Tom Verlaine remains best-known to rock fans as the singer and lead guitarist of the beloved but short-lived rock band Television. The group came out of New York City in the late 1970s, alongside peers like the Talking Heads and Patti Smith. Since then, Verlaine has been an elusive presence on the music scene -- his recent release of two CDs is his first public work in 14 years.
Songs and Other Things finds Verlaine mirroring his idiosyncratic guitar solos with unpredictable vocals. By contrast, Around is an album of guitar instrumentals that flow from style to style, from "In a Silent Way"-era Miles Davis to West African pop.