SXSW: The “Dance” Bands

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I go to SXSW every year with incredibly high expectations, and surprisingly they are always met. The best thing that SXSW has to offer (besides all the free drinks, food, and goodies) are the bands that you normally would have never heard of, if it weren’t for the festival. It seems that each year, the dance bands have been the ones who won me over, and after doing a little research, I’m left asking myself, “Where are all the new dance bands?”


SXSW 2006
2006 brought me The Young Knives (pictured left) who are a glasses-and-suit wearing band that make angular, choppy beats–much like The Futureheads and XTC. Although this might be a bit of a stretch, I’d also have to include the extremely excitable (based on name alone) ¡Forward Russia! for brining the screamo type dance music to Austin. Then there was The Longcut, who were hands down the best discovery of ’06. Not only is their music incredibly dance-y, but it’s also dark–which may just be the best combination there is (not to mention, the lead singer is also the drummer!). And finally, for good measure, I’ll throw in the American band She Wants Revenge whose sythny, Interpol inspired beats got the Austin crowd moving their feet.

SXSW 2007
Last year’s SXSW somehow managed to top the year before by introducing me to four ridiculously good UK dance bands. First up, Hot Club de Paris, a band I had heard much about and had high expectations for. Their combination of acappella jams and punky riffs made them an incredibly fun live band, who I love, just like I love myself (that was a nod to their lyrics there). Then there was The Sunshine Underground, who completely blew every other band at SXSW out of the water with their anthemic, dance songs. I’ll even give a nod to Shitdisco (pictured above) for bringing the nu-rave dance tunes to Austin. And let’s not forget the American band for ’07, The Blood Arm, who are probably the most fun band in all of the United States.


SXSW 2008
Sadly none of the above bands will be at this year’s SXSW, but after doing a little research I found a couple of bands that may not be dance-y, but deserve your attention.

A lot of whispers have been going around for The Rascals (pictured left) and this may or may not be because their lead singer, Miles Kane, has teamed up with Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) to form The Last Shadow Puppets. To be fair to The Rascals, their own brand of music is a darker version of The Coral–which is an interesting twist on sea-shanty pop gems. They’ll probably be the it band of this year’s SXSW! Their official showcase is Friday, March 14 at 1:00 a.m. at Wave Rooftop (408 E. 6th St). You’d be wise to check them out!

If you’re looking for some pretty boys making pretty music that you can dance to, you’re best bet would be The Voom Blooms. Their official showcase is Thursday, March 13th at 8:00 p.m. at Latitude 30 (512 San Jacinto St).

Gimme a “H!” Gimme a “Y!” Gimme a “P!” Gimme an “E!” What’s that spell? Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong! Probably one of the most talked about bands this year are JL&TJJJ, but luckily for them (and us), I think they’ll actually live up to it. They’re good on record and I bet they’re even better live, but the only way to find out for sure is to go to their official showcase, which is on Saturday, March 15 at 9:00 p.m. at Emo’s Main Room (603 Red River St).

While this year’s SXSW may not be filled with tons of unknown dance bands, I know it’ll be just as good as years past!


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.