Issue Index

  Mini Features
  Cultural Features
  Life in Japan
  Big in Japan
  Rant & Rave
  Cars & Bikes
  Health & Beauty
  Money Talks
  Tokyo Tech
  Web Watch
  Food & Drink
  Restaurant Reviews
  Bar Reviews
  Word of Mouth
  Travel Features
  Japan Travel
  International Travel
  Tokyo Talk
  In Store
  Japan Beat
  CD Reviews
  In Person


bar news and views


774: Presidents of the United States of America
773: Keith
767: Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute
764: Kaiser Chiefs
760: Tim and Puma Mimi
759: Ice Cube
758: Vinyl Soul
757: Bajofondo
755: The Troubadours
752: Spiritualized at Summer Sonic
749: Cajun Dance Party
744: Heat and Noise
739: The Checks
737: Blue King Brown
735: Asian Dub Foundation
734: Scouting For Girls
732: Buzzcocks
730: Old Man River
728: The Kills
726: KT Tunstall
725: Jason Collett
722: Brotherís Sisterís Daughter
720: Sufjan Stevens
716: Gossip
714: The Go! Team
713: Cafť Tacvba
711: Celtic Woman
709: Jack PeŮate
706: Soulive
703: Animal Collective
703: Reverend and The Makers
702: Battles
700: Dinosaur Jr
696: The Polyphonic Spree
695: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
692: Golden Age of Rock
691: One Fine Day
688: Rhombus
687: Corneille
685: The Cinematic Orchestra
683: 747s
680: Pete Murray
679: Mice Parade
678: Enter Shikari
676: The View
674: !!!
671: Donavon Frankenreiter
670: Herbie Hancock
669: Krystal Meyers
668: The Roots
666: Lily Allen
664: Two for Christmas
663: The Datsuns
661: Peaches
660: Tapes ín Tapes
658: Mystery Jets
656: Shayne Ward
654: The Beat
653: Eumir Deodato
652: Mt. Fuji Calling
650: Juno Reactor
649: Yo La Tengo
648: Hyde Park Music Festival
647: Juana Molina
646: Sierra Leoneís Refugee All Stars
645: Tool
644: Juan Formell y Los Van Van
643: The Benevento-Russo Duo
641: TV On The Radio
639: Summer Music Festival Guide 2006
638: ESG
636: Editors
634: Greenroom
632: Ben Harper
630: Matmos
627: Arctic Monkeys
626: Erykah Badu
624: Cake
622: Bent Left
620: Mogwai
618: Deerhoof
617: The Album Leaf
616: Tristan Prettyman
614-615: 10, 9, 8....
613: Madonna
612: John Tropea and Incognito
610: Boy
608: Underworld
607: Niyaz
606: The Beautiful Girls
605: Miho Hatori
604: Doves
600: Bang Gang
598: Feist
596: Fantomas
595: Hyde Park Music Festival
593: Little Barrie
591: Juliette Lewis
589: James Chance & The Contortions
588: Carnival: Vice Bongo 1st Anniversary Party
585: Stereophonics
583: Little Joe Washington
581: Caetano Veloso
579: Maximo Park
578: Moe
577: Death From Above 1979
576: Destiny’s Child
575: Megadeth
574: Bandstand
572: Ozomatli
570: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
568: Prefuse 73
566: Pat Metheny
565: Rachel Yamagata
564: The Shins
563: The Music
561-562: Metropolis music survey 2004
559: Blues Explosion
557: The Libertines
555: G. Love
554: Dropkick Murphys
553: Kasabian
552: Fertile Ground
551: Recliner
550: Jah Shaka
548: Faithless
547: Tokyo Rotation
546: Yokosuka Reggae Super Bash
545: The Roots
544: True People's Celebration
