08.13.2015 — “Lazerray” by TV On The Radio


If you only listen to one song today, make it “Lazzeray” by TV On The Radio (2015, from the album Seeds).
TV On The Radio is an indie rock quartet from Brooklyn. They formed in 2001 and have recorded five proper albums since then. Nine days after the release of their critically acclaimed 2011 album Nine Types of Light, their longtime bassist/keyboardist Gerard Smith passed away after a long battle with lung cancer. Understandably, the band took a break before getting back to work. In the autumn of 2014, they released their fifth album Seeds, which mysteriously fell under my radar.

I was really late to the TVOTR game, and Nine Types of Light was the first of their records that I got. Long before that, I had the chance to see them once, but I opted out when they played the now legendary tour with NIN and Bauhaus back in 2006. That’s one that I’d really like to have back. I’ll probably never get another chance to check Bauhaus off my bucket list.

Since I was so late to the game, I didn’t even know about their 2011 record until that year was over, so Nine Types of Light didn’t make my 2011 list. And because I let it fall under my radar, I didn’t know about Seeds until this year, which means that it didn’t make my 2014 list. It’s a great record, though.

Today’s song is my favorite song from that album:

“Lazerray” by TV On The Radio

I love its high energy, and its punky, grungy flavour. Kyp Malone’s falsetto backing vocals at just the right spots, Dave Sitek’s blazing guitar, and Tunde Adebimpe’s lead vocals all combine to make this an amazing head-bobbing, pogoing song.

For a lot of fun, check out the official video for the song. Note that this is the second time this week and the third time this summer that I’ve shared a music video with a lot of skateboarding in it.

I think it’s kinda brilliant that the skateboard party/TVOTR show was all in the kid’s head. It’s even more brilliant that his daydream begins when he takes his earbuds out. Not when he puts them in.

TVOTR was announced as one of the main stage headlining acts at the 2015 Hopscotch Music Festival, which takes place next month in downtown Raleigh. This means that for the first time ever, I really want to see all three of the main stage headliners. Actually, this is only the second year that they’ve had a main stage show on Thursday night, but my point remains that every year I’ve had interest in one night’s headliner show, but not the rest. TVOTR will be holding it down on Friday night, Godspeed You! Black Emperor will headline the main stage on Thursday, and Dwight Yoakam will have it on Saturday. I’ve seen Godspeed three times before, and they’re one of my very favorite bands. It’s always a great show. I’ve never seen TVOTR or the country legend Dwight Yoakam, and I’m excited that I’ll get to see both.
All-show and single day wristbands are still available. You can also buy tickets that only get you into the City Plaza (main stage) shows. See all the ticketing options here. See the Hopscotch schedule here. You can peruse the lineup here.

Out of curiosity, I looked for videos from that 2006 NIN/TVOTR/Bauhaus tour, and found this:

Peter Murphy clearly was not giving a damn. Doing nothing but smoking cigarettes and throwing rose petals. It seems like he couldn’t even be bothered to remember the words to his most popular song. Trent Reznor made some effort, but didn’t put much into it. TVOTR is doing a great job of playing the song, but for some reason, the whole thing falls terribly flat.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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