Past Prime podcast

Television "Television"

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On episode 22 of Past Prime, and with the passing of Tom Verlaine still very much a recent event, Steve and Matty return to the third (and final) album from New York proto-punk legends, Television. Released in 1992, fourteen years after the band had broken up, but just before the world wide web became a source for instant information, "Television" arrived as a titanic surprise to fans of the band but as a non-event for the other 7.8 billion people on planet Earth. Matty, an avowed devotee, and Steve, a reluctant victim of his co-host's aesthetic intimidation, reflect on the merits of the album and the enduring significance of its elusive frontman.

Though Television soldiered on right up until Verlaine's death (albeit without Richard Lloyd for many of those years) and though Tom Verlaine released two modest solo albums in the Aughts, "Television" is the band's swan song. Whereas Matty received this arrival breathlessly, eager to decode its poetry, its noir and its horror, Steve found it to be a "Low T," tossed off fade out. Where Matty heard beauty, Steve heard depression. Where Matty noticed invention and precision, Steve saw a bunch of middle-aged guys dozing off. This album that united two friends decades ago as college freshman, threatens to divide them decades later. Will they find common ground? Will they resolve the mystery of Tom Verlaine? Stay tuned for another episode of Past Prime!

To read more about Television's self-titled reunion album, check out the full essay at Past Prime.

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