The Beatnigs - Television !
The Beatnigs - Television
The original vehicle for social and political critic Michael Franti (later of the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy and Spearhead), the Beatnigs used elements of industrial music and punk on their lone album, a 1988 self-titled effort for Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles label. After its release and a remix of the single "Television" by Adrian Sherwood, the group broke up. Franti, however, returned to music three years later with his Disposable Heroes project, an act in much the same vein as the Beatnigs but with more ties to rap. ~John Bush @AllMusic
Most people are no doubt more familiar with the version by The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, Franti and Tse's project after departing from The Beatnigs.
I've always preferred The Beatnigs' version, partly because it has more of a jackhammer quality, seemingly trying to flatten the offending appliance out of all recognition. The lyrics definitely pack a punch, and are frequently funny, though the delivery is more aggressive, even ill-tempered at times. The main flaw here is, as is so often the case, that the two extra mixes of "Television" just don't add anything to the song at all. Messers Sherwood, Clail and Stewart may have their merits, but not in this context. "Jazzy Beats" does not live up to its name. Still, having zapped through the fifteen channels I have at my disposal and found nothing that didn't threaten to infect me with extreme idiocy, twenty-one years on, "Television" remains as true as ever - in spirit, even as the historical references have dated. ~resist_retreat @RateYourMusic