Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Everyone Knows It’s (W) Indie

Photo of Jerry Bryant from his Facebook page.

TV host Jerry Bryant will be honored for his years of promoting independent and cutting-edge music on November 19th when Columbia College, AEMM, and SWIM.RADIO present Keeping It (W) Indie - A Tribute To JBTV. The event, which promises “music, mayhem, and munches,” will be held from 6:00 to 9:00PM at Columbia College’s Stage 2 Theatre, 618 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The entertainment includes Lester Jay and The Company, Mike Locke & Josue El Diligente, DJ Arkitek, and other special guests. You can send an e-mail to to RSVP or find out more information.

Bryant has been doing JBTV for 24 years, starting out on Chicago Cable Access TV. Throughout the history of his show, he has aired videos; presented live performances in the studio; and interviewed countless musicians, including Billy Corgan, Jeff Buckley, Pearl Jam, Joey Ramone, Radiohead, Henry Rollins, Juliana Hatfield, and P.J. Harvey. Bryant takes an amiable approach that puts his guests at ease and results in some fascinating insights into their music. JBTV nabbed a Regional Emmy for Outstanding Achievement, Entertainment Programming in 1995.

JBTV remains a Cable Access TV staple, and can also be seen on HDTV WJYS Ch 62-2. There’s an online site that offers new interviews and live performances on a regular basis. A search through its archives uncovers a treasure chest of performance footage. I recently watched a clip of Material Issue performing an acoustic version of “Merry Christmas Will Do” that underscores just how much we still miss Jim Ellison. JBTV has a MySpace page where Bryant spotlights upcoming acts like the all-woman band Sick Of Sarah.

Regardless of whether it’s on television or online, JBTV is a great program that deserves a wider audience and a stable future. Hopefully, the upcoming tribute will help achieve that.

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