Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Television - Marquee Moon (1977/ No. 30/ 4 weeks/ Elektra)

For an abstract collection of crepuscular imagery and guitar solos Marquee Moon is remarkably precise about human perception. It captures the moment when you discover such a state of heightened awareness of consciousness and your own physicality that the external world suddenly becomes both more amazingly specific and detailed than you usually notice but also unreal-seeming: the epiphanal sensation of the potential of ecstasy in being alive and sentient, and the uniqueness and irretrievableness of the given moment of this intense sensation.

This is achieved through a chiaroscuro effect. The three guitars do three different things;

(bass) Dumdum!-Dumdum!
Dumdum! -Dumdum!

More of a pulse than a rhythm. The abdomen of the song.

(rhythm guitar) Tschang!-Tschang!

More astringent. The top note, and probably the part which the listener is most immediately conscious of. The inescapable presence of thought, and the head of the song.

On top of this, of course, Tom Verlaine's guitar; writhing, cascading, liquefying sound! The heart and spirit of the record.

(Shouldn't forget the drums, of course, switching from rat-a-tat-tat to great tidal waves of rolling as the guitars transform)

I was listenin' -
Listenin' to the rain
I was hearin' -
Heaarrin' something ELSE!

I tend to approach Marquee Moon as an experience to be lived through, rather than as a song, but the internal perception/ external world ultra-sensuality is presented and suggested to the listener through these lyrics and their ragged, excitable, delivery;

I rememberrrrr -
How the dark-nesss DOUBLED!!
I recallll -

I'd say that this is an astonishing testament to what four people with three guitars and a drum kit can achieve - Music that seemingly changes the very fabric of reality itself.

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