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SXSW: Day #3

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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!


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.


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.


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.”


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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GIFs via Giphy

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.