Return to Cookie Mountain- TV on the Radio

Back blogging after moving. I will be going to see TV on the Radio at the end of the week at the Roseland Theater, so I thought it would be a great time to revisit their 2006 release Return to Cookie Mountain.
One of the consequences of the invention of recorded music is the decline of the influence of time on the process of music creation and interpretation. Before recordings, any music that became popular would become either: 1) a piece that fades from popular memory, but then is resurrected later by a different artist, 2) a piece that becomes a ‘standard;’ all artists are expected to know it from memory, or 3) simply forgotten.
With the advent of recording technology, anyone can listen to sounds of the past, and that kind of musical exploration is no longer restricted to the realm of composition students. The indie movement of the past ten or fifteen years owes a lot to different styles of the (admittedly recent) past, from Garage Rock to Nu Wave. In this climate, the first two things that we pick up on as listeners are: What are their influences? and How are they interpreting them?
This is exactly why TV on the Radio is one of my favorite bands. More remarkable than their influences is the sheer number of them. The first things one hears are the punk-influenced arrangements and instrumentation and the hip-hop/noise pop production. Other overtones include: glam, doo wop/a capella, electronica, soul, and even carousel polka/waltz. All of these get mixed and reinvented into a glorious, rich sound that can move fast while feeling slow, and move slow while feeling fast. From a musical standpoint, they are constantly recording interesting chord progressions that defy expectation and tickle the ear.
I am really looking forward to Friday’s concert, and if they come close to reproducing their studio sound, it will be great.

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