The Bowery Ballroom
Television

Television

Eleanor Friedberger

Sat, December 30, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Bowery Ballroom

New York, NY

$35.00 - $40.00

Sold Out

This event is 21 and over

Pre-Show (7-8pm) and Post-Show Happy Hour in the Lower Level Lounge

Television
Television
A dictionary entry for the word “influential” might easily place a picture of Television and stop there. The band has a devout following worldwide and has had a major effect on British post-punk rock as well as American indie rock.

Starting in New York’s East Village in 1973, the band, consisting of Tom Verlaine, Richard Hell, Billy Ficca and Richard Lloyd, were at the center of the scene soon to be labeled punk. The band crystalized with the departure of Hell in 1975 and the addition of Fred Smith on Bass.

Television’s debut album released in February 1977 Marquee Moon was hailed by critics as one of the most striking and original recording debuts in years. The scissory, cascading guitar lines, the jabbing vocals, and the “psychotic calypso” drumming demonstrated that there was nothing punky or muddled about Television — it has the silvery clarity of a poised knife — and the writers gushed:

“One of the most deliriously exciting debut albums I’ve ever heard” — Newsday

“An obvious, unashamed classic” — Sounds

“They loom, as the Stravinskys of rock” — N.Y. Daily News

“The most powerful and passionate rock to come out of anywhere…” — Village Voice

“As of this moment, Verlaine is probably the most exciting electric lead guitar player… N.M.E

Roy Trakin wrote in the SoHo Weekly, “forget everything you’ve heard about Television, forget punk, forget New York, forget CBGB’s … hell, forget rock and roll—this is the real item. Recently, critics ranked it number 83 on cable music channel VH1’S list of the 100 Greatest Albums of Rock and Roll, number 128 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was ranked number two on Uncut magazine’s 100 Greatest Debut Records, and number 3 on Pitchfork Media’s list of the best albums of the 1970s.

Television’s second album, Adventure was issued in 1978 and the distinctive guitar work is still evident there, most notably on the tracks “Glory,” “Foxhole” and “The Fire.

Various problems within the group led to a breakup later that year, with Verlaine and Lloyd pursuing solo careers.

In 1992 Television reunited to record a self-titled album that was well received by critics, who noted admiringly that the band’s trademarks — brilliant guitar work, clever songwriting, and noirish lyrics — were all still in evidence. The reunited band did a world tour in 1993, including show’s at the Glastonbury and All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals in England.

In 2007, the band announced Richard Lloyd would be amicably leaving the group and guitarist Jimmy Rip, a collaborator on most of Verlaine’s solo recordings and tours since 1981, would be taking his place.

2013… 40 years since the bands founding, has seen them more active than anytime in many years. Not only have they have just completed a sold out tour of South America and Asia, there is a new record in the works. Television is back.
Eleanor Friedberger
Eleanor Friedberger
New View, the third solo album by Eleanor Friedberger, was rehearsed in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Echo Park and recorded in upstate New York. The former is a place where characters in Warren Zevon songs get clingy with their old lady while toughing out heroin withdrawal; the latter is where Bob Dylan got clingy with Robbie Robertson after flying off his motorcycle and revisiting the highway with his face. Fittingly, there's a fair amount of recovery in the songs of New View (though you won't find much in the way of smack or motorcycles). "Today I'm frozen but tomorrow I'll write about you," Friedberger sings, and much of the album seems set in that post-traumatic tomorrow, when stuff's calmed down, the figurative road rash has healed, the metaphorical junkie sweating up your mattress has finally packed his bags.

Counting the albums she made with her brother Matthew as the Fiery Furnaces, this is Friedberger's twelfth full-length. I've been listening since the beginning, and to me New View seems like just that -- a vista that's opened up when I thought I'd seen everything Friedberger had to offer. (Then again, I believed her last album Personal Record was indeed her best to date, so maybe I'm just susceptible to album titles.) Before she entered the studio with New View producer Clemens Knieper, Friedberger made a playlist of reference songs. A live version of "Warm Love" by Van Morrison was on there, as was 80s-era Dylan, Neil Young at his most bummed out, a scattering of Robert Wyatt-era Soft Machine, and the odd gem by Slapp Happy, Fleetwood Mac, Funkadelic, et al. There are ghost notes of all of those influences on New View, but mostly you hear Eleanor Friedberger. She's never lacked confidence -- this is someone who once took a fractured nine-minute ballad about the international blueberry trade and put it across like it was "Thunder Road" -- but there's a new kind of confidence on this record. You can hear it on the warm, stately "Your Word," which holds a special place for Friedberger. She says:

"It was the last song I wrote for the album. I finished the lyrics with lines taken from a dream that Jonathan Rosen had about me. I stayed at a friend's house in LA who had a bunch of later George Harrison CDs-- already a huge fan, I thought I knew it all. But I heard 'Love Comes To Everyone' and it kind of blew me away. Everything I love about Harrison-- beautiful slide guitar and vocals and vaguely spiritual lyrics-- plus a weird disco thing. That was the big influence for the sound."

The songs on New View were recorded live to tape with simple instrumentation: drums, bass, Wurlitzer and 12-string acoustic guitar on almost every track, courtesy of the band Icewater (Malcolm Perkins, Jonathan Rosen, Michael Rosen, Noah Hecht), with Dorian DeAngelo contributing a handful of well-placed guitar solos. Producer Knieper (son of Jurgen Knieper, the German composer whose credits include the score to Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire) gives the album a classic sound, like something that's existed forever on a record collector's shelf, wedged in with Dylan's New Morning and John Cale's Vintage Violence.

For everything new about New View, it still fits comfortably in the continuity of Friedberger's work. By coincidence, Knieper's studio in Germantown, NY where the album was recorded is in a barn that was once rented by Matthew Friedberger and stored the furniture of their grandmother -- the same grandmother whose spoken word reminiscences were the basis of the Fiery Furnaces LP Rehearsing My Choir. You won't hear much of that album here, but songs like "Open Season" recall the Furnaces at their most magisterial. The wry, plainspoken "Because I Asked You" builds on the style Friedberger first polished on her solo debut Last Summer. And then there's "A Long Walk," the sun-striped finale that lends a memorable afterglow to New View. It's a sweet, aching goodbye from an album that seems full of them.

-- SCOTT JACOBSON
Venue Information:
The Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St
New York, NY, 10002
http://www.boweryballroom.com/