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Re: (TV) U-2 & Television a Stretch? / We Love You Detroit! / Hifalutin We bster Collegiate Dictonary Says Band Television Delivers the Goods

To each his own: I saw Talking Heads on the "Fear of Music" tour - just four people on stage, dressed plainly, no lighting effects, standing fairly still, concentrating on their playing - and enjoyed it immensely. Next time I saw them was with the enlarged "Remain in Light" band (Worrell, Belew, etc.). Byrne had started on the path that would lead to the "Stop Making Sense" shows; he'd begun to run around the stage, etc. It was still very good, but somehow ... busy, distracting, pulling attention away from the music.

Although there are certainly exceptions, I usually like seeing performers who are intent upon their music and not upon demonstrating their passion to the audience theatrically (so long, that is, as the music's good). Their concentration sends me a message that their music is worth concentrating on, whereas big gestures (can) seem like sleight of hand meant to distract me from the music's flaws. Maybe the reason you're "bored beyond belief" by those Portland shows is simply that the music sucks. Of course sometimes passion can _move_ a performer to demonstrative acts - as in gospel singing - but that's different from staging it.

The exceptions to this generality, for me, are usually acts who are not all that impressive musically but who invest the same creative energy and passion in their stage theatrics that the more musical acts devote wholeheartedly to the music itself. But I see Television as primarily about the music, and don't really give a shit whether they're "certainly rock'n'roll" or not. For me, they transcend those categories.

Perhaps you feel somewhat similarly, and you just wish Tom was the type of performer who was naturally moved to theatrics. But he's not, so let's be grateful for what we've got, and not blame him for what inferior musicians may have taken - or thought they were taking - from his performance style.

- Jesse

"esgregory" wrote:

 it always bothered me a bit that verlaine occasionally
appeared bored, withdrawn, whatever...his guitar did alotta the talking for
him, but rock & roll (& tv ARE most certainly rock & roll) has always been
about the performance as much as the playing, singing, writing, etc...in
fact, those elements blast in to fruition when they're informed/infused by
the performance...& i hope it's understood i ain't talkin bout bullshit
lowgrade theatre cliches here...i'm talking bout what i see & feel when i
look at the old photos of hell leaping in the air while lloyd leans &
grimaces & even verlaine strains toward whatever he imagines is up above
him....i can hear the music when i see it....& the fact that part of the
reason verlaine tossed hell outta the group was exactly cos of this troubles
me.....don't get me wrong here....i adore tv....MM changed my life....they
helped make me what i am...but i'm sitting here in portland oregon 2001 &
nearly every time i go out to see a live 'underground' show (& damn straight
it's a SHOW), i'm looking at a stage featuring a buncha dudes & dudettes,
standing still more oft than not, looking away, upwards, down....anywhere
but in to the eyes of the audience....& i'm almost disgusted...primarily
bored beyond belief.
& i can't help but think verlaine had a hand in setting this prototype
down....obviously i can't 'blame' the cat, but as much as i love television,
i'd rather see little richard (yep, even today) or somebody/anybody who
knows that passion is as much theatre as it is belief....
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