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INDIE EAR MADNESS ’09: First Round (West, South)

INDIE EAR MADNESS ’09:  First Round (West, South) (photo)

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With this year’s Indie Ear Madness beginning on the same week as SXSW, how would bands–some performing both major events–hold up? Find out now:


1 The Killers vs. 16 Julie Doiron
No upsets here, but if you get a chance listen to Doiron’s just-released, I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day.

8 N.A.S.A. vs. 9 Cursive
Never underestimate the power of a live band. Cursive win, the two DJ’s lose.

5 The Ting Tings vs. 12 The Bird and The Bee
Duo against duo brings our first upset of the day. The Bird and The Bee were crisper than the Ting and the Ting.

(above: With an out-of-this-world performance, Cursive defeat N.A.S.A. in the first round of Indie Ear Madness ’09.)

4 Franz Ferdinand vs. 13 Glasvegas
The battle of Scotland reminds us that Franz Ferdinand is still king of the country.

6 M. Ward vs. 11 The Morning Benders
The Morning Benders played an inspired set of indie-pop, upsetting M. Ward.

3 Morrissey vs. 14 Murs
In the battle of Moz against Murs (sounds like a monster movie), the indie vet just squeaks by the outspoken MC.

7 Andrew Bird vs. 10 P.O.S.
Never doubt the power of underground hip-hop. P.O.S. busts the bracket of the Birdman’s fans.

2 The Cure vs. 15 Cut Off Your Hands
Cut Off Your Hands may sound like The Cure at times (and their band name even sounds like it could be a Cure song), but they were no match for the #2 seed, led by frontman Robert Smith.


1 U2 vs. 16 MC Lars
Only Bono and The Edge showed up, just played songs off Zooropa, and still managed to win convincingly.

8 MSTRKRFT vs. 9 Sebastien Grainger
Former bandmates from Death From Above 1979 going at it–maybe the most intriguing match-up of the first round. Would Jesse Keeler’s deep grooves outdo the songwriting of Grainger? Having trouble booking some of the artists that appeared on their new album, Fist Of God, MSTRKRFT could not pull it together in time, as Sebastien Grainger–who’s been touring strong for the last several months–won in a thriller.

5 The Black Keys vs. 12 The Hush Sound
Even with Dan Auerbach doing his solo thing, The Black Keys put together an impressive set to take out The Hush Sound–whose fans made just that.

4 Lily Allen vs. 13 Dan Auerbach
Not a surprise here–Lily Allen thought she was too good to compete in Indie Ear Madness and didn’t even bother showing up. Auerbach advances to the second round.

6 The Pains Of Being Pure Of Heart vs. 11 New Found Glory
One of indie-pop’s favorite new acts against a band that many indie purists don’t even think belong in this tournament. New Found Glory, playing their brand of pop-polished-punk–with the same line-up that’s been tearing up small clubs for years–showed that there is no pain in being pure of heart, advancing to the second round.

3 Animal Collective vs. 14 King Kahn
By the looks of him, you’d never think King Kahn would be able to front a band capable of taking out indie fav, Animal Collective. Well, when he opened his mouth, that was another story. King Kahn, backed by The Shrines, channeled his inner James Brown and knocked Animal Collective right out of the tournament.

7 Late Of The Pier vs. 10 The Thermals
Late Of The Pier had some problems with the logistics of their SXSW schedule, and by the time they showed up, The Thermals had already won.

2 Coldplay vs. 15 Thunderheist
Maybe too busy counting their Grammy Awards or sewing colorful stripes on their band uniforms, Coldplay underestimated the power of Thunderheist. Led by the electro-thrash MC, Isis, Thunderheist shocked the world with the biggest upset of Indie Ear Madness ’09 so far.

(above: Isis of Thunderheist helps to upset Coldplay in the first round.)



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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GIFs via Giphy

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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GIFs via Giphy

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.