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LIVE: Anti-Flag

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Wednesday, March 26
New York, NY
The Knitting Factory

Last night’s Anti-Flag concert at the Knitting Factory was my first ever “MySpace Secret Show.” I’m still confused as to what a “MySpace Secret Show” entails? Besides a small banner hanging from the wall and some extra room in the mosh pit, you couldn’t even tell the evening was being presented by MySpace.

Um, I think if you add “Secret Shows” to your MySpace friend-list, you get alerted to the concert a couple days before everyone else?? I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about–let’s just get to the performance.

Anti-Flag opened the show looking and sounding like a well-seasoned punk band. All the members of the band were dressed in black (nice), all of them had cool-looking haircuts (nice), Chris #2 clocked some major hang-time with his flying scissor-kicks (nice), and to add to the spectacle, Anti-Flag had flood-lights on their amplifiers that nearly blinded everyone in the bedroom-sized Knitting Factory (double nice!).

Those expecting to see a punk show got one. I’m a fan of the brand of punk inspired by the artists of the late 70’s and early 80’s. Give me a little Ramones-pop, the stage moves, politics, and haircuts of The Clash, and the angry brow of Ian MacKaye and I’m a happy camper. In my opinion, only a handful of current-day punk bands can (sincerely) bring this to the table.

After watching Anti-Flag rip through a few songs, it’s obvious to see why they’re a cut above their punk contemporaries–they’re able to perfectly blend punk, pop, and spit-fire politics, all while bouncing around on stage sounding amazingly tight on their instruments (a talent many young punk bands have yet to master). Bassist, Chris #2, is the group’s high-energy showman, the “yang” to Justin Sane’s “yin” (it was very fitting that his buzzcut was dyed half black/half white). He also did an impressive job playing traffic cop last night directing the throng of kids being tossed up on stage.

Anti-Flag’s new material, “Good and Ready”, “The Bright Lights of America”, “Vices”, and “If You Wanna Steal” fit nicely into their set-list alongside their catalog favorites. In between songs, Chris #2 did most of the talking. A couple times throughout the performance, the banter seemed a little shticky, especially when the crowd was instructed to do a “circle pit” (I’m a firm believer in crowds starting their own “circle pits”), and Chris #2’s liberal use of the word “fuck.” After a handful of times, the mightiest of expletives, lost its impact. I can overlook this though, because I know Anti-Flag’s punk-rock politics stretch way beyond their stage show.

Midway through the set, Chris #2 mentioned, “Usually I’d say Rupert Murdoch was a mother fucker, but he did bring us all here tonight.” Justin Sane followed with, “Rupert Murdoch IS a mother fucker. If we can use MySpace for our gains, then it’s worth it–fuck Rupert Murdoch!” If you didn’t put two-and-two together, Murdoch is the chairman of News Corp., the global conglomerate that owns the Fox Network and, you guessed it, MySpace.

At the beginning of Anti-Flag’s encore, Justin Sane finally took some time to speak to the crowd in length. Because he kept silent most of the set, he seemed to have the EF Hutton-effect (when he spoke everyone listened). Sane spoke of a Free Tibet rally which he had attended earlier in the day in New York City, and also talked about the upcoming election–he’s not thrilled with Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, but fears that John McCain would just be a further extension of the George Bush presidency. After his mini-speech, Anti-Flag played the quintessential Anti-Flag song, “You’ve Got to Die For The Government”, then wrapped up the evening with “The Press Corpse.”

Ah, a nice hearty meal of some good ‘ol wholesome punk rock music.


Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.


Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:


The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.


They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!


Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.


Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.



Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”


IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?

Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!

Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.

Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 


IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.