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The new, old face of music television?

October 12, 2009


Having read a bit about Toronto’s newest music station, I took some holiday free time today to stop by channel 107, Aux Tv.

Billing itself as essentially the anti-MTV, Aux basically tries to emulate the formula made famous by… uh, MTV. But like, late 80’s to early 90’s MTV, when it was all about the music man. Totally.

Unlike the MTV we’ve known since the mid 90’s (Post-The Real World, a culturally iconic franchise which helped turn the voice of a generation into the sales pitch of a generation), early MTV was categorically edgy and young. And by edgy, I mean badly produced. And by young, I mean stupid.

By bringing back that Wayne’s World aesthetic however, Aux TV is attempting to capitalize on those who long for the glory days of what music television used to mean — eating bags of cheetos and checking out videos for an entire day. Not deciding whether you should skip Laguna Beach or judging celebrity outfits on TRL.

Aux goes one step further by angling itself not just as the home for music, but the home for new music. Naturally. Boasting vignettes and features of several Canadian indie-darlings (Ohbijou, Rural Alberta Advantage,  Apostle of Hustle, Thunderheist et al) and a weekly talk show by Walking New Music Encyclopedia Alan Cross, there is definitely potential for interesting programming.

More importantly, there is almost certainly a niche for this type of TV in a city as musically entrenched as Toronto; one that continually produces new, exciting talent seeking a venue on which to break through. The parallels between Aux and an early Much Music are noticeable, with genre specific shows such as Cypher (Rap City) and about four permutations of Spotlight.

Anyways, with such a demand (in my mind) for a station that plays exciting music and actual videos, the upcoming months should definitely be interesting for Aux. In terms of production, it’s pretty obvious the place is being held together with rough ideas, duct tape and an army of student interns.

Moreover, I watched for half an hour and the broadcasting breakdown went roughly like this:

  • Commercials for its own shows which have yet to premier: 20 minutes
  • A Honda commercial: 1 minute
  • Commercials for its own station… on its own station: 6 minutes
  • MSTRKRFT video: 3 minutes

Hopefully, not a sign of things to come.

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