Friday, August 08, 2014

Your Friday Moment of Transplendence

The classic lineup of Television, live in Brazil in 2005, with "Venus de Milo." Good lord, this is magnificent.


And yes, I'm pretty sure I've posted this before, but as you'll see shortly it is newly relevant, so cut me some slack.

Seriously, there are days when I think these guys were the greatest band ever, and it is one of the great regrets of my life that I never got to witness them live (saw 'em when Richard Hell was in the band, and he was barely serviceable, so that didn't really count).

That said, I just got tickets to see the current incarnation at NYU in late October-- with the excellent Jimmy Ripp understudying Richard Lloyd...

...and I am planning to enjoy the show thoroughly.

I'll report, of course.


Gummo said...

Saw the original TV twice - as the first in a 3-band lineup on New Year's Eve 1976 at the old Palladium -- it was Television, John Cale and headliner Patti Smith.

An amazing night but TV was horrible - their sound system could barely handle a club, a theater was beyond them. All you could hear was mud.

The next time was at the Bottom Line in the summer of '78. They were magnificent, but Lloyd and Verlaine literally did not even glance at each other the entire night.

One week later was the announcement in the Village Voice that they had broken up.

Gummo said...

And may I just say how refreshing it is to have actually caught a classic band live that you never saw!

Jim H. said...

Saw them in April here in ATL. Terrific show. Reviewed it here:


"It's hard to describe Television's musical performance. Are they the 'jam band' of the punk set? Are they jazz musicians self-limited to a rock idiom? Are they absolutely unique? I'd say 'yes' to all three."

Enjoy the show. Looking forward to your take.

steve simels said...

Ive told this story before, but I almost sort of auditioned for a guitar slot in Television back in the day.

Now I'll go read your review.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Marquee Moon is one of the best albums ever. Too bad about Adventure.

steve simels said...

I love Adventure. The Floor Models used to cover "Ain't That Nothin."

Anonymous said...

...And "ADVENTURE" has "Days", one of the loveliest ballads in all of rock-n-roll (those jangly guitars! those harmonies in the chorus and on the fade!). I'll digress a bit here but sometimes, when I'm in a dark, vengeful mood, I fantasize about tying histrionic knuckleheads like Jim Steinman and Michael Bolton in a chair and making them listen to it... oohh.
P.S. The Beach Boys' "Leaving This Town" (from the "HOLLAND" LP), or Marshall Crenshaw's "They'll Never Know" (from his fourth album) also work for me in this scenario.
Your sweet and light summer pal,

J. Lag

Anonymous said...

Saw 'em with the Damned at the Whisky after Marquee Moon in April 1977. Life-changing show. A-fucking-mazing record. IMHO the best album that ever came out of the whole punk-new wave thing. Why? Because it's psychedelic with edge galore. It's simultaneous rigid tension and melodic flow. And you can really free form dance to it.

Also saw these guys at the Roxy 1978 after Adventure. The sophomore effort was a big step down from the unbeatable debut, despite the colored vinyl.

Television may have been influential, but I haven't heard anyone who could touch or surpass that debut since.

Incidentally, if I recall correctly, Stereo Review dissed this album.

Vickie Rock - I live light on these shores

steve simels said...

Vickie--I don't recall who reviewed it; it certainly wasn't me, I know that.

Anonymous said...

Vickie is right - STEREO REVIEW dissed "MARQUEE MOON", but the reviewer who did the dissing was not you, it was the late Noel Coppage. I can't quote exactly from the review, which was fairly brief as I recall, but I believe he said something like: "I'm sure someone is going to declare this avant-garde/visionary, despite the fact that it sounds to me like warmed-over Springsteen." He then added sarcastically: "Actually, this group's instrumentals aren't really horrendous enough to qualify as avant-garde, although the vocals sure are." Ouch.
Actually, Steve, you wound up writing a (much more positive) feature review in SR around October or November 1978 about the second album. In it, you declared the music "moving, despite its icy reserve" and said that the guitar interplay between Lloyd and Verlaine had given you more pleasure than anything since the days when Roger McGuinn's twelve-string leads were "bouncing off the eccentric rhythm work of David Crosby." Which, among other things, was the start of me investigating the early Byrds' albums...

