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LISTS: The Great & Potentially Great Rock Star Bands

LISTS:  The Great & Potentially Great Rock Star Bands (photo)

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Rock Stars–if they’re not already–should be placed on the endangered species list. In 2009, we speak of them in the past tense. It has been so long since we’ve had a Rock Star, we don’t even know what a real one is anymore.

(left: Is Queen one of the greatest Rock Star bands? You better believe it!)

The word “Rock Star” has become a disposable noun. If little Johnny scores a goal in his pee-wee soccer game, you may hear his mother calling him a Rock Star from the sidelines. He is no more a Rock Star than he is a cavalier, a knight, or a conquistador–titles that meant something back in the day, that described a person who did more than squeeze an orange wedge between his teeth and kick a ball passed another seven-year old kid.

So it can be recorded in the annals of history, here are some of the greatest Rock Star bands of all-time. (Note: You’ll notice the absence of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who from this list. Why? Well, as I’m sure you know: the sky is blue and water is wet.)

10. Green Day
Who knew years ago that Billie Joe Armstrong’s punk rock ditties could translate into sold-out-stadium anthems?

9. Kiss
Kiss isn’t just a band, they’re a brand. They could make a living just off their merchandise alone. Superheroes playing music? Or musicians playing superheroes? You be the judge.

8. Nirvana
If your band is credited for changing the musical landscape of an entire generation, then yes, you are Rock Stars.

7. Guns N Roses
Headline-grabbing lead singer, iconic guitar player with amazing licks, sold-out-stadium shows, biggest-band-in-the-world status, and eventual implosion. Looks like they learned from the best.

6. AC/DC
There’s a reason they’re called power chords.

5. Metallica
Ferocious bay-area thrash metal band that has built up such a reputation, they can sell out a coliseum in any country of the world (and probably do it in just a few minutes).

4. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Don’t think songs about everyday-America can fill stadium seats? Think again. Bruce Springsteen isn’t called The Boss for nothing.

3. U2
One of life’s great mysteries. How do you not age, stay socially conscious despite having more money than you know what to do with, make hit after hit, and still stay relevant and fresh after all these years?

2. Queen
Close your eyes. Hum yourself a Queen song. There’s no way that song is being performed in a 200-capacity club.
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1. Led Zeppelin
Rock Stars? They wrote the book on it–really. Ever read Hammer of The Gods?

(left to right: Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.)

Don’t lose hope just yet. Here’s a list of bands that have potential of wielding Rock Star status:

10. Fall Out Boy
The most popular member of the group is their bassist. We just need some people to start recognizing their lead singer and then we’ll be in business.

9. The Mars Volta
If they weren’t so damn stubborn and could keep their songs more focused…

8. Kings of Leon
If only they were a band in the 70’s.

7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Nick and Brian need to be more vocal and compelling in interviews, otherwise the Rock Star burden is always going to fall on Karen O’s shoulders.

6. Vampire Weekend
In a different musical climate, they’d be a couple steps higher in their climb to superstardom.

5. My Chemical Romance
They’ve got some really “big” songs, but half of America still thinks they’re emo.

4. The Killers
If the members of The Killers were more exciting behind-the-scenes, they might have a better chance of making the list above.

3. Coldplay
How to get out of the shadow of U2?
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2. The White Stripes
Can you say “bass?”

1. Muse (right)
Their rocket is ready to launch. They’re just waiting for America to press the ignition button.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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SO EXCITED!!!

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.”

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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. 

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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.