Public-access TV raises spectres of the "Goth Talk" skits from SNL. Pittsburgh's own counterpart, PCTV 21, has retained a predictable schedule: Democracy Now in the morning, followed by a litany of religious programs, and the long-running underground hip-hop and Rock Circus shows at night. Although these music programs do expose some artists not seen elsewhere, this valuable resource has been largely ignored by the rest of Pittsburgh's music scene.
But no longer -- Splendid Recipes has taken the airwaves by storm. The brainchild of members of abstract hip-hoppers The Dreadnots and noise-grind duo Triangle & Rhino, it's a crazy mélange of amateur skits, comic doodles and found footage that could send you over the edge if you're on the right substances.
"It mostly came about by accident," says co-producer Chris Coleman. "Our friend Kathy signed me up and paid the enrollment fee. She knew we had so much video lying around from all the ridiculous shit we've done."
Coleman & Co. then delved into their personal archives, inspired by similar programs they'd seen. "We're big fans of TV Carnage [Vice magazine's mashup of awful TV moments] and Lost and Found Video. We're also into Cloven Theater, the Sun City Girls' public-access show."
You'll see appearances by the two bands, or touring acts that stayed with them, and hear Dreadnots music accompanying animations. But there's really no focal theme at all -- just general media mayhem. Episode Two includes segments like "The Underwater Culprit," "Adolescent Crime Drama" ("things we shot thinking we were true bad-asses after seeing Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs") and an appearance by Breathmint Records' noise artist Newton.
The instigators have posted promos on YouTube, and also have the first two episodes on DVD, available at Squirrel Hill's Copacetic Comics. But keep it away from the kids -- this isn't Jackass. "It's definitely an R-rated show," Coleman stresses. "There's some language and adult situations. Hopefully the episodes will become more refined. The next one should be done in a month."
In the meantime, the Splendid Recipes crew is accepting submissions from anyone with footage of live shows or embarrassing action that they'd like to reveal to the world, or at least the city. "It's just a chance for people to get together and laugh at some stuff on television." The final airdate for Episode Two is 1 a.m. Sun., Jan 28 on PCTV 21. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.myspace.com/splendidrecipes.