DID YOU READ

Highlights From Pitchfork (Day #3)

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No rain today, just a lot of hot summer sun to end this year’s Pitchfork Festival. Here’s a quick recap of Day #3:

The Apples In Stereo
Robert Schneider and crew treated everyone to a fun afternoon set. C’mon, how can you not have fun with the bubbly, positive, and upbeat Apples In Stereo? Schneider seemed to be a wee bit affected by the heat, guzzling down water after every few songs. At one point in the set he apologized to the fans, “Sorry I’m drinking so much water, but I’m sweating a lot and you can only sweat so much until you run out of it.” Schneider’s best piece of stage banter though came moments before playing “The Rainbow.” Schneider told the audience, “Here’s a true story for you, every time we’ve played this song at a festival a big rainbow has appeared in the sky–I keep my eyes closed–but yes, a rainbow appears every single time.”

King Kahn and the Shrines
King Kahn’s best piece of audience advice? “C’mon sing from your ovaries! Scream from your balls!”

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Les Savy Fav
Let’s just say LSF’s frontman, Tim Harrington, made use of every second of his band’s set. Going through various stage costumes (which also included a head-band with a special head-band-cam), Harrington body surfed in a garbage can, rolled around in the mud, made jokes about Prince being in attendance (“Hi little guy–you can’t see him cause he’s so short), and spit water onto the audience claiming it was “special dream making juice.”

(right: Les Savy Fav’s Tim Harrington all cleaned up after his mud-drenched performance.)

Ghostface Killah & Raekwon
So-so performance. I appreciated the fact they wore red color coordinated t-shirts (with matching white towels draped over their shoulders), but it’s hard to turn the crowd into a full-on tizzy with only two-ninths of the Wu-Tang Clan.

Spiritualized
The band whose music sounded most like their band name today. No better way to describe it.

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Dinosaur Jr.
I’m a little behind on my Dinosaur Jr. updates, but I didn’t even realize Lou Barlow had reunited with J. Mascis. Good to see him back in the band. And good for Lou Barlow, gettin’ double the payday at this year’s Pitchfork (playing with Sebadoh a couple nights earlier).

(left: I was a little bummed that J. Mascis wasn’t wearing his signature pair of black-rimmed eyeglasses, but he was back with Lou Barlow, so I guess I can’t complain.)

Cut Copy
I was actually scheduled to interview Cut Copy today for an episode on Lunchbox until I got the following e-mail from their management:

I just found out that Cut Copy is dealing with ridiculous flight delays leaving San Francisco (do to amongst other things a broken air conditioning system on the plane–I kid you not).

We have to cancel the press they had scheduled before their set as they won’t be landing in Chicago now until 6:30PM.

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(right: Thousands of people waiting and waiting and waiting to see Cut Copy.)

At 8:35PM, when Cut Copy was scheduled to perform, they were still missing in action. In a rather odd twist of events, Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox (in an out-of-character t-shirt and pair of blue jeans) came on stage and said that the band was still at the airport. King Kahn then joined him as they took part in an impromptu jam session.

More than half of the fans waiting to see Cut Copy made a mass exodus across the concert grounds to watch Spoon close out the festival. At approximately 9:38PM, Cut Copy rushed on stage, plugged in their keyboards, and played four songs before hitting the 10PM curfew. It was a glorious four songs, but alas, it was only four songs, which made me wonder if the Pitchfork organizers only had to pay Cut Copy for four songs-worth of material?

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(left: No better way to take the edge off a 3-day music festival in the hot summer sun than sipping a frothy chocolate milkshake at Chicago’s legendary Margie’s, established in 1921! Gotta love that bonus cup too!)

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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.