This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.


BEN & JIM: Best of the Year

Posted by on

Ben & Jim2.jpg

Jim: Ben, we’re two days into 2009 and I never got a best-of list from you, what’s going on?

Ben: It really isn’t that much, but I’ll write some of my thoughts about my lists if you want.

Jim: Go for it!

Favorite Albums of 2008
11. Fall Out Boy, Folie à Deux
10. PlayRadioPlay!, Texas
9. The Hush Sound, Goodbye Blues
8. Steel Train, Trampoline
7. Valencia, We All Need a Reason to Believe
6. Fire in the Hole, Love & Malice
5. Jack’s Mannequin, The Glass Passenger
4. The Matches, A Band in Hope
3. Forgive Durden, Razia’s Shadow: A Musical
2. Lydia, Illuminate
1. Underoath, Lost in the Sound of Separation

Nice, no Lil’ Wayne or TV On The Radio. You also went Top-11, way to think out-of-the-box!

First and foremost, I cheated just a little bit. Steel Train’s Trampoline actually came out in 2007, but I found out about the band in the summer, and I got the album in August, so I am counting it. I also decided that bands simply shouldn’t be allowed to release albums in December. That is partially why Fall Out Boy’s album is randomly #11.

Yes, technically, in the list-making world their album came out too late in the year to be considered a Top-10 candidate for 2008. The almighty Dave Powers cuts off his list the first week in December. But back to your commentary please.

I think that Valencia released one of the best pop-punk albums of the last five or so years. It irks me that bands like Metro Station and The Maine are finding the success that bands like Valencia deserve. It also annoys me that a talented band like Fire in the Hole remains unsigned and unheard of when pieces of garbage like Sonny are getting major record deals.

Then there’s Thomas Dutton of Forgive Durden. He decided to do what every musician does when three members quit the band, write a musical. Razia’s Shadow is really a full-on musical that features guest vocals from Greta Salpeter, Max Bemis, Brendon Urie, and several others. The storyline is actually pretty easy to follow, unlike some other concept albums (Coheed and Cambria).

Lydia and Steel Train are two bands that (I think) the ‘indie kids’ would really enjoy. Steel Train play a type of indie-pop with a fair amount of classic rock influences. Unfortunately for them, they are signed to the most well known independent-pop-punk label in the country, Drive-Thru Records. Lydia is a pretty tough band to describe. I’d recommend them if you like Copeland, Death Cab for Cutie, soothing songs, female backup vocals, clean guitars, lots of layers, and relaxing music.

There isn’t much to say about Underoath. You pretty much either like them and their genre of music, or you don’t. I feel kind of bad for people who don’t, because Lost in the Sound of Seperation is one of the most complete albums I heard all year long. Spencer Chamberlain and Aaron Gillespie are an incredible duo.

Favorite EP’s of 2008
5. Automatic Loveletter, Recover EP
4. People in Cars, Uninvent
3. Straylight Run, Un Mas Dos
2. Deas Vail, White Lights EP
1. You, Me, and Everyone We Know, So Young, So Insane

Juliet Sims from Automatic Loveletter has one of the best voices I have ever heard. Same goes for Wes Blaylock from Deas Vail. Straylight Run didn’t lose a step after vocalist and keyboardist Michelle DaRosa left the band. And last but certainly not least, You, Me and Everyone We Know is giving away their album for free. If for some reason you don’t already own it, what are you waiting for?

That’s the second You, Me, and Everyone We Know plug you’ve given them this year. They owe you a gold record (although, they may never get one if they keep giving away their albums for free). How ’bout songs? You have a list for that category as well? (I love asking questions I know the answers to.)

Favorite Songs of 2008
15. Anberlin, “The Resistance”
14. Death Cab for Cutie, “I Will Possess Your Heart”
13. Deas Vail, “Balance”
12. Lydia, “Hospital”
11. PlayRadioPlay!, “Loco Commotion”
10. The Matches, “Point Me Toward The Morning”
9. Valencia, “Holiday”
8. You, Me, and Everyone We Know, “Happy Birthday”
7. Fall Out Boy, “What A Catch, Donnie” (ft. Elvis Costello)
6. The Hush Sound, “Honey”
5. Forgive Durden, “The Spider and The Lamps” (ft. Max Bemis)
4. Jacks Mannequin, “Miss California”
3. Gnarls Barkley, “Run (I’m A Natural Disaster)”
2. Paramore, “Decode”
1. Underoath, “Too Bright To See, Too Loud To Hear”

Wow, you are lovin’ Underoath! (I can’t say anything though, cause I showered Weezer with the same amount of attention in 2008). I’m glad Gnarls Barkley and Death Cab For Cutie made your list, and I also like the fact that some youngsters are going to get turned onto Elvis Costello via Fall Out Boy. Thanks for the list Ben, I love the different point of view! Now get cracking on your list for 2009.

Watch More

Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

Watch More

A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

Watch More

WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

Posted by on

Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

Watch More