Saturday, 15 December 2012
Top 102 Albums, No 82 My Dark Places
My Dark Places - The Television Personalities
Once again, very late at night, I choose (with ever more desperate randomness) another of my favourite albums with which to regale my many acolytes. Having mentioned Dan Treacy in a comment on my last post I thought I would continue my random linking and choose a Television Personalities album for your perusal.
I came late to the Television Personalities. Although aware of and loving their early poke at the Part Time Punks I really wasn't aware of what they had gone on to do after that. however when researching an idea I had on second generation Irish musicians in Britain I came across Treacy and found this documentary online (this is part one of four):
I found the documentary hugely moving and it led me to buy a few TVP"s albums, my favourite of which is My Dark Places. Treacy is clearly hyper-sensitive to the vagaries of life and badly buffeted by them. The last I heard of him he was in recovery from a medically induced coma having had a blood clot removed from his brain. Shoplifting to feed a drug habit also led him to serve some years in prison.
Although at times there can be a haphazard feel to this record it is part of it's charm and you can hear Treacy's ability to come up with killer melodies again and again, made all the better by the fact that he resists his own facility in an attempt to reach the emotional core of the songs. At times he seems to peel back everything to expose his naked nerves.
Repetition, nursery rhymes, disintegration, quotes and a voice which is often on the verge of cracking all play a part in this - the subject matter moving from the trivial "tell me anything, even your shopping list" to the heartbreaking in a moment "just let me know I'm safe .. tell me I'm not in disgrace." The shadow of a broken childhood hangs over it and the long shadow of fragility that is it's bequest.
This is another album which I listen to obsessively every now and then. It is also the album which brings tears to my eyes more than any other. I find it almost unbearably moving at times but there's also humour and a survivors spirit there.
My favourite song on it is I'm Not Your Typical Boy, which I put on whenever I want to cry. Time to publish before I short circuit the laptop.