SXSW: Day#2

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If I was a top-notch blogger in the same arena as Perez Hilton, and–see, I can’t even name another prominent blogger. Anyway, if I was blogging by today’s standards, I should have already posted five or six blogs by now. Keep in mind though, I come from the ‘zine world. Back in the day, all of the info I’m gathering here at SXSW would be used for one issue of a ‘zine–which probably wouldn’t come out until a month after the event. It’s not like I’m sitting poolside licking BBQ off my fingers. It just so happens I’ve only been able to get to my laptop a couple times each day…


The Presidents of the United States of America
The morning started off early with a visit to The Presidents of the United States’ hotel suite (sounds scandalous, doesn’t it?). At 10AM (which is ass-crack early for SXSW standards), drummer Jason Finn had already gone for a run and was doing some calisthenics when I arrived at the hotel. You all probably remember Jason as the hefty drummer of the group–he’s not so hefty anymore. I was also joined by the rookie of PUSA, guitbass player Andrew McKeag (who replaced founding member Dave Dederer). Frontman Chris Ballew was out doing another batch of press interviews somewhere else. The Presidents seemed jolly as always, maybe because they had a BBQ pig-out session the night before. I found out that the Presidents don’t resent their 90’s hits “Lump” and “Peaches,” and mentioned that a performance could quickly turn into a riot if they didn’t include the above mentioned songs on their set-list. On the way out, Finn spotted a Pittsburgh Steelers logo on my back-pack and mentioned how he and Terry Bradshaw shared a spirited conversation during a taping of The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (Steelers reference #1). The Presidents of the United States of America Play tonight at Cedar Door, 11:40PM.


Money Mark
Next up, I met with Money Mark. He’s in town for one show tonight (Buffalo Billiards, 10:45PM), promoting the soundtrack work he did for the yet to be released film, Beautiful Losers. Don’t expect another Money Mark album until possibly next year. He did mention that he is currently writing songs for it. We also talked about the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack, which I (and according to Mark, “many of his friends”) think is a blatant Money Mark rip-off. He said after his friends watched the film he got about 100 text messages that congratulated him on the score. On the Beastie front, Mark is writing songs with the group, but could offer no forecast on when the new Beastie Boys album will be complete. I was also surprised to find out that he has never injured himself while maniacally jumping on his keyboard during the Beastie’s performance of “Sabotage”.


A little bit later I met up with Moby. Besides spinning a whole bunch of parties at this year’s SXSW, he also has one full-band performance scheduled, and just finished performing two Velvet Underground covers at the Lou Reed tribute show, going on right now at the Fader Fort (the line to get in is pretty insane). Moby said he doesn’t want to tour with a full band anymore, until he can find an easier and less stressful way to do it. At the moment he’s just having a good time spinning records of “other people’s music.” His new album, Last Night, comes out in April. After the interview he also noticed the Steelers patch on the back of my backpack. He mentioned, “I used to be obsessed with the Steelers when I was a kid.” It was both joyous and oddly random to hear player’s names like “Lynn Swann” and “Franco Harris” come out of Moby’s mouth (Steelers reference #2).


Jim Noir
Jim Noir was next on our list. He looks a lot younger in person than he does on his videos–maybe because he came dressed in a windbreaker and sock cap, as opposed to his bowler’s cap and three-piece suite. Jim mentioned that he was on “holiday,” hence the break in dress code. Amazingly, he creates songs much like Jay Z. He’ll start with a drumbeat, piece different loops together, and freestyles his poppy hooks over the instrumental (nothing is written down). He plays all the instruments himself, but performs with a four-piece band in concert settings. He also wanted to inform me that it was not his voice on a recent Target holiday commercial, it was a Jim Noir “sound-a-like.” Noir and band will perform at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop this Saturday at 9PM.


The Raveonettes
Up last was Sune Rose Wagner, frontman of The Raveonettes. The wear-and-tear of SXSW is starting to show. His band is playing 12 shows in four days. When I met up with him this afternoon, they had already done two. I asked him what his favorite part of SXSW was. His answer was very honest, “Leaving.” After their dozen shows here The Raveonettes continue their tour of the U.S. hitting up Minneapolis, MN.

On my way back to type this blog, I came across one of the many stars on Austin’s walk-of-fame (and I’ve seen some good ones the last couple of days: Carol Burnett, Buddy Holly, George Foreman). Since artists were randomly dropping Steelers references today, is was fitting that I spotted the star of Mean Joe Greene (Steelers reference #3).

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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…


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. 


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 ’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?”


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).



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.


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


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

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.


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.


Forget Public Wifi

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



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.


Self Defense

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


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