J. Lag

pete said...

The only punk band that mattered, if you ask me. They redeem the entire genre.

Brooklyn Girl said...

And they will be accompanied by the Joshua Light Show. Or maybe it's vice versa. I suppose it depends on how you look at it.

But the room they are playing in is great.

Anonymous said...

Steve & J. Lag:

The magazine should have never assigned Noel Coppage to review this record in the first place! Talk about out of touch with the subject! Steve, where were you?

The late, and super great, Andy Johns also deserves a lot of credit for the great sound of the debut. Like his older brother, this guy needs to be inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame.

So, this Television show in New York is an instrumental back up to a light show? It's not gonna be a Television concert? And there's another band too? Break out the Liberty Caps.

I have roller skated to some great music over the years. I skate rapidly backwards and mix in dance moves and leg scissors and free style. It's called rexing, and it's a great buzz of liberation and zen. I used to rex like a mother to Marquee Moon in 1977 with a head full of snow, weak acid and a Christmas tree or two.

Been skating since I was little. That's how I met Sandy. We learned a lot about life at the roller rink. The facility we went to most of the time was called the Holiday Roller Rink. It was in the same parking lot as Holiday Liquor and the Holiday Hotel. When we hit our teens, all three businesses came into play on good days. What could be more wholesome? And healthy.

Vickie Rock - Puttin' your game back in place

steve simels said...

Vickie -- I had less editorial autonomy at the point than I would have liked; there was a lot of politics in the review assignment process, and very often I got reviews that embarrassed me, but there was nothing I could do about it. It was one of the reasons I quit around 76 or 77.

When I came back on the job in the middle 80s and into the late 90s, I pretty much could call the shots; I also got to add some reviewers I liked and trusted to the regular contributors, so the problem basically went away.

Anonymous said...

Was there any kind of pecking order among the critics? What was the process by which reviews were assigned and who called the shots in the beginning. All I remember is that, during your tenure during the 1970's, you were the reviewer I trusted most of the time. In my view, the rest of them didn't know what the hell they were talking about when it came to rock.

Was Rex Reed gone by the time you were there? His visit to 2400 Fulton Street was a mega-classic. Not to mention him reviewing The History of Eric Clapton album. At the time, that was a great double compilation record with a few choice nuggets that were tough to find. Reed gave it a positive review, while at the same time saying he didn't care for any of the music on it. He said he felt Eric's work showed promise of perhaps a brighter future. At the time of its release, Clapton was in heroin seclusion and hadn't been able to work since the dissolution of one of the best bands of all time. In my view, and a lot of other people's, Clapton's best years were behind him.

I'm trying to remember who else did pop reviews for SR during the Seventies and can only recall Coppage, Joel Vance and Paulette Weiss. Any others of significance? My total recall is fading.

Vickie Rock - Putting on my roller skates, throwing off the paper weights and blasting off to outer space

Mark said...

Television was recently added to the third of three Barclays Center Arcade Fire shows, on Sunday, August 24. This third show was selling so poorly that my wife and I picked up tickets on Groupon -- I kid you not! Not an overly big Arcade Fire fan, but my wife likes them, and both of us wanted to see a show at Barclays (we live not too far away), though neither of us like to see bands at big arenas any more. And now Television!

Never saw them in their original incarnation, but have seen Richard Lloyd and Tom Verlaine solo, and actually liked their 1992 reunion album -- yes, I was the one.

I suspect the venue -- Barclays -- may just be a little too big for Television.

Anonymous said...

I neglected to mention that when I went to see Television with the Damned at the Whisky, the Damned did not play. Television refused to share the bill with them. Not sure what was the issue between the two bands, but it was pretty last minute. Instead it was The Quick who opened.

The Damned played a couple of nights later at the Starwood. The Quick opened that show as well.

1977 was a really hot year for Hollywood club gigs.

Vickie Rock - drinking a toast to never