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TVOD on FLTV

If you're at all retro-minded or if you're J.G. Ballard-minded you've probably heard of a song called “Warm Leatherette” by a band called The Normal, or maybe you've heard the cover version by Grace Jones. It’s become pretty iconic over the years. But it was originally released as a mere B-side and The Normal was not really a band (probably fooled ya with that '70s-looking-collective pictured above) being instead just this one British guy named Daniel Miller who founded a record label called Mute Records to put out the single, with the label soon becoming a pretty big deal and taking on a life of its own.



But back to our subject, the original A-side to "Warm Leatherette" was called “T.V.O.D.” which stands for Television Overdose and its entire lyric consisted of the song title's repeated over and over broken only a single stanza: "I don’t need a screen / I just stick the aerial into my skin / Let the signal run through my veins / T.V.O.D."

Well what if we told you there’s also a contemporary Brooklyn-based band called T.V.O.D. and that the band (not entirely unlike the song "T.V.O.D.") addresses our posthuman future in song and in sound--a future that may have finally arrived in full blown form in 2020 and '21--but with strong intimations of human longing and even intimacy hanging on for good measure. Fittingly for their name, Brooklyn's T.V.O.D. are prone to making sounds that could make some listeners feel a bit jittery or twitchy (call it David Byrnitis) or have you feeling mildly sedated and mildly euphoric all at once all while being catchy and cool sounding, in support of lyrics on subjects like self-medicating in disco huts and sentient sexually-frustrated bank accounts.

Give a listen to the EP Daisy up top to see what you think, or listen to the song below which happens to be one of this writer's faves from the EP. It's their slinkiest song and apparently the band got some nice endorsement money for making banking options sound so sexy so good on them. And then below that you can check out an earlier single that gives a very different perspective (a more puke-splattered perspective!) on the world of high finance and the cultural logic of late capitalism.


Despite all my hopes based on their band name, T.V.O.D. are in fact not a collective of sad horny TV-addicted cyborgs who like to go out dancing to disco punk, but really just five human beings sitting on a couch in Queens--as I recently witnessed--humans who have played (or still play) in other NYC-based indie bands like THICK, Star 80, Low Mein, and Acid Dad. But on the couch they don't bring these bands up instead sharing their thoughts on the moral culpability of Godzilla, and their desire to eat like Ryan Seacrest, and then they get up and walk over to a stage with instruments on it and play songs in real time including several songs that have yet to be been committed to digital circuits or streaming media which is pretty cool.

If you need proof of any of this there’s an app for that and it’s called FLTV (editor’s note: not technically an app but a dedicated webpage on Vimeo) where the letters stand for Footlight Television--another acronyms with TV in it which makes it easy to remember. In addition to the T.V.O.D. segment, the Vimeo page is full of other live-show-and-interview content provided by the good people at the Footlight Bar in Ridgewood, Queens and made available for a small fee. Just think, for the amount it would once take you to order a good-quality draft beer (non-happy-hour rates) at a bar or club, you can now order a band to sit down for an interview and play a live set all for your own pleasure. So maybe this whole post-human thing isn't all bad after all. (Jason Lee)

Published: February 15, 2021 |

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