Thursday, August 27, 2020

Buzz Clips 1987 - 2004

We got inspired to throw together a complete "Buzz Clips" playlist based on the chronological "Buzzworthy" list that used to be on

While throwing this together, we made some discoveries:

#1 One incomplete list is found in this published academic research article which does not include specifics on where the list was retrieved, although its notes suggests their content was pulled from's archive on the wayback machine.

Incidentally, the article's hypothesis presents a heavily flawed theory suspecting a programming bias against artists of color and non-male musicians -- a theory which might have held some weight if they had instead focused on adds for MTV's '80s videos. Thriller infamously broke MTV's color barrier in 1983; by the early '90s, the eligibility pool had broadened enough that they were airing bumpers boasting "MTV: The V Is For Variety" and similar taglines. (Pretty sure "the V" was in a summer '93 bumper with 3-second snippets from Aerosmith, Janet Jackson, Radiohead, Madonna, and Dr. Dre.)

It's true that 4 out of 5 Buzz Clips were guitar-rock bands, primarily focusing on alternative crossovers. And for about five years (1992-1996), the Buzz Clips tag primarily branded itself as rock promotion.

But it's also true that Buzz Clips comprised less than 10% of MTV's music programming. The study ignores non-rock branded promotions like "Jam Of The Week" (the feature that first introduced us to Notorious B.I.G.) or their largely varied weekly "Top 20 Video Countdown" show, or the crossover adds that derived from shows like MTV Jams, Yo! MTV Raps, The Grind, AMP, Dial MTV and TRL. All of MTV's "Top 100 Video Countdown" megablocks that they used to play over New Years are listed on IMDB. Choose any year from the '90s at random, and it should become pretty obvious very quickly that the variety in their programming intended to broaden their demographic as wide as possible.

MTV was, and still is, a business. They needed to sell OxyClean pads and Parfume Decour to every teenager whose parents could afford basic cable -- not just the Soul Asylum fans. It would not have aligned with their business model to hyperfocus on targeting white gen-x rock dudes.

We're guessing the research study was a fun excuse to watch every Buzz Clip video. But it's strange that the study's results were considered strong enough to warrant academic publishing. We get the impression that its authors' experience with MTV throughout the '90s was passive at best, and they purposely chose a narrow branded area of MTV's programming instead of considering a broader sample scope. If we were their professor, we would give them a C-. (If the authors happen to find this, we are sorry.)

#2 It's possible that an intern was responsible for compiling this list of Buzz Clips since a lot of the videos were missing. (So the study linked above wasn't using accurate data anyway.) Here's a few missing videos we found:

- For whatever reason, the 1994 section had the most omissions.
- Cracker "Low" (early '94) does not appear on the list, but it's on the first volume of the Buzz Bin comps. (That said, it was definitely not included in the bumper with Rage, Deep Forest, and Danzig from around the same era.)
- We have a tape with "Disarm" on it (early '94), and it says "Buzz Clip" in the video, which means it was.
- Primal Scream "Rocks" and Rollins Band "Liar" (April '94) do not appear in the big list, but we found both in someone's description of a Buzz Clips TV bumper along with "Longview" and Frente. (The clip is not on Youtube sadly.) When we double checked this in a back issue of Billboard, "Liar" was denoted as a Buzz Clip, but not "Rocks." In either case, we went with what the commercial said.
- NIN's "March of the Pigs" (March '94) and "Closer" (Summer '94) are both missing. We found evidence that these were Buzz Clips in Billboard magazine.
- Weezer "Buddy Holly" (Nov/Dec '94) does not appear either, but it's definitely in a late-'94 Buzz Clips bumper with "Seether," Urge Overkill, and "Doll Parts." We posted the bumper below.
- On the wikipedia page for the band Wax, it claims that "California" (March '95) was a buzz clip, but we can't find any evidence of this. However, we're almost certain it was branded as a Breakthrough Video, even though it was not nominated for "Best Breakthrough" at the VMAs that year.
- There's more, like "El Scorcho" (Sept '96) and "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" (Sept '95) and a few others. We're tired of writing about this.

#3 There are many truly strange selections here. We don't feel like listing them all, but a few noteworthy ones include:
- Alan Ginsberg featuring Paul McCartney and Philip Glass??? Does anyone remember ever seeing this?
- A Bob Dylan video from Time Out Of Mind that we don't remember ever seeing on MTV.
- Bosstones' "So Sad To Say," despite that "Impression That I Get" does not appear on this list. (We suspect "Impression" was Buzz but the intern fucked up.)

Also an artist named Rachid is the final video listed for 1998, but the interns wrote Rancid and didn't bother fact-checking themselves.

After we were done loading up the buzz clip tracks, it still kinda felt incomplete, so we opted to include selections from the Breakthrough Video nominees. The additions become especially helpful in the 1999-2004 section.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

RIP Riley Gale

Yesterday was a very sad day for Power Trip fans.

Dear Power Trip fans worldwide,

It is with the greatest of sadness we must announce that our lead singer and brother Riley Gale passed away last night.

Riley was a friend, a brother, a son. Riley was both a larger than life rock star and a humble and giving friend. He touched so many lives through his lyrics and through his huge heart. He treated everyone he met as a friend and he always took care of his friends. We will celebrate Riley’s life and never forget the great works of music, charity, and love that he left behind. You, the fans, meant so much to him, please know how special you are. If you have a memory of Riley please share it, no matter how small, as we remember him.

