Playlist: Upbeat Tunes to Shake Your Winter Blues


Depending on where you live, the winter weather is probably at a weird transitioning stage right now. For a lot of us Northeasterners, there's been a weird mix of winter weather with uncommonly warm days-- Mother Nature ultimately toying with us. To help you prepare for the guaranteed warm days ahead and to free yourself of any lingering “winter blues,” here's a compilation of dance-y songs, all groovy in their own right. From some old school Walk The Moon, to the contemporary R&B stylings of Anderson .Paak to an alternative Drake cover by Baltimore band Modern Nomad, there's a little bit of everything to put some spring in your step. Listen here.

text, visual and playlist: lydia velazquez
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The Magnolia Effect, Or What it Means When It Means Nothing


Here is the thing about Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia: it shouldn’t work. Actually, it doesn’t work in a number of places. And it’s in those places that it somehow works best. Coming into the movie, I thought I was pretty damn smart. Thought I might major in film and could tell you the thematic weight that fell with Kane’s last whisper of “Rosebud.” I wanted everything to mean something. A tight little analysis I could type up and turn in for an elective course. Everything with rhyme and reason and easily explained over coffee when I wanted to hear myself talk. Pretty damn smart.

Magnolia was smarter. Released in 1999 to positive reviews and audience walkouts, it either had your number or it didn’t. I felt like I’d written mine on a bathroom wall. The film tracks roughly 10 characters of varying ages and fame (Tom Cruise! Julianne Moore! Philip Seymour Hoffman!) over one day in the San Fernando Valley. They are all somewhat distantly related to one another, like six degrees of separation but without Kevin Bacon. It is over three hours long and at the end — blink if you don’t want spoilers — frogs rain down from the sky.

I wasn’t introduced to the film so much as it was transmitted to me through osmosis, bit by bit, by my father, for years, until I finally sat down and re-learned everything I thought I knew about how things should work, feel, and end. When I was eleven, he showed me a scene from smack dab in the middle of the movie, with no context, in which each and every one of the characters is seen singing along to Aimee Mann’s “Wise Up.” The movie is not a musical. It made my dad, who was, to my eleven year old self, a giant and possibly made of stone or unbendable metal, cry. I was knocked off balance.

I came into Magnolia looking for a story I could pick apart later until it was bleached bones and muscle. Empty but for beginning, middle, end. Like they teach in intro writing classes or around the carpet in kindergarten. Magnolia gives you beginning, middle, beginning, middle, middle, beginning. Until you finally get to: End? Or maybe beginning again. I couldn’t tell you. That’s the fun of it, the thread that tugs and makes the whole thing move. Who cares if the rug unravels when you’re having so much fun watching it come apart?

Magnolia, for all its strange Biblical allusions and endless IMDb trivia page, is not trying to preach anything. There is not anything to figure out or to know or to conclusively understand. It didn’t try to teach me right from wrong. The last shot, without giving too much away, reveals no truths worthy of bringing down the mountain. You can’t, in fact, even hear any of the dialogue because Aimee Mann’s Oscar-nominated “Save Me” is playing too loud. But there is a moment, just before the camera goes black, where the character on the screen — a twenty-something blonde who has tugged both pity and annoyance and pity again from audiences brave enough to make it through — looks directly into the camera. Aimee hits a guitar-riff hard before the next chorus. The blonde smiles, just a little, just a turn of the lips. Cut to black.

It’s nothing and it’s enough. It is not pretty or perfect or even exactly profound. But it hits where it hurts, presses just above some hidden bruise. It feels good, like hope and flowers under dirt. It doesn’t feel like a revelation or a lesson. I cannot for the life of me tell you what any of it means. If it’s about anything, it is things that are best left unexplained.

After it was over, my dad asked if I wanted to hear his theory on the frogs. On what the biblical allusions were saying and whether the relationship between the cop and the coke-head was meant to teach us something about saviors. Remember, I was always the one who wanted to tell you about “Rosebud.”

“No,” I said, breathing it all in through my open mouth. “I really, really don’t.”

And he smiled. Cut to black.

text: jadie stillwell
visual: magnolia
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Political Questioning on HOW YOU GONNA STOP IT?



Mating Ritual, an alt-pop-rock group formed by Ryan Marshall Lawhon out of the aftermath of his previous short-lived band Pacific Air, is one that prides itself on its dedication to pure creativity without getting caught in the constraints of genre categorization or traditional music release formatting. The band’s debut album How You Gonna Stop It? is divided into two halves and has two release dates to allow time for every track to be fully enjoyed.

