You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tom Verlaine

It's been nearly 15 years since Tom Verlaine's last album, but that doesn't mean the former Television frontman has been idle. He's just released two albums through Chicago's Thrill Jockey Records, "Around," a collection of low-impact atmospheric soundscapes, and "Songs and Other Things," a collection of, well, low-impact atmospheric soundscapes with the occasional vocal.

With:
Band: Verlaine, Louis Appel, Jimmy Ripp, Fred Smith.

It’s been nearly 15 years since Tom Verlaine’s last album, but that doesn’t mean the former Television frontman has been idle. He’s just released two albums through Chicago’s Thrill Jockey Records, “Around” (subtitled “Instrumentals, Volume II”), a collection of low-impact atmospheric soundscapes, and “Songs and Other Things,” a collection of, well, low-impact atmospheric soundscapes with the occasional vocal.

Selections from the latter album made up the bulk of Verlaine’s 90-minute show Friday at the Roxy, and the live setting did not change their skeletal, stitched-together quality.

They’re less songs than gestures toward songs, although still identifiably Verlaine: moving at deliberate speed, occasionally breaking into an easy Caribbean lilt, with refracted, abstract lyrics sung in a choked voice that casts sidelong looks at the world. With barely a chorus or identifiable riff among them, they don’t so much finish as simply stop after Verlaine solos; they exist as nothing more than conveyances for his guitar-playing.

Of course, if you can solo like Verlaine, it doesn’t really matter what gets you there. He played at an exceptional level at the Roxy, adding rising tides of clotted, Coltrane-esque harmonics on “Memory Charm,” some revved-up Middle Eastern Dick Dale surf guitar for “Documentary,” a teasing, circular Jerry Garcia line that playfully flits over a Bo Diddley beat on “Shingaling.”

The two most fully realized tunes were also the oldest: “Kingdom Come” and “Breakin’ in My Heart,” both from his 1980 self-titled solo debut. The energy level in the room rose noticeably when both were performed.

Verlaine’s band seemed to have been instructed to stay out of the guitarist’s way. Fred Smith supplied the understated bass that has accompanied Verlaine since Television, while drummer Louie Appel was a less-busy version of Television’s Billy Ficca and Jimmy Ripp never challenged on rhythm guitar.

Tom Verlaine

Roxy; 500 capacity; $20

Production: Presented inhouse. Reviewed June 16, 2006.

Cast: Band: Verlaine, Louis Appel, Jimmy Ripp, Fred Smith.

More Scene

  • Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek'Papillon' film

    'Papillon': Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek's New Drama Is 'Somewhat of a Love Story'

    It’s been nearly 15 years since Tom Verlaine’s last album, but that doesn’t mean the former Television frontman has been idle. He’s just released two albums through Chicago’s Thrill Jockey Records, “Around” (subtitled “Instrumentals, Volume II”), a collection of low-impact atmospheric soundscapes, and “Songs and Other Things,” a collection of, well, low-impact atmospheric soundscapes with […]

  • Debra MessingProject Angel Food honoring Debra

    'Will & Grace': Debra Messing Talks David Schwimmer's Guest Role

    It’s been nearly 15 years since Tom Verlaine’s last album, but that doesn’t mean the former Television frontman has been idle. He’s just released two albums through Chicago’s Thrill Jockey Records, “Around” (subtitled “Instrumentals, Volume II”), a collection of low-impact atmospheric soundscapes, and “Songs and Other Things,” a collection of, well, low-impact atmospheric soundscapes with […]

  • David Harbour'Stranger Things' event, Los Angeles,

    'Stranger Things' Season 3 Is Inspired by 1985's 'Fletch' (EXCLUSIVE)

    It’s been nearly 15 years since Tom Verlaine’s last album, but that doesn’t mean the former Television frontman has been idle. He’s just released two albums through Chicago’s Thrill Jockey Records, “Around” (subtitled “Instrumentals, Volume II”), a collection of low-impact atmospheric soundscapes, and “Songs and Other Things,” a collection of, well, low-impact atmospheric soundscapes with […]

  • Jeffrey Katzenberg

    Jeffrey Katzenberg on Oscars' New Popular Film Category Controversy

    It’s been nearly 15 years since Tom Verlaine’s last album, but that doesn’t mean the former Television frontman has been idle. He’s just released two albums through Chicago’s Thrill Jockey Records, “Around” (subtitled “Instrumentals, Volume II”), a collection of low-impact atmospheric soundscapes, and “Songs and Other Things,” a collection of, well, low-impact atmospheric soundscapes with […]

  • Ruth Wilson

    'The Affair's' Ruth Wilson Stays Mum on Controversial Exit

    It’s been nearly 15 years since Tom Verlaine’s last album, but that doesn’t mean the former Television frontman has been idle. He’s just released two albums through Chicago’s Thrill Jockey Records, “Around” (subtitled “Instrumentals, Volume II”), a collection of low-impact atmospheric soundscapes, and “Songs and Other Things,” a collection of, well, low-impact atmospheric soundscapes with […]

  • CULVER CITY, CA - AUGUST 16:

    'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' Star Lana Condor on Bringing More Diversity to Movies

    It’s been nearly 15 years since Tom Verlaine’s last album, but that doesn’t mean the former Television frontman has been idle. He’s just released two albums through Chicago’s Thrill Jockey Records, “Around” (subtitled “Instrumentals, Volume II”), a collection of low-impact atmospheric soundscapes, and “Songs and Other Things,” a collection of, well, low-impact atmospheric soundscapes with […]

  • Samantha Barks, Andy Karl'Pretty Woman: The

    'Pretty Woman' Broadway Cast Recalls Performing for Julia Roberts

    It’s been nearly 15 years since Tom Verlaine’s last album, but that doesn’t mean the former Television frontman has been idle. He’s just released two albums through Chicago’s Thrill Jockey Records, “Around” (subtitled “Instrumentals, Volume II”), a collection of low-impact atmospheric soundscapes, and “Songs and Other Things,” a collection of, well, low-impact atmospheric soundscapes with […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content