The Week That Was (and Still Is), May 11-17

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I guess I could have made the following post into several little blogs, but sometimes the “monster” blog is more my speed:

Weather-wise it’s been an up-and-down week in NYC. Cold, warm, cold, rainy. I want my sunshine, damn it! Don’t know why I’m talking about the weather, I guess I looked outside, saw dreariness, and needed to vent. Anyhow, let’s talk about the week that was…

(left: Built To Spill made a special announcement this week, see below.)

Started off my week by finally seeing Ironman. Not that the film needs any more favorable press, but I gotta say, it was $10 well spent. I’m almost embarrassed to say it, but the love story between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts almost choked me up. There–I said it.

There was a little release date swapping this week. Weezer has pushed up the release of the Red Album from June 24 to June 3, while The Futureheads have pushed back the release of their new album, from May 27 to June 3. Weezer will also have two cover songs on the UK version of the release, The Band’s “The Weight,” and Talk Talk’s “Life Is What You Make It.” Supposedly they will have four bonus songs on the deluxe version released here in the states.


In concert happenings this week, a Radiohead show in Bristow, Virginia caused some controversy when a storm flooded access roads to the Nissan Pavilion. Could you imagine having tickets to see the elusive Radiohead, and then not being able to get to the show cause the roads were closed? Argh. Not that it helped out any, but Thom Yorke dedicated “Fake Plastic Trees” to the people stuck in water. Maybe he should have played them “No Surprises” instead.

(above: Thom Yorke successfully navigating his way through water, something some Radiohead fans weren’t able to do this week.)

Built To Spill announced that they will be playing their Perfect From Now On album live in New York City on September 25 and 26. Our buddy Jenn Burland is pumped for this one–shooting out an e-mail as soon as she found out. Opening up on those nights? Dinosaur Jr. and Meat Puppets. Not a bad night of music, huh?

Hot Chip announced that they’ll be doing a North American tour this fall, which is good news for everyone who couldn’t get into their sold-out tour earlier this spring (me being one of those people).

The Offspring announced this week that they will be re-issuing deluxe versions of their albums, Ignition and Smash–the latter coming with a 24-page booklet. This will all happen on June 17, the same day their new album, Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace, comes out.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Ozzfest, one of the last packaged-concert tours in the U.S. announced that it will just be staging a one-day festival this year, on August 9. Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne will headline the event, which will also include an all-star tribute to the late “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott. Help me out on this one, but is the Warped Tour the last standing packaged-concert-tour of the summer?

If you’re near Columbus, Ohio this weekend, you can catch Rock on the Range (Stone Temple Pilots, Kid Rock, Serj Tankian). If you miss this festival, fear not, it seems like there’s one every weekend this year. (I believe the official tally is over 80 major festivals in the U.S. this summer.)

Video pick of the week:
The Raconteurs, “Salute Your Solution”

Have yourselves a great weekend!


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.