How You Gonna Stop It? Vol. One expands on the band’s signature approach to human emotion by looking at the broader themes of 2016 under a microscope. Lawhon asks, “When does self love become narcissism? Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much? Does it matter?” Through these questions, Mating Ritual asks them of the band’s audience too, questioning the stances of their listeners on political problems of the day.

The band pulls 80s synths and 90s bass into their signature dance beats to get their message across in a catchy, provocative manner. The album’s opener, the eponymous “How You Gonna Stop It?,” questions a friend’s motives for continuing to act like a kid despite growing old, while “American Muscle” loudly asks, “Can anybody hear my voice?/Am I just screaming into the void?” Each of these two songs ponders the meaning of the bubble people build around themselves that disconnects their world from the outside. “Look the Other Way” brings attention to the intentional misunderstanding and lack of empathetic listening to the other side’s view that characterized much of political and social debates last year. “Fake It” further draws attention to this point by chanting “You can play your tune, but can you shake it like me?” “Night Lies” uses a big, crashing chorus to question a lover’s motives, bringing up past lies and wondering about the chance of a future. Volume One finishes with “Swim,” a nonchalant look at the end of the world as we know it.

How You Gonna Stop It? Vol. One is a solid first half of a debut, and with its timely, pointed political commentary on human reactions, it will be interesting to see how their content develops on the second half of their release.

text: kate klassa
visual: mating ritual
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CULT FILMS: AMÉLIE


When discussing Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amélie, it’s hard not to use cliché terms like “whimsical" because it is just that-- but in a very unexpected, un-cliché way.

The French film follows Amélie (Audrey Tautou), an emotionally isolated young woman who works in a small bar in Montmartre. After finding a box of childhood trinkets hidden in her apartment and reuniting the box with the now middle aged owner, Amélie is overcome by a newfound desire to help those around her and to create a memorable life for herself and others. Yet while helping others, Amélie loses sight of the importance of pleasing herself, particularly in regards to her muddled romantic efforts to pursue Nino Quincampoix (Mathieu Kassovitz), a loner in his own right who works at a sex shop.

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One of the many aspects of the film that I find to be appealing is the complexities of it. When most people think of Parisian life, they assume it to be softer and slower than anywhere else, but Amélie's life is just as chaotic, if not more, than any other young woman's life. What makes Amélie’s life different, however, is how her imagination and empathy (results of a lonely childhood) take control of and often influence her actions and how she solves problems.

In regards to the film’s incorporation of the imaginative, it is worth noting the film's breaking of the fourth wall, but particularly in the way it's done. The narrator, for one, speaks directly to the audience, but there are also quick moments in which characters will speak directly to the audience or look (or even smile) into the camera. It feels less like breaking and more like tapping on the fourth wall.

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Another notable aspect of the film is the beauty of the dialogue, or sometimes the lack of. It's important that any watcher know that, as mentioned, the film is French and therefore in French. So unless you're fluent, you'll need subtitles-- but after the first few scenes you'll be so enchanted by the story you will forget you're even reading. There is also a good chunk of scenes in which there is little to no dialogue, but the actors convey the unspoken dialogue clearly, with their expressive movements that make even the most complex of feelings evident. Considering the obscurity of the plot and the characters respectively, each conversation is so strange and unexpected.

An interaction that particularly sticks with me is between Nino and the man in a photo which Amélie gives to him. Nino's imagination taking a hold of him as he questions the man in the picture as to who the mysterious girl (Amélie) is and what she wants from him. The man beckons to Nino: “No, you dope! She’s in love!” “I don’t even know her,” replies Nino. “You do!" urges the photo. “Since when?” “Since always. In your dreams.”

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As for the visuals of the film, I really take my hat off to Bruno Delbonnel-- the cinematography depicts Paris as beautiful and quirky as it is and as one would hope it'd be. The film makes use of a lot of camera movement and skewed angles to help convey the energy and excitement within the film. There is also a sort of yellow tint to the picture that gives off an aged but warm feeling, once again adding to the appeal and nostalgia of the work.

Amélie is no doubt a film for the hopeless romantic, the child-at-heart, and just about anyone else who wants to smile.

text: lydia velazquez
visual: amélie
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LOCALLY GROWN: Max Donahue


Max Donahue is a teenage designer from Massachusetts. I recently had the opportunity to talk to him about his inspiration, the process that goes into his silk screened graphic tees, and his plans for the future.

