French TV - Virtue In Futility

Year of Release: 1994
Label: Pretentious Dinosaur Records
Catalog Number: CD
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:15:00

In the more experimental approach like Djam Karet and/or Radio Piece III, the all-instrumental music of French TV arrives with all the freshness you can only expect from your local grocery store. The Zappa-esque titles are complementary to the musi-cal offerings like a track such as "Hey! Real executi-ves jump from the 50th floor!" proves. The song has lots of strong symphonic elements combined with Crimson-like heavy-ness.

Although French TV is the name of the solo venture of bass player Mike Sary, this is not an album full of technical bass skills. What strikes me is Sary's power to include non-conven-tional instruments within the structure of his unique music. Apart from the superb drumming from Fenner Castner there's the distinctive violin of Gretchen Wilcox in "Clanghonktweet."

The inclusion of brass naturally steers the music into a jazz/fusion direction which makes "The family that oonts together, groonts together" and "I'm whining for that funky baby of mine" maybe less interesting for the true progfan. There's obvi-ously more structure waiting in "Empat?" but it's back to basic experiment in "Friends in high places (or boy do I hate these bastards)" where the main ingredient is a tape concer-ning the Oliver North scandal.

French TV is certainly not everyone's piece of cake but you have to admire the self-indulgence with which this difficult album has been made. It would've been nice though to have a couple of more accessible tracks to make this CD more digesta-ble.

Hey! Real Executives Jump From The 50th Floor (6:) / Clanghonktweet (6:39) / The Family That Oonts Together, Groonts Together (7:41) / I:m Whining For That Funky Baby Of Mine (6:20) / Empat? (7:48) / Friends In High Places (8:00) / Slowly I Turn ? Step By Step ? Inch By Inch ? (12:15)

Mike Sary - bass, Chapman stick
Dean Zigoris - guitars, vocals
Fenner Castner - drums
Paul Nevitt - keyboards
Plus lots of guests

French TV (1994)
After A Lengthy Silence (1987)
Virtue In Futility (1994)
Intestinal Fortitude (1995)
Live: YOO-HOO!!! (1997)
The Violence of Amateurs (1999)
The Case Against Art (2002)
Pardon Our French (2004)
This Is What We Do (2006)
I Forgive You For All My Unhappiness (1CD) (2010)
I Forgive You For All My Unhappiness (2CD) (2010)
Ambassadors Of Good Health ANd Clean Living (2016)
Operation: MOCKINGBIRD (2017)

Genre: RIO

Origin US

Added: February 11th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1315
Language: english


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