2007   Page 2

Better late than never at PLUG

2007 PLUG Independent Music AwardsLast weekend, I offered a recap of the Grammy Awards, supposedly TV’s biggest night of music. Yet another award ceremony took place that weekend — but not on TV, mind you — the PLUG Independent Music Awards.

PLUG is very different from other award ceremonies. Referring to those events, PLUG says, “Very rarely do these honors reach, let alone embrace, independent music… We’re a community that thinks for ourselves. We don’t take our cues from mainstream media or marketing.”

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Summary of MTV shakeups

Earlier this week, there was some confusion surrounding the layoffs at MTV Networks. At the end of the week, here’s everything we know.

About 250 employees were fired, or about 5.5% of the MTV U.S. staff. As reported earlier this week, much of the VH1 Classic staff is gone, and producers at MTV2 have also been given the ax. The general managers at both stations were also laid off. Both will continue to operate with a smaller staff.

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MTV2 and VH1 employees fired

Everyone in the VH1 Classic department and all the staff producers at MTV2 have been fired, Gawker reported today. MTV Networks has not confirmed or denied this move as of yet. No further information is available at this time.

An anonymous commenter tipped me off to this story. I doubt there will be sweeping changes at MTV2, because non-music shows have already taken over the channel, but that’s not the case with VH1 Classic. The channel is the home of great shows like The Alternative, a throwback to the old days of 120 Minutes. Assuming this is true, what will become of VH1 Classic?

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On TV: February 12–18, 2007

TV ScheduleThis is the first installment of a new series on altmusictv, in which I’ll give you an overview of the upcoming week’s alternative music on TV.

I’m planning to focus on live performances and appearances by some alternative bands and artists, but I’ll also include some other stuff that interests me, whether or not it’s “alternative.”

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49th annual Grammy Awards

49th annual Grammy AwardsWe all know the record industry is way out of touch with alternative and underground music. So, for music’s biggest night, it’s no surprise that alternative artists were few and far between, and those who did manage to get on the list of nominees were largely passed over.

Regardless, the night brought a few memorable moments and quality performances. The Police reunited in top notch, full form at the top of the show, and Gnarls Barkley offered an outstanding performance, among others.

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Sub #184: Matt and Kim

Matt and Kim - Subterranean on MTV2In this episode of Subterranean on MTV2, host Jim Shearer was joined by Matt and Kim, an extremely fun duo. Their self-titled album was released back in November.

Here’s the playlist for episode #184:

TV On The Radio – Province
Gnarls Barkley – Smiley Faces
Elvis Perkins – All The Night Without Love
K-os – Electrick Heat The Seekwill
Amy Winehouse – You Know I’m No Good
The Apples In Stereo – Energy
Matt and Kim – Yea Yeah
The Cinematics – Break
Wolfmother – White Unicorn

Great episode this week. Amy Winehouse is a great new talent; it was great to see her video on the show. The version of the same song with Ghostface is also a winner. Also good to see Apples In Stereo, the new one from Gnarls, and pretty much the entire rest of the show.

Matt and Kim are fantastic, I like everything I know about them. They seem like they have great attitudes, they know how to have fun, their video is hilarious, and Matt even complained about the annoying MTV2 logo. Too bad nobody could do anything about it.

The show would be so much better without all those commercials for ringtones. They damn near drove me insane this week. You know MTV2 has hit the bottom of the barrel when they’ll air a commercial for a fart sound ringtone. If you didn’t see it — I’m serious. Yet another reason to watch the show online. Speaking of which, the link for that will be coming shortly.

Here’s the link to watch the entire show online:

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Sub #183: no guest / Lily Allen

Lily Allen - Subterranean on MTV2Once again, there was no guest on this week’s episode of Subterranean on MTV2, but Jim Shearer provided some more voiceovers for us. Here’s the playlist for episode #183:

Muse – Starlight
Teddybears featuring Mad Cobra – Cobrastyle
Lily Allen – Smile
Tokyo Police Club – Nature of the Equipment
Dr. Dog – My Old Ways
Dirty on Purpose – No Radio
Klaxons – Atlanis to Interzone
The Decemberists – O Valencia!
Sean Lennon – Dead Meat
El Perro Del Mar – God Knows

Apparently there’s going to be some video picks from Lily Allen posted online soon. I’ll probably check that out. Her album Alright, Still was my choice for the best of 2006. She was also on SNL on Saturday, and I think she did a wonderful job, but of course I’m going to think so.

Check back later for the link to the online stuff. Make sure to read my MTV rant below. Finally, it’s too bad for the Bears; I was hoping they’d win tonight, but nope. Congrats to the Colts in any case.

UPDATE: Here’s the link to the online episode…

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MTV then and now

MTVA friend of mine came up with this and I thought it’d be interesting to share it here.

I was a huge fan of MTV around the mid-to-late ’90s. Although it may not seem like a very long time ago, that era is already about a decade in the past. Over the last nine years, MTV has obviously gone way downhill.

Now, I remember back in the late ’90s, people were already saying that MTV had lost its way, but in retrospect, it seems almost like bliss. Let’s take a look at MTV’s program schedule from nine years ago, February 2, 1998…

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Sub #182: The Shins

MTV2 SubterraneanIn this episode of Subterranean on MTV2, Jim Shearer interviewed The Shins. It was the first time that they’ve been on the show in over three years. Here was the last time, back in 2003.

Here’s the playlist for episode #182:

Cold War Kids – Hang Me Up To Dry
Arctic Monkeys – Leave Before The Lights Come On
Peter Bjorn And John – Young Folks
Viva Voce – From The Devil Himself
Annuals – Brother
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Naked Sun
The Shins – Phantom Limb
P.O.S. f/ Slug – Bleeding Hearts Club
Wolf Parade – I’ll Believe In Anything
Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Cold & Wet

As of this week, “Phantom Limb” has finally grown on me. Sure took long enough. It’s a great song. I picked up their album this week; it’s pretty fantastic as expected. Hoorah for The Shins.

Watch the episode and bonus stuff here:

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February stuff on Sub

Straight from the source, here’s what you can expect on MTV2’s Subterranean throughout the next month or so…

1/28: The Shins
2/04: no guest / a compilation of online bonus videos picked by Lily Allen
2/11: no guest / Elvis Perkins video premiere, online video picks, free URGE download
2/18: no show
2/25: at PLUG Awards in New York, guests TBA

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