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New American Music Union Day #1 Recap

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With three music festivals to chose from this weekend–All Points West (Jersey City, NJ), Virgin Mobile (Baltimore), New American Music Union (Pittsburgh, PA)–I decided to attend the latter, just for the fact that I was heading back to Pittsburgh anyway to compete in a golf/fishing/corn-hole triathlon.

I was only able to catch the first night of the New American Music Union Festival, which was the obvious appetizer course (Tiny Masters Of Today, NASA, The Black Keys, and The Roots) for the festival’s second day (Bob Dylan, The Raconteurs, Gnarls Barkley, Spoon).

Being that this was the festival’s inaugural year, there were some ups and downs during the first night. Here goes:

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The Black Keys

Best performance of the night. Dan and Pat pulled out all the right tracks getting a big pop from the crowd during “Just a Little Heat,” “Your Touch,” “Strange Times,” and ending solidly with a rib-sticking performance of Attack & Release’s “I Got Mine.” And what would a Black Keys performance be without a Captain Beefheart cover? The duo also helped fill their ample stage space with a huge inflatable Black Keys tire. A+ for stage props!

The funniest man in indie music, drummer Patrick Carney, still doesn’t have a microphone for stage banter.

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Anthony Kiedis

The man who handpicked the line-up was actually there, in the flesh, to back-announce the first three acts and introduce The Roots!

Anthony Kiedis’ address to the concert-goers felt like a sales pitch. At first, it sounded like he was going to deliver the I’m-a-rock-star-here-for-the-money-and-I-have-no-idea-what’s-going-on spiel, saying, “What’s the New American Music Union? I have no idea.”

If he left it at that, it would have been hilarious.

(above: “Look, Anthony Kiedis is as big as my finger!”)

Then he took a page out of The Office’s Michael Scott’s playbook and told the sold-out crowd that the New American Music Union is a girl driving eight hours from Ohio to get here, it’s his sister meeting up with him in Pittsburgh, it’s the Black Keys playing an impassioned set (which reminded him of Hendrix playing Woodstock), it’s…whatever we make it (can someone pass me a Kleenex?).

After watching just three sets by Tiny Masters of Today, NASA, and The Black Keys, Kiedis also said–and I’m not kidding–“What a night, huh? This is the best feeling I’ve ever had at a festival.” If he was a 14-year old boy attending his first live show, yes, I would have believed him, but c’mon, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have played just about every huge music festival–in the world. The first-year New American Music Union Festival trumps them all?

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The Roots

Opting not to trash talk on Pittsburgh sports fans despite the fact that their hometown Eagles were in town playing against the Steelers in an NFL exhibition game.

Jamming out on what seemed like a 20-minute version of “You Got Me.”

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Bike-powered Cell Phone Chargers
By peddling a bicycle, you could actually charge your cell phone!

The bicycle only had one adapter, which didn’t fit my cell phone.

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Free Shirts and Water Bottles
A free water bottle meant you could fill it up at drink stations inside the concert grounds, saving you the $4 you’d usually spend on bottled water.

Getting free stuff is awesome, but it also means that you have to carry it around all night long.

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Valet Bike Parking
Just the idea is awesome!

How much do you tip someone who valets your bike?


Living in an Apartment Right Outside the Festival
You don’t have to pay to get in.

Having thousands of people loitering in your backyard.

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Having a Media Badge
Getting to use a clean bathroom instead of the porta-potty.

Having to walk ten minutes across the concert-grounds to use them.

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Throwing a Festival in Pittsburgh
Another excuse to go to Pittsburgh–the greatest city in the world!



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.


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:


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.


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!


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.


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.



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.”


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. 


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.