From the archive
Before we get into this weekend’s many show options, I’d like to write about the current state of the Music Video Program, of which there have been a couple of recent developments. I don’t know how many of you watched the return of MTV’s classic alt-rock video show 120 Minutes to the airwaves (or your digital cable provider) the other week. (I DVR’d it.) In college, used to fight with folks in the dorm lounge who were more interested in SportsCenter for rights to watch the same Mighty Lemon Drops, Nine Inch Nails and Morrissey videos they showed the week before and the week before. But in those pre-internet days, it was one of the few places you could see videos by bands/artists like that and you took what you could get.
I guess it was nice seeing Matt Pinfield‘s familiar face again, at that epicenter of NYC alt rock Arlene Grocery, but… the show felt safe, and stuck in ’90s. (I know that’s when Pinfield hosted it, but my favorite host was smartass Kevin Seal. Worst host: Lewis Largent). Pinfield talked a lot about "music discovery" which is fine until you play a Mumford & Sons video and then interview Kings of Leon. The only edge to the show was when Das Racist were on and hit line drives back at Pinfield's softballed questions.
A much better option, in my opinion, is Weird Vibes — the new web-only indie rock video show that launches today on MTV’s Hive site. The show is from Shirley Braha who was also behind the much-missed NY Noise which aired on NYCTV for much of the ’00s. Apart from the Saved by the Bell opening credits, this is a show that could only exist in 2011.
There are videos of course — Grimes, Wu Lyf, Vivian Girls, and Shabazz Palaces and more in the first episode — but you can watch those anywhere. Weird Vibes’ reason to watch is the host segments. Not that there is a host. (There is no host.) If it’s anything like NY Noise, expect the format and theme to change week to week… but the debut episode is titled "It's Not Easy Being a Buzz Band." Frankie Rose, Beach Fossils, Tanlines, Best Coast and other discuss such topics as "Bad Credit/No Credit," "Predjudice and Stereotyping" and "Cyberbullying" (hmm) all set to some hilariously tense/dramatic music right out of a Dateline NBC story.
This may all be a little too Hipster Runoff (a clear influence here, check the captions during the interview segments) for the casual music fan, but to anyone who reads this site or Pitchfork regularly (aka you) will get it and should find it very entertaining. And in this segmented world we live in, there’s no reason this couldn’t actually air on MTV2 at 3:41 AM on Friday nights. Until then it’s online, you can watch the whole thing at the bottom of this post.