-like guitars. Jim's not impressed with El Pintor or any of the band's previous albums (he barely remembers them, honestly) so he says Trash It. Greg couldn't disagree more. While he admits the Joy Division comparisons are apt, Interpol has crafted their own distinct sound that's tense and atmospheric and shows real innovation - a credit he gives to the band's recent hiatus. The first essential Interpol album since their debut, El Pintor is a Buy It for Greg.

JimGreg
Go to episode 461
99 Cents99¢ available on iTunes

Santigold 99¢

Santigold was known as Santogold when she released her debut album in 2008, a combo of reggae and new wave that established her as an artist. On her third and most recent album, 99¢, she worked with TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend, Cathy Dennis, and Patrik Berger. Santigold named the album 99¢ because that's how much she thinks it's worth, and Jim concedes he would pay at least double that for it. But it's not a stellar album from start to finish. The middle of the album is weighed down by a few sluggish tracks, especially the duet with ILoveMakonnen, but combine that with the handful of fun dance pop punk songs, and it's a Try It album for Jim. Greg has always loved Santigold's ability to put smart lyrics inside catchy packages. And on this album, there are a few tracks that do just that. Banshee is one of Greg's favorites. It juxtaposes the darkness of drug addiction against an up-tempo, celebratory sound. Not every track is as successful though, and Greg is ultimately a little let down. 99¢ is a Try It for Greg as well.

JimGreg
Go to episode 536
Master of My Make-Believe (Deluxe Version)Master of My Make Believe available on iTunes

Santigold Master of My Make Believe

After wowing many people, including Greg Kot, with her 2008 debut Santigold, Santi White (now Santigold), is back with a new album called Master of My Make Believe. She's working with a number of new producers including members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV on the Radio, and she's expanded her sound palette substantially. But, thankfully, the songwriting is as strong as ever. Greg admits that she's not the most impressive vocalist, but he appreciates that in this era of over-singing. He says Buy It. Jim is especially taken with Santigold's exuberance, humor and spirit. He says it's a great contrast to the Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.'s of the world. Master of My Make Believe gets a double Buy It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 336
dijs

Jim

“Unknown Legend”Neil Young

The final Desert Island Jukebox pick of the year goes to Mr. DeRogatis. Both Jim and Greg had the pleasure of seeing Neil Young on his recent tour. Jim explains that there has never been a Young misstep live although such is not the case with his recordings. In particular, he was not originally a fan of the 1992 album Harvest Moon. But now he's motivated to give the album and its track "Unknown Legend" a second look. This shift was partly inspired by the use of the song in the new Jonathan Demme film Rachel Getting Married. Lead actor (and TV on the Radio frontman) Tunde Adebimpe sings "Unknown Legend," as part of his character's wedding vows, and Jim came to realize that it's a classic tune in the vein of other Young greats.

Go to episode 161
lists

The Best Songs of 2014 - Mixtapes

Before 2014 gets too far back in our rearview mirror, Jim and Greg tackle the timeless art of making a mixtape featuring their favorite songs from 2014. Each host plays a selection of tracks off their mix, but you can stream both in their entirety below.

Go to episode 475

Halloween Monster Songs

Every Halloween Jim and Greg like to celebrate with music. And this year they focused on monsters. From vampires to werewolves to Jim's favorite, zombies, here are a selection of tunes for your next monster bash.

