I'm not a big fan of television, but I do like Television, one of the bands which comprised the mid-to-late 70's NYC music scene. Unlike some of the bands which anchored the scene (cough, Ramones*, cough), Television had a sophisticated musical style, centered on sonic tapestry woven by the interplay of the two guitarists. While the band released two critically lauded albums in the 70s, Marquee Moon and Adventure, they didn't crack open the American record charts (hey, they blasted out the disco on the radio those days). Television's influence does seem apparent in some of the more melodic alternative rock that hits the college radio airwaves, though. Here's a 1985 performance of Marquee Moon's title track by Television co-founder Tom Verlaine:
While the critics loved the band, the feeling was not universal, as this funny number from The Damned amply displays.
*I've noted before that the Ramones, while musically unsophisticated, were conceptually sophisticated- there was an ironclad discipline behind their look and sound, which only seemed primitive, or as the Ramones would put it, D-U-M-B.