Television

Marquee Moon, Adventure, and Live at the Old Waldorf, San Francisco, 6 / 29 / 78 (Elektra / Rhino)

Reissues

Television

Marquee Moon (Elektra/Rhino)

Television

Adventure (Elektra/Rhino)

Television

Live at the Old Waldorf, San Francisco, 6/29/78 (Rhino Handmade) Television: oft referenced, seldom heard -- a critic's band if ever there was one. Led by the twin-guitar gymnastics of frontman Tom Verlaine and rhythm man Richard Lloyd, Television started New York's infamous CBGB scene in the mid-Seventies. After breaking ground with a seven-minute debut single ("Little Johnny Jewel") spread over two sides of a 45, Television brought a similar aesthetic to their storied debut, 1977's Marquee Moon, reissued here with "Jewel," alternate album tracks, and informative liners. Behind a Velvet Undergroundy two-chord backbone, the 10-minute title track presages both the Strokes' shimmering melodics and Sonic Youth's dissonant crescendos in one disciplined package. Verlaine's lyrics are simple yet poetic, the spunky "Venus" standing out with its "falling into the arms of the Venus di Milo." Tension and uncertainty guide Verlaine and Lloyd's excursions into territory that would soon be called post-punk. Their second and final prebreakup effort, Adventure, is considerably more tame, but not without redemption. "Days" pioneers R.E.M. guitar jangle, "Foxhole" and "Careful" are devil-may-care, and "The Fire" features trill shredding and pitch-bending oscillations. Live at the Old Waldorf is the new treat, Rhino Handmade legitimizing this oft-bootlegged concert as an Internet-only purchase. Verlaine and Lloyd come out smokin' to the ascending monsoon of "The Dream's Dream," establishing crystal clarity and a wicked proclivity to rock. The spare, grimy combustion of "Little Johnny Jewel" only hints at the 14-minute monolith that is "Marquee Moon" in perhaps its definitive version, a thrill ride of epic proportions piloted by one of the Seventies' most important authors.

(Adventure) ***

(Marquee Moon; Live at the Old Waldorf) ****

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Friday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Curtis Roush
Cosmic Campfire Music (Record Review)

Thomas Fawcett, Oct. 12, 2018

Saturday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Trampled by Turtles
Life Is Good on the Open Road (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Oct. 12, 2018

More by Michael Chamy
Texas Platters
Palaxy Tracks
Twelve Rooms (Record Review)

Sept. 16, 2005

Texas Platters
Comet
Feathers From the Wing EP (Record Review)

Aug. 12, 2005

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle