GBH Openvault

New Television; Put Blood in the Music

Part of New Television Workshop.

Approximate date: 1989

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New Television
Put Blood in the Music
Series Description

"New Television" began as a local pilot production of WNET (New York) in 1986. In 1987, WGBH signed on as co-producer, and the shows were aired in Boston and New York. In 1988 and 1989, KCET (Los Angeles) and WETA (D.C.) became producers in association. In 1991, PBS picked up "New Television," and it was broadcast nationally. The following year, the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, replaced WNET, WETA, and KCET as co-producer with WGBH. In 1993, WGBH ceased to be a co-producer for the series, and the "home base" moved to Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) in Hartford, CT.

"New Television" commissioned, produced, and acquired programming. In its early years, "New Television" broadcast works commissioned by The Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund. Increasingly, experimental films as well as video works were broadcast as a part of this series. Many of the later episodes of "New Television" contain works that play with and deconstruct the documentary genre. Series release date: 1986

Program Description

In this documentary-style work, critics, artists, and musicians are interviewed about the New York music scene and its many influences. Early on, the "talking head" interviewees are juxtaposed with images that illustrate the concept of a "New York sound" -- street scenes, construction workers, a Salvation Army band, and a host of street performers. Composer and performer John Zorn and rock band Sonic Youth are featured in detail. Zorn discusses his relationship with film and cartoons, Ornette Coleman, Tonco music (an Asian trio form), Mickey Spillane, and the composition of his work "Spillane." Frequent Zorn collaborator Arto Lindsay is seen in a recording session with his band, Ambitious Lovers. Another band, Hugo Largo, is shown performing at the Central Park bandshell. Zorn's Ornette Coleman cover band, Spy vs. Spy, is shown in performance at the Knitting Factory. Sonic Youth talks with former Velvet Underground member John Cale. They also have a roundtable discussion with their first drummer (who has since been replaced), Bob Bert. Sonic Youth is shown in a variety of situations. Band member Lee Ranaldo goes to a tarot card reader. The band performs outdoors on what appears to be a train platform. A clip of the "Death Valley '69" video is included. Sonic Youth's Madonna "tribute" band, Ciccone Youth, appears in a video clip. While many issues are covered, "Put Blood in the Music" keeps returning to the question of a "New York sound." David Donahue is credited with conceiving and developing the work, which is approximately an hour and 14 minutes long.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Sonic Youth (Musical group)
Rock music
Documentaries and factual works
New York (N.Y.)
Film and Television
Morris, James (Production)
Atlas, Charles (Director)
Marclay, Christian ()
Goese, Mimi ()
Kaye, Lenny ()
Branca, Glenn ()
Edson, Richard ()
Epstein, Ted ()
Gordon, Kim ()
Reid, Vernon ()
Willner, Hal ()
Shelley, Steve ()
Lindsay, Arto ()
Shioi, Luli ()
Berne, Tim ()
Bert, Bob ()
Lunch, Lydia ()
Ryan, Bill ()
Evelev, Yale ()
Donohue, David ()
Stirner, Janet ()
Scherer, Peter ()
Zorn, John, 1953- ()
Mori, Ikue ()
Barton, Jopey ()
Rockwell, John ()
Fricke, David ()
Carr, Tim ()
Krazmer, Mark ()
Moore, Thurston ()
Rowe, Hahn ()
Sommer, Tim ()
Wheeler, David ()
Cosloy, Gerard ()
Suzuki, Hitomi ()
Vatcher, Michael ()
C., Mark ()
Vasconcelos, Nana ()
Tiers, Wharton ()
Peacock, Adam ()
O'Keefe, Karen ()
Cale, John ()
Graham, Dan ()
Ranaldo, Lee ()
Cresser, Mark ()
Finley, Karen ()
Chicago: “New Television; Put Blood in the Music,” GBH Archives, accessed April 20, 2024,
MLA: “New Television; Put Blood in the Music.” GBH Archives. Web. April 20, 2024. <>.
APA: New Television; Put Blood in the Music. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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