Thursday, December 28, 2006

My Night With Pounds

I've lived in Lovely Southern Connecticut for almost three years now, but that doesn't mean I'm familiar with public-access TV. I always thought that was a really good thing, though.

But with a cold forcing me to stay in my apartment night after night, I've been relegated to watching lots of television the last few evenings. Lucky for me, it seems like there's a "Law & Order" on at all times, on like three different channels.

But what happens when you've seen the episode not so long ago, it's 11 p.m., there's nothing even remotely watchable on and you can't listen to music because you're deaf in one ear because of sinuses? Well, you watch Pounds.

About six months ago, I was flipping through the channels and found some wacked-out show hosted by Beatnik 2000 regular Floatin' Fred. I had met the man a few times, but never knew he had some odd gig — flailing his baton around while local musicians dance. Well, last night I found "The Underground with Pounds." What a score.

Normally, I would just keep on flipping through the public-access stations, but this one caught my eye because it was a "Tonight Show"-like show and Pounds' guest was The Broken West, a California band that has a four-star disc hitting stores next month. You might remember that I gushed over these guys before their gig at Cafe Nine in late October, then when I went to see them again the next night in Boston.

Pounds is quite the guy. He may not have the best interview skills, but what he lacks in those, he makes up with in pure energy, and, of course, the skeleton costume that he wears. The self-proclaimed filmmaker/skateboarder, according to the credits, hosts the show, produces it, writes it, edits it and is the sound engineer. That's a whole lot of hats.

"The Underground with Pounds" also splices in numerous scenes from "Gremlins," over and over again, for no particular reason. I wonder if the studio gave Pounds credit to use the clips. Doesn't matter, though. The Broken West actually performed a couple songs on the show acoustically, and it sounded damn good.

Anyway, take it from me, if you can't leave your couch, try to find Pounds. Who cares if he wears a skeleton costume, seems a bit controlling and instead of asking questions merely mutters statements to comment on? He had The Broken West on his show months before the band's debut disc came out. That's good taste, and "The Underground with Pounds" is a great mixture of good TV and unintentional comedy. Good stuff.

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