Fricke's Picks Radio: Beck, the Blues and Television in Brooklyn

Tom Verlaine of Television performs in Manchester, United Kingdom.
Tom Verlaine of Television performs in Manchester, United Kingdom.
Richard Martin Roberts/Redferns via Getty Images

Just as early-winter weather hit New York City, I landed in Buenos Aires, Argentina for an event celebrating the 15th anniversary of that country's successful and dynamic edition of Rolling Stone. There was plenty of music too: Beck headlining a festival which also featured local bands such as Onda Vaga; a night of deep-underground tango at Caff, a converted auto garage, where I caught the fantastic and quite heavy Orquesta Típica Fernández Fierro; and a huge stash of records – vintage, new, reissued – in my luggage.

You get some of all of that here, along with a nod to Rough Trade — the hardy London label and retailer, which just opened a welcome outlet in Brooklyn — and a chip off the new furniture-sized Paramount Records anthology: Bo Weavil Jackson's cautionary 1926 blues. Note the long, lyric thread to the Grateful Dead's early jamming signature,  "Viola Lee Blues."

Television, recorded live in the final year of their first lifetime, 1978, are here in recognition of the eccentric, uplifting set of recent, unreleased material, CBGB-era curios and most of 1977's Marquee Moon. I saw the resurrection lineup, still led by singer-guitarist Tom Verlaine, with Jimmy Rip at second-guitar shotgun, at Rough Trade NYC the day after Thanksgiving. A great New York band, appearing at a new, local record store: Those were two good reasons to give thanks.

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David Fricke

Rolling Stone senior writer David Fricke has more than 10,000 albums in his New York apartment. His first record review for the magazine was Frank Zappa's 'Sheik Yerbouti' (RS 290).

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