Adele Sakey: How did you enter into the world of fashion? What sparked your passion?
Max Donahue: When I was younger I would play with dolls and make dresses out of paper. As I got older, I stopped. I was afraid of being made fun of for liking things that were typically associated with girls. Throughout my education, I realized that high school is the worst and the topics I was studying didn’t make me happy. During my junior year, I started designing clothes and I realized that was the direction I wanted to go in.

A: Who or what inspires you and influences your work? (Either other fashion designers, music, art, etc)?
M: Alexander McQueen and his life inspire me so much; I love him. I also always admire couture designers because I love the intricacy of their designs. In terms of art, I love Alberto Giacometti. His style of drawing is similar to mine and the way he sees the human figure is interesting to me. With music, Frank Ocean is someone who always makes me think; I love his lyrics.

A: I noticed on your website that you make silk-screened graphic tees. Can you talk a little about the process that goes into making them and how you come up with the designs?
M: My shirts come from drawings in my sketchbook. I sketch them out and then scan them into Photoshop, where I edit them so they can be printed in black and white. I make the silk screens and then I can print the designs on to the shirts. The designs for my first series of shirts were inspired by different ways messages could be sent. I thought about how drawings and art could be used to say something, and also how messages could be sent in ways that not everyone can understand. Currently I’m working on a new series of shirts, which are inspired by love and the sociopolitical situation our country is in right now.

A: What is your favorite piece that you’ve ever created?


M: My favorite piece I’ve ever made was a dress I made last summer. It’s titled Paris Black and was my final project from a course I took at Parsons Paris. I was able to shoot the dress with my friend Dasha. Dasha was so fun to photograph and presented my dress really nicely; she’s gorgeous and we worked well together. The whole experience of making that dress and photographing it in Paris is something I’ll never forget.

A: What are your favorite current trends in fashion?
M: I love platform shoes right now. Marc Jacobs did really dramatic platform boots last spring which I loved; I love seeing platform shoes across different brands, from Fenty by Rihanna to Alexander McQueen platform sneakers. I also love how (faux!) fur is being used more frequently as an accent for pieces, i.e. seeing fur sleeves on a jacket.

A: Where do you see/hope to see the world of fashion progressing to in the future?
M: I hope that designers keep using their voices and working to change society. I think it’s an artist’s job to create in times of injustice, and with America’s political situation right now, I think fashion can make the people’s voices heard. What you wear inherently makes a statement, so I hope that fashion will progress by continuing to express our feelings through clothes.

A: What are your goals for the future of YOUR fashion career?
M: I want to make the most of my education at Parsons starting next year, and I really want to understand the industry more. Long term, I would love to have my own label, but we’ll see where things go. Right now I want to gain experience and start building my career by learning and working with other designers.

Be sure to keep up with Max via Instagram (@mxadonahue) or his website.


text: adele sakey

visuals: max donahue
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ALBUM EDUCATION: SONIC YOUTH'S DAYDREAM NATION


Unlike many of these Album Education posts, Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation is not the first or the only album for this group, but instead the fifth. With that high bar raised, the album still holds its own. The 1988 punk/indie rock/whatever release is a collection of powerful and LOUD sounds collecting founding members Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, and Steve Shelley’s articulations on their counter-culture. On Daydream Nation, they present a prolific attempt to capture what is like to be a punk among the punks, and just how many punks there seem to be. Daydream Nation is not necessarily better than the other albums presented in this series, but can serve as a complement of these many youth-themed albums, as it attempts to summarize what it’s like to be inspired by punk art in general.

Teen Age Riot
What I like about this iconic song, arguably the most well-known by the group, is its opening. Bit by bit, SY adds sounds until the song becomes an uncontrollable outburst. Steady strumming is brought in by Gordon, dreamily chanting “sweet desire, we will fall”; then, a pause. The same guitar sound returns with a vengeance. The rest of the song is a steadily melodic, yet at the same time, a wild outburst. I've never heard a more perfect song for moshing than this opening track about teens.

Silver Rocket
Continuing powerful, bursting noises, the next track is fittingly about a rocket. “Silver Rocket” has more raw punk energy than the first song. It’s overall aggressive, somewhat scratchy, and never stops pounding. You could argue that the “silver rocket burning a hole in your pocket” that Moore sings about is a euphemism for a lot of things, and its ambiguity is fitting. No matter what, a mechanical, silver contraption that is meant for shooting continues the energy of Daydream Nation.