Please respect our wishes for privacy during this time. In lieu of flowers please send donations to Dallas Hope Charities, the link to donate directly is here:

- Rlley’s Loving Family

P.S. Funeral and visitation arrangements are pending.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

What's Gonna Happen??? AAH!?

We watched some of the lol-tastic DNC simulcast, and last night we watched some of the RNC's satanic infomercial that did not happen at the actual RNC.

Are we again facing the douche vs turd scenario? Yeah kind of. Except this time it's a zero-douche vs an apocalyptic turd. It's a douche who is a joke vs literal satan. It's an understatement in itself to label the "lesser of two evils" argument as an understatement. And the world is more unpredictable than ever, which is probably what a lot of people wanted in 2016.

No one knows what's going to happen. But there are patterns.

As far as the federal election is concerned, anything can happen, although the patterns that are in place are increasing the odds that The Doctor Professor will probably receive less electoral college votes than last time around -- perhaps enough that he will be forced out of office.

Pattern #1: The approval rating has barely budged outside of the 40-45% zone. Since the advent of approval ratings, he's the only one whose percentage has never bounced around enough to exceed 50%. It hasn't really moved. Approximately the same number of people who voted red before will vote red this time. And that's not helpful on either side since last time he lost popular vote by 3 million, which means the states who voted against him had generally large landslides, while the states who voted in his favor generally made it happen with a slim margin. This could happen again!

Pattern #2: We could be wrong, but we get the impression that young voters -- especially ones who were not able to vote 1-4 years ago -- seem to understand the power of local congressional elections more than their elders. It seems like boomers typically focus only on federal elections and incorrectly assume that every decision dictating our national wellbeing rests within the hands of one person.

Pattern #3: The senate will turn blue very soon. Progressives will hold seats in the house more than ever before. As much as we hate to say it, this might not have happened without the current circumstances. As this pattern continues, power is removed from the federal branch in either case. If Unky Joe wins, he has to work with them. If Doctor Professor sticks around, they'll refuse to agree on anything and nothing gets done.

The boomers and gen x cusps who voted red last time around -- the ones who haven't died since 2016 -- will generally vote the same as before. However, young people generally want Dr Prof gone -- especially ones who turned 18 in the past four years.

So in the event that Dr. Prof wins the electoral college again, we're assuming the difference in popular vote might even surpass 3 million, and it will be another fluke victory.

Unless... these young people who couldn't vote last time around and want to vote in November currently live in states like Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida. It's possible that our future rests entirely in their hands.

It's also possible that for these young people who haven't voted before, mail-in ballots might be trickier than average. And that's also a factor.

Also here's some more "WHATS GONNA HAPPEN" -- A victory for Dr. Professor on November 3rd will immediately spread into the streets on November 4th in a manner twice as large and twice as loud as what happened throughout June. And eventually, it will embolden twice as many young people and progressives to run for office and win. If he wins, both ends of the spectrum will strengthen, and the civil war that's already started in the past few months will turn uglier.

In the likely event that Unky Joe wins electoral college, it probably won't be by a large number, resulting in extensive vote-counting and immediate rejection of results by the far right. Again, this will result in large protests, except perhaps more violent ones than in June, with neo-teaparty people and leftists potentially at each other's throats.

We forget where we heard this projection: The one scenario whose outcome does not include massive violent protests will occur after the unlikely event of a landslide victory for Diamond Joe. Of course, BLM protests will commence and neo-teaparty protesters will be out there as well, but on a much smaller scale than the other scenarios.

So yea, we should want this to happen. We're anti-civil war around here.

Speaking on behalf of apparently bad progressives and bad socialists, we plan to vote in favor of senile Unky Joe and Kamala The Cop, the most direct method of voting against the Doctor Professor and the prospect of his eventual abortion-hating supreme court and senate majority leader.

We hugely welcome the opportunity get angry and roll our eyes at Diamond Joe and The Cop's stupidity, as opposed to getting confronted by literal daily catastrophes. Joe Blow is a zero, and he will probably get nothing done. But zero is a higher number than negative 5 billion. A zero is a preferable option to the literal worst person in the entire world. To be honest, we would take George W Bush before accepting the current situation. Literally anyone.

And it's not like Doctor Professor and his weak-willed stans are just gonna go away. He'll still be in the news every day spreading more lies for the next four years no matter what happens. The underdog status will probably endear him to his base.

It's no secret that the DNC does not give a fuck about far-leftists or progressives, and what they did to Bernard and to us is disgusting and unforgivable. But this is not the time to have a neolib vs progressive debate -- incidentally, the same discourse that cost Bernard the nomination. Our vote for Unky Joe has nothing to do with support for the DNC or "blue no matter who." Listen to Bernard -- he makes a lot more sense than most progressives right now. He's not "selling out." He's rightfully reacting to the extremes -- the climate change crisis for instance. That's one thing Joe actually will fight for, believe it or not. We need to take Bernard's lead here. Let's at least try to wipe some of the slate first, and then after November 4th we can resume the neolib vs progressive debate. Now is not the time for this.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

The August 2020 Edition of MTVZ with Froggo And Da Crew on the cover

Still a work in progress as usual but get an early look before 4 other people see it.