Friday, May 18, 2007

Music TV Part 1: Music TV saved my life

I have an exam coming up that includes debate about music television, so for the sake of revision (and of course for your curious eyes) here's some thought-provoking opinion.

So, music television came into its own in the 80s, back when MTV had music. Since then, it's grown into a whole load of genres, and too many channels.
But is it a fundamentally good or bad thing? Does it help the music industry, or is it just plain destructive and rubbish?
What's that?
Well, of course the answer is both. Don't be so stupid.
But here's why Music TV is brilliant.

Music TV is brilliant, definitely. Jools Holland has done a lot for the music industry, not only by showing that musicians actually have skill and talent to perform with their instruments, but also by showing us music and cultures that frankly we just wouldn't know about otherwise.
His show really emphasises the *music*ness of music...television in this example is just the medium through which to exhibit the music.

Music TV shows like this do a great service to the industry and the artists. You could see all the publicity material of David Bowie strutting his glammed-up stuff in an inch of make up and a thousand blinking lights...and then watch him perform 'Oh You Pretty Things' with nothing but a piano and a small band, and only then realise that he has a proper talent.

Of course, it's not only live shows which help musicians.
Music videos, as I'm sure you know, are wicked. The White Stripes, Bjork and Fatboy Slim wouldn't have such a widely loved cult without their music videos. The visuals help the music through a harmonious symbiosis, like saying "Isn't this song great?! Yeah! And check out all this cool stuff!":


And music videos are an art in their own right. Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry and Jonathan Glazer are the most sought-after and cool directors around, and it's because they started in the music video genre, which is unique in its scope for originality and experimentality.

Also, music videos give sub-cultures a voice. The Streets' videos show a humorous, honest portrayal of young male lad pub culture, while some of Fatboy Slim's videos show the pure absurdity of rave culture and why dancing is so very good.
These sub-cultures are under-represented, and music videos are the perfect way to inform us about them, simply because they're so imaginative.

Coming soon: the negative side.

3 comments:

Theguyinthepyjamas said...

do MTV still play music videos?

damfino said...

all the MTV channels except MTV do, I think.

tom said...

i'm not a fan...

whenever i want to chillax in my front room i find that sisterface is watching e4 music, or the hits, (depending on the time of day). i just find it a waste of precious television.