IT’S LIKE THAT: Judgment Day

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robots take over.jpg

In the early 90’s, Terminator 2 (aka, T2) was one of my favorite movies. The special effects were years before its time, Sarah Connor (played by Linda Hamilton) ushered in a new era of female heroines that could kick some serious ass, and those half-sentence catch phrases from Arnold Schwarzenegger–man–who couldn’t resist those? Though I loved the film, I always thought the storyline was a little far-fetched. Computers and robots taking over the world? Yeah right!

(above: “I’m the biggest rock star of the decade!”)

As I sit here today, a good 17 years after the film was released (has it really been that long?), I realize that its premise wasn’t too far-fetched after all. The Terminator wasn’t just a movie franchise, it was a prophecy!

In years past, when a decade came to a close, we’d usually look back at all the people in music and pop-culture that made it so special:

1980’s? Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, and Madonna. Hip-hop goes mainstream. Underground punk gives way to New Wave. “College-rock” is born. American hardcore and post-punk emerge.

1990’s? Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. A young pop-tart named Britney Spears enters the scene. Punk and thrash metal go mainstream (thanks to two bands from the Bay Area). People go goo-goo over industrial, electronic, ska, alternative, and grunge music. “College-rock” bands score major label deals (and some don’t even have to whore themselves out in the process).

2000’s? Hmm. That’s a good question. Um, how ’bout that “Garage-rock” revolution? Oh yeah, I guess that never really took off the way music journalists wanted it to, did it? How about emo? I don’t even know if we can call this a movement since many “emo” bands don’t consider themselves “emo” to begin with.

Who were the big rock stars of the 2000’s? Dang, I think I can count them all on one hand, and the biggest one doesn’t even play rock music. Isn’t that right Kanye?

Sarah Connor would probably agree with me on this, but when people look back at the 2000’s (which they’ll start doing in about a year), the first thing that will come to mind are computers. Blackberries, YouTube, iPods, iPhones, blogs, Facebook, ProTools, RSS Feeds, and MySpace pages are the true rock stars of the ’00s.

If something was big this decade, there’s a good chance a computer had something to do with it. Record stores have been replaced by a quick browse and click on iTunes (or a gazillion other sites on the web), singers don’t have to sing in key anymore as long as they’ve got vocorders or auto-tune software, and why should a kid start a rock band when they can just buy a video game simulation of it?

Bands that were discovered this decade were discovered–on a computer. The latest music news and gossip is no longer told through ‘zines, press releases, or fan club newsletters, it’s told through blogs, which is done via–you got it–a computer. Encores at concerts are requested, not through lighters, but by the LCD screen on a cell phone. Many DJ’s don’t even cut up vinyl anymore, they simulate it by doing the “wicky-wicky” motion on a circular piece of plastic, that will then digitally “cut up” the files on their computer.

I could go on and on like a dramatic Sarah Connor monologue (flashbacks and all). Leafing through a book of CD’s in the backseat of a friend’s car has given way to scrolling through a playlist on their MP3 player. Why hang a concert flyer, when you could send a concert eVite? Why go to the box office, when you can buy and print out a ticket online? Why wait for a music video to play on your television, when you can watch any one you want (at any time of the day) on your computer? Why take the time to find a drummer who’s easy to get along with, when you could just rip some software that will program beats for you. Why pay for guitar lessons when you could learn the same thing on a 5-minute YouTube video?

If you work in music and don’t think a computer can do your job, think again. How soon will computers be able to write blog posts (which will pretty much end my tenure in the music industry)? It already has the power to put red zig-zag lines under each word I misspell, how long before it puts a red zig-zag line under me? Let’s face it, without a computer a music blogger is pretty much obsolete.

It’s coming everyone, Judgment Day is coming. You’ve been warned…


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…


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. 


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 ’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?”


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).



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.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

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.


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.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



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.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.