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MTV Used To Play '120 Minutes' Of Awesome Per Week

Apr 19, 2010

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Sarah Handel

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Growing up, my family didn't have cable, so though I'd heard of MTV and its ilk, I couldn't readily watch it. That all changed when I got my drivers license, right around the same time my friend Melissa discovered something amazing: 120 Minutes. 120 Minutes was a — duh — two hour show, hosted, at our time, by Matt Pinfield, who gruffly guided viewers through the awesome "alternative music" videos bands we loved were making. Think Ben Lee and Liz Phair and Blur, not Mariah Carey and Shaggy. Melissa faithfully recorded the show, and the time I spent with her at her house, watching those videos, laid the groundwork for my musical preferences that holds firm to this day. For example, the above Built to Spill video — it, apparently, aired on the August 27, 1995 show, which there's a very good chance I saw. And had I seen that show, I'd have loved the Matthew Sweet and That Dog videos, but what's more interesting is what I don't remember latching onto at the time: Built to Spill, Pavement and Wilco, all bands that I took to as my horizons expanded in college.

All this is to say something amazing now exists: The 120 Minutes Archive. So if you were a fan of the show, check it out — episode by episode, site curators have catalogued the playlists with links to the videos, when they're available, and it's an absolute treasure. So if you're of a certain age, click over, but only if you've got some significant time to spend. I know I could spend all day going through it.

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