Tuesday, June 14, 2011
TELEVISION, GO4, THE BUNNYMEN
Saturday night after a fairly productive day. I started pulling gear out, checking everything piece by piece, for a planned adventure with the family. These two weeks will either result in praise from all or I'll be put on trial alongside Saddam Hussein accused of torture. We shall see. All I know is that time is evaporating and the deadline is fast approaching.
I was up for a good show tonight, having dug up some good music earlier in the day. First up was Television, their live album This Case Is Closed. "An open mic job from the original band's last ever show at the New York Bottom Line in July 1978 ("the first farewell" as the credits wryly note), when the guitars soar across a gripping "Marquee Moon" or an inspiring "Foxhole," Television's undeniable genius shines through. But the rough edges and muffled vocals will always remain more memorable (catch the Pythonesque Gumby backing vocals on "Kingdom Come"), and the audience is far too drunk for comfort."
"When Richard Lloyd was interviewed a few years back he said this of the 1978 tour: “That’s the chainsaw heavy-metal version of the band. We were playing Ampeg V-4 amplifiers on that tour. They were the size of a fucking house! Keith Richards talked us into using them. The Stones were using those outdoors for stadium shows, and we were playing indoors for 500 people!” The volume must’ve been intense!"
"Television is an American rock band, formed in New York City in 1973. Although Television have never had more than a cult audience in their homeland, they have achieved significant commercial success in Europe. Today, they are widely regarded as one of the founders of punk and New Wave."
"Television was a part of the early 70s New York underground rock scene, along with bands like the Patti Smith Group, the Ramones and Talking Heads. In contrast to the Ramones' rock 'n' roll minimalism, Television's music was more complex, as well as technically proficient, defined by guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd."
What a music set, starting off slow but reaching a crescendo before the end. The audience was entertaining too!
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Next up were the Gang of Four, a recording of their Peel Sessions. The evening was only getting better by the time I put this recording on, the truck stereo being turned up a bit more this late in the evening.
"A Rare Thing is a Bad (John)Peel Session. Many of the Peel sessions released on vinyl (in the 80s) or on CD since have went out of print and become collector's gold. This session or Sessions (there are 3 here) are pure quality Gang of Four. 2 Sessions from 1979 and one from 1981 (just before Dave Allen departed) show the band at it's peak. Every track here is worth a listen. Find this and Buy it. This is a great cd for anyone who loves rock. I would buy the cd just for the song "I Found That Essence Rare" . This definitly a cd you'll want to turn up loudand air guitar to!"
The Amazon.com bio says:
Gang of Four are one of the most radical, and radically important, rock groups of the last 30 years. Their music, starting with 1978’s Damaged Goods EP, offered a danceable solution to the problem of where four-piece guitar bands could go next after punk. They also provided the perfect answer to the question: how to be polemical without being po-faced, ponderous, banal or doctrinaire?
Four young men in their early twenties who convened in the late ‘70s in Leeds, they were the first rock group to come up with the idea that using funk rhythms would be a way forward for rock ’n’ roll, a way out of punk’s cul-desac. Gang of Four were like Dr. Feelgood jamming with Parliament Funkadelic produced by Lee Perry as a Radio 4 newsreader intoned balefully in the background.
More than anything, Gang of Four are about visceral, high energy, maximum impact rock ’n’ roll. They make you dance and they make you sweat, just as they make you think. That exclamation mark at the end of the title of their 1979 debut album Entertainment! – incidentally, one of the greatest debut albums ever made; in fact, one of the greatest long-playing records, period – was no accident or sleight of design. Nor were they rent-a-gobs or rabblerousers. They managed to inveigle complex ideas into powerful songs that were provocative yet simply thrilling. The music on that debut long-player was born out of a specific time in history, the result of a series of very specific circumstances and conditions – social, economic, emotional, political, musical – and yet it remains as true, as resonant, as relevant, as universally applicable three decades on as it was the day it was released.
The big bands of the 80s, the Chili Peppers, INXS, REM, have all spoken of their debt to Gang of Four but in more recent years, the band’s influence has become almost universal with the emergence of post-punk influenced bands such as Modest Mouse and Radio 4 and then the rise of Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party.
Read it all and buy it here:
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Echo and The Bunnymen performed last, in Njmegan Holland on June 2, 1981. An excellent FM broadcast of an early concert. It's The Bunnymen, what more should I say? I stomped out a dead patch in the grass behind the house with my dancing. I hope the wild flowers forgive me.
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