Making post-punk infused ambient, moody noise sound sleek, not to mention listenable and, most importantly, vital, seems almost like a punch line to a bad joke. TV on the Radio manage to surprise once again by doing all of the above on Dear Science, without a hint of irony. They actually make it sound a little sexy at turns ("Red Dress," "Golden Age") which is just about the last thing you would expect from this Brooklyn-based group, who on previous releases seemed bent on being enigmatic and detached. With Dear Science, however, they are beginning to shape up as the U.S. version of Radiohead without the somber iciness. TVOTR are a study in improbabilities: On paper they seem like a niche band that would have a small, extremely devoted fan base, but to the contrary they are near the top of the ever-fluctuating list of bands that matter on a large scale. Their debut LP (2004's Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes) seemed like they had caught a thunderstorm in a thimble, but they have continued to grow and amaze with each subsequent release, building additions onto a structure that seemed to be of questionable construction in the first place. With the Dirtbombs. $20. 21+ at 8 p.m. Monday; all ages at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Mon., Oct. 20, 8 p.m.; Tue., Oct. 21, 6 p.m., 2008