DID YOU READ

IT’S LIKE THAT: Where Do You Go?

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I’m sure by now you’ve heard that Travis Barker and DJ AM, touring on their latest mixtape side-project, were involved in a plane crash this weekend, one that killed four other people on board the aircraft. Apparently–though none of this has been confirmed yet–the jet blew a tire while attempting to take off and skidded from the runway. Eyewitnesses saw Barker and DJ AM fleeing from the wreckage, trying to extinguish the flames from their clothing.

Barker and DJ AM (Adam Goldstein) were initially labeled in critical condition, but as of today, both men are expected to make full recoveries.

Because I was out of town and staying at a place without an internet connection, I found it very frustrating that besides a blurb on a couple cable news channels, I was unable to immediately obtain any more information regarding the plane crash and the condition of the survivors.

Believe me, I’m the first to criticize news outlets when they speculate for hours on end about a story without any breaking details, but I just wanted to hear something that filled me in on what was happening. Why were they in South Carolina? Who else was on board the plane? Were any record label people on the plane? Do I know them? Are they alright?

My first instinct was to pick up the remote and click on MTV. I was greeted with reality programming. VH1 had nothing, E had nothing, and Fuse wasn’t even carried on this particular cable system, so that wasn’t an option either (though I’m pretty sure they don’t have a news division).

I had to pray and wait.

In an age where we have more television stations than ever before, and at a time when information is passed quicker than the speed of light, how is it that when a tragedy befalls the world of music, our national television audience is kept in the dark?

At a time like this, I hate pointing fingers at MTV or VH1, but I would have (seriously) felt somewhat reassured just to hear Kurt Loder’s voice followed by a block of Blink 182, Transplants, or +44 videos. Barker and AM were also the house band at the latest VMA show, so it’s not like the station had a shortage of updated footage to show.

I understand times have changed, but looking back to 1994 when Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain took his life, guess what? MTV was on the scene almost instantaneously. Even when The Beatles’ George Harrison passed in 2001, the channel–though increasingly littered with reality programming–pieced together a news blurb and aired his “Got My Mind Set On You” video at the beginning of each hour.

When something happens to a world leader, you can turn on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc. When breaking news happens in sports, ESPN will be on the story in seconds. But where do you go if your favorite musician is involved in a plane crash?

Yes, music triumphs and tragedies don’t unfold as often as world news events, but when they do, it would be comforting to know that there was at least one destination on television (for those rare times when BlackBerries and blogs aren’t handy) that could fill in the grey areas and offer a little musical healing.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the friends and family of the four people killed this past weekend. May God give you strength and comfort.

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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.