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Let’s Watch Some Political Music Videos…

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What better way to gear up for the big presidential election happening in just a few weeks, than by watching some politically charged music videos? Well, come to think of it, there are many better ways to gear up for an election (register to vote, educate yourself on the issues, persuade your lazy friends to get out to the polls, etc.). However, if you’re sitting in front of your computer today and want to watch some quality music videos chock full of of political empowerment, then I suggest the following:

Note: Notice how I didn’t call the below list the “greatest” political music videos of all-time. Whenever you use the phrase “Top 10,” “The Greatest,” or “All-Time Best,” you put your neck on the line. That and you’re always bound to forget one or two. I compiled the following videos, because all of them (whether I 100% agree with them or not) made me critically think about certain political and social issues.

Rage Against The Machine, “Testify”
This is arguably (but isn’t everything?) one of the finest political music videos ever created. First of all, the song is phenomenal, and without a decent track, you can’t have a quality music video (great videos have made decent songs spectacular, but never a bad song good, dig?). The Michael Moore-directed video perfectly depicts the who-do-you-vote-for? struggle that was going on in America in 2000. On Election Day, the “two-headed monster” reared its ugly head once more, resulting in the closest/most controversial election in our country’s history.

Mr. Lif, “Brothaz”
Though the concept of this video is quite simple (Mr. Lif mugs for the camera while various political images and quotes pop up in frame), its effects are quite hair-raising. Never doubt the power of a quote, especially one of my favorites from Dr. Martin Luter King, Jr., “We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

Anti-Flag, “One Trillion Dollars
During story time, a young girl learns all about how our country has spent one trillion dollars on the war in Iraq. Considering out nation’s current financial troubles, and personally knowing a whole bunch of teachers working in less than ideal conditions (who could’ve definitely used some of that one trillion dollars), this video may really bum you out. Sometimes the truth hurts.

Beastie Boys, “Something’s Got To Give”
The Beastie Boys usually never mix their politics with their music videos, but in this clip, originally released on their video collection Sabotage, the Beasties take one of their chill, slow-tempo tracks and interweave it with images of bomb tests and mushroom clouds. The results are quite powerful. This anti-war, pro-environment video also features the once pistol-totin’, Adam Yach, taking a sledge hammer to his 9mm handgun.

Rage Against The Machine, “Sleep Now In The Fire
In this clip (also directed by Michael Moore), Rage Against The Machine perform live on the steps of the New York City Stock Exchange. I’ll give you one guess to figure out how the performance ends. The video also features a parody of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, tackling the issues of unregulated big business, poverty in America, and healthcare. Educating, Agitating, and Organizing? This video has all three.

Public Enemy, “Fight The Power”
Yes this video was promoting both a film and a major label hip-hop group, but nevertheless, it does demonstrate the power of an organized protest rally. And you can’t deny the song’s hook, at one time or another who hasn’t wanted to Fight the Power?

Rise Against, “Ready To Fall”
How hard is it for a hardcore band to maintain its edge while singing about the environment? Well, pretty hard, considering many Americans don’t embrace eco-lovers in the same way it does a Quarter Pound-eatin’, SUV drivin’, red-white-and-blue mack daddy. Rise Against come pretty close to pulling it off, although the end of this video harkens back to an after-school-special PSA: We’ve got one planet and one chance.


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.