Everyone talks about how MTV and VH1 are shells of what they used to be and everyone is right. I miss the days when turning on MTV or VH1 meant music videos, exposure to new music and watching concert footage of your favorite bands playing at cool venues. If someone hears a song from the 80s or 90s, there’s a good chance they will remember the video as well. I know that whenever I hear the first few notes of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” I immediately picture the video and his hand-snapping dance moves. But clearly those ships have sailed. Sigh.
Instead of music, MTV now plays horrible TV shows like Catfish, 16 + Pregnant and Awkward, while VH1 programming consists of Basketball Wives LA and Dating Naked. Really? Not only are they not music channels anymore but instead of having actual shows with some kind of music theme the programmers have gone with “reality” shows. They could at least broadcast old seasons of The Real World – you know, before they became all about having sex in hot tubs – or create new episodes of Behind the Music.
Unfortunately, we have to accept that MTV and VH1 will never be what they used to be and I thought the days of watching music on television were over until I accidentally found Palladia. According to the website, Palladia is “a state of the art, high-definition channel showcasing the best in music from today’s biggest artists” aka what MTV used to be. In addition to playing music, (with very few commercials which I appreciate) Palladia also shows festival footage and concert events from MTV, VH1 and CMT including the MTV Video Music Awards, VH1 Divas and the CMT Music Awards. Viewers will also see Unplugged, VH1 Storytellers and CMT Crossroads.
I discovered this channel about a week ago and I haven’t changed it yet. A sampling of what I’ve seen so far: Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) and Darius Rucker (Hootie and solo country artist) playing live at Daryl Hall’s house, bands like Jane’s Addiction and Smashing Pumpkins playing live shows in front of big crowds, Jack White performing at what looked like a small concert venue and black and white footage of musician/producer Linda Perry trying to help a new artist cut a record. It’s been awesome. Today, in celebration of Independence Day, the channel will show the Philly 4th of July Jam LIVE featuring The Roots, Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran and Jennifer Hudson, among others.
Palladia’s tag line is: Epic. Awesome. Music. and I have to say that’s almost 100 percent accurate considering their lineup consists of videos, rock documentaries, live concerts from all over the world, music festivals and shows that all have to do with music. As opposed to teenage pregnancy, wealthy wives of famous athletes and dating people without clothes on.
Maybe there is hope for us music fans who miss their MTV – so far Palladia is doing a good job of bringing back music television. Take a minute and find the channel – you won’t regret it.