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Television's ordered, insane, avant jazz-meets-garage rock is some of the most essential, mind-blowing music to come out of NYC's 1977 Punk explosion. The band's original lineup included future Voidoid Richard Hell, but it soon became apparent that Hell's nihilistic approach to music had little in common with bandleader Tom Verlaine's vision. This peculiar vision was very different from that of other bands working the early CBGB scene, and it ultimately led to a brand of atonal fret-strangling that sounds futuristic even today. Building their songs around the telepathic interplay of Verlaine and Richard Lloyd, Television broke the blues-based rumble of the Velvets down to its core, mutating it into a mechanical, austere psychedelia that touched on John Coltrane, Neil Young, and the Stones, among others. Their seminal record Marquee Moon has had an incalculable effect on the post-punk scene, most easily identified in the music of Sonic Youth but also directly related to all those indie fusion kids in Chicago. Imagine White Light/White Heat as interpreted by Rimbaud-quoting math rockers.
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