Thursday, September 23, 2010

Left of the Dial

Although I'm not a regular viewer of VH1 Classic, on occasion I like to check out what the channel is offering because of nostalgia. A while back they were running some documentary titled "The Ages of Rock" where they recounted the "seven ages" of rock-n-roll apparently. I didn't catch all seven, but I got a chance to view a bit of the Punk age and taped the Heavy Metal and Alternative ages.

The program that recounted Alternative Rock is titled "Left of the Dial," which is a reference to a song by one of my favorite bands of all time, The Replacements. That squad of musical hooligans, in my mind, are one of the scions of true alternative rock from the 80s and early 90s, so it was quite disappointing that the band wasn't even featured in the documentary that uses its song title to talk about the genre.

As you might imagine, the program delved deeply in the rise and fall of Nirvana and the success story of R.E.M., which was fine, but the focus on those two bands along with all the bleeding-heart stuff on Cobain burdened the documentary from reaching its full potential. Sure, VH1 gave The Pixies proper coverage, mentioned Sonic Youth, and provided strong detail about Black Flag, but there was no mention of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fishbone, Primus, 10,000 Maniacs, and many other bands that were quite influential at the time. Pearl Jam, in particular, got screwed with only a back-handed reference about how they had the misfortune of coming out with a great album after Nirvana's Nevermind made its impact on music scene.

And what about Husker Du, for God's sake?

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