A new music television?

There’s now a new contender in the world of alternative music television. Pitchfork assembled the resources to launch their own broadband channel, and we can’t wait. Is this the future? Also this week, more playlists for the archive.

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She and Him and her and them

The blog lives on! Welcome to another week at altmusictv. It’s February 18, 2008, and we just launched our second new home page design in about two months. Why so much change for a site that doesn’t need to change much? Well, we don’t want to let this site shrivel up and die as just archives, so a fresh new design and (hopefully) weekly to monthly content here will keep things interesting. We’ll see if enough notable things keep rolling in every couple of weeks. If so, expect this to continue for a while.

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Obscure music trivia

Every now and then, the altmusictv inbox gets messages from people who really, really need help. Most often, it’s about a seemingly random song they loved that was once on 120 Minutes, and no matter how hard they might try, they can’t remember it for the life of them.

There’s just one problem: I don’t have any idea either! I was an avid 120 Minutes viewer in the late ’90s and beyond, but some of this stuff dates back to ’80s, and I don’t have a clue. Even the more recent stuff escapes me because it’s just so obscure. What am I to do? I’ve devised a plan.

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We’re alive… yes, really

After a long, long break, altmusictv is back in action. Unfortunately, it seems that Subterranean (the way it once was) will never return. It’s not all bad news, though… we’ve got a new layout and some new 120 Minutes playlists. That’s right, after being M.I.A. since April, the site is actually back. It’s our Christmas gift to all. So, where have I been all this time? Well, doing more important things, basically. Subterranean has been dead in the water, so this site has been good for nothing but archives.

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VH1 brings back an old brand

In a relatively interesting development, altmusictv has learned VH1 Classic has brought back 120 Minutes… sort of. They’ve renamed The Alternative, their block of ’80s and ’90s alternative videos to 120 Minutes.

The video block is otherwise the same, with no host, no old 120 logos (they’ve created a new logo), and no old clips from the original show.

I checked it out last night, and although it was pretty much the same old stuff, it was kind of cool to see something called 120 Minutes airing on television. Thanks to a few alert visitors who told me about this news via e-mail. Here are the e-mails I received.

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Where do you go for new music?

It’s been over a month since MTV2 chopped its heads off and got rid of the music shows as we knew them. Since then, where have you gone to learn about new music? Video blocks on TV, blogs, or other web sites?

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Jim Shearer Q&A

Jim Shearer (photo by tylerc.com)

The realest and most legit former MTV VJ this side of anywhere, Jim Shearer, took time in 2007 to sit down with The 120 Minutes Archive and answer questions straight from our contributors. Inside this compilation of his answers, you’ll find out what he had to say about a number of topics related to music and MTV.

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Site relaunch and new focus

With the changes at MTV2 in effect, Sub is no longer a show. As such, I’ve decided to focus this site around the archives. Plus, Jim Shearer speaks out.

With the changes at MTV2 in effect, Subterranean is no longer a show. I like to think of Subterranean as the last stand of the alternative music show in the classic MTV format — the VJ, bands and artists being interviewed, live performances, and the like, in between music videos.

For almost 4 years, Subterranean stayed true to that format. It was something worth staying up for at the end of the weekend. At least I thought so.

Last month, MTV2 fired its entire production staff and converted all of its remaining music shows into pure video blocks. No more hosts, no more band interviews, just videos and commercials.

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Sub #185: PLUG Awards

This week’s Subterranean on MTV2 was supposed to be hosted by Jim Shearer from the PLUG awards. Instead, we got just a block of videos. I guess the changes at MTV2 went into effect even sooner than the Subterranean staff anticipated.

UPDATE: Maura at Idolator forwarded a press release to me that says the PLUG awards episode will air properly on Tuesday night (a.k.a. Wednesday morning) at 4 AM ET on MTV2.

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MTV2 abandons VJs

''Headless'' MTV2: no hosts, no guestsaltmusictv has learned MTV2 is abandoning the concept of VJ-hosted shows, opting instead for a straight-up video block format. Subterranean, Headbangers Ball, Sucker Free, and all surviving music shows on the network will drop their hosts, voiceovers, and guests.

Essentially, this means Subterranean as we know it is gone. This week’s episode from the PLUG awards will be the last one with the usual format. Subsequent episodes apparently will not feature host Jim Shearer or bands at all.

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The 120 Minutes Archive