543: Trans Europe Fes
542: Matthew Sweet
541: Heaven Artists
540: Manolito y su Trabuco
539: Rabble rouser
537: The Offspring
535: Janet Kay with Omar and Thriller U
533: Critters Buggin’
532: Cyndi Lauper
531: Cat Power
530: Standing in the shadows
528: Missy Elliott
527: Stereolab
526: Organic Groove
525: Questions of the day
523: Tough Cookie
521: Conversion
520: Iggy's inner artist
519: Control freak chic
518: Down to the Wire
517: Incubus
516: Kraftwerk
515: Black Eyed Peas
514: Pretenders
513: Sonicmania
511: Suburban funk boys
509/10: Incognito
508: Celtic Xmas 2003
507: Limp Bizkit
506: Robert Randolph and the Family Band
505: Out on a limb
503: Electraglide
501: Super Furry Animals
499: Geezer's groove
498: Ashanti
497: Syn city
496: Slacker rock rules!
495: Television
494: Lou Reed
493: Joao Gilberto
492: The Used
491: Gypsy Summer 2003
490: The Lucksmiths
489: Maxi Priest & Shaggy
488: Chuck Berry
487: Summer Sonic
486: The redheaded stepchild makes good
485: Positive punk mom
484: Duran Duran
483: Unapologetically acoustic
482: Break and Remake
481: Ron Sexmith
480: Folk Implosion
479: The Brand New Heavies
478: The Blood Brothers
477: Eminem
476: The Kills
475: Jackson Browne
474: N.E.R.D.
473: Shred a tabloid, make music
472: Garage Redux
471: Bringing the jams east
470: Asian Dub Foundation
469: Badly Drawn Boy
468: Massive Attack
467: Teenage Fanclub
466: The All Wave Grrls
465: J. Mascis + the Fog
464: Catching up with Sonic Youth
463: Deep Forest
462: Magic Rockout
461: Jurassic 5
460: Snuff
459: Queens of the Stone Age
457/8: On the phone: The Jeevas
456: K-Ci & JoJo and The Roots
455: Sleater-Kinney
454: Beast Feast
453: Contrasts in young UK rock
452: Tahiti 80
451: Pink
450: The Artist (no longer) formerly known as..
449: Paul McCartney Previewed
447: Jamiroquai
446: On the phone: Taxiride
445: Bad Religion
444: Jennifer Love Hewitt
443: Camp in Asagiri Jam
442: The Cinematic Orchestra
441: On the phone: Moby
440: True People's Celebration
439: Roots Revival
438: The politics of sampling
437: Summer Sonic sampler
436: The Jazz Mandolin Project
435: Indie icons
434: Cato Salsa Experience
433: Get's Bossa Nova 2002
432: Janet Kay with Omar
431: Kottonmouth Kings
430: Bowes & Morley
429: Christina Milian
428: Elvis Costello
427: Space Kelly
426: Diana Krall
425: Jay-Z
424: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
423: The Brian Setzer Orchestra
422: Weezer
421: The Music
420: Lenny Kravitz
419: Speech
418: Tool
417: Green Day
416: Chuck Berry & James Brown
415: Ozomatli
414: Britney Spears
413: Music Mary J. Blige
412: Incubus
411: The Chemical Brothers
410: David Byrne
409: The Prodigy
408: Roger Walters
407: Ozzy Osbourne
406: Lisa Loeb
405: Aerosmith
404: Garbage
403: Sloan
402: Jamiriquoi
401: Park Tower Blues Festival
400: Mercury Rev
399: Bjork
398: The Isley Brothers
397: Janet Jackson
396: Ian Brown
395: Tortoise Orchestra
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel
392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana

