The Olympics & Clubland, Mick Jagger Turns 69

With major events starting this weekend, the million-pound question is this: how will the Olympics affect clubland?

The time difference between London and New York has events slated between 4am and 6pm. The ability and the where-with-all to record shows for later viewing has increased sharply over the years. Will this Olympics be the TIVO Olympics, or will the public miss most of it or take sick days to see relevant events? In hospitality, sports bars will open early to accommodate viewers, and their bottom line will get a boost. Sports bars thrive during the NFL and College Football seasons, but baseball and its boys of summer rarely attract big crowds. The added revenue stream is a blessing.

Will clubbers be too tired to party hardy at night? Will they leave joints early because they plan on staying awake or getting up early to catch Michael Phelps live or a USA basketball team game? Will mid-day or afternoon beers slow sales at night?  My bet is that the only effect these Olympics will have on clubland is they’ll probably upgrade the small talk and pick-up lines.

I’m excited about the inaugural Catalpa Festival on Randall’s Island this weekend. It’s a 1pm-11pm affair on Saturday and Sunday with such acts as Hercules and Love Affair, TV On The Radio, The Black Keys, Matt+ Kim, and Girl Talk performing.  Snoop Doog will perform “Doggystyle” in its entirety. There is a reggae stage and a dance music venue with names like Alex English, Felix Da Housecat, and Hellfire Machina involved.

While I’m DJing at Hotel Chantelle tonight with Sam Valentine and Jes Leopard, another rocker event will be rocking at Sullivan Room. The party, called “Take Back New York," will celebrate Nicki Camp & Kerry Robinson’s belated birthdays.

Belated is right: Nicki was born on July 1st. I bet he’s telling folks he’s 29. I worked with Nicki when he ran those Sunday Rock and Roll Church nights at Limelight and kept in touch when he plied his trade at Don Hill’s. Tonight there will be performances by the New York All-Stars (Shannon Conley, Nicki Camp, Jimi K. Bones, Dave Purcell, Adam James, Al Mars), with special guests Michael T & The Vanities.

The soiree will be hosted by Lourdes Castellon and Ahmed Adil, and DJ Victor Auton will spin rock, metal, glam, and alternative throughout the night. I always liked Nicki and I wish him a belated 29th birthday.

Speaking of rockers, my favorite craggly-faced old bastard Mick Jagger celebrates his 69th birthday today. That makes me feel old, yet on some level, a bit young. I’ll have my editor link you back to last year’s article, which sums up my feelings toward Mick. The bottom line is that my set tonight will be top heavy with Rolling Stones tracks, and I’ll toast to Mick as I look forward to the 50th Anniversary Tour, which I hear will be pushed back to 2013. Somehow, a 51st Anniversary Tour sounds dodgy.

Waterproof TV on the Higgins Magic Radio

Okay, so maybe it was the name—Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band—that makes them sound more like a psychedelic bluegrass outfit from the hills of Kentucky than a new side-project from Tunde Adebimpe of TV On The Radio. Regardless, Brooklyn concert venue and time-honored meat market Union Pool was less sold-out and frenzied than I thought last night, when the four-piece kicked off the first Sunday of a month-long residency. I was a bit wary of how it would all go; the last time I saw Adebimpe performing in a non-TVOTR it was a slightly slapdash, lukewarm collaboration with the trippy light-wielding artist Ivan Navarro. Yet Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band is, well, a proper band, rather than an art project involving a laptop and a whole lot of vocal reverb. In many ways their set was more exciting—or at least fresher, more unexpected—than the last time I saw TVOTR perform together.

 

Do yourself a favor and catch one of the remaining three Sunday night gigs (tickets are only sold at the door, and I imagine that the buzz from their residency debut might equal bigger crowds in the future.) Meanwhile, you can check out the Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band’s EP here. And while you’re at it, why not follow a few more links, like this one of HWBMB drummer Ryan Sawyer backing up Scarlett Johansson as she sings Tom Waits; or this clip of Renaissance man Adebimpe acting in 2008’s Rachel Getting Married.  

Occupy Wall Street Having Its Own All-Star Celebrity Telethon

Looking to get people fired up about your cause? Need to answer critics who claim your movement has no clear goals? Need to reignite the base after more than a year fightin’ the big banks and big business? Instead of live-tweeting the revolution, Strike Debt is kicking it old school with “The People’s Bailout: A Variety Show and Telethon to Benefit the 99%” on November 15th at Le Poisson Rouge.

