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DID YOU READ

TALK: My Morning Jacket

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Experimental-deep-fried-southern rockers, My Morning Jacket, are on the verge of one of their most important years as a band. Following up their critically acclaimed album, Z, the band will be releasing their brand new album, Evil Urges, on June 10. Besides gracing the recent cover of SPIN Magazine, My Morning Jacket can also be found playing Saturday Night Live this weekend, May 10, as well as playing a sold-out show at Radio City Music Hall and a marquee spot at this year’s Bonnaroo Festival next month.

(above: My Morning Jacket at this year’s SXSW in Austin, TX. Look at this live show, you can’t tell me they shouldn’t be playing arenas).

I sat down with My Morning Jacket’s resident drum pummeler, Patrick Hallahan, to discuss the band’s big year and the possibility of becoming rock’s next arena-worthy act:

Jim Shearer: I saw you guys at the IFC/Crossroads party at SXSW. Good show!

Patrick Hallahan: That might have been one of my favorite shows in a very, very long time, just because we have such a history with that room [The Parish]. We played a lot of shows there. My friend Will Johnson claims that that’s the best sounding room in Austin, TX. When we go there it’s like family. Chris, the sound engineer, knew my name the minute I walked in the door, and we hadn’t seen each other in four-and-a-half years. That just means the world to bands that play so many rooms throughout the year, for someone to know–it’s like a sense of family. It was a fantastic show, it really was.

Jim: Yo La Tengo opened up the show. Did you get to hang out with them at all?

Patrick: Absolutely. That was certainly one of the highlights of my week. I’ve been a fan of Yo La Tengo for so long. I felt so bad, because Yo La Tengo shouldn’t be opening for us, we should be opening for Yo La Tengo. It was just cool to befriend them, they’re really sweet. It was really good to know that a band I respect so highly are such a nice group of people

Jim: I notice when you’re playing the drums that you don’t close your mouth the entire show.

Patrick: (laughs) I’m just trying to catch flies. I guess it’s like the Michael Jordan tongue thing. I don’t know? When I’m not thinking, and in my euphoric state, I guess my mouth’s open.

Jim: My Morning Jacket has a big year coming up. You guys have a lot of stuff going on.

Patrick: What in particular are you talking about?

Jim: Well, you’ve got your new album, Evil Urges, you’ve got the show at Radio City Music Hall, which I think amazingly sold-out in 20 minutes?

Patrick: Twenty-two minutes.

Jim: Wow.

Patrick: I swear to God I never thought that I’d be able to say that we sold out a show in an hour at a 300-capactiy club. To sell out Radio City Music Hall in 22 minutes–I don’t even feel that it’s real, honestly. The year ahead of us is definitely chock full of action–lots of touring, lots of seeing the world again. It’s been nice having a dormant period, but we’re certainly ready and willing to take this to anybody who wants to listen to it.

Jim: Can you walk us through the album?

Patrick: It sounds like a thousand things at once. It’s a very weird, schizophrenic album, and I’ll certainly take this one to the grave as being, probably, one of the proudest projects I have ever been a part of. I love it so much, I really do.

Jim: I know you guys are ready for it–I think you need to start playing arenas. At your SXSW show, I thought, “Wow, they’re ready to launch off.”

Patrick: We’ll play wherever people want us to play. We like playing regardless. That was the nice thing about playing at The Parish [SXSW]. It was just back to playing a small club again, and the intimacy of that. We love doing [small venues] and we love the big stage too. Just tell us where to go and we’ll put on a show.

Jim: If you did start touring arenas, are there any stage props that you’d like?

Patrick: Those are in the making. Those are still in the ethos, we’re trying to grab them from the sky right now. I don’t know what’s happened yet.

Jim: (laughs) Then you’ve got Bonnaroo coming up, which you’ve played a handful of times.

Patrick: This will be our fifth time, and they’re giving us the midnight slot on the first night. Bonnaroo is everything that SXSW isn’t–it’s very calm, it’s very compact. It’s still a huge festival, but you’re not running around an entire city. It’s very therapeutic, the Bonnaroo experience. To get the first night [Friday], is really something special, because everybody gets there on Thursday and they’re ready to go see music. When you get a midnight slot, everyone’s been listening to music all day, really getting into the mood of everything, and by midnight they really want to have a great time. We’re really looking forward to providing a fun Friday night at Bonnaroo.

Jim: Finally, how is it that you’re a big Pittsburgh Steelers fan?

Patrick: I guess I always tried to avoid football, cause I never wanted to seem like a jock, but I have always secretly adored sports. Now that I know that I’m not a jock, and I’m comfortable in my own skin (laughs), I just let it happen–it just waterfalled. I had to pick a team, cause there’s no pro teams in Louisville, or Kentucky for that matter. A lot of my friends were Pittsburgh Steelers fans and I started to go watch the games, and I just got caught up in the spirit of it. My second year of following them they won the Super Bowl, and it was just a beautiful, beautiful thing.

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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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.

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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.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

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

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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…

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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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.

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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.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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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 IFC.com and the IFC app.

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