Go to episode 361

Greg's Mixtape: A Curse I Cannot Lift

  1. Lindsey Buckingham, "I Am Waiting." A cover of a relatively obscure Rolling Stones track from "Aftermath" sets the mood of sunrise expectation and apprehension.“I am waiting … waiting for someone to come out of somewhere.”
  2. Midlake, "Roscoe." An echo from Lindsey Buckingham's past? The sound is mid-'70s Fleetwood Mac: dusky folk-rock. I can imagine Christine McVie doing a perfect cover of this song. The song is set in 1891, like a dream about a more innocent time.
  3. The Decemberists, "The Crane Wife 3." Still in the past, still dreaming, but the innocence turns to despair.
  4. Dirty on Purpose, "Car No-Drive." Wake up. Morning rush hour. This song sounds like it's pouring from the windows of a passing subway train. We're going somewhere…
  5. Rhymefest, "Bullet." To Iraq. Turn on the TV, and we see young recruits wondering how they ended up in a desert in the Middle East fighting a war they don't understand.
  6. Serena-Maneesh, "Drain Cosmetics." A sandstorm of guitars.
  7. Secret Machines, "Lightning Blue Eyes." Then tunneling out, and into the sunlight where "I felt awake, I was way out."
  8. Parts and Labor, "A Great Divide." A call to arms, a dividing line in the mix, day becomes night.
  9. TV on the Radio, "Wolf Like Me." Silhouettes dash against the moon —“Got a curse I cannot lift.”
  10. The Roots, "In the Music." A sinister night vibe, as low-riders slink through skyscraper canyons.
  11. Nelly Furtado, "Maneater." Where all sorts of nightcrawlers roam …
  12. Justin Timberlake, "What Goes Around/Comes Around." And a reckoning goes down — "I can‘t believe it’s ending this way."
  13. Van Hunt, "If I Take You Home." The night winds down, uneasy partners match up…
  14. Love is All, "Make Out Fall Out Make Up." The hangover aftermath —"I think I'll spend all day in bed."
  15. Gnarls Barkley, "Gone Daddy Gone." "Love is gone away."
  16. John Legend, "Show Me." A morning prayer for guidance.
  17. Beyoncé, "Irreplaceable." And she's ready to move on, a new day begins…
Go to episode 56

Best Albums of 2008

Jim and Greg listened to hundreds of albums this year. Which ones soared to the top? Check out their lists for the Best Albums of 2008 below. You can also see what albums made the cut in years past in our Lists section.

Go to episode 159

The Best Songs of 2008 - Mixtapes

At the end of the year, many music fans take on the challenging task of making a mixtape. And, Jim and Greg are no exception. They've both made compilations of their favorite songs of 2008.

Go to episode 162

The Best Songs of 2011 - Mixtapes

As 2011 comes to a close, it's a great time to think about the songs that defined the year. Jim and Greg have compiled their favorite songs into mixtapes. During the show you'll hear a small selection, but luckily you can stream both mixes in their entirety. And you can make your own.

Happy New Year from Sound Opinions!

Go to episode 318

Best of 2006

Jim

  1. Art Brut, Bang Bang Rock & Roll (Listen to the band's appearance on the show)
  2. Lily Allen, Alright, Still (Listen to the original review)
  3. Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere (Listen to the original review)
  4. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife (Listen to the original review, or listen to lead singer Colin Meloy's appearance on the show)
  5. Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor (Listen to the original review)
  6. Grandaddy, Just Like the Fambly Cat (Listen to the original review, or listen to front man Jason Lytle's appearance on the show)
  7. Neil Young, Living with War
  8. Peaches, Impeach My Bush (Listen to the original review)
  9. The Dresden Dolls, Yes, Virginia…
  10. Rhymefest, Blue Collar (Listen to Rhymefest's appearance on the show)
  11. Cursive, Happy Hollow (Listen to the original review)
  12. Beck, The Information (Listen to the original review)
  13. Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat (Listen to the original review, or listen to the band's appearance on the show)
  14. Van Hunt, On the Jungle Floor (Listen to the original review)
  15. The Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers (Listen to the original review)
  16. Mission of Burma, The Obliterati (Listen to the original review, listen to the band's appearance on the show)
  17. Tom Petty, Highway Companion (Listen to the original review)
  18. Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (Listen to the original review)
  19. Secret Machines, Ten Silver Drops (Listen to the original review)
  20. Album Leaf, Into the Blue Again

