Sunday, March 04, 2012

YouTube of the day

I am a (the?) person for whom modern music starts and, perhaps, ends with Television's "Marquee Moon". It first captured my attention as a night-time listener to Sydney's 2JJ, where it was on fairly regular rotation back around 1978-9 but, owing to the vagaries of long-distance AM radio reception, I never once managed to catch the back-announcement (by, let's say, George Wayne or Mac (actual-dad-of-Jarvis) Cocker) and so had no idea what I had been listening to. It wasn't until some years later, after I had forgotten all about it, that I heard it again, on 3RRR, and I was very, very careful then to catch who and what it was.

Fast-forward probably not actually all that far, but well after I had picked up and absorbed the original two Television albums ("Adventure" on stunning red vinyl, fetish fans), and there in Missing Link Records, lost amongst the bottom-feeding punk and hardcore 7" singles, was a copy of Television's debut single, "Little Johnny Jewel", from 1975. This being in my estimation something like the Philosopher's Stone, I assumed it must have been a bootleg, but such was my determination to own a copy of it in any form that I happily forked over the ten-dollar asking price.

We now have the internet, and Discogs in particular, and I can confidently say that what I bought looks exactly like it says here, right down to the "white die-cut paper sleeve", so I am inclined to the view that what I bought is in fact the thing itself, in all its monaural glory. (A spruced-up version now appears on the CD reissue of the "Marquee Moon" album, no longer split into two parts, and it gets closer every day to rivalling "Marquee Moon" itself in its epicness. Note also, as an irrelevant aside, that the version of "Marquee Moon" on the reissue has a much longer fade-back-in section than appeared on the original album. All in all, this one of the most necessary CD reissues in the history of mankind.)

This YouTube clip, again thanks to Dangerous Minds, is of Television in the office of the impresario behind Ork Records, playing something that might be "Little Johnny Jewel"* but the sound is so bad it's kinda hard to tell. Actually, both sound and image are way beyond lo-fi, and it might be deemed "for obsessives only", but, well, what are you waiting for?

* UPDATE: Now that I am somewhere where I can actually hear the thing, it's clear that it's not "Little Johnny Jewel". What it is, I have no idea. It sounds like an amalgam of the Velvets and the Stooges, which, given that the year is 1974, and the place is New York, is probably not that surprising.