Todd Snider recounts the history of television in just under three minutes in his new video for “Talking Reality Television Blues.” A colorful, animated clip featuring a cartoon Snider and a harmonica-playing squirrel, the video traces the birth of the medium from the first TV set to MTV and, ultimately, to the advent of the first reality-television president.
“One after the other we pretended not to act as we hurtled ever forward to alternative facts,” sing-speaks Snider in the imagery-rich song, which repeatedly nods to the Buggles’ one-hit wonder “Video Killed the Radio Star” throughout the lyrics, before lampooning President Trump. As Snider sings, “Then a show called The Apprentice came on and pretty soon an old man with a combover had sold us the moon,” a caricature of Trump flashes on the screen. “And now here we are: reality killed by a reality star.”
“Talking Reality Television Blues” appears on the Americana songwriter’s new album Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3, a fresh collection of folksongs recorded at Johnny Cash’s Hendersonville, Tennessee, studio-cabin. Snider hosted a preview of the record earlier this week at the cabin, performing songs off the LP, including “Talking Reality Television Blues” and “The Ghost of Johnny Cash,” inspired by a dream Snider had about a visit from the Man in Black.
Snider’s Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3 arrives March 15th. The Nashville resident will launch a lengthy tour on March 13th in New York City.