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Song Stories

“Marquee Moon”

Television | 1977

That Television knocked out this 10-minute punk masterpiece in a single take underscores the raw, warts-and-all New York 1970s underground aesthetic. In many ways, "Marquee Moon" was the anti-song: It ran long, it lacked a chorus, it defied melody and, perhaps most telling, it never charted. Yet Television captured a beauty, its anarchic structure built on Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd's dueling electric-guitar jangle. It was disciplined disorder, and drummer Billy Ficca assumed the band was only rehearsing. When producer Andy Johns suggested another take, Verlaine refused. "I said, 'Forget it,'" he told Rolling Stone.

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Song Stories

“Bizness”

Tune-Yards | 2011

The opening track to Merrill Garbus’ second album under the Tune-Yards banner (she also plays in the trio Sister Suvi), “Bizness” is a song about relationships that is as colorful as the face paint favored by Garbus both live and in her videos. Disjointed funk bass, skittering African beats, diced-and-sliced horns and Garbus’ dynamic voice, which ranges from playful coos to throat-shredding howls, make “Bizness” reminiscent of another creative medium. “I'd like for them not to be songs as much as quilts or collages or something,” Garbus said.

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