I love VH1's television programming. I got hooked on all the I Love the 80's/70's/80's Strikes Back/90's/80's 3-D/90's Part Deux stuff, as well as all the other lists, and I preferred the Top 20 Countdown to anything that was ever playing on MTV.
That being said, there is one part of the channel that I cannot stand, and that is VH1's featured artists "You Oughta Know." I haven't watched the channel in a long time due to my being at college and having much more available to me, but an email from a friend reminded me of how idiotic the feature is.
Basically, it's VH1's idea of introducing an "indie" band or artist to their audience, but it's just silly. They don't look for an artist that is actually independent or in need of the publicity, they always end up choosing artists who have broken through months before their feature or artists who shouldn't even qualify as independent. They show up late to the party on almost every single band, sometimes even after Pitchfork has already declared them musically insignificant.
Here's a small list of artists that have been featured on VH1's segment over the past few years:
Ok, for some reason VH1 and Apple have an obsession with the same kinds of musicians. Feist's album came out months ago and was just recently featured (it had to be something about the iPod nano commertials, which have ruined that song for me...), and Colbie Caillat has been sitting near the top of the iTunes Music Store for weeks. Franz Ferdinand is the only truely deserving band there, but once again VH1 was late to the party that almost every music publication was already at. The segment should be showcasing artists who have difficulty getting published or played in other places, just as any segment trying to feature new artists should. Anyone with ears, a radio, or a computer has heard of pretty much all the artists on that list.
Over the next couple days I'm going to get up a post about artists that I think need a little more publicity. They are some of my personal favorites, and they might not be as independent as I like, but I they are relatively new and need a bit of a bump from some more people, even if it's just me with a tiny, tiny readership.