by Dan Grunebaum

From left: Billy Fica (drums), Richard Lloyd (gtr/vcls), Tom Verlaine (gtr/vcls), Fred Smith (bass/vcls)

Punk in its current form, whether in the pre-torn jeans of teen heartthrob Avril Lavigne or the faux cockney accents of Green Day, has become so co-opted, so corporatized, as to have long lost its essential rebelliousness-in an era when punk fashions are bought off the rack, body piercing seems almost more an act of conformity than rebellion.

But there was a time when a pre-Filthy Lucre Sex Pistols, kitted up in ripped T-shirts barely held together by safety pins, seemed the height of anti-authoritarianism. And as rock lore has it, it was prescient manager Malcolm McClaren and his fashion designer wife Vivian Westwood who crafted this anarchic message, concocting The Sex Pistols out of a bunch of good-for-nothings who hung around their London boutique.

Not so simple, says guitarist Richard Lloyd of veteran proto-punk band Television, over the phone from New York. In a wide-ranging interview prior to this week's Japan tour, the musician looked back at a three-decade career in rock, providing some behind-the-scenes insight into the genesis of punk and the cross-fertilization between New York and London that made it happen.

Television were there from the beginning. First forming as the Neon Boys with guitarist/vocalist Tom Verlaine, drummer Billy Ficca and bassist Richard Hell, the band changed their name to Television with the addition of Lloyd in 1973. When Verlaine convinced CBGB to begin featuring live bands on a regular basis, and when Television, Blondie, the Ramones and other key acts began to gig there, the New York punk scene was born.

While Blondie, the Ramones and others were bringing punk and new wave to the masses, Television were crafting a more intellectual, musically sophisticated vision of punk that made up for in influence what it lacked in popularity. Their 1977 debut album, Marquee Moon, never made much headway in the charts, but the angular, minimalist guitar interplay between Verlaine and Lloyd set the template for the punk esthetic, contrasting sharply with the bombastic guitar solos of contemporary chart-toppers like "Stairway to Heaven" or "Freebird."

While fame may have eluded Television in the US, where they remained mostly an underground phenomenon, they were received better in the UK, where their 1978 follow-up, Adventure, became a Top Ten hit amid the punk explosion sweeping the British Isles. But this was to be the peak of their popularity.

At the end of the decade, amid acrimony between the two guitarists, Television broke up, with Verlaine and Lloyd both leaving to pursue solo careers. Lloyd didn't waste time, releasing his 1979 solo debut, Alchemy to good reviews. A bout with drug addiction followed, delaying his sophomore effort, Field of Fire, until six years later. Lloyd also kept himself busy with production and studio work, contributing pointed guitar work on albums by singer-songwriter Matthew Sweet and others.

Putting their tensions behind them, Television finally reunited in 1991, releasing Television for Capitol Records and announcing their comeback with a performance at England's Glastonbury Festival in 1992. It was this tour that saw the band first visit Japan. "I remember it with great fondness," Lloyd recalls. "I remember the strange details, like in Tokyo we played in a 2,000-seat theater on the ninth floor of some department store. It was a very odd sort of thing for an American to see golf courses on the tops of buildings and that sort of stuff."

It was to be another decade until Television again made the trip across the Pacific, returning for 2001's Fuji Rock Festival. Lloyd says the changes in Japan were immediately evident. "This last time I think we were all shocked," he says. "It seemed like everybody had gotten much more rocking in the time we were gone, and a lot of people knew the lyrics and were singing along. They seem much more open-there's a certain sort of politeness and Japanese decorum that rock is helping them to explore a greater freedom with."

While Television have new material, they're not in a great hurry to release a new album. "Television is the least career-concerned band that I know about," Lloyd says. "We have our own way of doing things, our own thinking. Whereas most bands are salivating at the doors of record companies, like 'Please sign me, I want to make a record,' Television doesn't really… Television is one of the bands that cares the very least about what people think."

The band gig only selectively, and each member has his own career, with fatherhood, production work and his 2001 solo album Cover Doesn't Matter occupying much of Lloyd's recent time. "Television is an absolute priority for all of us-always has been, always will be," he says. "But we only do a handful of dates every year, so that's not a whole lot of time out of 365 days… There's a certain comfort we like, and we're not going to go out and tour in a van and sleep on people's floors just to be out there."

So what exactly is the link between Television, Malcolm McClaren and The Sex Pistols? "If some historian wanted to dig in the right way, it would be very easy to see the development of Malcolm out of his involvement with the New York Dolls and the weeklong sting that we did with them in New York," Lloyd says.

"For some reason, the Dolls were on their way down. Malcolm got involved and had them do a tour of the South. They got back to New York and were concerned about not filling up the theater, so we did a co-bill with them for like five days at some place on 56th street.

"Malcolm fell in love with Television and the look of the band, and really wanted to manage us. Richard Hell was still in the band at the time and Richard came up with the look of torn, tattered T-shirts and ripped clothes. Malcolm was crazy over Richard's look and the sound of Television and he called his wife and said to her, 'There's this great band and I really want to manage them, but they don't want it so I'm going to make my own.' So he went back to England and out of the kids that hung out at his wife Vivian's clothing store, he just picked a bunch of kids.

"He did the Svengali thing and built The Sex Pistols and engineered that whole thing, which is fantastic, more power to him. But then of course it went very big and everybody said, 'That's where all that music started, in England.'"

Television play Shibuya AX on September 25 and Camp in Asagiri Jam on September 27. See concert listings for details.

credit: John Telfer

Discuss music with METROPOLIS readers at