Is it 2008 again? First Interpol releases a new single, and now this. After moving to Los Angeles, TV on the Radio is heading not just halfway, but all the way home to mark the 10th anniversary of Dear Science. They’ll play the entire album live at the Knockdown Center on Sept. 20.
“For various reasons this record means a LOT to us and we’re thrilled have a chance to play it in its entirety, in New York, nonetheless,” Tunde Adebimpe said in a statement. “I’d say it’s gonna be a special night.”
Dear Science, the band’s second LP, was released on Sept. 22, 2008 to widespread acclaim, and ended up being the #1 album that year in Pitchfork’s Reader’s Poll and the Village Voice’s Pazz and Jop national critics’ poll. The Pitchfork review declared TVOTR “the house band for a country that has no idea what’ll hit it next”; it awarded the album a 9.2 out of 10 and declared it “a jagged landscape of self-doubt, Bush-hate, and future-fear.” The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Dear Science was arguably more accessible than its predecessor, Return to Cookie Mountain. Placing the album squarely in the middle of its list of the 100 best albums of the 2000s, Rolling Stone noted that “David Sitek’s production also brought pop clarity to the New York quintet’s blend of soul, punk, Afrobeat and doo-wop.”
If the album found the band at a crossroads, their neighborhood was right there with them. TVOTR came together in Williamsburg after Adebimpe struck up conversations with Kyp Malone at Verb Cafe and with late bassist Gerard Smith at the Bedford stop. They started recording at Adebimpe’s place on South 1st Street, according to a Brooklyn Paper interview.
At the time Dear Science was released, The Fader wrote that TVOR had come to represent Brooklyn in the sense of “a free zone where you expect your neighbors to make noise or art or at the very least debauchery until the smallest, most microscopic hours of the night and they expect exactly the same of you.” But that was already changing when Kyp Malone told Gothamist, a day after the release of Dear Science, that bohemia was being pushed out of Williamsburg: “There’s less and less fun as we make it and more and more fun as it’s dictated.” When TV on the Radio played Rough Trade in 2014, they cracked jokes about recording songs at the J.Crew store.
Ah, but so what if the quintessential Brooklyn band is now based in Los Angeles? It’s New Yorkers that’ll get to hear this gem of an album played in its entirety in September. Tickets ($45 in advance) go on sale Aug 3 at noon.