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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).

mean joe.JPG


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.