TV on the Radio, Grizzly Bear | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

TV on the Radio, Grizzly Bear 

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When TV on the Radio emerged out of the New York art-rock scene three years ago, they seemed fully formed: a brilliant, gnomic, and mildly confounding group of experimenters. Their debut EP, Young Liars, was a bracing collection of hip-hop, trip-hop, free-jazz, and doo-wop sounds that was hard to describe without resorting to wild hand gestures and comparisons to things of great size. Even without the deconstructed Pixies cover at the end it would've been enough to turn TV on the Radio into the biggest indie-boner It Band around. But on their newest, Return to Cookie Mountain (Interscope), the group digs deeper in every way. The vertiginous rhythms and off-kilter horn stabs on the opener, "I Was a Lover," are as straight-up weird as the melody is catchy, and as was evident on last year's Katrina-inspired download-only single, "Dry Drunk Emperor," singer Tunde Adebimpe's romanticized alienation has sharpened into a fiery, elegant outrage. Turns out the band's still growing into its strengths--and the more it does, the more everyone else in the world lags behind. --Miles Raymer

After a couple years as an almost secret, Grizzly Bear is blipping on the radar, thanks to consistent touring and some big-upping from TV on the Radio and Animal Collective. Their newest, Yellow House (Warp), often sounds like the kind of effervescent lite psych a precocious teenager might make in his bedroom on a broken boom box. (Edward Droste actually did record most of Grizzly Bear's debut, Horn of Plenty, at home, all by his lonesome; the new one was done in a studio with a four-player lineup.) Think "Baby Lemonade" and baby pianos, gravity bongs and xylophones--even the biggest eruptions are delicately twee. Live the band manages to bring it all together, enwombing you in a world of strum and delay. --Jessica Hopper

TV on the Radio headlines and Grizzly Bear opens. a 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, 18+, sold out.

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