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The Music Behind My Super Weekend

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If you give me a few hours, I could deliver you 20 different blog postings on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ you’re-freakin’-givin’-me-a-heart-attack Super Bowl victory last night. (If you’re not from Pittsburgh, you might not understand why the city is so obsessed with its football team.)

(left: Here we go Steelers! Here we go!)

Because this isn’t, I’ll spare you the sports analysis and stick with the music that centered around my Super weekend in Pittsburgh:

I Knew I Knew It That Well
During a Super Bowl party on Friday night (that’s right, in Pittsburgh we have Super Bowl parties two days before the big game) I participated in a game of Rock Band 2–and in my first attempt–managed to score a 100% expert rating, performing the Beastie Boys’ “So What’cha Want?” The tune doesn’t require hitting any high notes, so maybe I shouldn’t be so proud of this minor accomplishment.

Young Kids I Can Vibe With
On Saturday night my friends and I ventured onto Carson Street in the South Side of Pittsburgh (a street littered with night clubs and bars). The first bar we hit was dead, the second one was playing Top-40 club music that was packed to the brim with dudes wearing long-sleeve, buttoned-down, shirts and sporting boy-band haircuts, and the third place we hit was just right, a not-too-crowded bar with a young band playing cover songs from the 90’s–my era, my kind of place. I also managed to work my way on stage and sing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” with the guys (which was a nice warm-up for the screaming I’d be doing on Sunday).

(above: Sharing some stage time with local band, The Stop Sound.)

Fight, Fight, Fight
During some downtime over the weekend, my friend logged onto a Pittsburgh website featuring homemade Steeler fights songs. A group of pre-teens reworking Pet Benatar’s “Heartbreaker” was the best, while another tune, “We Got Six, Yinz Don’t,” managed to rhyme “beer” with “chicks” making for good comedy, and an awful, awful fight song.

Fatboy Must Be Good Luck
As they did for their Super Bowl appearance three years ago, the Steelers took the field to Fatboy Slim’s “Right Here Right Now.” I love the choice–it’s a great song, not too-too popular, and has been a staple on my iPod pump-up playlist for years.

Wait, What?!
There was a Pepsi commercial during the Super Bowl broadcast that paralleled eras from yesteryear to today. An old clip of Bob Dylan singing “Forever Young” was mashed up with his current day parallel, Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas. Wait, WHAT?!

Oh Say Can You See
Lip-syncing or not, Jennifer Hudson rocked the hell out of the National Anthem (is that appropriate to say?).

The Boss (The Good)
What did I think of Bruce Springsteen’s halftime show? Loved it! He looked like he was having a ball (imagine that, having fun while playing live music). I also loved the fact that he bantered–how many Super Bowl halftime performances have included the line: “Put down those chicken fingers”?–stayed away from the medley, and reworked the lyrics of “Glory Days” to be make it football appropriate. The running knee slide into a cameraman was pretty cool too!

The Boss (The Bad)
As much as I loved the fact that Springsteen and the E Street band stayed away from the medley, part of me wished they would have went for it. A sold out Super Bowl stadium is a perfect venue for “Born In the U.S.A.,” “Dancing In The Dark,” “Hungry Heart,” and a bunch of other American-made, larger-than-life Springsteen tunes. The worst part of the halftime show was limiting the usual three-and-a-half hour rock spectacular to just 12 minutes.


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.