I’m Back and Here’s What’s In My Ears!

Wow. Its been over a month? Really? I have no excuse, so I offer none.

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.)

 killme.jpgWhat 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? 


5 Responses to I’m Back and Here’s What’s In My Ears!

  1. Southview says:

    P-L-E-A-S-E ….. We tend to call it Junk Rock not Punk Rock! Gimmy the 50’s and early 60’s real Rock & Roll and true Country. Gimmy the OLD AGE Music, not any of that NEW AGE JUNK! When my daughter was a baby she use to scream and yell and throw stuff around to get the shit cleaned from her diapers, seems the self appointed so called musician artist of the 70’s never progressed beyond that stage!

  2. Amy says:

    Looks like a great line up to me. I’ve had my i-pod on shuffle mode at work.

    Here are the next five:
    Sugaree (4/29/77) Grateful Dead
    Higher Ground Iris Dement
    Old Man Kensey R.E.M.
    Tales Of Vienna Woods Johann Strauss Jr. 125 All Time Classical Favorites (Disc 1)
    Sour Times Portishead

    Here’s a link to the Phil and Friends Concert I mentioned on Halloween.

  3. Tom_B says:

    There’s not much going into my ears these days. Lately, I’m bored by most of my music. I’m still a tangible media music kind of guy, and I find when I look at my CD rack for something to listen to, I’m uniformly uninspired by my choices.

    I’m sure this attitude will pass given time. I get this way with books, too. I’ll go on a tear when I’ll read everything in sight. The I’ll stall, and won’t be able to get into any book I start.

    I like what you’re saying about Television and that whole era of music. I like looking back to see the influences that shaped bands (or writers, or artists) I like. Its important to be reminded that the revolutionary is part of the same continuum as the mundane, and that it is often small distances that separate the two.

  4. John says:

    I’m going through a bit of a Damned period myself . . . I think they were only really a punk for their first album and then they became some weird hybrid pop punk goth prog rock monster that was hit or miss . . . but I sure do love the points where they hit and I have a tremendous soft spot in my heart for Captain Sensible!

    From the same era, I have been listening to a lot of the Professionals, which was Steve Jones and Paul Cook’s band after the Sex Pistols – imagine the SPs without Lydon and need for offensive politicisms. They rock, love ‘ em.

    And the Wolfmen – which is Marco, Adam Ant’s old guitarist, and the bass player from his latter day Vive Le Rock and. Lovely stuff, especially this really excellent single they did with a guy from Bollywood – it’s this amazing hindipunk thing.

    And the comp Roots of Chicha, which rocks . . .

  5. DWPittelli says:

    I listen 90% to the Grateful Dead. But I might get the DB’s Young Loud and Snotty, which I had on vinyl, on the iPod. Still, I think I’d get it out of my system after hearing “Everyone Knows You Were Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth” three or four times.

    In a shameless plug, I have something not related to gardening or reactionary politics on my blog.

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