Like any good telethon, the People’s Bailout has an eclectic mix of Occupy All Stars, including Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum, who performed a set for Occupy protesters at Liberty Park last year. The roster of artists, musicians, comedians and more joining him include Janeane Garofalo, Lizz Winstead, Max Silvestri, Hari Kondabolu, John Cameron Mitchell, TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto, Sonic Youth’s Lee Ronaldo, David Rees and The Yes Men. The telethon will fund Rolling Jubilee, an initiative that buys debt on the cheap and absolves it—for example, a $25 donation will abolish an estimated $500 worth of debt. The Rolling Jubilee website will stream the event live.

 “People shouldn’t have to go into debt for an education, because they need medical care, or to put food on the table during hard times,” the organizers write. “We shouldn’t have to pay endless interest to the 1% for basic necessities. Big banks and corporations walk away from their debts and leave taxpayers to pick up the tab. It’s time for a bailout of the people, by the people.”

Last year around this time, Jeff Mangum performed his Liberty Park set, including a Minutemen cover and a few Neutral Milk Hotel classics, including “Holland, 1945,” “Ghost” and “Oh Comely.” You can watch the performance in its entirety below. 

Marianne Faithfull and Others Pay Tribute to The Rolling Stones

It’s been forty years since The Rolling Stones released Hot Rocks, their first best-of compilation which included their biggest hits from the years 1964 to 1971. The album is still the Stones’ biggest-selling to date, and includes enough material for a huge tribute concert. Such an event took place last night at Carnegie Hall under the supervision of City Winery’s Michael Dorff, who culled together an impressive line-up of classic rock ‘n’ rollers and a handful of revered indie acts for a mind-blowing concert in celebration of one of the greatest bands in rock and roll history.

Stand-outs included Steve Earle performing “Mother’s Little Helper” (“This is the first song he learned to play on guitar,” he announced, “which is probably why I’m so fucked-up”), The Mountain Goats with a toned-down piano-heavy version of “Paint It Black, a surprisingly bluesy and suble "Heart of Stone" from Peaches, Rosanne Cash’s sultry voice leading vocals on “Gimme Shelter” (she later joined Jackson Browne and Marc Cohn to perform “Wild Horses”), and actress and singer Juliette Lewis, who kicked off her sequined heels and jumped and jived across the stage during her rendition of “Satisfaction.”

Opening the show was Italian rapper Jovanotti, members of TV on the Radio, and the Young Audiences New York Chorus with a spirited rendition of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” which actually closes the album but was performed first on account of it being a school night. Taj Mahal, who performed at last week’s Robert Johnson tribute, brought his daughter Deva Mahal to join him in a deep country rendition of "Honky Tonk Women." I shouldn’t even have to mention how amazing it was to see rock legend Marianne Faithfull in person, much less to hear her perform “As Tears Go By,” the song that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote especially for her. After the proper Hot Rocks line-up, Faithfull returned to the stage to perform “Sister Morphine,” which she co-wrote with Jagger. It was enough to cancel out the only low point of the night when The Swell Season’s Glen Hansard, who ended his cover of “Under My Thumb” with the chorus from Them’s “Gloria,” as if he decided that Van Morrison needed some representation.

Proceeds from the show went to charities Church Street School for Music & Art, The Pinwheel Project, Music Unites, The American Symphony Orchestra, Young Audiences New York, Fixing Instruments for Kids in Schools, Midori and Friends, The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, and The Center for Arts Education.

Check out the video below for a short clip of the entire line-up performing “Tumbling Dice” from the seminal Exile on Main Street as the encore.

Photo by Bobby Bank

Watch Anna Calvi Cover TV On The Radio

Anna Calvi’s great self-titled album was one of the highlights of this last year. We have the just released video of her covering the song "Wolf Like Me" from another one of our favorite bands, TV On The Radio. 