The Sprawl
This third track shows something that SY likes to showcase on many tracks of this album: the rants of their band members. On this song, Gordon rants about the hot topic of sexualized commercialism:  “I wanted to know the exact dimension of hell/ Does this sound simple? Fuck you, are you for sale?” It may seem irritating now, but in 1988 it probably needed to be said. If the words are too preachy, choose to look at how well the name “The Sprawl” fits the lingering guitar sounds that literally run throughout this marathon track.

‘Cross the Breeze
Certainly the least aggressive of the opening tracks, this one opens with a beachy, elegant vibe. But it’s not for long that these sweet, oceanic guitars stick around. In a major flip of tempo and style, SY returns to their pounding guitars. Even though the new sound doesn’t stick around, its emergence and quick disappearance show how SY likes to freak out their listeners. Their math-rocky tempo changes (not new to Boston listeners) are disquieting acts of rebellion.

Eric’s Trip
For an album that’s been played mostly in garages, the name Eric fits perfectly. And a song about a drug-fueled “trip?” Even better. Psychedelic vibes add some spacey sounds and whammies to this track. But it’s not a departure from the punk rock sounds of the other songs-- it just adds another layer to the album.

Total Trash
This is the point in album listening when every song starts to like the Guitar Hero song selection. In each song, "Total Trash" being no exception, there are some time changes, brought together by a catchy guitar melody. With the help of some punk, anti-establishment lyrics, and some references to teen culture (like feeling like trash) you’ve pinned down the brand of SY.  

Hey Joni
It’s still 1988 and it’s okay that this is a very 80s track name and format. The song is a love letter for a lost significant other named Joni. Moore calls out to her, singing “tell me Joni…(fill in the blank and repeat 5 times). You can overlook these 80s references if you want. SY really wants you to. They even repeat "it's 1963… it's 1964," forcing you to think about a time that was more rebellious and psychedelic than their own.

Providence
"Providence" is very different. It’s one of the shortest tracks in that it's under 5 minutes. It’s also mainly composed of strange radio communications and somber piano playing. Very serious and very sad. The white noise taking you off the back of the track undermines the sad-sacky, artfulness, and takes you back to the great craziness of SY, coming right back in the next song.

Candle
If you like any of the time-changey, flat-voiced man bands to come after SY, “Candle” will be your favorite song. They still make all their usual thrash-heavy sounds, but they do it in a different way. I’m not really sure what it is about this song. It’s mysterious to me in a way that makes it seem better than most of the other songs on Daydream Nation.

Rain King
Think about the objects of choice in this album: candles, silver rockets, and rain-- they all go together. These objects or symbols, however SY appropriates them, turn into some kind of magical emo experience when SY brings them together. They are sad symbols, but they’re also dangerous. If Gordon and Moore we’re stranded on an island, we know what they’d bring.

Kissability
The sexiest song on this album is “Kissability.” Sexual desire in the hands of SY and Kim Gordon is all teen, weepy, and aggressive. Gordon sings “drive me crazy, make me sick.” It's nothing we haven’t heard before. But with the right sounds, SY adds interest by making crushing sounds of undefined danger.

The Wonder
The Wonder is a part of a three-part trio closing out the album. Considering how many of the songs are primarily angsty, it’s more of the same. Notable phrases are “I’m just walking around, this city is a wonder town.”

Hyperstation
"Hyperstation" is part two. It’s more about Moore walking around alone, nightlife, and druggy confessions. They’re really pushing the envelope when they say “I’m a walking lizard.”

Eliminator Jr.
Finally, the last track. Every time Kim Gordon sings it’s a relief. She mostly just makes moaning sounds on this song, but that’s also amazing. By "Eliminator Jr," I don’t think there was anything left for SY to add. They played their rumbling, melodic guitars as long as they could. You have to credit them for attempting to end with still some aggression, some moaning. It’s a punk move to go out with a bang.

text: allie miller
visual: sonic youth
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Female Punk Fashion Icons


Obviously, the most important thing about a musician isn’t how she looks. It doesn’t matter if you’re singing in a dress or a pant-suit or your underwear. But these fem punks show us that you can love fashion and still be punk, still be a role-model for loud girls everywhere. Fashion, even, can be something that you use to amplify your voice. Here is fashion done by some of the greatest punks of all time.

Debbie Harry of Blondie
            
           
Debbie Harry’s look was the perfect combination of playfulness and versatility, going from pop star one night to biker chick the next. All the while she maintained her amazing blonde bangs, fierce eye makeup, and usually a skillfully selected hat (!), making her an unstoppable force on stage.

