120 Reasons To Live: Ultra Vivid Scene

Nothing did more to further the cause of Alternative Nation-building than 120 Minutes, MTV’s Sunday-night video showcase of non-mainstream acts. For nearly two decades, the program spanned musical eras from ’80s college rock to ’00s indie, with grunge, Britpop, punk, industrial, electronica and more in between. MAGNET raids the vaults to resurrect our 120 favorite and unjustly forgotten videos from the show’s classic era.

#38: Ultra Vivid Scene “Staring At The Sun”

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Hey, remember this headline? “Former Ultra Vivid Scene Guitarist Sells 10 Million Albums.” That wasn’t exactly how the media portrayed Moby’s success with 1999’s Play, but keep it in your back pocket for one of those music-trivia nights. (Moby’s brief stint in the New York band predates this video by two years.) Ultra Vivid Scene was a typical—some might say generic—4AD band circa 1990: gauzy, melodic and maybe a tad more inclined to making art than making music. In the case of UVS, that accusation holds some water, as frontman Kurt Ralske broke up the band in 1993 and began focusing on a career as a visual artist with a concentration on video installations.

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