Saturday, June 28, 2014

Television's Adventure & Show # 515

Television’s second full-length album Adventure was originally released in 1978 and was panned by critics. Comparisons were made to the band’s debut album Marquee Moon, which captured a certain raw quirkiness. Marquee Moon also had the benefit of featuring the best songs from the bands live set, which they had been playing for a few years. On Adventure the band went for something different. With more of a budget than the previous album, Adventure features a more laidback approach to the overall songs found on the album and several songs that were made up in the studio. As guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, Tom Verlaine stated in the 2003 Rhino reissue linear notes “The tempos [on Adventure] aren’t as pushed. We thought maybe some of the songs on Marquee Moon were a little too fast, and I was thinking about Memphis beats, pretending the studio was like 110 degrees and we were sloppin’ around playing in a thumpy kind of way.” As a result Adventure comes off with a more textured sound. There are keyboards, backing vocals and a more layered sound overall.

Adventure was recorded at Record Plant NYC and Soundmixers in New York from September of 1977 to November of 1977 and then released in April of 1978. The band worked with producer John Jansen. The songs still feature the sound that Television had been known for such as the intertwining guitar work of Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd, but the rough edges that cornered the songs on Marquee Moon have been rounded off a bit. Adventure features eight songs, as did its predecessor, starting off with the track “Glory”. This song called one of the band’s most accessible commercial sounding tracks, features reverb laden drums, staccato guitar rhythms simultaneously mixed in with intertwining Television guitar leads and an R&B bass groove. The layered textured sounds also work in conjunction with Verlaine’s lyrics that seem to portray a sort of epiphany with lines such as “When I see the glory/I ain’t gotta worry” and “How could I argue with a mirror/She looked at me. Yes I hear her”. “Days” features some intricate guitar work from Verlaine and Lloyd that come together like interlocking gears amongst the song’s pop sensibilities. The song’s reflective lyrics come to fruition in the chorus with its lush layered vocals that repeat the word “Days”.

“Foxhole” is one of the more aggressive songs on Adventure. The song actually dates back to the band’s live set pre-dating this album. The song recalls a “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” roughness and deals with a war-like atmosphere lyrically with lyrics portraying a character jumping for cover amongst the chaos. “Careful” follows completing the second and final song on this album that is pulled from the band’s early live set staples. This song goes all the way back to when Richard Hell was still in the band. Portraying a theme of indifference lyrically, the song also features almost country-like guitar rhythm parts at times. Another interesting point about this song is that the vocals were recorded approximately twelve feet away from the microphone adding a certain creative strangeness to its overall vibe. As Verlaine stated once again in the 2003 Rhino reissue linear notes “Years ago people sang like 12 feet away from the microphone. I wanted to see what that sounded like. I did it, but then wouldn’t sing it again [laughs]. It’s a very strange sound.”

“The Fire” showcases the band stepping into experimental territory. The song was written during the recording sessions for Adventure and features keyboard and Ondes Martenot, an instrument with a sound eerily similar to the Theremin. The song also features what Tom Verlaine calls an “Eastern European” vibe. To add to the song’s darker textures apparently Verlaine used a knife for a guitar slide part in the song, instead of a traditional guitar slide. “Ain’t That Nothin” features stop and start structures and a middle section that has the same chords as The Kinks “I Need You” as a guitar solo and bassline add to the other elements at play here. “Ain’t That Nothin’” wouldn’t have been out of place on Marquee Moon. “The Dream’s Dream” closes out Adventure. Originally an instrumental track entitled “Cairo”, Verlaine tried to capture a “Middle Eastern” sound on this track. The song is a mini-epic clocking in at six minutes and forty-five seconds with complex time signatures, creating an overall moody piece to end out Adventure.

The band also recorded a song called “Adventure” which is where the album’s title originates from, but this track was left off of the album. This has caused some fans of the band to debate on whether the track “Adventure” was left off the album due to time restraints of the vinyl record, its not being fully finished or because of a loss in fidelity on the track due to “groove cramming” discovered during the album’s test pressing process. The track itself found it’s way onto the 2003 reissue with a few other bonus tracks and features blues rhythm’s executed raunchily by guitarist Richard Lloyd. Lyrically, the song boasts lyrics stating “I love adventure/I need a new adventure now”, which describes what the band was going for on this album. Television could have easily made another album like Marquee Moon, but they didn’t. This album is not drastically different from the sound that Television was known for, it is just more produced and in some parts less raw than the beams of mysterious light that illuminated audiences on 1977’s Marquee Moon. Adventure breaks from the mysterious light and heads to a new setting, one that is not too different from Marquee Moon. Adventure brings in new shades of light to Television’s developed sound.

Saturday Night Play List:

1. True Lovers - Guilty Pleasure # 9
2. Tijuana Panthers - Torpedo
3. The Howlies - Dirty Woman
4. Library Voices - Windsor Hum
5. The Schomberg Fair - Drunkard's Prayer
6. The Orwells - Southern Comfort
7. Swans - A Little God In My Hands
8. Perky Pat — The Coloniel
9. Antheads - Think Fast
10. Crystal Swells - Kelly Does Bayside
11. Bad Brains - The Regulator
12. The Jesus And Mary Chain - You Trip Me Up
13. Kestrels - Wild Eyes
14. Telstar Drugs - Unglued
15. Alex Chilton - Lost My Job
16. Jack White - High Ball Stepper
17. The Rockatones - Everythings Gone Wrong
18. One Way Street - In My Eyes
19. Canadian Squires - Leave Me Alone
20. The Iguanas - Outer Limits
21. Mach Kung-Fu - Hit Nation
22. The Deadly Ones - The Moonlight Surfer
23. Beck - Orphans
24. The Clash - Wrong'Em Boyo
25. Undertones - Teenaged Kicks (Live Amsterdam Paradiso 1980)
26. The Scavengers - Money In The Bank
27. The Government - Zippers Of Fire
28. Wire - The 15th
29. Franz Ferdinand - All For You Sophia
30. Television - Glory
31. Television - Ain't That Nothin' (Single Version)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for June 28. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

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