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R.I.P. Gerard Smith
April 20, 2011 7:10 PM   Subscribe

TV On The Radio's Gerard Smith Dead At 34. Smith was TV On the Radio's bassist.

It was just recently announced that Smith was battling the disease.

Tv On The Radio is an art-rock band from New York who've been making music since 2001 in a with a great degree of musical flexibility:
Staring at the Sun
Wolf Like Me
Golden Age
Will Do

TVoTR recently released a new album, Nine Types of Light. Previously on MetaFilter.
posted by codacorolla (89 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
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This news made me sad today. It's sad that I won't even have the chance to see him did what he did best. It's such a good band. The rest of his mates will have... oh I'll cut the eulogy.

;_;
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posted by Askiba at 7:13 PM on April 20, 2011


oh my god, that's shocking and awful.


posted by lalex at 7:14 PM on April 20, 2011


"☀"? That's perfect. I add that to my previous remarks.
posted by Askiba at 7:16 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by philip-random at 7:16 PM on April 20, 2011


What a horrible loss. When TVOTR are on, they are really really on, and when they aren't it's still fun to listen to them dive into the sonic deep end.
posted by eyeballkid at 7:18 PM on April 20, 2011


Slap Factory - it's not too late to apologize.

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posted by davebush at 7:20 PM on April 20, 2011


Fucking cancer.

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posted by Scoo at 7:27 PM on April 20, 2011


34. This is very sad.

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posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:27 PM on April 20, 2011


This is deeply saddening. They were scheduled to play here in town at First Avenue this weekend, and I had *just* gotten Mr. Padraigin into them. I'm devastated by the loss.
posted by padraigin at 7:30 PM on April 20, 2011


I saw TVOTR live and they blew my mind.

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posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:33 PM on April 20, 2011


I always figured, when I was young, that I'd be dead before 35. Now, at 45, the idea of only getting three and half decades seems... heartbreaking.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:34 PM on April 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Dammit.

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posted by causticgnostic at 7:34 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by A dead Quaker at 7:34 PM on April 20, 2011


Fuck cancer. And fuck Slap Factory.

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posted by HumanComplex at 7:38 PM on April 20, 2011


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Ticketmaster called today to inform me that the TVOTR concert tonight was cancelled. I was irritated until I googled and read this; I had no idea and now I feel awful. A Method got me through a tough time.
posted by ofthestrait at 7:40 PM on April 20, 2011


Far, far too young.

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posted by dbiedny at 7:41 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by The World Famous at 7:43 PM on April 20, 2011


I missed the fact that he was sick. The 'Dude is a huge fan.

Fuck, this sucks. Fucking cancer.
posted by muddgirl at 7:44 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:46 PM on April 20, 2011


A little bit on record, but even more as part of a couple of my favorite small-club rock experiences... Sad to hear about this.

Way, way, way too young.
posted by sparkletone at 7:47 PM on April 20, 2011


I saw TV on the Radio at Bonnaroo; it was my first ever exposure to their music. I had heard of - but not heard - most of the bands that played that year and none of them really leapt out at me up to that point. By the time they got on stage I'd been in the blazing heat for days, with no respite from it but the tent at night, when I was basically sleeping on the ground. I hadn't gotten a decent night's sleep in Lord only knows how long, and my every joint and muscle ached. To say I was in a crappy mood would be an understatement.

Then they started playing.

I don't know that the world has in it many bands which would make me forget all the assorted tiny annoyances of the day. I didn't even think I had it in me to do more than stand there and scowl but suddenly I was dancing. They were fucking amazing. I'd heard some hype about them before and discovered they were absolutely worth every molecule of it.

Requiescat in pace, Gerard, and thank you for the music.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:51 PM on April 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


They played Vancouver, touring for "Return to Cookie Mountain."

"You should come and see TV on the Radio: their album is amazing.", my friend said to me.
"Mmmm nah, don't know if I'm really into it.", I said.
"No, really, you have. to. see them. They're David Bowie's latest favourite."
"Bowie? Well, you can't get much more of a better review than that. I'm in."

