This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.


TALK: Jim Noir

Posted by on


Last week the fun-loving Jim Noir released his eponymous sophomore album, Jim Noir. At this point in time, most Americans are probably more familiar with the commercials (Target, Adidas) his songs have appeared in, than the actual songs themselves. Noir’s catchy hooks are radio-friendly, easy-to-digest, pop goodies that will get stuck in your head after just one listen.

(left: Jim Noir talkin’ about the new album, Jim Noir)

Teaming up with Barsuk Records–the same label that brought us the indie goodness of Death Cab For Cutie and Nada Surf–Noir is hoping to make a big splash stateside with his second go-around:

Jim Shearer: A lot of people in the States may not be familiar with you yet. What can we tell them about Jim Noir?

Jim Noir: I’m a songwriter and producer who comes from Manchester in England and I make music.

Shearer: Because when I tell people about you I say, “He’s got some catchy hooks.”

Noir: Yes.

Shearer: Where do you come up with the ideas for your songs?

Noir: I don’t know, they just come to me. I don’t really write anything down or think of anything. I do all our music first. So lyrics are just something I have to do to [finish] the songs.

Shearer: So you after you track a song will you say, “Ah, this kind of sounds like a happy tune about playing soccer in the backyard”?

Noir: I just press record and talk rubbish for an hour, and make a song out of it. It is all spontaneous, sort of magic–poof!

Shearer: I read in an interview once that said you don’t work for more than one hour on a song, if you do, you’ll throw it away.

Noir: Yes, I’ll put it in the bin because if I get bored after an hour then everyone else would get bored when they listen to it. It is a very quick process.

Shearer: Pop-culture-wise, I just want to know how you grew up, because a lot of your songs take me back to my youth. I was just wondering about the TV shows you watched and the music you listened to.

Noir: It’s all just little memories and things like that. I find that those are the nice elements of life, you know? Like, I suppose I’m still just a kid at heart and I just want to remember those innocent days–it’s like therapy.

Shearer: A lot of people have called your music “childlike.” Does that bother you at all?

Noir: No, I think that is a compliment, because if you keep all of [your youthfulness] then that’s certainly a good thing.

Shearer: Does that make you nervous though? What if you wanted to go in a more serious direction with your music?

Noir: Yes, I mean, I don’t really tend to write much that is too serious. I don’t really want to make any point in particular, because I just don’t think I’ve got the right to tell anyone else what is right and wrong in the world. So I just talk about some random silliness and people can relate to that just as much as they can if I’m talking about politics or whatever. It doesn’t interest me to change anybody’s lives–I think.

Shearer: Although you could do so by not meaning to.

Noir: Yes, yes. If that’s the way it works, then I’m happy to go with that.

Shearer: Your debut album, Tower of One, was that recorded in your parent’s house?

Noir: Yes most of it, I would say about 80 percent.

Shearer: And the new one [Jim Noir], where was it recorded?

Noir: My flat, or apartment, as you Americans call it.

Shearer: Do you ever get yelled at by your neighbors?

Noir: No, actually I don’t. The end of the first album was recorded in my old flat. I was making a lot of noise–I got all my equipment taken away by the local counsel so I had to move.

Shearer: Why did they take it away? Just because you were too loud?

Noir: Yes, pretty much.

Shearer: Are you in a place now where you can be as loud as you want?

Noir: Well [my neighbors] don’t seem to mind. I think they are nosier than me actually, so it’s okay.

Shearer: Do they know of Jim Noir?

Noir: No, no, no. I keep my location secret, like a top-secret hideout.

noir then and now.jpg

(left: Not only does Jim Noir have a top-secret hideout, but he also has a brand new top-secret disguise.)

Shearer: For your last album you sort of had a fashion motif with the bowler’s cap and the suit. Looks like you are a little more casual this time around?

Noir: Well I’m on holiday. I might dress up for the gigs, but I don’t wear the bowler anymore. I just don’t want to be known for what I look like [instead of] what I sound like. You know? Maybe that is a mistake. Who knows? We’ll see.

Watch More

A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

Watch More

WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

Posted by on

Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

Watch More

Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy

Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.


IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.



IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on and the IFC app.

Watch More