Jun 122014

Philadelphia-born Jamaaladeen Tacuma just celebrated his birthday this week, on June 10. Happy birthday, Jamaaladeen!

I got turned onto Tacuma through his work with Ornette Coleman. The first part of the following clip, from a VH1 show he hosted, in which he and a friend manage to play an amazing jam on 2 of the most hideous instruments imaginable, is entertainment enough. Then there’s a segment during which he simply talks music. On a well-heeled, basic cable TV station. Jazz music. Weird music, even by jazz standards. Remember when cable TV offered those of us who really love music the chance to appreciate music?

There was that show with David Sanborn and his helmet of graying jazz hair—Night Music, I think it was called. Even MTV’s late-night new music show, 120 Minutes, felt like it was programmed for true music lovers. Do we get anything like that now? I haven’t seen it in a year, but that heavy metal talk show is the closest thing I can think of. That and the actually live performances shown on Austin City Limits. Do the music stations feature late-night shows that appeal to a younger generation that truly admires the artistry behind The National or whatever testosterone-free band might bore me to death? Hell, I bet I could get sucked into a nerdy show examining the artistry of The National—not celebrity crap like what it felt like to meet Jason Schwartzman at the VH1 Movies Awards show, or something like that.


  3 Responses to “Remember When Cable TV Offered Those of Us Who Really Love Music the Chance to Appreciate Music?”

  1. I’m not aware of any 120 Minutes type show on right now. AXS-TV does concerts (they are airing The Who: Quadrophenia Live In London on Sunday afternoon again), but I’m not sure they do a real music show.

    Pitchfork seems to list all the hipsters that appear on some late night shows, Kimmel, Conan, and even Letterman. To their credit, these shows present bands and artists that would never have seen the light of day on Carson and Leno. Too bad somebody can’t cobble together all the live shots each week and make a show out of that — I guess make your own You Tube Channel.

  2. Yeah, getting to see the latest bands on those shows is fine, but I miss the nerdy shows that occasionally aired. When is the last time a network gave a half hour to an obscure modern jazz artist, for instance?

  3. 2000 Man

    I used to like Radio 1990, with Lisa Robinson. She was cool and when Prodigy had message boards she was the “expert” on the Rock boards, which was cool because she’d have conversations with the subscribers. I always liked her.

    I thought that David Sanborn show was cool, too. Didn’t Pere Ubu and Debbie Harry do one of those? I think Pere Ubu played Waiting For Mary and I really liked it. It was on at a weird time, but I was always up and watched it pretty faithfully because I didn’t have cable.

    Have you seen That Metal Show? It’s everything you’d expect. Old white guys talking about Metal. I wish they’d do a Classic Rock Show with old white guys talking about Hendrix and The Beatles. Old white guys are funny when they’re being serious about shit that only they care deeply about.

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