Anna says this about the song: "I love the desperation in this song – the original by TV On The Radio is relentless, and terrifying. I find the idea of losing control of oneself very provocative, and the way this idea is explored in "Wolf like Me" is humorous but dangerously effective. In my version I wanted to imagine the change is almost happening in slow motion- that there is no fight anymore, but a dreamlike embrace of the inevitable. I wanted the song to feel like a hypnotic prayer. I chose to omit the last verse of the original, and instead allow the guitar to take over, at the point where all control is lost!"

TV on the Radio Turns on the MIA

North Americans only have three more chances to bask in TV on the Radio’s Nine Types of Light before the band dives Down Under and (most likely) wraps their 2011 run for good. While Moogfest (with Flaming Lips, Moby, Suicide, Chromeo et al) might sound like the more remarkable of the dates, I’d recommend New Orleans’ Voodoo Experience, where Brooklyn’s finest will stand alongside the likes of The Raconteurs and Fatboy Slim. Why? Well, because The Big Easy is a badass city and TV on the Radio is a badass band.

It’s unquestionably the kinda kickass combination that made TVOTR’s Fillmore Gleason show such as badass affair. Forget the fact that the rouse went down just blocks away from where the models-and-bottles crowd now hangs out, for even South Beach was built upon mean streets (see Scarface), and it only takes a lean outfit like TV on the Radio to remind us that all that glitters wasn’t always gold. There was something strikingly golden about those years though, and I still hold fond memories of its tarnish.

Now I’m not talkin’ about romanticizing our collective checkered past as much I’m insisting we herald its unmitigated reality — the brutal candor of living face-to-face with life itself. That’s the takeaway I get when confronted with the roarful sound of TV on the Radio; a takeaway that was raucously compounded on Tuesday at The Fillmore. Whether they were ripping through post-prog-punk tracks such as “Dancing Choose” and “The Wrong Way”, or the Lodger-era likenesses of “Caffeinated Consciousness” and “Young Liars”, or the intricate sway of “Second Song” and “Staring at the Sun,” there was an undeniable truth to the music. To hear such an honest racket in a town founded upon so much dishonesty is (and was) a remarkable thing indeed.

When TV on the Radio blasted through the shape-shifting “Wolf Like Me” my wild night was made. The brunt force fervor, the rush of blood to the skull, the sheer kick of absolute creation — this is just how the now should be experienced. Thanks fellas, for turning us on full blast.

image

An Exhaustive Review of the 2011 Pitchfork Music Festival

The hipster gradation begins on the subway. You know you’re getting closer to the Pitchfork Music Festival as the crowd on the El, Chicago’s famed elevated subway system, begins to shade from downtown office workers and tourists coming in from O’Hare to twentysomethings in cut-offs, neon, and free-range beards. Unlike other music festivals in more remote locations – Coachella, Bonnaroo – the caravans to Pitchfork aren’t composed of Subaru Outbacks, but rather the Green Line, the Ashland bus, and bikes. Indeed, one of the best things about Pitchfork is the extent to which it identifies with the city of Chicago, home to the e-zine’s headquarters (there’s also an office in Brooklyn, of course).

"It feels good to have established Pitchfork here in Chicago. It really is, I guess, an institution at this point," says Ryan Schreiber, founder and CEO of Pitchfork Media (author’s note: no relation). Chicago pride is on display throughout the weekend–vintage Bulls jerseys abound, and more remarkably still, you can catch glimpses of naked arms displaying Chicago-flag tattoos.

The three-day fest, held in Chicago’s Union Park, provides that rare combination of big-name talent (Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes and TV on the Radio were this year’s headliners) with an intimate, community vibe. Compared to larger behemoths, Pitchfork only sells 18,000 tickets per day; to put that in perspective, the attendance at Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza each hover between 70-80,000 fans. Rather than having every sensory organ pummeled – competing guitar chords, the musky scent of sweat not your own pervading your nostrils – Pitchfork allows its attendees a high-quality experience, where you can actually take in and be aware of your surroundings rather than be overwhelmed by them. Incidentally, it also makes finding your friends and bumping into people you know easier.

"We’ve done it in this park for seven years, and there are many other opportunities to move it to a bigger park or do something different with it, but I just like this. I feel like this is the perfect size. Get much larger and you have to walk for miles to get to where you’re going," says Schreiber.

