As MTV pursued a non-music focus in the latter years of the last century, the channel’s long-running showcase for alternative rock, 120 Minutes, was pulled from the lineup in the summer of 2000. A year later, it re-emerged on MTV’s then-nascent sister channel, MTV2, airing until May 2003.
Tomorrow night (technically Sunday morning at 1:00 am EST), MTV2 resurrects 120 Minutes, along with one of its original hosts, Matt Pinfield, who scores a credit in the title of the now monthly series. The first episode of the new 120 Minutes with Matt Pinfield will feature interviews with Sleigh Bells, PJ Harvey, Dave Grohl, and Lupe Fiasco, among others, plus music videos (naturally). Preview the lineup here.
I was a 120 Minutes viewer during its classic, modern rock years, when Dave Kendall and then Lewis Largent hosted the show. I still have the two-volume Never Mind The Mainstream: The Best of MTV’s 120 Minutes, a well rounded compilation of the artists receiving airtime. Among the 32 tracks, songs by The Church, Cocteau Twins, The Sugarcubes, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Joy Division, Morrissey, R.E.M., and World Party all made the cut.
I listened to that pair of Never Mind The Mainstream CDs over and over again, which is why World Party’s “Put The Message In The Box” still begins playing in my head once in a while, seemingly apropos of nothing. But really, any time is the perfect time to cue up Karl Wallinger’s multi-layered pop.
Take a look back at past 120 Minutes with highlights, performances, and full episodes via MTV Hive. And remember, 120 Minutes isn’t the only “classic MTV” show coming back to the schedule. Beavis and Butthead returns this fall, with creator Mike Judge having debuted this new clip of the hilariously infantile duo during Comic-Con last week. This time, however, the target of Beavis and Butthead’s commentary isn’t ridiculous music videos but MTV’s original programming, like Jersey Shore.
Purchase World Party – “Put The Message In The Box” via iTunes.