My 3 Favorite Moments by Gerard Smith, Late Bassist of TV on the Radio
Gerard Smith, the bassist for popular indie rock band TV on the Radio, died of lung cancer on Wednesday. He was 34 years old.
Smith had taken time off from the band in early March for cancer treatment. The band has cancelled five scheduled tour shows, in Chicago, Detroit, Denver, and Minneapolis, as they mourn for their bassist.
Here at The Faster Times, we’re taking this one pretty hard and thought it would be therapeutic to celebrate Smith’s best moments from the incredible TV on the Radio discography (there were many, but we’ve cut it down to three, one from each of the albums he played on).
Rest in Peace, Mr. Smith.
I Was a Lover, from Return to Cookie Mountain
Smith played piano on the stunning lead track from TVOTR’s breakout 2006 album. His mid-song keys breakdown gets me every time.
Golden Age, from Dear Science,
Per Wikipedia, the title of TV on the Radio’s oddly-named terrific 2008 LP Dear Science, comes from a (now sadly prescient) note from band member Dave Sitek that read
Dear science, please start solving problems and curing diseases or shut the fuck up.
Gerard Smith did some magnificent bass work on this LP–Rolling Stone magazine’s Album of the Year–but none better than the stunning bass line on “Golden Age.” That track was the emotional, philosophical, and musical centerpiece of that album, and Smith’s charged and lively bass work was the centerpiece of that track. Special, special stuff.
Will Do, from Nine Types of Light
Smith’s bass here is slow, dirge-like, propping up the verse and chorus with its regular, just-in-time plunks. This standout track from TV on the Radio’s latest stands out more thanks to Smith’s ultra-low, muted playing: only just noticeable, but when you do, hypnotizing.
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