Deep Cuts

Deep Cuts: Television Songs


Commercial television broadcasts began in the 1930s, but in real terms the boom didn’t begin until the ’50s. Television was pitched as a family affair, the new hearth around which families would gather. In its time it was the future, the great innovation that would improve our lives.

By the ’70s the beast was both ubiquitous and vilified. A big, wooden console television was the centerpiece of every living room, and we all tuned in for any number of cruddy shows whose only redeeming qualities today are their nostalgia value. TV was empty calories, an electronic lobotomy, a cathode ray totem representing all that was wrong with modern society. Or so it seemed to the proto-punks, punks, and post-punks. Those guys (and girls) had no love for the glass teat, as this week’s “Deep Cuts” makes evident.

Today we’re in a schizophrenic era of brilliance and garbage. Shows like Breaking Bad might be some of the finest television ever made, while reality shows like Duck Dynasty and the travesty that is the 24 hour news cycle make Charlie’s Angels look like Shakespeare. Even the Boss has sung about the problem of too many channels and too little worth watching.

It doesn’t really matter, anyway. Today there’s a new electronic babysitter sucking the I.Q. points out of our culture, and you’re looking at it. Now let’s get to the TV songs:

“TV Eye,” The Stooges.

“TV Party,” Black Flag.

“I Hate the TV,” Violent Femmes.

“TV Casualty,” Misfits.

“(I’m A) TV Savage,” Bow Wow Wow.

“TV Star,” Butthole Surfers.

“TVC 15,” David Bowie.

“I’m A Telly Addict,” Toy Dolls.

There you have it: Eight songs about the glowing one-eyed monster. What did I miss? I’m listening.



3 replies »

  1. “Television Man” – Talking Heads
    “Video Killed the Radio Star” – Buggles
    “Dirty Laundry” – Don Henley
    “Jammin’ Me” – Tom Petty
    “TV Talkin’ Song” – Bob Dylan
    “Turn it on Again” – Genesis
    “Watching TV” – Roger Waters
    “Satellite of Love” – Lou Reed
    “Prime Time” – The Tubes
    “Fade Away and Radiate” – Blondie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As usual, I am late to the party, and you KNOW what song I am going to put up – it’s not a deep cut, nothing of his is an unknown gem anymore, but this is a pretty cool video, in my humble opinion. “57 channels (and nothin on):


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