TV On The Radio announced that bassist Gerard Smith lost his battle with lung cancer today. Before the release of the album, the band said that Smith would sit out at least part of their current tour in support of the band's just released fifth full length album, Nine Types of Light, while undergoing treatment for the disease.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
TV On The Radio - Dirty Whirl
Though it was tempting to find a track from the band that somehow relates to death, that's too cliche and unlike this blog. More appropriately, "Dirty Whirl," the eighth track on Return To Cookie Mountain, the 2006 album that blew the doors open for the band from indie freak-outs (really, those of us in the know were having aural orgasms on a daily basis for two years) to pretty universally acclaimed awesome, is a swirling, beautiful song.
Like every TVOTR track, Tunde and Kyp's vocals are front and center, but it is Smith's guitar and bass work that turn it into a mesmerizing and hypnotic ode to somewhat willful destruction at the hands of a girl.
There is no doubt, based especially on the post at the band's website, that Smith went willfully. This is one of the best songs on an album full of best songs. The band loses a friend, and the world loses a great musician, as evidenced by "Dirty Whirl," and his work on tracks on each of the last three TV On The Radio albums. The reasons should be pretty obvious for why this loss is so great.
RIP Gerard Smith.