TV: Marie Azcona shows older set what's new in music

By Louisa Cleave

By LOUISA CLEAVE

So what is a rock chick like Marie Azcona doing in a place like this - slotted between Super Dog Challenge and House of the Year?

The 29-year-old former MTV host is bringing music to the over-35s as the face of TV One's new prime time show Music Week (tonight, 7.30 pm).

"Super Dog, that's pretty popular here isn't it? It rates better than my show.

"Last week we were before The Queen. What can you do? TV is appealing to the masses. TV One has their loyal watchers and I'm not going to be all attitude towards them. You can't alienate people."

There are worst places a new music show could find itself in the television schedule. Shows like hers are often consigned to late night or early morning, but those are generally "for the kids."

"When I told people TV One was doing a music programme they said great, because it's a chance to get more music out there."

So who is her audience?

"People who feel they've been left behind, maybe. They don't follow the charts any more or they don't really know who the bands are.

"Manufactured pop's become so young these days that anyone over 21 feels ancient."

Last Saturday's debut Music Week featured clips from Sinead O'Connor, Gabrielle and Robbie Williams. Tonight's programme features another off-chart mix, including the Wallflowers, fronted by Bob Dylan's son Jakob, and Enya.

Azcona says she has matured since her MTV days and has adopted a more toned-down approach to presenting Music Week.

Last year she reported from the street on issues for the youth music show Ground Zero. The show didn't last but was reincarnated this year as TV2's Friday night offering Space.

Azcona moved on. "I think it was too many people, too many ideas and just wasn't focused enough," she says of the Ground Zero experiment.

She joined Jim Hickey and Mark Leishman on Jim's Car Show and has a second job as music reviewer on Susan Wood's Today Live.

Azcona now has her own desk at TVNZ headquarters and sits down with music company representatives early in the week before filming the next episode of Music Week on Thursdays.

Will the wife of Kiwi music icon Tim Finn indulge in a bit of nepotism on the show? After all, her husband's music - not to mention her brother-in-law's tunes, also - seem just right for the format.

"They totally suit that, because it's that audience that know them. If there was anything out that they were doing ... I mean, Neil's doing a record at the moment. Tim's going to be doing a record.

"He's got that live thing that's coming out [from the recent Finn, Dave Dobbyn and Bic Runga tour]. I think that will be a giveaway next week. It's going to be an awkward thing, but that's how it is."

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