for February 6, 2004
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for today's rant...
[Inscrutable Links: John Peel Says "Hi". FM106.3 Staff List. FM106.3's 1988 playlist.]
Let's Go To The Video Tape
by Stiffy Biceptz
The first time I saw MTV was September of 1982 at a frat party my freshman year at Rutgers. Calista and I were amazed at what we saw. It was cool, and we knew it was gonna be big. The videos had a powerful effect on shaping the images of the bands. That was the whole idea I guess.
Through the rest of the 80's and early 90's, I didn't see much MTV, since I didn't have access to it. By the time I got to the Melody and started getting into the Alternative music scene, I never had time to watch TV, and wasn't about to pay for cable out of my meager grad school earnings.
So for many of my Alternative favorites, I never saw any of their videos and never even considered that they might even have made any. Besides, it was unlikely many of them would have been played on MTV anyway.
Fast forward to 2004 and here I am with a satellite dish and VH1 Classic. And to my shock and dismay, I'm seeing for the first time many videos from my Alternative past. Just the other day I saw for the first time videos by Dramarama, the Wonder Stuff, the Stone Roses, Julian Cope, the Damned and Pop Will Eat Itself. Where did these come from? I couldn't quite figure out why I was uncomfortable watching these videos, videos of songs from bands I had liked for a long time.
After a while I remembered something Jacko Nautilus had recently said to me. He said, "Stiffy, I don't watch videos, videos are stupid." I of course challenged him on this, being of vastly superior intellect. His response was, "Because they force you to see a band and a song the way they want, not the way you'd like to." I was taken aback by this nugget of wisdom from my muscle bound band mate, and I was forced to ruminate on his words for some time.
After a few hours of quiet contemplation, I concluded that Jacko was not in some steroid induced delirium, and that the answer was close to what he was trying to get at.
I finally concluded that it was simply the fact that there were videos for these songs that troubled me. Hundreds of alternative songs swirled in my imagination for years without a video. Indeed, seeing videos of these songs well after their time did diminish them in my head. Before they had been just songs, nothing but sound and the memories of dancing to them at the Melody. Now I see the video and I must admit, it has hurt some of my memories. Damn that Jacko and his dime store wisdom. I still like videos anyway.
Speaking of videos, the No Doubt video for "It's My Life" is absolutely fantastic. Now that's a video and image I don't mind having stuck in my head. Gwenn is frighteningly hot and just about everything she does is amazing.
So, y'know, there's exceptions.
©2004 Stiffy Biceptz
All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.
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