MTV has a lot to answer for. Killing the radio star to forcefeed us hair bands in the Eighties. Re-imagining punk and grunge to be all those lousy bands that filled two entire CDs of Buzz Cuts in the Nineties. Inventing the reality show and in reality gutting music from the music channel in the new millennium so that a whole generation of kids would grow up thinking rock and rap were just things that get piped in behind the scenes when someone gets voted out of a beach house/RV/date with someones mom. All the while, any kid who mightve benefitted from accidentally hearing bands like Wilco, Flaming Lips, Radiohead, Modest Mouse or The Arcade Fire find they cant listen to more than twenty seconds of music without being distracted by a shiny object dangling nearby. And now this, mtvU: a kind of street team for a music channel that doesnt play music. They want to inundate college kids with all the branding, promotions, events, ad sales and commercials they used to have running 24/7 on the old network, now piped in exclusively in higher institutions of learning. Except that now, with college age kids giving less than two shits about supporting music and the bands the cratering record industry is trying to shovel down their throats like Hello Monday and The Academy Is. Thats not a knock on these bands you can still support the troops and hate the war. Both these young bands are fighting the wrong battle theyre irresistible hook-laden power pop is head and shoulders above the Camp Disney shit thats being marketed to high schoolers and thats who these bands seem more likely they would appeal to, not colleges. Check around most campuses and youll find that people are still listening to Dark Side of the Moon and learning how to operate newer and more complicated bongs.
Sat., Oct. 11, 6 p.m., 2008