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.
#76: Flaming Lips “Turn It On”
In honor of the MAGNET crew being on deadline for its first print issue since 2008, here’s the opening track from an album that consistently soundtracked editorial crunch times in the late ’90s/early ’00s. 1993’s Transmissions From The Satellite Heart got a lot of attention for quasi-novelty hit “She Don’t Use Jelly,” but the album is a consistent thrill ride, powered by the effects pedals of guitarist Ronald Jones. Jones left the band after one more album, and the Lips have reinvented themselves at least two more times since (with 1999’s The Soft Bulletin and 2009’s Embryonic). A dig at R.E.M.’s relatively predictable career progression might normally appear here to illustrate how much more interesting the Lips’ discography might appear in 20 years, but we can’t muster the meanness to do so. (Though we kind of just did.) Nostalgia is a bitch. MAGNET #81 is coming.