Patti Smith, “Godmother of Punk”



Patti dressed like the true poet that she was. She also wasn’t afraid to be versatile and bring out the leather every once in a while. But Patti mostly strayed between two visions: that of the masculine scholar, with her many blazers and dark trousers, or the bohemian look with layers upon layers of baggy cloth. Her look wasn’t rebellious in that she didn’t ever seem to be trying to impress someone, or look particularly feminine. But she always looked like Patti.

Joan Jett of Joan Jett and the Heartbreakers 



Joan Jett’s look was yes, I am the name that comes before “and the rest of you unimportant bandmates.” She was a true rock star. With her jet-black mullet and signature accessories of thick black armbands and bandanas, she was (is!) a vision of strength. Of course, no Joan Jett look would be complete without the one key ingredient: leather.
Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill



Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill, one of the most influential bands of the Riot Grrrl movement of the ‘90s, has spoken endlessly on dressing up as a frontwoman. She promotes dressing however you like, no matter what you look like or what the patriarchy tells you should look like. Her looks are often celebrations of femininity, with lots of bright skirts and dresses, showing off her energy and vibrancy.

Courtney Love of Hole



Courtney Love gets a bad rap. More often than not, culture focuses more on her wild escapades during the turbulent 90’s grunge scene and her marriage to Kurt Kobain than on the more important things: her fashion. Courtney’s look was the perfect embodiment of dead princess aesthetic. She brought feminine silks and frilly dresses together with bright red lipstick and notable fishnets to make something original. Her look is undeniably Courtney.


Exene Cervenka of X



No, not The XX, but there’s a bit of a resemblance to Romy here. There’s also a lot of witch, and a little bit of pin-up (see polka-dots). For everyone who’s ever been to Los Angeles (founding location of X) these two influences are still all over the LA punk scene today. Exene’s style is so timeless, if you saw her today at The Smell, she would blend right in.

Poly Styrene of X-Ray Specs



Poly Styrene’s style was one of those 80’s looks that gets dubbed “courageous.” It’s also, like many of the punks on this list, something that would fit perfectly on Iona from Pretty in Pink. Poly took the matching blazer sets of a female secretary and made them somehow terrifying, in a truly unique punk statement. This rebellious use of shoulder pads is certainly one of the most creative looks among punk frontwomen.

Siouxisie Sioux of Siouxisie Sioux and The Banshees


This group would not be complete without Siouxisie Sioux. Now here is a look that can’t be ignored. Sioux’s hair and makeup was so perfectly scary that she could look intimidating even while sitting down. She’s clearly sure of herself, and that’s what makes the traditional use of leather and big hair perfect.

Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs




A far more modern day icon is Karen O. It's easy to see how she embodies some of the spirit of those girl punks who came before her, with her dark cropped bangs and sleek style. Karen draws on some mod, some twee, and even some Grace Jones (shoulder pads) making her the perfectly versatile modern-day front woman.


text: allie miller
visual: teenage film
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MARCH SHOWS


March marks the month in which musicians begin their spring tours. So, inevitably the relative dry spell of local shows will come to a halting end. With many artists performing across the greater Boston area it can be hard to identify the must see concerts coming to the city. However, I’ve compiled a list of shows that are certainly not to be missed this month:

March 2nd
The Joy Formidable @ Once Ballroom (Somerville, MA)
Start your month of right by seeing this Welsh rock band in a show that is sure to impress. They’re bringing their eclectic sound to Somerville’s intimate venue on March 2nd.

March 3rd
Noname @ The Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)
Well before performing with him on Saturday Night Live, Noname was featured on Chance The Rapper’s 2013 mixtape Acid Rap. Since then this Chicago native has been on the rise, and released her own mixtape in July of last year. Don’t miss her take over this Cambridge venue on March 3rd.

March 4th
Dua Lipa @ The Paradise Rock Club (Boston, MA)
Coming off a massive tour with Troye Sivan and releasing hit single after hit single, Dua Lipa is no stranger to success. Be prepared to watch her “Blow Your Mind” at The Paradise on March 4th.

March 14th
Tennis @ The Sinclair (Cambridge, MA)
This husband and wife duo return to Massachusetts on March 14th just in time for the release of their fourth studio album, Yours Conditionally. If you’re looking for some good indie pop to soundtrack your month of March, this is the show for you.

