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DID YOU READ

SUMMER FEST UPDATE ’08: Lollapalooza Wrap-Up

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It is really difficult to accurately recap a destination summer music festival with 120+ acts over 3 days. Something is always going to be missed. Schedules may be released with enough time for any festivalgoer to make careful decisions about where they want to be at any given time, but plans change. A band sounds terrible, so you walk a quarter-mile to another stage where your second choice is playing. You get a text message that something absolutely cannot be missed. Or maybe you just feel like being in the shade instead of the scorching sun with thousands of other people. It’s just how big music festivals are.

(left: James, somewhere in that mass of people, braves the 3-day marathon of music known as Lollapalooza.)

So today I’ll highlight a few of the unexpected delights from Lollapalooza 2008:

Radiohead
There are no surprises when Radiohead presents an amazing light show (because they sure aren’t very entertaining to watch from two hundred feet away otherwise), but it is unexpected when fireworks at Soldier Field unintentionally synchronize with “Fake Plastic Trees.” The sky lights up as Thom Yorke belts out “She looks like the real thing / She tastes like the real thing.” Everyone who’s far enough back to see the fireworks (and not the band member’s facial expressions) gets a little added bonus when a great moment becomes transcendent.

MGMT, Booka Shade, DeVotchka
During one of Saturday’s ridiculous time slot battles between MGMT, Booka Shade and DeVotchka, I plan to catch parts of each. Five minutes into MGMT, they seem overwhelmed by the large audience and the sound-bleed from Booka Shade lures me over. I never make it to see DeVotchka because the Berlin electronic group has pristine sound, a thumping beat and a great crowd–dancing like it’s their business for an entire hour–that may be the best live house music I’ve ever heard in daylight.

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
Later on Saturday, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings perform one of the tightest sets of the festival highlighted by one audience member getting his groove on with the 52-year old soul singer and Chicago legend Syl Johnson performing one of his own songs with the Dap-Kings.

Chromeo, Perry Farrell & Slash
Walking to Chromeo on Sunday afternoon, I was distracted by an absurdly large audience at the relatively off-path Kidz Stage. After snaking my way through the crowd for a better view, I noticed Paul Green’s School of Rock performing “Jane Says.” Normally, there’d be nothing extraordinary about this. But when Perry Farrell and Slash are also playing, it grabs some attention. (Is it really a great idea for Slash to be smoking on this stage?)

Mark Ronson
Mid-afternoon Sunday I was informed that Mark Ronson was planning to have numerous guests, basically turning his set into a live Version. Some guests I’d been told about weren’t there, but plenty of others were: Candie Payne, Rhymefest, Kenna, Daniel Merriweather, Plastic Little, Phantom Planet (who even had time to play “California” with Ronson on piano) and Tawiah. Even though Ronson’s name was on the bill, it was the guests, particularly Rhymefest, who made this one of the weekend’s most fun sets.

Kanye West, NIN
Closing out the festival was by far the worst scheduling conflict–Kanye West and Nine Inch Nails on opposite ends of Grant Park. How exactly are people supposed to choose between these two titans?! On one end is a hometown rapper trying to make up for the bad press he received at Bonnaroo. The Glow in the Dark show is scaled back just a bit, but the energy is obviously there and Kanye owns the crowd with “Good Morning” (I’ve never in my life seen so many bodies bouncing) and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”/”Flashing Lights” back-to-back with the stage lit up so bright that anyone in a downtown sky-rise can see it. Meanwhile, on the other end, Trent Reznor presents an equally impressive light spectacular as he and the band tear through 20+ years of history. He closes the set with “Head Like a Hole” and returns for an encore that features a short statement about the first Lollapalooza in 1991 and not thinking he’d even be alive seventeen years later. The night ends with “Hurt” and “In This Twilight” just as curfew hits. Another Lollapalooza’s in the books.

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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.