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by Jay Fienberg

Mr. Smolin's Tell a Vision: The Unified Field of Tom Verlaine

posted: Sep 25, 2003 6:10:07 PM

My friend, Barry Smolin, has written an astounding review for Rhino's expanded and remastered reissues of Marquee Moon and Adventure by the band Television (definitely one of my favorite bands).

Take a look at Tell a Vision: The Unified Field of Tom Verlaine, by Barry Smolin. It's like a concise philosophical treatise on the esoteric aspirations of punk, being as such essentially underground even from the punk "mainstream" while also being its true root. Good sample quote (about one song on Marquee Moon):

"Venus" works as a kind of thesis for the album. With the fracturing of the Classical, represented here by the armless goddess in all her disfigured antiquity, the world becomes a figment, looking "so good between my bones and skin," and yet, in this unified field where the natural and the symbolic find identical expression, the realest experiences feel almost unreal or hallucinatory, "like some new kind of drug" that somehow conjures a Broadway that "looked so medieval." And so the protagonist must embrace the unembraceable, accept being "face to face with a world so alive" and duped into believing in some bogus illusion at the same time. As equally true and false as the arms of Venus De Milo. This will be an album rapt in the beauty of contradictions.

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