On to more important things: Television.
No, not that. These guys:
For those that may not know, Television was a NYC 70’s punk band and were the first in that movement to play at CBGB’s. More akin to Talking Heads than The Ramones, Television was still a powerful band live as the CD The Blow Out demonstrates. Tom Verlaine and Richard’s Lloyd’s twin guitars are fierce yet artistic and the rhythm section of Fred Smith on bass and Billy Ficca on drums lay down a solid foundation for the vocal antics of Verlaine.
Not very well known at the time (or now, for that matter) Television have been an influence for countless artists from Matthew Sweet to R.E.M. to U2 and although the band only released two albums in their 70’s heyday, Marquee Moon and Adventure, both are essential listening and very clearly a foundation for the next 30 years of indie rock.
(An eponymous reunion album released in 1992 is also worth a listen, as well as the three official live releases, the aforementioned The Blow Out, Live at the Old Waldorf, 1978 and Live at The Academy NYC, 1992.)
What else is being overplayed on my iPod? Well, it’s all been effected by my recent re-reading of the book, Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, an excellent book about the NYC Punk scene in the 70’s that has the good sense to start with Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground, Iggy and the Stooges and the MC5 to give the proper historical background. (Check it out. It’s a good, quick read.)
So my personal playlist reads like a cast of characters from the book, with a bit of the next generation thrown in:
Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Talking Heads, Velvet Underground, The Damned, Matthew Sweet, Joy Division, The Buzzcocks, The Dead Boys, Patti Smith, The Clash and, completely off the mark, The Shins.
And you? What’s going into your ears these days?