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Sunday, July 22, 2007

120 Minutes

Here is a challenge for you all: I DEFY you to find anything cooler on television than VH1 Classic running re-runs of 120 Minutes. This may be something that has been going on for a while, so I apologize if I need to go get me a late pass on this subject.

That said, how great is this? I mean, they're even playing it in the original time slot--Sundays 11:00-1:00! Classic, "alternative rock" videos! I used to set the ol' timer on the VHS machine so I could watch 120 Minutes, because my parents wouldn't let me stay up that late. I remember classic stuff like R.E.M. (before they blew up), The Jesus & Mary Chain, Dinosaur Jr, The Pixies, etc.

In fact--and this is kind of weird, considering how not-"alternative" they were, but the first place I heard "Mr. Jones" by the Counting Crows was on 120 Minutes. That said, in retrospect, it wasn't that weird: "Mr. Jones" was totally unlike all the grunge/angst pop of the "alternative" scene, or any other scene, for that matter. "Mr. Jones" was some folk-rock, Van Morrison-esque tribute to Bob Dylan, gray guitars, and yellow-haired girls...and somehow (basically) debuted on 120.

But that was the beauty of it: Did "Mr. Jones" blend in well after "Head Like A Hole" by Nine Inch Nails? Of course not! Did "Mr. Jones" blend in well after the newest Michael Jackson video? No. It really had no place for popular- nor counter-culture at the time. Which is why it made perfect sense that it ended up on 120 Minutes. 120 Minutes was--I think quite literally--the last show on TV (outside your Austin City Limits and Live From Abbey Roads) that would showcase great music, regardless of how "alternative" or not it was. The producers of that show knew a great tune when they heard it, and--for all its' cheesy qualities--recognized that "Mr. Jones" was a fantastic song, and knew that no one else on MTV was going to play it.

They took a chance on it, and the rest--as they say--is history.

(Also funny fact: if I recall correctly, the night I saw "Mr. Jones" I just happened to get away with staying up late on a school night. Napa also ran into the same situation, and we both came to school on Monday talking about some kick ass song we saw on 120 Minutes sung by some white dude with dreads. The lesson: great minds think alike.)

EDIT: The Jam's "In The City" is on right now. Just in case you somehow forgot how much this show kicked ass from the time you got done reading the above post.

EDIT II: So I searched for a 120 Minute logo to throw up on this post, but rather found this website. It has an archive of who hosted 120 Minutes going back to the beginning of the show. First of all, I had no damned idea it aired until 2003. This is shocking. But more importantly, look at this list of hosts from when I religously watched this program--I think it pretty much sums up how important this show was, and reminds me where I first started listening to some of my favorite bands, plus a fun stroll down memory lane:

-The Edge and Adam Clayton of U2
-Screaming Trees
-Hank Rollins
-Peter Gabriel (?)
-Sonic Youth
-The Sundays
-Depeche Mode
-Bob Mould
-Urge Overkill
-Juliana Hatfield
-Buffalo Tom
-Luscious Jackson
-George Clinton (?????)
-Pavement / Possum Dixon (Side story: Possum Dixon played at a bar in Sidney, Nebraska in 2000. A very small bar. I shit you not. Saw the sign myself. They had one classic AWESOME song back in the day, but I cannot remember it. You'll have to take my word for it.)
-MC 900 Ft. Jesus
-Billy Corgan
-Michael Stipe
-Matthew Sweet
-Jeff Buckley
-Blind Melon
-Trent Reznor and David Bowie
-The Refreshments

This is just 1993-1996. Unbelievable. This show was awesome.

LAST EDIT: The Possum Dixon song was "Watch The Girl Destroy Me." I was a little nervous when I found the video on VH1.com, but was excited to hear it was exactly what I remembered it to be: perfect '90's college rock/power pop. Classic. This is my favorite post in months.

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Couldn't agree more! It is wehere I found bands like Primus and Sublime and this little band from the east bay area called Green Day
Jesus, thought I had a late night last night...I should have given you a call on this, Hales!
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