IFC LIST MONTH: Top 20 Musical Moments in Politics (11-20)

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< — Back to numbers 1 through 10

ralph.JPG11. Green Party with Ralph Nader (2000)
How many times has Ralph Nader run for President of the U.S.A.? How many times has he lost? Alright, so he’s never won–big deal. But, how many presidential candidates had Pearl Jam, Ani DiFranco and Ben Harper together on the same bill for a campaign concert? How many candidates had Adrock of the Beastie Boys remix a campaign speech?


Ralph Nader. Proving once again, that they’re ain’t no party like a Ralph Nader party!

(left: “Yo, you need someone to lay down a dope freestyle? Here, pass me the microphone.”)

12. Vote…or Die! (2004)
P Diddy introduces “Vote or Die” Campaign.

13. Vote For Kinky (2006)
Singer-songwriter, Kinky Freidman, runs for Governor of Texas.

14. When Betty Ford Asks…(1976)
Captain & Tennille were invited by First Lady Betty Ford to perform “Muskrat Love” in the East Room of the White House for Queen Elizabeth II and President Ford during the Bicentennial celebration.

15. Rockin’ On the White House Lawn (1986-88)
President Reagan begins “A Tribute to American Music” concert series on the White House Lawn (unfortunately, The Violent Femmes were left off the guest list).

dee and arnie.jpg

16. Twisted Sister and The Terminator (2003)
As a kid growing up in the 80’s, if you told me that one day Dee Snider of Twisted Sister would join Arnold Schwarzenegger at a campaign rally and sing “We Ain’t Gonna Take It” (which by the way would be the former Mr. Olympia’s official campaign song), I’d have to do my best Gary Coleman, “What you talking ’bout Willis?!”

(right: I’d write a pun here playing on one of Schwarzenegger’s movie quotes, but I’m pretty sure they were ALL used during this campaign.)

Oddly enough, it happened in 2003, and even more mind-numbing than that, consider that Snider may have had more experience in the political arena than the eventual governor of California. Remember when Snider went head-to-head with Tipper Gore at the music censorship Senate hearings in 1985?

17. Ronald Reagan vs. The Boss (1984)
There are varying stories, but during the 1984 Presidential Campaign, Reagan staffers apparently wanted to use Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” as their official campaign song, which ironically told the story of a struggling Vietnam veteran unable to find work. Riding the wave of the hit record, Reagan also name-dropped Springsteen during a campaign stop in New Jersey. A little agitated, The Boss responded a couple days later by dedicating a song to the President, “Johnny 99,” a tune about an unemployed auto-worker who is arrested and sentenced to 99 years in prison.

18. The Truman Show (1950)
President Truman’s daughter Margaret embarks on a singing career and is panned by Washington Post critic, the President wrote a threatening angry letter in response.

19. Using Mellencamp to Tug at the Heartstrings (2008)
Candidates all simultaneously start using John Mellencamp songs about the heartland at their rallies. Mellencamp asks only John McCain to stop. Ouch.


20. The Dixie Chicks Diss Bush (2003)
I remember it like yesterday. While visiting Texas, I read a front-page news story lambasting Dixie Chick Natalie Maines for saying the following at a London tour stop: “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas.”

(left: Just like my momma used to say: “Ain’t no better way to settle a political controversy than to get naked on Entertainment Weekly and cover yourself in Sharpie marker.”)

I thought to myself, “Wow, must be a slow news day in Texas.” Little did I know that this immediately turned into a national news story. Trust me, I’ve heard far worse said about the President at numerous concerts, so I was shocked to find out that a good chunk of the population was protesting the Dixie Chicks (seriously?!). Fortunately for the gals, they channeled their anger, wrote a song about it, “Not Ready To Make Nice,” and won multiple Grammys in the process.

This list marks day 16 of IFC’s List

Month — check back here for a new list every weekday!


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.