DID YOU READ

The Week That Was (and Still Is), May 4-10

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The week began with another big festival, Bamboozle, which took place outside Giants Stadium’s parking lot in New Jersey. My sister-in-law’s brother, Ben, and his friend, Paul, were in town for the concert festivities, so on Friday night I picked their brains. I was glad to get the Bamboozle update, surprised to find out that Snoop Dogg would be headlining one of the nights, but honestly, I don’t think I could have swung the festival. Two days of predominantly emo-driven music in a football stadium parking lot is an endurance test that I don’t think I’m in shape for at this point in time (although I would have loved to catch the Bouncing Souls in action).

(left to right: My wife, Paul, and Ben reluctantly posing for an artsy picture I wanted to take of them during a late night tour of NYC.)

On Monday, Trent Reznor treated the internet world with another surprise as he released a brand new NIN’s album, The Slip, for free! It was only a couple months ago that he released a 36-track online instrumental album for $5. Wow! Back in the day we had to wait six years to get a new NIN album–and we had to pay for it. Thanks Trent!

On Tuesday we were greeted by new albums from The Last Shadow Puppets (Arctic Monekys’ Alex Turner’s side project which sounds half inspired by James Bond scores and half inspired by Love Boat music), and music vets Elvis Costello and Neil Diamond. Everest and Morning Benders also delivered us nice efforts.

On Thursday I shared the same television screen as Fuse’s Steven Smith, when I appeared on an episode of The Sauce. Hopefully the sight of a former MTV2 and current Fuse VJ embracing on air can inspire the rest of the world to drop their respective beefs with one another.

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Late this week in Philadelphia, a plot was un-hatched by a local radio station, claiming that Pittsburgh Penguins fans were planning on desecrating the Rocky Balboa statue by adorning it with a Penguins jersey. Philadelphia Flyers fans were told to stand watch by the statue until the playoff series between the two teams ended. Since I am a Penguins fan, let me say this, we love Rocky Balboa in Pittsburgh (as well as Apollo Creed)–there’s probably a better chance of a Ben Franklin statue getting the jersey treatment than that of the “Italian Stallion.”

(left: The only person who has the right to deface this statue is Rocky Balboa, who actually did, when he threw his motorcycle helmet against it in Rocky III).

This weekend, Adam Green and Tim Fite are playing a show in Brooklyn. If you have a chance to catch this tour, should be an interesting one.

On Saturday night, don’t forget that My Morning Jacket will be playing on Saturday Night Live.

Video Pick:

Santogold, “L.E.S. Artistes”

Note: I’m lovin’ Santogold, but I’m also making this my video pick of the week, because it has a horse in it, and I wanted to pay tribute to Eight Belles, the horse that finished second in the Kentucky Derby, then had to be “put down” on the track because it broke its two front legs. This goes out to anyone who’s had a bad week:

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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…

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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. 

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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-Craft

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?”

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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).

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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.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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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.

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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.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

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.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.