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SXSW: The Eagle Has Landed

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Not that I’m very eagle-like at all, but I have arrived in Austin, TX for SXSW 2008! Things started off pretty quickly. Soon after my arrival I met up with some IFC colleagues at Iron Works BBQ for a production meeting. We do things right here–forget the conference room–head straight for the rib joint. Oddly enough (because I just posted about it yesterday) I bumped into Matt Pinfield again. Unlike last year’s Iron Works encounter, I made sure to keep my greeting at a low volume level, just so Matt could sneak out without having to play music trivia with everyone (I guess it comes with the territory though). I also spotted Tokyo Police Club enjoying some Texas BBQ.

Before I even I had a chance to run back to my hotel to grab my camera, we were off to the IFC Crossroads Party at a club called The Parish. Yo La Tengo kicked off the proceedings–not a bad way for me to start off my SXSW 2008, huh? The indie veterans were in town because they had scored a film that was screening at the SXSW movie festival.


Since it was a party and not a proper music showcase, many people were taking advantage of the free drinks during the early portion of the performance. As I scanned the crowd, I noticed half were socializing and half were watching Yo La Tengo. Though the band was scheduled to play 45 minutes, it felt a wee bit shorter than that. In Yo La Tengo’s brief set they did manage to show their sweet, tender side, their punk rock leanings (which included a couple spaz-outs on guitar by Ira Kaplan) and their hankering for jamming out. It was also fun watching the trio swap instruments every couple of songs. I wish more people were into it, but what are you going to do? Free finger foods can be an evil temptress.

Once the drinks kicked in, everyone was ready to rock out for My Morning Jacket. Beer bottles were raised as the band took the stage behind some epic backlighting and an endless supply of stage smoke. These guys are so ready to tour arenas (that’s to be taken as a compliment). My Morning Jacket showed off some new material and jammed out extensively on a few of their catalog goodies (“Off The Record”, “One Big Holiday”). They sounded amazingly tight, and like Yo La Tengo, showed that they can be good quiet or be good loud. While taking in the set I thought to myself, “If they ever include one of these guys’ songs on the next Guitar Hero, there’s going to be some kids out there with achy fingers.”

Pictures of tonight’s show will be posted as soon as I get ’em. Also, please bear with me throughout the week. There’s a ton of people here at SXSW with their laptops, and the wireless internet is running S-L-O-W. I’ll get my posts up as soon as I can.


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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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.