One of Brooklyn’s most interesting and most successful bands, TV on the Radio combines the alternative rock of the Pixies with Prince-ly funk and the experimental soundscapes of Radiohead.
The band shot to a new level of fame with its 2008 album “Dear Science,” which was named Album of the Year by Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and MTV, among others.
After taking a few years off to regroup, TV on the Radio is releasing its fourth album, “Nine Types of Light,” today.
amNewYork takes a look at the band’s rise to fame.
The band records a demo CD entitled “OK Calculator” that it distributes by hiding it in the cushions of coffee-shop sofas around New York. Guitarist Dave Sitek, meanwhile, is becoming a sought-after producer thanks to his work with fellow Brooklynites the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
TV on the Radio releases its debut EP, “Young Liars.” Around this time, Sitek and singer Tunde Adebimpe sell a painting to David Bowie’s doorman on the streets of SoHo. They also give him a CD to pass on to Bowie, who becomes a fan and guests on their album “Return to Cookie Mountain.”
Even as TV on the Radio plays festivals around the world and appears on “Saturday Night Live,” the band members branch out, with Sitek producing an album for Scarlett Johansson and Adebimpe acting alongside Anne Hathaway in the movie “Rachel Getting Married.”
The band temporarily leaves Brooklyn to record “Nine Types of Light” in L.A. But shortly before its release, they learn that bassist Gerard Smith has lung cancer. The band says he is receiving excellent medical care and is already seeing dramatic results. The band set out on an American tour in April, with two stops in New York City this week.
If you go: TV on the Radio is at the Music Hall of Williamsburg Tuesday at 9. 66 N. Sixth St., 718-486-5400, $31
The band will play Radio City Music Hall Wednesday night at 8. 1260 Sixth Ave., 212-307-7171, $40.50