These days it seems like it is almost impossible to find music videos on any of the so-called music video channels.
Mtv was the first all music video network, and it was also the first to start dropping music videos, now the other channels are slowly but surely following suit. Mtv2 came along, in 1996 (as M2) to fill the video void, and offer an alternative to Mtv, for people who actually wanted to see videos, but as time went on Mtv2 started showing the same programming as Mtv and now is almost as bad as Mtv.
VH1 used to be the yuppie version of Mtv featuring more adult contemporary and R&B music. Now VH1 is filled with “celebreality” and bad clip shows featuring b-list comedians commenting on tabloid material. It is TV which is simple to produce on a relatively low budget, and at times it is addictive. I think Flava Of Love is hilarious ridiculous TV, and Best Week Ever is pretty funny too. I just wish it wasn’t on a “music video” channel.
For a while, I was addicted to VH1 Classic. Their Alternative show reminds me of the days I was obsessed with Post Modern Mtv and 120 Minutes, and they have a great metal show with lots of awesome hair bands. But now, they are straying from the original formula too. As much as I love “This is Spinal Tap”, there are plenty of channels that can show that movie. Footloose? Taking up two hours that could’ve been spent showing great videos? If I tune in to VH1 Classic, I want music videos or concert footage. That is it. I don’t want a clip show of the 40 greatest hair metal songs ever, where you show 20 seconds of a song, and have a few people talk about the song. I just want to see the videos. Thanks.
On the country music side of things, we have TNN and CMT. TNN used to have great music shows, like the American Music Shop, and The Texas Connection. Nashville Now etc. etc. eventually they got rid of all of that, added WWE wrestling, and became Spike TV. CMT which used to only play country videos, is now just a steaming pile of crap. A few years back, Nashville transformed. What is being called Country Music now is bad adult-contemporaty with a southern accent. The real country music was relegated to a late night show called “Wide Open Country”, while the pop garbage flowed freely throughout the day. Next step, they started showing the Dukes of Hazzard, followed a slew of bad reality shows: A cheerleader contest, a search for the “next Coyote Ugly girl”, and now ‘Trick My Truck”, the redneck version of “Pimp My Ride”. There is no Country Music left on “Country Music Television”. Of course Viacom, who owns Mtv and VH1, also owns CMT.
And along comes Fuse… Fuse gave me hope for music videos again. Fuse touted itself as the place to go to find the music, and they delivered. Lots of rock and metal. But now, that channel is also falling into a bad place. Tattoo Stories, a show where people talk about their tattoos. A few awful unwatchable cartoons (which seem to have been cancelled thankfully) and what is perhaps the worst show I have ever seen, ever. Pants Off Dance Off, which is basically “watch a bunch of morons strip, but don’t actually show any nudity.” The show tells you to go to the website to see them nude, and then they don’t show you, which lead to a bunch of pissed off emo kids complaining on the Fuse message boards. When they do show videos, expect mostly emo.
But there is hope. Every Tuesday night at 10PM on WNYC a New York City station which also broadcasts on Cablevision in NY broadcasts New York Noise, which is an awesome hour of the best new indie rock videos. Check it out.
NYC is the home of The Tube, a fantastic video channel which plays an eclectic mix of videos. It is actually part of WPIX channel 11’s digital signal. Nothing but videos. No VJ’s. No bad reality shows. No clip shows. Just videos. They play everything, lots of classic rock, rare concert footage, and 80’s videos. They will go from Prince, to the Doobie Brothers, to Hendrix or Led Zeppelin, and then show a new video from a new artist. My only complaint is that they show the same Dashboard Confessional video way too often, and that is just a small complaint. So if you are looking for videos, and are not having any luck with Mtv or Vh1 or even Fuse, check out The Tube, and then there is always YouTube.