DID YOU READ

SXSW: Day #3

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BREAKING WEATHER REPORT:
For the first time all week, the sun came out in full force. Temperatures are nearing the 90’s–alas, warm weather in Austin, TX!

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Ah, a good night’s sleep, it’s first time I logged more than five hours the whole trip. This morning I also got to eat breakfast and sort through my SXSW goodie bag for the first time. I’ve got my second wind!

On the bummer-end of things, Nada Surf and Billy Bragg had to cancel our interviews scheduled this week. No hard feelings though, since I’m sure their schedules are pretty packed at this point in time. Bands are playing more day-shows now than ever. Today I met up with Tim Fite, Tapes ‘N Tapes, and Murs…

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Tim Fite
My first meet-up of the day was with Tim Fite and his sideman, Dr. Leisure, who is toying around with the idea of changing his name to The Artist Formerly Known As Little Prince. In person Tim Fite is not much different than his on-stage persona. If you don’t listen to him closely enough, you’ll fail to realize that he’s completely bullshitting you. I mentioned that I hadn’t heard his new album yet (coming out in May), and without cracking a smile, Tim matter-of-factly replied, “I haven’t heard it either. I sent it out to China and India and I’m waiting to get it back. It’s cheaper that way. I hope it doesn’t have any lead in it. That stuff’s dangerous.”

Tim also mentioned that he just performs with Dr. Leisure, because he can’t afford to assemble a touring band. Tim’s performing duties are finished at this year’s SXSW, but he is hosting a couple of showcases. To make things lively, he has been creating homemade giant postcards–one was from Mick Jagger to Keith Richards wishing he was at SXSW, while another one was sent to Roy Orbison (in heaven) from Tom Petty, his former bandmate, who misses playing in the Traveling Wilburys. Welcome to the world of Tim Fite.

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Tapes N’ Tapes
An hour later I got to meet Tapes ‘N Tapes for the first time. They’re a couple weeks away from releasing their Dave Fridman produced sophomore album, Walk It Off. They are also performing tonight at Cedar Door (12AM) and have a matinee show tomorrow. Because they became “blog” darlings a couple years ago, one might expect them to walk around with an air of I’m-better-than-you confidence. That couldn’t be further from the truth. They’re down-to-earth, very approachable guys, who would probably rather talk about sports than indie music. They mentioned that their first trip to SXSW coincided with the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament. They ended up missing a lot of music that year because they came down with a case of March Madness.

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Murs
Just got done hanging out with Murs. He’s playing a handful of shows here in Austin, but is also scooting over to San Antonio to play a show there tonight. Besides being a fan of his unique approach to hip-hop music, I also love Murs’ sheer candidness. Ask him what’s wrong with hip-hop, he’ll tell you–he won’t side step any issue and will always give you an unfiltered answer. He even realizes his opinion could get him “beat up”, but according to Murs, “Getting beat up is fun, it’s like UFC. Sure I’ll get my ass kick, but afterwards we can all be friends.” Murs’ forthcoming album is called Murs For President, but according to Murs he doesn’t want to be President of The United States of America, “There’s already a great rock band that holds that title.”

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.