120 Reasons To Live: Guided By Voices

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.

#90: Guided By Voices “My Valuable Hunting Knife”

Some cold, hard truth for 2012: Indie rock killed 120 Minutes. While there’s plenty of blame to go around, the death wasn’t simply caused by the often-repeated “MTV doesn’t play music videos anymore” excuse. It was complicated by the fact that bands on indie labels didn’t have the money to make videos, and after a while listeners were smart enough to realize that 120 Minutes was no longer broadcasting the best new bands. Then fans and artists stopped caring about music videos altogether. Then some other stuff happened, like royal weddings and the Large Hadron Collider and the time those guys stole Edvard Munch’s The Scream from an art gallery in Norway. Then we started this nostalgia trip.

All of this was the case, of course, except when it was not. And it’s worth mentioning that you’re reading MAGNET’s website and we are three-quarters of the way through a 120-post series and this is the first Guided By Voices video featured. We know: We feel a little bit disoriented ourselves. But in honor of the return of GBV’s classic lineup and its new album (plus the band’s appearance tonight on Letterman), here’s “My Valuable Hunting Knife.” It sounds a little different from your Alien Lanes version; the audio is from the “professionally recorded” 1995 Tigerbomb EP.