Awesome show. Guitars and feedback and the sweet basslines holding it all together. it won't be the same, dammit all, but go see them anyways if you get a chance.

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posted by Zack_Replica at 7:51 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by shakespeherian at 7:53 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by KingEdRa at 7:58 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by hector horace at 7:59 PM on April 20, 2011


God, I'd just been listening to Nine Points of Light non-stop.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:59 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by drezdn at 8:03 PM on April 20, 2011


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Fuck.

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posted by joe lisboa at 8:13 PM on April 20, 2011


An old friend of mine is their tour manager. I haven't talked to him since around Christmas, before the news of his sickness broke. I need to send him an email. This is terribly sad news - he's the same age that I am.
posted by item at 8:23 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by thylacine at 8:28 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:28 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by Salmonberry at 8:30 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by nile_red at 8:39 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by vibrotronica at 8:45 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by brennen at 8:50 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:01 PM on April 20, 2011


34? WTF?
posted by bardic at 9:02 PM on April 20, 2011


So sad.
posted by dhammond at 9:03 PM on April 20, 2011


I was just listening to TVOTR earlier today and getting carried along by that driving, thudding bass.

I'm sorry to see him go.
posted by ardgedee at 9:07 PM on April 20, 2011


This video for Killer Crane gives some indication of Smith's personality
posted by KokuRyu at 9:09 PM on April 20, 2011


"Fuck cancer" just isn't a strong enough statement anymore.

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posted by dw at 9:15 PM on April 20, 2011


Seriously, seriously. Fuck cancer.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 9:20 PM on April 20, 2011


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Lonely little love dog. An age of miracles.

Just terrible.
posted by oneironaut at 9:34 PM on April 20, 2011


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Man, this is sad. I love their music, and they were a big part of my transition when I moved from Providence to NYC. Not their music- it was late 2001/early 2002 and I had no idea at the time they were musicians- but as fixtures at the Wburg coffee shop that I spent most mornings as well as many evenings. I'd heard recently he was ill but for some reason (willful misunderstanding I guess) I thought the prognosis was very hopeful.
posted by stagewhisper at 9:43 PM on April 20, 2011


Wow, 34. Was he a heavy smoker? Once again I'm glad I haven't had a cigarette in over a year, and I hope (knock on wood) all those smokes don't haunt me later.

Great band, unique sound. You can't say that about many bands these days.

(question: what/who is Slap Factory and why are people pissed off at them/it?)
posted by zardoz at 10:11 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by evidenceofabsence at 10:26 PM on April 20, 2011


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Way too young.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:43 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by From Bklyn at 10:47 PM on April 20, 2011


Zardoz - It was a bit of threadshitting that has since been deleted.

TV on the Radio (with The Dirtbombs!) continues to be in my top 5 shows of all time. They were playing in support of Dear Science, and my brother and I were stuck in South Bend for fall break, so we rounded up some friends and drove to Chicago to see them at one of the many old theaters that serve as venues up there. Something that always stuck with me was that for Dancing Choose, the horn section snuck off stage and then when the chorus hit they reappeared in one of the old boxes next to the stage. Such a cool moment.

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posted by daniel striped tiger at 10:48 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by lapolla at 10:54 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by wherever, whatever at 11:16 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by hades at 11:20 PM on April 20, 2011


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posted by lalochezia at 12:00 AM on April 21, 2011


How sad. I regret never having seen them live. The world always needs more loud, smart, unclassifiable rock bands. And great bass players.

Thirty-four. Fuck cancer right in the eye.
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posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:02 AM on April 21, 2011


How sad. I regret never having seen them live. The world always needs more [...] great bass players.
posted by philip-random at 12:06 AM on April 21, 2011


fuck.
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posted by mek at 12:19 AM on April 21, 2011


I'll admit I only have Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes; and it didn't grab me like it seemed to do some. But the fuzz bass that permenated it: -that- was something different, and occasionally reminds me to listen again. Sad to hear this, thusly.
posted by solarion at 1:10 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by axiom at 1:12 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by nímwunnan at 1:19 AM on April 21, 2011


I'll admit I only have Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes; and it didn't grab me like it seemed to do some.

