Music 'Scene' stealers

Eclectic new music show elbows its way into SA's cable market

Matt Mirabella and Jennifer Broich, producers of the public-access cable show The Scene, stop in recently at The Mix on North St. Mary's Street. (Photo by Mark Greenberg)

A new music show is nudging its way into San Antonio's slightly crowded cable-access market. The Scene, a show that premiered on Time Warner Cable Channel 20 on March 15, promises to become the most professional production in San Antonio's long tradition of music-oriented programs.

At a downtown viewing party to celebrate the show's premiere, producer Jennifer Broich says she thought of the idea for this type of program after working for Robb's Metalworks, a long-running cable-access show long favored by SA headbangers. Broich, a 24-year-old metal fanatic, conducted interviews for Robb's Metalworks, where she gained most of her production experience.

Broich, along with her friends Matt Mirabella and Carol Icke, joined forces last August to brainstorm about plans for their own show. Although they knew the show should deal with the local music scene, they had to decide what aspect of it they wanted to tackle.

"I came up with the name, 'The Scene,'" Broich says. "What better name to describe everything that's out there in San Antonio music?" Broich adds that she didn't want the show to limit itself to band interviews, believing it needed to extend its focus to the entirety of the music community, including recording studios and live-music venues.

The Scene

12:30 a.m., Wednesdays
Time Warner Cable Channel 20
"The idea began with rock," Broich says. "I had so many ideas. I remember driving home from work one night, and I thought to myself, 'There's got to be something I can do. I can't just get out of the music scene.' If it weren't for me getting involved `with Robb's Metalworks`, I would have never ventured off and thought about doing something on my own."

Producers of The Scene insist that they do not want the show to be genre-specific, although they're quick to acknowledge their shared love of hard rock. In that sense, the emergence of The Scene creates an interesting dynamic, in which two locally produced shows will frequently cover the same musical genre, and probably many of the same acts. But Broich stresses that she does not consider The Scene and Robb's Metalworks to be competitors.

Robb Chavez, producer/host of Robb's Metalworks, did not respond to requests for an interview.

Broich says she didn't think she would have the courage to put together a program like this, but as a former employee of Warehouse Music, she made many contacts with record labels and other people in the music industry, which has helped her book national acts for the show.

Before the show could win approval for airing, Time Warner Cable required at least four sample 30-minute episodes. The crew began shooting footage last September, including interviews with hard-rock veterans such as Legs Diamond and Slayer.

"I remember driving home from work one night, and I thought to myself, 'There's got to be something I can do. I can't just get out of the music scene.'"

— Jennifer Broich

Initially, the show's staff consisted of Broich, Icke, and Mirabella, but ideas soon began to develop. Broich incorporated longtime music associates until the staff grew to about 10 people. She also says the staff has been working consistently since shooting the show's initial footage in late summer.

Broich credits Jo Anthony, the former KISS disc jockey known to some locals as the Godfather of rock 'n' roll, for the popularity of heavy metal in San Antonio. She describes the metal scene in San Antonio as a big rollercoaster. "There are times when it's really happening and then all of a sudden it just dies out again," she says. "It's never really consistent."

However, she says rock will stay alive in San Antonio because of Anthony's legacy. She says one of the things that makes San Antonio special is how it continues to embrace old heavy metal acts that may be forgotten elsewhere.

One early episode of The Scene features the local band Kizmet. Mirabella interviews the band after one of their performances at Bond's 007. The segment segues from an outdoor interview into a behind-the-scenes look at the band, working in the recording studio and hanging out backstage. The clips, along with the music, create the perfect mix to intrigue viewers unfamiliar with the band.

Broich says she doesn't want The Scene to appear superficial, yet she concedes it might be prudent to put good-looking women on the show because the majority of viewers are likely to be men. Ultimately, however, she recognizes that the show's appeal rests on a passion for music shared by the creators and viewers.

"When it comes down to it, it's not about how you look or what you're wearing," she says. "I could care less about what people think about the way I look; when it comes to music, that's all I care about."

By Chris Perez


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