So yes, it’s maybe a little old at this point but the NY times published an article on March 29 discussing MTV’s new push to get back into music. Some of the highlights:
- Starting at 3 AM and ending at 9 AM
- Music Videos, News, interviews, and performances (circa 1996)
- ‘Unplugged’ is coming back
- “MTV is calling the morning block a laboratory for advertising partnerships; sometimes a company could sponsor all six hours, and other times it could insert its brand into individual segments.”
So what is the good news?
Perhaps the trial run will be so successful that MTV decides to start bringing back more regular music programming instead of the “reality” television stilts that its precariously perched on. I know there are spinoffs like MTV 2 and MTV U but there is always more room for music television. Additionally, Unplugged is coming back! I like…
So what is the bad news?
Well, it depends on how you look at it. But, I think of MTV’s Unplugged like that girl that everybody wanted to get with freshman year of high school. She was perfect and amazing and blah blah blah; you didn’t stand a chance. Fast forward 6 years and you’re coming back to your local bar after a couple years in college and lo and behold it’s your Venus and she wants to have you. Sure she’s put on 20 lbs, has bad skin, and has slept with everyone in town…yet you can’t shake your desire to summit that peak (if only to live our your childish dreams). See the reality is, this will not be the MTV Unplugged (girl) of your dreams, even though I want it to be you want it to be. It won’t be what you remembered or what you want it to be. This will not be Clapton, Nirvana, Springsteen. This will be Fallout Boy, Nickelback, and Rihanna. This will not be an epic set that pushes artists to see their music in a new way or lets us see an intimate space of an artistic mind. No, this will be a great vessel for pushing a new album in order to make money off a dying business model (but it will work). See, in the early 90’s Unplugged was kind of a cool thing that you got into because it was pretty new and it attracted genuinely talented artists who happened to also be popular. I can’t imagine we’ll see an MTV Unplugged featuring Arcade Fire, Sigur Ros or Wilco. But you know what? We’ll probably still go home with her anyway…
So this is good and bad news, but why even care?
Like I indicated above, I still have a soft spot in my heart for MTV because it was my first real taste of alternative music (I was young, so sue me). This was back in those crazy mid/early 90s, you know, when all the music videos featured lots of bright colors, oversaturated/blurry shots, attached camera headshots, and not-so-subtle religious symbolism (ah those were the days). Example 1,Example 2, Example 3, Example 4. Come to think of it i’m pretty sure No Doubt was properly schooled in how to make a 90’s alternative music video. They hit on all of the above with their first three singles off of Tragic Kingdom. Get your check list out and watch: Spiderwebs, Just a Girl, Don’t Speak
Far off course. Well, regardless of what you do MTV I’m happy that you’re down to hang out again. If it works out, maybe you’ll be able to join me and my instant Kraft mac n’ cheese snack at 4:30 AM every sunday. Don’t be scared, it’ll be fun, I promise.