Friday, November 26, 2010

Television adventures LP tribute

The seminal but murky and evocative early punk / new wave album (though it's really closer to British psychedelic-poetic prog-rock ) Television "Adventure"  was a beloved artifact and huge influence for what I have done in my own musical career, currently embodied in Str8 Sounds.


Up on the high, high hills - with my floating friend -
Watchin' all the silver - no one can ever spend
I feel the touch of her hand and all it will erase;
These footprints I followed tho they followed my every pace -
Days, be more than all we have.
No matter how much I cross I always see the same stream.
I'm standing up on these bridges that are standing in a dream.

"Days" is one of the most beautiful songs in music history, while "Ain't That Nothin'" and "Glory" are among the most triumphant. "Foxhole" is weirdly allegorical, if not downright mystical.


I was out stumbling in the rain staring at your lips so red
You said, "'Blah, blah, blah" you got a pillow stuck in your head"
How could I argue with a mirror
She looked at me. Yes, I hear her.
When I see the glory, I ain't gotta worry

She said, "There's a halo on that truck, won't you please get it for me?"
I said, "Of course my little swan, if ever and ever you adore me."
She got mad. She said, "you're too steep."
She put on her boxing gloves and went to sleep -
When I see the glory
 I ain't got no worries.


Soldier boy stands at a full salute.
He wants your orders to execute.
Send him out - 'neath the screaming red lights
In a narrow ditch for the funny fights.

Foxhole, foxhole Too much danger
Foxhole foxhole Where's my guardian angel
Foxhole foxhole - oh no
You show me the war, I don't know what for.
You show me the war, but the war 's such a bore.

In the line of duty, in the line of fire
A heartless heart is my proper attire.
Foxhole foxhole Too much danger
Foxhole foxhole Where's my guardian angel?
Foxhole foxhole - oh no
The flashing sword has been explored.
The perfect slice, perfect slice of life.

I feel the shells hit, moonlight web
Goodbye, arms. So long, head.
Foxhole foxhole
No more danger
Foxhole foxhole
Hello guardian angel.

Pin me down, go ahead it's a cinch
You pin me down, you'll feel the pinch
I was trained for fights
Foxhole, foxhole
Foxhole, foxhole.

The entire album, in fact both of them, original and tribute, stand as an enduring work of anthemic rock music art, a collection of prime poetry and sound by modern minstrels, a timeless monument, radiating a profound immaterialism in the heart of nitty gritty rat holes, much like their namesake, the cathode ray tube box.

This "L'aventure" tribute is like "Adventure 2.0" -- for it is a perfect companion, and not a replacement for, the original album by Television. You'll want them both, playing one after the other, for a long long time.


I jump out of bed and pull down the shade
I used to have such sweet dreams - now it's more like an air raid.
I see the opposition clear - I see them stare
I don't care - it doesn't matter to me - I never think about it
Slip out of myself like a shadow and somersault thru walls
I can't tell, it's really so odd
Is this spring or fall?
Your wine is just sour grapes
Pour me a glass anytime I'm not there
Careful Careful
I'm not bitter I just get so sore
I need that girl more and more
Cuz when she whispers in my ear it gets so hard
It get's so hard to get out of bed
It's more than I can do.
If someone must work today, let it be you.
All this confusion hit me like a dare, but I don't care.

Greatly treasured by the discerning elite, "Adventure" is often neglected by current critics, though it remains a glittering street-nomad gem. Generated by a pioneering NYC band around the time of Patti Smith, The Ramones, Max's Kansas City -- Television's "Adventure" has now been resurrected in spirit.


The elevator called me up.
She said you better start making sense.
The stone was bleeding, whirling in the waltz.
I went to see her majesty. The court had no suspense.
She said, "Dream dreams the dreamer."
I said it's not my fault.''

"Adventure", Television's second and last official album, was just as good, if not better than, their highly acclaimed first album "Marquee Moon" (how often does that happen?). It has now been re-done by some excellent Los Angeles bands. They have great charm and their respect and awe for this mighty work of art can be heard in their crepuscular renditions.


The snow fell lightly and disappeared.
I felt the old ropes grow slack.
I thought I'd dissolve
when the beacon revolved.
I just get so carried away.
Once I had a ship, yes I had a map
I had the wind like a tree has sap
I sank into these banks of clay
I get carried
Those rooms were freezing and always dark
but where we were never mattered
Your head was golden
There was lightning in your arms
and then the glass shattered.
It was noon at midnite.
The day that never ends -
The lamp it whispers and makes amends -
everything was more than I took it for.
I got carried away.

Beautiful, dreamy, eerily phantasmic recordings of major musical artistry -- "Aquarium Drunkard Presents L'aventure" is a new work of beauty to honor a classic work of mystery. You could think of them as smooth-rolling, easy-listening versions, but they don't stray too far from the misty pulsations underbulwarking strings of Lower East Side operations of French symbolist poetry.


Storms all that summer we lived in the wind,
out in some room in the wind,
Your hands they were folded.
You knew no demands.
My tongue, it clattered like tin,
My eyes repeat. They take my seat.
Your eyes they say you resigned from the heat.
We leaned in the cold, holding our breath,
watching the corners turn corners.
Coins on the table, the cards in the air,
the face at the window kept smiling.
Storms all that winter we stayed locked away.
Waiting. Watching. Falling.
End of the street. Horizon retreats.
You ran with it. I wish I could.
Sleep is not sleep. My eyes repeat.
You take the voltage that watches you weep.
You caught the voice. I listen close.
All I heard was the echoes.
Praise emptiness.
Her rose-colored dress.
Her circling motions.
Praise emptiness.
Everything scattered, nothing was missed.
We took our house in the fire.


You're pushin' a furnace
You're workin' too hard
You're setting things off -
all over the yard
You play with your 'top' -
till your eyes start to spin
Then you shrug your shoulders
and ask me where I've been
Travel fulfills you but
the distance it kills you
Oh oh ain't that nothin'
Why don't you tell me somethin'
Ain't that nothin'
I just wish you'd tell me something -
The fan keeps whirling
The wind stays hot -
but I can't keep from slippin' a lot
I look in that purse
It's a blessing and a curse
Discover dishonor with
its thousand commands
It ain't worth a shot
That target is sand
But I love disaster and
I love what comes after.

A great tribute and a nice introduction to the original material and Tom Verlaine's exciting underground art-rock ensemble. Generally the songs are a bit softer, with lush, evocative arrangements that make the songs sparkle in delightful new shimmerings.

Get a free zip file of the mp3s at Aquarium Drunkard "Television's Adventure Reimagined"

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