I felt the same way; I'm liking the new album quite a bit though. Maybe give that a try?

Oh, and in the (almost) words of Chris Onstad: screw you, cancer! Fuck you!

RIP.
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:48 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by valdesm at 2:37 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by krautland at 2:51 AM on April 21, 2011


Lord if you have lungs


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posted by Sailormom at 3:28 AM on April 21, 2011



posted by Smart Dalek at 3:46 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by genehack at 4:07 AM on April 21, 2011


Gerard and I used to freelance at the same museum, although we were not on the same crew. He seemed like a super nice guy, quiet but friendly, with a good laugh. On September 11 I was with a group of people from work who got home to Brooklyn by walking over the Queensborough Bridge. On the Queens side we saw Gerard, on the back of a truck with a bunch of other guys dressed for construction work, on their way to the trade center site, I assumed to try to dig people out. We waved and cheered and they waved back and cheered. I was proud of him and a little ashamed to be heading the other way. Can't help but wonder if breathing the air down there had anything to do with the cancer, though he was a smoker. I was happy for him when I heard he was in a band that was doing well, and sad when I read that he was sick. That was so fast. Sad news.
posted by secretary bird at 4:45 AM on April 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


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posted by louche mustachio at 5:03 AM on April 21, 2011


so horrible to speculate about the reality of secretary bird's comment (and thank so much for sharing that....)

mostly, so soon, so sorrowful.
posted by squasha at 5:08 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by axismundi at 6:50 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by Pliskie at 7:16 AM on April 21, 2011


TVOTR has always had more of a hold on me (okay, a very strong one) than any of their contemporaries, and that was in large part to Gerard's lovely bass work.

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posted by raihan_ at 7:54 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by billcicletta at 7:56 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by sinnesloeschen at 8:10 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by nonreflectiveobject at 8:47 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by addyct at 8:58 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by xorry at 9:05 AM on April 21, 2011


My repetition, my repetition is this:

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posted by Lutoslawski at 9:46 AM on April 21, 2011


I'll admit I only have Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes; and it didn't grab me like it seemed to do some. But the fuzz bass that permenated it: -that- was something different, and occasionally reminds me to listen again. Sad to hear this, thusly.

(pretty sure Smith was only the bassist on Return to Cookie Mountain, Dear Science and Nine Types)
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:49 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by defenestration at 10:35 AM on April 21, 2011


Damn, that's just horrible.


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posted by lekvar at 11:03 AM on April 21, 2011


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posted by thankyouforyourconsideration at 11:20 AM on April 21, 2011


Damn, same age as me.

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posted by electroboy at 11:46 AM on April 21, 2011


Aww, man. The latest album's the best one they've put out in a while. He wasn't the original bassist (and I think that the loss of the fantastic bass from the first couple albums was part of why Cookie Mountain and Dear Science were disappointing), but it's a shame to see him go.

34. Damn.
posted by klangklangston at 12:15 PM on April 21, 2011


One of my favorite bands too.
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posted by angrycat at 1:15 PM on April 21, 2011


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posted by skoosh at 7:25 AM on April 22, 2011


I saw Local H last night. They closed with Wolf Like Me. Really moving tribute.
posted by Eideteker at 8:03 AM on April 22, 2011


One of my favorite bands. Nine Types Of Light is spectacular is so many ways that Dear Science was not.

What a loss.

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posted by NationalKato at 8:50 AM on April 22, 2011


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posted by XhaustedProphet at 10:47 PM on April 22, 2011


I heard "I was a lover" on some radio station in 2006 and went right out to buy all that band's music. TV on the Radio was the first band to move me that much in years.

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posted by goofyfoot at 8:36 PM on April 23, 2011


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