DID YOU READ

Weezer’s Red Album, I Don’t Like It, I Love It!

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If you haven’t noticed, I usually try to steer clear of writing album reviews on the Indie Ear Blog. Music is a very personal thing, so who am I to say if an album sucks or not? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to take a mic cord and wrap it around a critic’s neck for giving a bad review to an album I love. However, today I felt compelled to write a review for Weezer’s Red Album, which just came out last week.

I absolutely love it! I can’t stop listening to it–as soon as it’s finished I find myself going back to track one and starting all over again.

(above: I’d give it another thumbs up if I wasn’t afraid of dropping the jewel case on the floor.)

Here’s why I’m addicted to this damn thing–Weezer decided to flip the bird to music critics and throw any and all self consciousness out the window, all while creating the album they wanted to make, having a boat-load of fun in the process.

It’s no secret that Rivers Cuomo has been infatuated with hip-hop slang ever since penning the lyrics to “Buddy Holly” (“What’s with these homies dissin’ my girl?”), but it’s refreshing to see him finally embrace his rap jones on the Red Album, pulling out his rhyme pad for a majority of the tracks. Critics may call his rhyme flow elementary, but c’mon, after writing five albums’ worth of material, both loved and worshipped by mainstream and college radio kids alike (including an album that could go down in history as one of the most bizarrely honest rock albums of all-time), where do you go from there?

Well, you go back to why you started making music in the first place–for the fun of it. And what’s more fun than rhymes, power chords, and ticking off music critics? Here’s a blow-by-blow, track-by-track recap of Weezer’s latest offering:

1. Troublemaker
Cuomo rhymes “beyatch” with “kids”–eat your heart out Lil’ Wayne!
Lyrical Message to Critics:
“Doing things my own way.”

2. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)
Who doesn’t love an epic rock song? Police sirens, rock-star falsettos, and anthemic choir-like sing-a-longs–eat your heart out Freddie Mercury!
Lyrical Message(s) to Critics:
“After the havoc that I’m going to wreak, no more words will critics have to speak.”
“If you don’t like it, you can shove it.”

3. Pork and Beans
This is the Red Album’s answer to the Blue Album’s “Buddy Holly.” Catchy as heck with a chorus that makes no sense at all!
Lyrical Message(s) to Critics:
“Imma do the things that I wanna do, I ain’t got a thing to prove to you.”
“Timbaland knows the way to reach the top of the charts, maybe if I work with him I can perfect the art?”
“I don’t give a hoot about what you think.”
“I don’t care!” (6x)

4. Heart Songs
Reminds me of the Blue Album’s “In the Garage.” Cuomo lists of all the important songs and albums that lead to his musical upbringing. Anyone who started a band after listening to Nirvana in the early 90’s may even find themselves a little choked up when Cuomo explains the importance of Nevermind. This could also be the first time in recording history that Debbie Gibson, The Fresh Prince, Michael Jackson, and Slayer are given shout-outs in the same song.
Lyrical Message to Critics:
“These are my heart songs, they never feel wrong.”

5. Everybody Get Dangerous
I really should hate this song, because it almost sounds like a bad rap-rock song from a college band in the ’90’s. But then I remember that it’s a Weezer song with boasts about how dangerous they are by going cow-tipping and playing ice hockey without pads. If you don’t get slimed with the irony, maybe the “boo-yah” in the chorus will help you see the light.
Lyrical Message to Critics:
The mere fact that this song was included on the album is a big F-you to critics.

6. Dreamin’
A classic Weezer track, complete with barbershop quartet breakdown (ala, “Surf Wax America” and “Holiday”) and a swelling punk-rock-explosion of a finish.
Lyrical Message to Critics:
“I don’t want to get with your program.”

7. Thought I Knew
What?! Brian Bell singing on a track? Has the control freak known as Rivers Cuomo lost his mind? I love the fact that Cuomo is sharing the ball with the rest of the band. Bell channels the spirit of Matthew Sweet and crafts out a little album gem.

8. Cold Dark World
Scott Shriner’s turn to play with the ball (although it sounds like Cuomo rhyming). The line, “I will protect you, never disrespect you, but if you need love then I’ll be here to sex you” is so absurd it’s hilarious!
Lyrical Message to Critics:
Refer to track #5 “Everybody Get Dangerous” (above)

9. Automatic
Pat Wilson’s turn to play with the Weezer beach ball. This is definitely single-worthy, Billy Squier would be proud (and maybe even a little jealous of the catchy big-rock hook)!

10. The Angel and the One
Weezer ending an album in classic Weezer tradition–with a soft and gentle Rivers Cuomo ballad. Like the Blue Album’s “Only in Dreams,” this track takes it good time fading out, clocking in at over six minutes.
Lyrical Message to Critics:
“Peace, shalom.”

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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.