March 26th
The Japanese House @ The Sinclair (Cambridge, MA)
London’s The Japanese House, the solo act of Amber Bain, comes to Cambridge towards the end of a substantial North American tour. Her tracks, often times co-produced by the 1975’s Matty Healy and George Daniel, are sure to put you in an ethereal state of mind.  

March 27th
Bastille @ Agganis Arena (Boston, MA)
Bastille brings their Wild, Wild World Tour to Boston on March 27th. The tour is in support of their sophomore album, Wild World. If this album’s groundbreaking singles are any indication, Agganis Arena is sure to erupt in quite the dance party.


text and visual: adele sakey
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Album Education: Television's Marquee Moon


Entrenched in the coolest scene of all time, the 70’s New York punk movement, Television was an influencer then and now. With friends/fellow influencers Patti Smith, Brian Eno, and the whole crew at CBGB’s, Television helped to start something new. Surprisingly, their contributions are not always seen as founding the punk movement itself. Many argue that Marquee Moon, with its more complex guitar work and impressionist lyrics are some of the first sounds of post-punk rather than punk, but it helps to first view their album within the context of punk.

Television’s connections to the punk scene of the time is what has made them the stuff of legends, contributing to Marquee Moon’s timeless canon. Television’s founding member Richard Hell is credited with inspiring the founding style of the Sex Pistols, convincing CBGB to become a punk club, and now inspiring the bunches of contemporary New Yorkers now looking back and starting punk bands.

They were rebellious, in their screaming, gut-wrenching vocals and drooping, drugged-out hair cuts. But they were also an extremely ambitious, revolutionary band, said to practice for hours on end. Does that make them less punk? And is that a bad thing? Maybe or maybe not. Looking back, Television’s classification as punk or post-punk doesn’t detract from its value. It’s worth listening to for its energy and jammy guitars that you can dance to matter what their genre.

See No Evil
Opening track “See No Evil” starts with a simple pattern of scratchy guitars dancing on top of each other. Frontman Tom Verlaine's gutsy vocals complement the sound interplay in a song about running from your wild tendencies while simultaneously reverting to your dark ways. It's a jam for self-conscious punks.

Venus
“Venus” brings out another song about choice of lifestyle that continues a similar aesthetic from “See No Evil.” Here, guitars are more spacey and expanive while Veraline sings about “the night.” In Verlaine's night out, he adventures in an imagined New York city street caught between the Medieval Times and involving romantic entanglements with classical goddesses. Verlaine's still pointing to that rebellion of punk themes, but doing it in his new, heavily art-referenced way.

Friction
When Television first tried to record with Brian Eno, the band said that they sounded like The Ventures, in a really bad way. Here, with "Friction"’s cascading, reverb-drenched guitars, you can hear some of that surf rock influence. But the song moves away from free-flowing guitars of surf rock or exploding guitars of punk with more of a battle. The instruments all fight for your attention. Fitting for this battle, Veraline’s lyrics focus again on his own moral debates.

Marquee Moon
By the time you get to "Marquee Moon," the self-titled hit of this album, you realize the genius of Television in the context of post-punk: Veraline’s self-exploration. On this track he sings most memorably: “There I stand neath the Marquee Moon/Just waiting,
Hesitating/I ain’t waiting.” No punk would wait and contemplate. But Veraline’s been a punk, and now he’s slowing it down, adding intricate guitars, and asking you to consider your life.

Elevation
"Elevation" is the most romantic, saddest track. Verlaine’s still being contemplative, but he’s doing it now about a lover. For this love song, there’s a fitting Police-esque, Sting-y vibe to the sound.

Guiding Light
"Guiding Light" starts slow but somehow picks up the spirit after “Elevation.” It's another slow-ish jam but with an emotional “build” proper for a song about rising up. The opening lyrics “Do I, Do I?” get you ready for a Verlaine space trip: one with layers of escape into your own thoughts.

Prove It
The drums on “Prove It” steal this show. For the first time, they take over the work from the guitar on Marquee Moon, and they have success. Like the battling guitar sounds of prior songs, they instead use powerful starts and stops as to maintain Television’s frantic energy. It’s a key point to look to the creation of the album’s instrumentation.
Torn Curtain
"Torn Curtain" takes you out with a bang. Veraline almost goes psychedelic, with some crazy keys and references to “trances.” But I like to think he just wanted to make a song that would stay with the listener as you leave. Like psychedelia, his contemplative efforts on "Torn Curtain" involve traveling to other dimensions, ones that exist only in your self-conscious, post-punk head.

text: allie miller
visual: television
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