Because it’s sponsored by the influential online music magazine rather than a big marketing firm, there can be, at times, a distinct ‘industry vibe’ (the ratio of industry-to-non industry folks is higher than at bigger fests, even if overall numbers are low). You can’t go more than two feet without seeing someone prance by in a "VIP" pass, "Artist" pass (which managers, agents, and publicists may wear in addition to the bands), or "Press" pass. All of this is a long way of saying that this festival has cred, both geeky and cool.

In addition to the previously-mentioned headliners, buzz-worthy acts like Das Racist, James Blake, Odd Future, Toro y Moi, Deerhunter, Ariel Pink, and Cut Copy were joined by veterans such as Guided By Voices, Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth), Off!, and DJ Shadow. The process of choosing the lineup is "about booking the artists we really love," according to Schreiber. "We [the Pitchfork staff] come up with sort of a dream list, collectively." image Twin Shadow image Das Racist

Battles was one of the first acts to kick off Friday, playing a high-energy set that included LED screens of Gary Numan and Matias Aguayo singing in the background. Perhaps it was the heat, but the crowd, though receptive to the show, seemed to be conserving its energy, failing to match the moxie onstage. Towards the end of the show, guitarist Dave Konopka shouted "Afterward, everyone’s invited to my house, 857 Marshfield. We’ll have a party there." (A quick and stalker-y perusal of Chicago’s White Pages was unable to verify if the Battles guitarist had actually just invited thousands of people to his house.)

Despite the fact that they didn’t humor the audience by playing "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell," Das Racist provided some on-stage rowdiness, enhanced by their hype man, Dap, deliriously jumping and running around onstage. The crowd erupted and girls were hoisted onto dudes’ shoulders when the three rappers came onstage and played "Who’s That? Brooown!" The energy (both that of the group and of the crowd) dipped a little towards the middle of the set (at one point, a rapper named Danny Brown from Fool’s Gold hopped onstage, and although his performance promised a talented new MC, the crowd was just hankering for more Das Racist). Finally, towards the end of the show, hands were back in the air when Das Racist launched into "You Oughta Know" before ending the set with "Rainbow in the Dark."

James. Blake. James Blake is perhaps the most buzzed-about artist to play Pitchfork this year and, perhaps, one of the must buzzed about new artists anywhere. Let’s not mince words: Blake did not disappoint. Whereas, after listening to the slow and sparse songs on his debut self-titled album, it can sometimes be tricky to see how his music is affiliated with dubstep, his pitchfork performance was a new (and exciting) experience entirely. The powerful, heavy bassline that’s so characteristic of dubstep came across more clearly in his set than I’d ever heard it before, yet the enveloping beats still left space to enjoy Blake’s haunting vocals. Blake’s stage presence (much like his demeanor in person) was charming and mild-mannered, most clearly evidenced by the fact that he chose to sit off to the side of the stage rather than front-and-center. When he played "CMYK," the crowd turned wild, getting down to the lighter and dance-ier track. Before a rapt audience at dusk, he closed the set with a great rendition of one of his album’s signatures, "The Wilhelm Scream."

After Animal Collective’s Friday night closing set, the crowds dispersed, many en route to any number of "Official" and "Unofficial" after shows and parties. One of the most cleverly marketed parties proved to be a fête hosted by Patron XO Cafe, Spin Magazine, and Superfly marketing group. Invites had been emailed to guests a few days before, revealing only the date and time of the party and vague instructions about finding a food truck parked near the festival grounds, where more information and directions would be dispensed. By 10pm, a small crowd was gathered outside Mama Green’s Gourmet Goodie Truck eager to continue the party-meets-scavenger hunt. We were given cups of iced coffee with the secret address of the event written on the coffee sleeve, which turned out to be the site of Chicago’s Prairie Studios. We party-goers ended up being a funny mix of media folk a little grungy from hanging outside at the festival all day and some of Chicago’s most beautiful people decked out in cocktail dresses and heels. Once inside, you could pose for professional photographs with models dressed in 20s-inspired burlesque costumes, sip any number of Patron-inspired cocktails, and chomp down on classic Chicago-style hors d’oeuvres such as "mini deep dish pizzas" or mini Italian sausages. Walking around the beautiful inside-outside space, sipping Patron margaritas, we could also listen to a live band and watch a magic show. Even if some of it was a little gimmicky – and more than a few people wished the live band could have been replaced by a DJ (of which there are many in Chicago, like the Hood Internet and Flosstradamus) – the party was a success. image Fleet Foxes

Saturday’s uncomfortably hot temps didn’t stop people from getting down during Gang Gang Dance‘s set, which provided a raucous blend of their unique multi-instrumental, percussion-heavy dance music laced with electro. After feverishly jumping and jolting onstage during instrumental breaks, lead singer Lizzie Bougatsos took the mic and told the audience, "If you can’t act crazy onstage, there’s no reason to live. If you see me humping a monitor, you just know."

