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.
#68: Teenage Fanclub “The Concept”
It was the 30th anniversary of MTV yesterday, and … oh, who the fuck cares anymore, except to decry the channel’s current lack of actual music programmings. Old man shouts at clouds and all that. Teenage Fanclub, Scotland’s best power-pop band*, got its big break from print media (specifically Spin, which named 1991’s Bandwagonesque the year’s number-one album, beating out Nevermind and Loveless). Maybe it isn’t MTV’s fault, exactly—”The Concept” (from Bandwagonesque) is a boring video, and it’s not even lamentable that the outro is cut in order for the monotonous performance shots to end. Consider it a marketing failure on the part of the group’s label(s), Creation in the U.K. and DGC/Geffen in the U.S. Nearly everything else about the band over the next 20 years of its existence, however, has been a victory, including last year’s Shadows. Here’s a Q&A with TFC’s Norman Blake from last year, including a free mp3 of Shadows‘ “Baby Lee.”
*For the record, Sloan is Canada’s best power-pop band, and Nada Surf is America’s best power-pop band.