I’ve been very fortunate as of late when it comes to finds in the bargain bin. I’ve been able to walk away with Paul McCartney’s Ram for insanely cheap, and mix that with the brilliant Moby Grape self-titled album in the same spot. I found Dave Von Ronk’s great 90’s collection of odds-and-ends, Going Back to Brooklyn, for dirt over at Kim’s. But the best find is one that flies under radar, and that distinction belongs to the newly relocated Earwax Records in Williamsburg. I’ve never been a fan, frankly, due to their tendency to overprice for both new and used records, but their bargain bin contained a gem I’ve been desperate to find ever since committing to my love for Television since their eponymous third album. While Television certainly had it’s flaws, I am willing to look back on it fondly at times, and even, maybe, find the need to go back and redo my own review of that record. But there’s a missing link between Television’s second album, Adventure, and their third. That missing link is somewhere in Tom Verlaine’s solo records, and there is no better individual link than his second solo album, Dreamtime.
After the Jump: TV’s greatest hit.
After the release of their second album, Adventure, 70’s art-punks Television split up for good in 1978. Between the differing visions for what their music could be, and Richard Lloyd’s own drug use, one of the seminal bands of the original CBGB scene (or, hell, according to Will Hermes’ book, the band to start the CBGB scene) suddenly went away. Lead singer, guitarist, and principle songwriter Tom Verlaine remained productive through the 80’s, but to as little prevail as his material with Television. After 1991, the ‘year punk broke,’ after Nirvana’sNevermind, Television, perhaps inexplicably, reunited. On one hand, it could be to bask in the the afterglow of the bands doing precisely as they did, and as well as they did, suddenly finding sales and success where Television originally could not. On the other hand, it could have been the band’s attempt to cash in on the generosity of the bands of the time so willing to name-drop their influences as points of reference to understanding their music. Either way, 1992 saw the release of Television’s third album, their self-titled effort, fourteen years after their unfortunate disbanding.
Since 2001, Television has toured on-and-off, and rather than sticking to the classics from Marquee Moon and Adventure, they’ve incorporated many of the tracks from Television, perhaps to many of their fans’ chagrin. But what lay beneath questionable intentions behind why the album exists in the first place lies something that is, at once, a cash-in, and a simplified essence of the band’s own influences. And in releasing Television, the band, whether they realized it or not, fit in perfectly with the era, despite being elder statesmen to the punk scene of the the 90’s.
After the jump, an explanation of what, exactly, a Marquee Moon is.
Posted in Another Spin, Whisky Tango Foxtrot.
Tagged 1880 or So, Adventure, art-punk, Billy Ficca, Bowery, CBGB, Fred Smith, Jimmy Ripp, Marquee Moon, Patti Smith, punk, Richard Lloyd, Television, The Dream's Dream, The Ramones, Tom Verlaine