You, me, the music, and me.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Warner Bros. P-11070W (1981)

For a band that released only a handful of albums, the band known as Television has garnered a legendary reputation as one of the earliest and most important post-punk groups ever (think of them as the Terrence Malick or J.D. Salinger of music). After their (first) breakup, singer/guitarist Tom Verlaine went on to release several well-received solo albums that developed Television's unique sound with copying it outright.

Dreamtime was Verlaine's second album under his own name and is notable for the way it showcases his ability to compress Television's trademark guitar assault into tight, compact pop songs such as "There's a Reason" and "Fragile". Verlaine gets valuable assistance from gutiarist Ritchie Fliegler and former Television bassist Fred Smith, but its his own voice and guitar that take centre stage throughout the album. Verlaine was and is widely considered to be the best, most virtuosic guitarist to emerge from the New York punk scene of the seventies, and he gets off several soaring solos on tunes like "Always" and "Without a Word", while "The Blue Robe" is an instrumental that features Verlaine stabbing away with sharp, crisp guitar lines.

Television reunited briefly in 1992, after which little was heard from Verlaine until this year, when he released two albums simultaneously on the Thrill Jockey label. Hopefully this will spark a renewed interest in Verlaine's earlier, hard-to-find works like Dreamtime.


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