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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In Print: TV on the Radio's Apocalyptic Love, Mike Watt's World, and More

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 8:19 AM

click to enlarge TV on the Radio
  • TV on the Radio

From SF Weekly's latest print music section: 


TV on the Radio: Nine Types of Light is also the first TV on the Radio album to be recorded away from the band's comfy boho surroundings in north Brooklyn. And then some: The band decamped to a mall-based studio near Rodeo Drive that, guitarist and singer Tunde Adebimpe claims, is three blocks from a plastic surgery clinic. Granted, if your muse is such that you want to sit back and watch the decline of Western civilization without trying to intervene, Los Angeles is where you go. And the group still has its eyes open, it's just that the transcontinental relocation means it's taking in different sights. The glassy funk of "Forgotten" is pulled tight like a Botoxed forehead before giving way to a brass fanfare fit for the Four Horsemen. As it builds, Adebimpe sketches a surreal, eerily prescient scene: "Beverly Hills/Nuclear winter/What should we wear/And who's for dinner?"

click to enlarge Mike Watt
  • Mike Watt
Mike Watt: When Mike Watt speaks, he screws his face upward, darts his eyes away, and raises his forearm to his face, as if he's about to close a flannel cloak around him. We see him do this throughout We Jam Econo, the 2005 documentary about his first band, '80s art-core legends the Minutemen. But he isn't hiding. Far from it. He's inviting us into a world of his own making. It's this place -- his fertile imagination -- that has fostered some of the most fascinating punk rock ever pressed to vinyl.

Startling mental connections abound in Watt, a 53-year-old from San Pedro. In his world, a Sammy Hagar record can inspire a punk rock koan (the title of the record Watt calls his best, Double Nickels on the Dime, which he recorded with the Minutemen in 1984); a burst perineal abscess can summon the spirit of Dante (as it did on Watt's 2004 album, The Secondman's Middle Stand); and people don't talk, they "spiel" instead.

Also, we recommend shows from Battles, Steve Ignorant, Mudhoney, and Ramadanman.

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Ian S. Port

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