Greg

  1. TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain (Listen to the original review)
  2. Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury (Listen to the original review)
  3. Mission of Burma, The Obliterati (Listen to the original review, listen to the band's appearance on the show)
  4. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat (Listen to the original review, or listen to the band's appearance on the show)
  5. Midlake, The Trials of Van Occupanther
  6. Ghostface Killah, Fishscale (Listen to the original review)
  7. Art Brut, Bang Bang Rock & Roll (Listen to the band's appearance on the show)
  8. Girl Talk, Night Ripper
  9. Parts and Labor, Stay Afraid
  10. Lupe Fiasco, Food and Liquor (Listen to the original review)
  11. M. Ward, Post-War (Listen to the original review)
  12. Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (Listen to the original review)
  13. Love is All, Nine Times that Same Song
  14. Rhymefest, Blue Collar (Listen to Rhymefest's appearance on the show)
  15. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife (Listen to the original review, or listen to lead singer Colin Meloy's appearance on the show)
  16. Mastodon, Blood Mountain (Listen to the original review)
  17. Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere (Listen to the original review)
  18. Tom Waits, Orphans (Listen to the original review)
  19. Lily Allen, Alright, Still (Listen to the original review)
  20. Cursive, Happy Hollow (Listen to the original review)
Go to episode 54
news

Music News

Go to episode 596

Music News

The Grammys may be the most well-known music awards, but the Village Voice Pazz & Jop Critics Poll is perhaps the best barometer of what was good in the world of music. The ballots are in for 2008, and among the almost 600 critics surveyed, TV on the Radio's Dear Science came out on top. As Jim explains, the critics often do it better, but the poll is not perfect, especially since the departure of longtime Pazz & Jop“Dean”Robert Christgau. Usually the Village Voice list is vastly different from the list of Grammy nominations, but this year there are some crossovers, especially in terms of singles. M.I.A's "Paper Planes" and Estelle's "American Boy" got top marks in Pazz & Jop, as well as a number of Grammy noms.

On January 20, President Barack Obama not only inherited 2 wars and a failing economy. He also inherited a pretty kick-ass record collection. According to a recent story in Rolling Stone, there are several hundred LP's in the White House basement, including Led Zeppelin IV, Let it Bleed and Rocket to Russia, all provided by the RIAA and marked with the presidential seal. The list of records was not always so cool though. During the Nixon administration, album artists included Pat Boone and John Denver. So, Jim and Greg want to volunteer their own services to make sure that the collection thrives in the year to come. They say: "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country's record collection."

Go to episode 166

Music News

The first item in the news is a discussion of last week's Grammy Awards. For Jim and Greg, the Grammy Awards are always about as newsworthy as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fameceremonies. It is their job to cover such things, though, despite the fact that the Awards don't really represent the best music of the year. The Dixie Chicks swept the ceremonies, but Jim and Greg suspect that might have more to do with affirming the Chicks‘ politics than it does their music. The other hype surrounding last Sunday’s broadcast was the much-anticipated Police reunion. The band mates looked as distant as ever, and Greg wonders if they have the stamina to handle a large-scale tour.

Jim and Greg think there might be better gauges of the best music of 2006. The first is the Village Voice Pazz and Jop Poll which takes into consideration the opinions of hundreds of music critics, including our own Mr. Kot. This is the first year that Robert Christgau has not curated the poll, though he was still a voter. The album that reigned supreme with these critics was Bob Dylan's Modern Times. That record did not even make our hosts' top 10 lists. Pazz and Jop's number one single of 2006 was "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley.

Other awards and polls that are worth checking out are the Idolator.com critics poll, aptly named“Jackin‘ Pop,”and the heartonastick.blog-city.com, which posts the cumulative picks of a number of music bloggers. These polls are more timely than the Grammys and are much more inclusive. Jackin’ Pop and Heart On a Stick agreed with Greg and put TV on the Radio in the number one slot.

Go to episode 64