As it grew later and became just a touch cooler, crowds coalesced before the Green Stage to see Fleet Foxes, who played one of the best sets of the weekend. Given the usual amount of delays in between set changes, people were visibly impressed when the band hopped on stage to begin their show a mere seconds after DJ Shadow ended his at an adjacent stage. Playing mostly songs from their first album led a guy next to me to remark, "They’re just putting on a big show. That’s what they’re doing." Yes, sir. The sound quality was stellar, such that you could actually distinguish between the various instruments onstage. The hushed crowd broke out into cheers when the first chords of "White Winter Hymnal" reverberated out across the crowd–a song that can evoke feelings of wintry tranquility and Christmas tidings even during the peak of summer. In a smart move, they brought the crowd out of their trance with a rocking rendition of "Ragged Wood" before ending on a song from their new album, the titular "Helplessness Blues."

As Day 2 drew to a close, not everyone had the stamina to keep up with the afterparties, but for those of us who did, many chose to head over to Beauty Bar, which hosted one of the few "Official Pitchfork After Parties," featuring DJ sets by Twin Shadow, members of Deerhunter, and Tim Koh of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. The Pitchfork crew (including Ryan Schreiber) were in attendance, as well as members of the Windish Agency (disclosure: I do some on-and-off unpaid work for Windish), which represents both Twin Shadow and Deerhunter and DJ/local celeb Million $ Mano.

Sunday was the most anticipated day at the fest if for only one reason: Odd Future. Already one of the most hyped new acts, Odd Future’s show at Pitchfork received a particularly large amount of publicity due to the planned anti-violence protest during their set. For better or for worse, it appeared that by the end of the afternoon it was Odd Future: 1, Protesters: 0. Representatives from anti-violence groups were in attendance and handing out fans as first reported, but the ill-conceived gesture didn’t seem to have much impact. Sunday was an inferno and concert attendees were grateful to get a fan–any fan–but hardly anyone gave nary a glance to see what was emblazoned on its side (besides, there had been several different sponsors handing out fans throughout the weekend so any novelty was lost). If anything, the preceding controversy and the insane amount of PR that ensued only upped the ante for Odd Future, increasing what would already have been a huge crowd. image Odd Future

Though it was the first time I’d ever seen the collective, Odd Future’s set was basically exactly as I expected: brash, punky, and a pretty damn good time. As Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah reported in her feature on the group in this month’s BlackBook, the guys understand the role they (and the media) have created for themselves, and they work hard to live up to it. They seem to relish playing the part of the villainous rap group, donning freakish masks during set, strutting across the stage, and chest thumping with the bravado that only a twenty-year-old can possess. Occasionally, the heavy bass drowned out some of their lyrics, but when you could hear Tyler, the Creator or Hodgy Beats, their oft-reported crudeness and offensiveness was in full force ("You fucking bitch, you smell like dick").

One majorly weird thing I witnessed were hipster parents who’d brought their toddlers to Odd Future’s set, the dad bopping around to Tyler’s jams with the tot on his shoulders (there were actually a disconcerting amount of hipster parents who brought their kids–sometimes babies!–to the fest). Neither the baby sightings nor the fact that Tyler had been hobbled by a broken foot and monster cast (he spent much of the set seated but managed to get up and chant "Kill People, Burn Shit, Fuck School" at the end) killed the vibe. As the show ended, Left Brain did a half stage dive/ half body slam, throwing himself projectile-style into the crowd. It was a fitting description of the group itself and their Pitchfork show: aggressive and in your face but openly received by the mainstream.

After that intensity, it was nice to take a breather before heading over to absorb Toro y Moi’s blissed-out, disco-y electronica. Even though the crowd was subdued–maybe still recovering from the heat or Odd Future’s set, or both–their stillness could not be mistaken for disinterest: all eyes were fixed on Toro y Moi, lapping up his every beat.

