Monday, July 28, 2008

The Moon: Marquee Moon

Television: Marquee Moon


Here we are at the beginning of the week, everyone's feeling fresh and revived from the weekend, so we better get the mad genius of "Marquee Moon" in before we all get too tired to appreciate it by the end of the week.

This is the pinnacle of Television's first and greatest album. An anti-punk epic—despite punk still being in its infantile stages! In the same year, in the same club, the Ramones embodied an ethic and aesthetic that shunned technical proficiency, insisting on getting in and out of a song before you could say Hey Ho. On the same stage, here was Television: everything punk rejected—long, complex, full of skill and chops. Yet the band had a raw, gritty gusto like no stadium rocker of its day possessed. It still came from the East Village, the quintessential New York that belonged to the VU before Verlaine and to Sonic Youth after. Tom Verlaine's solo in the second half of this song is so dense you can get lost in it; but just when it feels like it might overstay its welcome, verging on overwhelming, the entire band coalesces into a sharp-edged octave charge for sixteen bars before dispersing—the guitars almost sound like raindrops, before that sim-ple, rhy-thm, re-turns, for one, more verse.


I remember how the darkness doubled
I recall lightning struck itself,
I was listenin, listenin' to the rain
I was hearin', hearin', something else.

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