Nothing did more to further the cause of Alternative Nation-building than 120 Minutes, MTV’s Sunday-night video showcase of non-mainstream acts. For nearly two decades, the program spanned musical eras from ’80s college rock to ’00s indie, with grunge, Britpop, punk, industrial, electronica and more in between. MAGNET raids the vaults to resurrect our 120 favorite and unjustly forgotten videos from the show’s classic era.
#103: Felt “Primitive Painters”
The line that connects Television to Belle And Sebastian runs directly through Felt. It’s easy to hear Television’s glassy guitar sounds in “Primitive Painters,” a 1985 single by the Birmingham, England, band led by singer Lawrence and classically trained guitarist Maurice Deebank. What Belle And Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch picked up from Felt is less audible but all too real: the desire to remain as mythical as possible. B&S’s shroud didn’t last long due to popularity; being photographed and interviewed by the press soon became a necessity. The relative lack of interest in Felt (which recorded 10 albums for Creation and Cherry Red) kept the mystery alive, at least to the point where we’re still not 100% certain what Lawrence’s last name is.