Finally, as the sun set over the Chicago skyline, TV on the Radio came on and gave everyone a festival-wide second wind. With the ubiquity of electronica or experimental pop at the fest, the explosion of percussion heralding their rock show was a welcome sound. Throughout the set, intensity built up with a steady trajectory but, almost teasingly, would hold out, captured as if like steam pressure in some kind of boiler. That is, until they broke out full-force into "Dancing Choose" ("He’s a newspaper man") and "Wolf Like Me," their crescendos giving the crowd the relief they wanted. The audience ebbed and flowed in a massive wave of dancing and even the industry folk gathered on the VIP risers had their guards down and were seen grooving (one VIP was even maniacally jumping around). Finally, towards the end of the show, hip-hop group Shabazz Palaces joined TV on the Radio onstage, playing tambourine shakers as backup to "A Method."

And with that, another impressive performance ended along with another impressive effort by Pitchfork’s organizers. The festival proved that once again it lived up to much more than the hype of being an "indie fest" or "hipster fest," displaying a diverse line-up and three days of non-stop musical experiences. Combining the cool, industry-ness of SXSW with the grassy, park setting of a large-scale music festival and the intimacy and community vibe of your local fest, Pitchfork has managed to create a unique festival experience. It is sure to continue being a destination for those seeking to hear some of the best acts they know and to be exposed to new ones they don’t.

image James Blake

All Photography by Steve Scap

Morning Links: Lindsay Lohan Back on for Gotti, Chuck Klosterman Teaches Writers a Lesson

It was, and then it wasn’t, and now maybe it is again: Lindsay Lohan is back on for Gotti. “She was definitely out as of earlier today, but she really wanted the part,” Gotti producer Marc Fiore told People. [People] ● VH1 has green-lit a new reality show contest wherein “stars” (we use this term loosely: Heidi Montag, Ashley Dupré, Danielle Staub, Three 6 Mafia members — you get the idea) work together to launch a restaurant. The one who contributes the most gets a stake in it at the end. All you have to do is be helpful? [Vulture] ● TV on the Radio’s Gerard Smith passed away yesterday following a courageous battle against lung cancer. [TVoTR]

● Apparently Emma Watson dropped out of Brown because the other Ivy League students couldn’t stop making Harry Potter jokes, yelling “Three points for Gryffindor!” whenever she answered things correctly in class. We don’t blame her. [Gatecrasher/NYDN] ● Why such a wet blanket, Lady Gaga? Apparently she rejected Weird Al Yancovic’s “Born This Way” parody even though he was going to donate the proceeds to charity. Or so he blogged. When word of the cold-hearted denial spread, Lady Gaga was quick to make amends, having her tour manager explain that she just hadn’t had time to listen to the track yet, and that she is actually a big Weird Al fan. “Perform This Way” is now up on his site. [SOTC/Village Voice] ● FYI musicians: Chuck Klosterman will write a press release for your band so long as he doesn’t have to actually listen to your band. Seems like a fair enough deal. And, hey, it worked for this guy! [NPR]

Is TV On The Radio Arena-Ready?

At what point does a rock band make that vaunted leap from club to arena status? Last night, at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple in Fort Greene, TV On The Radio played the last of a sold-out three-night run, and the danceable spitfire performance made the case that the band is arena-ready. They received a heroes’ welcome from their hometown borough. Lead singer Tunde Adembimpe has an urgent stage presence, hopping around and conducting an invisible orchestra with his hand, wailing at no one in particular. From my standpoint, beads of sweat were visible plummeting from his beard. The almost-rap of “Dancing Choose” was Adembimpe at his most frenetic, while the rest of the band played almost motionless; producer/guitarist Dave Sitek often stood with his back facing the crowd.

Highlight of the night was the finale, “Staring At The Sun,” one of the band’s oldest but best songs. For a long time, and especially with their new album Dear Science, TVOTR have walked the line between catchy pop rock and obtuse art noise. And while the precision and clarity of their albums dissipate in the hollows of a live set, the sound is still bliss. Radiohead have mastered the art of the artful stadium set, but TVOTR somehow seems better confined to sweaty temples in tree-lined neighborhoods.