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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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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.