CCTV’s ‘Bandwidth TV’ marks 50 episodes with music marathon
Fans of Razors in the Night will want to watch Cambridge Community Television at 11:30 p.m. Friday, then stick around for performances by Girlfriends, the Debo Band, A.K.A.C.O.D., Black Fortress of Opium … in fact, by 49 bands, each with about a half-hour of stage time.
The cable access television station is running a marathon all day Saturday of its “Bandwidth TV” show, celebrating its 50th episode since launching in 2005. Razors in the Night — best local punk band in the year’s Boston Phoenix readers’ poll — is the 50th band to join the station’s “Bandwidth library.”
“It was awesome, really good and professional, even though we got kind of rambunctious,” said Troy Schoeller, the band’s singer. “I’m not sure they’re used to people moshing and crowd jumping.”
But Marissa Acota, a studio manager and facilities coordinator who oversees “Bandwidth TV” with hosts Arvid Browne and Jehanne Junguenet, said the producers knew what they were getting into. The idea behind the show is a very practical one, but involves a variety of creative types.
(The Practical idea: “One purpose of the project was to build up a library of music to be used in CCTV productions,” Acosta said. When a project needing music comes up, “the good thing is that we don’t have to ask, because the musicians have already given permission.”)
Since one of the points of the show for CCTV is to have a variety of music. There are several bands on a list of potential performers at any given time, Acosta said, and the producers select one based partially on what kinds of music haven’t been featured recently.
“It’s a very eclectic mix,” Acosta said, and that means episodes can offer anything from the sweet, singer-songwriter skills of Lindsay Clark to the swing of the Debo Band (“Boston’s Ethiopian Groove Collective”) to the psychedelic garage sound of Girlfriends (another Phoenix best for the year) to the angry noise of TDSOGF or Razors in the Night, whose members knew of “Bandwidth TV” from friends and others in the scene who’d already been on.
“We tried to coordinate for like a year,” Schoeller said. “A year after, they had space for a heavy band like us.”
As memorable as was the Razors filming, TDSOGF provided at least one even more memorable moment back in 2008. “One member got completely naked during the shoot,” Acosta said. “They definitely lived up to their notoriety.”
Performers are eager to do the show in part because they walk away with a professionally edited DVD of their work, as well as equal rights to use it.
The three-hour shoots, including setup and post-performance interviews ultimately edited to fit the show’s short-set format, are done in-studio, but “we try to recreate the sense they’re doing a live show,” Acosta said. For that reason, she feels the best episodes feature bands that are either large on their own — such as Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band, the Earth People Orchestra or Orgy of Noise, all of which have more than a dozen band members — or that bring audience members. Razors in the Night brought 15 to 20 superfans Schoeller knew would be respectful of the space, and the studio can take up to about 30.
When it fills up, “there’s always a buzz whenever those episodes come out,” Acosta said.
Cambridge Community Television shows the 50th episode of “Bandwidth TV,” a local music program, with a 25-hour marathon of Bandwidth TV episodes. Programming will begin at 11:30 p.m. Aug. 6 on CCTV’s Channel 10. For information, click here.
This post was updated Aug. 6 with Schoeller’s comments.