Public Enemy. Blondie. Velvet Underground. The Ramones. New York Dolls. Sonic Youth. Wu Tang Clan. Le Tigre. Beastie Boys. Shangri-Las. The Strokes. Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Billy Joel and the group of corner dwellers singing a capella around a burning trash can on "For the Longest Time." Hundreds of others we can't and won't name here. As the nation's largest city and its unofficial cultural capital, New York City has played a major role in developing artists of every genre, from gospel, jazz, blues, and R&B to rock, punk, post-punk, indie, garage, and many more. The best band in New York could be playing at Trans-Pecos this weekend, Music Hall of Williamsburg the next, at the Beacon Theater in a few months, or maybe they just hung around Max's Kansas City and CBGB back in the '60s and '70s.
So: Television. Formed in 1973, Television comes close to representing the collective influences that produced the punk and post-punk scene bubbling out of New York City's grimy primordial ooze in the 1970s; cofounder Richard Hell is a punk legend, and Television were regulars at the influential venues CBGB and Max's Kansas City. Unlike many punk acts, however, Television focused on musicianship, drawing from the downtown jazz scene that had developed in the city during the preceding two decades. The result was Marquee Moon, an ambitious debut that retained a punk spirit while breaking new ground in structure, rhythm, and themes, epitomized in the 10-minute-long title track. Are they the best band from New York? You can form your own opinions.