DID YOU READ

Is All Points West Going To Be All That?

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We have about one more solid month of summer music festivals before this season, the biggest one yet in the U.S., comes to a close. Each town, whether big or small, tries to outdo everyone else with a better festival headliner, a better gimmick, better live web streaming, and even a better logo. Since many of the same acts are playing various festivals, it’s becoming more and more difficult to stand out from the rest of the pack.

To get the most bang-for-their-buck, festival promoters are also having acts sign “radius clauses” which prevents them from playing in a certain town (or radius) for a specified number of days. If you’re not going to see your favorite band in a club show for a few months, you might as well come out to our festival, right?

This year Lollapalooza is tugging at the 90’s heartstrings with the triple-monster-bill of Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, and Rage Against The Machine. Bonnaroo surprised everyone by having Metallica show up at their festival (which in the past just catered to jam band aficionados). Pitchfork peaked my interest by having Public Enemy play It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back in its entirety.

I bring all of this up, because New York City (my current home), the mecca of everything, is having their big summer festival, All Points West, a couple weekends from now. Because New York City is the heart of it all–and because we get shows that other cities can only dream of–you’d think we have the most kick-ass summer festival of them all, right?

Wrong.

A concert at Liberty State Park sounds promising, I mean c’mon, how many summer festivals are taking place with the Statue of Liberty as the backdrop? Can’t forget about that gorgeous New York City skyline. Even though I don’t want to think about the ferry ride over (can you say cluster f–k?), all in all, the setting for All Points West is unlike any other festival in the country.

If we got ourselves a great festival backdrop, in what many call the greatest city in the world (where many of the greatest bands in the world have spread their musical wings), why are the headliners of All Points West, Radiohead and–get ready for this–Jack Johnson?

No disrespect to Johnson, but having your name in bold letters next to Radiohead, playing THE summer festival in New York City, are you kidding me? Unless Johnson’s playing on a surfboard with the Beach Boys, I’m not convinced he should be headlining a festival in The Big Apple. Sadly, the rest of the bill is good, but not great. Ben Harper, Underworld, and Kings of Leon (all talented artists mind you) take up the second line of the poster.

And speaking of the poster, what’s up with the logo (or lack of one)? At first glance it looks like an advertisement for a real estate convention at the Javits Center. No color, no creativity, black font (all caps)–sigh.

Maybe because I’m spoiled all year long with live music in New York City I expect more. Come to think of it, the 3-day concert is actually in Jersey City. If the other towns are kicking our butt with a better summer festival package, we could do what we also do–blame it on Jersey.

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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.