Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Song of the Week: "Silly Girl", Television Personalities

Sometime around 1980, an off-key whimper of an album hit the record bins in the UK. A simple white album cover with a picture of the boob-tube characters, The Avengers was accompanied by the black and white words: Television Personalities. The backside of the album had photos of cops, hands, cats, Syd Barrett, "Alex" from A Clockwork Orange, Pete Townshend, The Creation and a pudgy kid holding a monkey. It looked much like the wall of most teenagers of the day (with the exception of the tilt towards 60's mod pop/psychedelia). The album is entitled And Don't The Kids Just Love It. It's the first output from the do-it-yourself band, Television Personalities, a band centered around the work of singer and songwriter Dan Treacy.

Television Personalities were amateurish (at best). But that was the intrigue of the band. Treacy played warbly, poorly tuned guitar and, at times, sang so far out of key in his thick British accent that you had to wonder if he was doing it on purpose. Despite, or because of, his musical limitations, Treacy made an impact in Britain. Here was a kid and his friends who wanted to make music. So they did it. They wrote songs, recorded those songs themselves, designed the album cover themselves and released it on their own label. No more A&R suits swilling gin and tonics telling you how unmarketable you are. Go straight to the record stores yourself and sell the record yourself.

Today's SoTW, is one of those songs off of that first album. It's one of their more accessible songs and it is entitled, Silly Girl. It features Treacy strumming frantically on guitar as the bass plays an overly complicated run. Ghostly noises fill out the aura of the song.

Television Personalities never broke the charts, but they did influence deconstructionists bands like Scotland's the Jesus and Mary Chain and Stockton, California's Pavement.

1 comment:

  1. I like this simple, straightforward under-produced pop song. It reminds me of the Who's I Need You. Never noticed the whalesong-like sounds that start at the first verse.