You Tube strikes again! This is as great as the Fall's Jools Holland TV appearance, but maybe not as good as the footage of Mark E. Smith reading football results on a sports show. It's the Dead C totally destroying the stage (22MB mpeg file for download) of a New Zealand Top-of-the-Pops style TV joint with "Sky", I'm guessing around the year 2000. For the uninitiated, the Dead C evolved/devolved out of the Flying Nun scene of the 1980's and the ensuing Xpressway scene (a label the band's Bruce Russell ran) with a brand of free rock that severely blew my mind upon hearing the "Helen Said This" 12" for the first time crackle out of the Philly Record Exchange's suspect sidewalk speakers. With Michael Morley on guitar, Robbie Yeats on drums, and Russell on second guitar (and more or less using the amp as an instrument itself), these guys opened my gray matter to the sheer possibilities of seemingly off-center, unformed ideas that end up waddling into towering masses of rock sound in the most unconventional way possible. The waves of what they did rippled through the '90s (even Sonic Youth, who certainly lent and air of their own existence to the Dead C, learned from them in spades), and younguns today like Air Conditioning, Magik Markers and the whole free-Finnish contingent; last year the Fat Cat label was even visionary enough to put them on the flip side of a split 12" with the Congolese electric-trance unit Konono No. 1. Anyway, it's exciting to see them invited on what seems to be a fairly pop-oriented music program (at least one of the hosts seems quite excited to have gotten them on), playing one of their most "pop" songs (in their universe, anyway) and there's a pretty cool post-song interview where Suicide and their New Zealand disciples Snapper get some spotlight as well. I also suppose NZ TV doesn't get too ruffled when the word "fuck" gets uttered (as Morley does in "Sky", and Snapper does in their video). Please check out Midheaven Mailorder, and Siltbreeze for some prime Dead C recordings (Siltbreeze has started a blog too!) I'm also told that Ba Da Bing Records is working on a retrospective disc.