Sunday, 24 April 2011

The right place at the right time.

I could be making a post about how lucky I/we am/are to be alive in this instant of miracle and wonder, but I want to concentrate on one specific thing.

You see, I got told by someone who knows about this sort of thing that there is a sort of window of receptiveness for music. You generally get into music somewhere in your mid-teens, and this continues until your mid or late 20's, after which you get a bit set in your ways, or you have a wife and 2 screaming mortgages and you just don't have time. And so it was with me. And in my early 20's I was seriously into my tunes.

Just imagine if they decided to put a programme on the telly, right at peak time, on a mainstream channel, that was devoted to playing videos and stuff by some cool-as-fuck bands. It wouldn't happen now, but back in the early 1990's, shadowing the rise of the indie/rave/Madchester thing that's exactly what happened. Janet Street-Porter brought SnubTV from the US to Britain, and the eyes and ears of an unsuspecting teatime BBC2 audience were treated to Sonic Youth, Ride, Spacemen3, Fatima Mansions, and The Cramps, to name but a few.

Nowadays of course, there are 9,582,490,850 channels available, even if you don't have a cable subscription, and you can probably find a channel playing slow motion reversed footage of vomiting swans somewhere if you look hard enough, but at the time, most of us had just the 4, and to use fully 25% of them playing alternative music was pretty damn remarkable.

It couldn't last of course. 3 seasons and it was gone. I don't remember what replaced it.

Ultra Vivid Scene - Mercy Seat on MUZU.

sonic youth snub tv bbc 1989

Micheal Jane | Myspace Video


John said...

yeah snubtv was great but where do I find the channel playing slow motion reversed footage of vomiting swans, or even the CD, the rest of the family would prefer it to a lot of the stuff I listen to.

Paul said...

Closest I could get, John.

Paul said...

Actually, it was you that prompted this post. I saw your post about the SLAB Peel session, and remembered seeing them on SnubTV. The video had lots of extreme closeups of sticky out tongues and the music was Grrraaaggghhhhh industrial stuff if I remember rightly. I can't find that particular video though.

John said...

Fatima Mansions, I remember watching this and thunking WOW, the White Room was good as well, but a bit later than snub IIRC, I was a regular viewer of the midnight metal show, wasn't headbangers ball but the title was probably something just as crass,and the hit/miss ratio was pretty high, for every Soundgarden you had a couple of Motley Crues, thank god someone invented youtube, at least I can get a decent nights kip and never have to tolerate the Crue ever again

go on you know you want too

Paul said...

I almost included the Fatima Mansions one, but the vid list was getting a bit long. Thanks for the Motley Crue link. I'm afraid I didn't manage to play the whole thing. I'm sure you'll understand.