DID YOU READ

LISTS: Top 10 Baby Album Covers

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Last month, when Morrissey released his new album, Years of Refusal–featuring a picture of him toting a toddler under his arm–a few blog postings popped up on the internet recalling other musical artists that have used infant children as cover babies for their album. I also came across this list recently, which features just about everyone you can think of.

Many times artists like to use their own baby photos for the front of their album to contrast where they are in life to where they’ve been. And then sometimes I’m sure artists just go for the infant album cover to elicit some oohs and ahs from their fan base (cause, c’mon, who can’t resist a cute baby?).

There have been many babies on album artwork over the years, but I decided to whittle it down to the 10 best today. So get your binkies and your formula ready–here are the Top 10 Baby Album Covers of All-Time:

10. Shakira, Oral Fixation, Vol. 2
This album cover always cracked me up just for the fact that it looks like the infant has no intention of grabbing for the apple in Shakira’s right hand.

9. Morrissey, Years of Refusal
I know the album just came out in February, but how awesome is this picture of Moz? He’s holding that baby with about as much enthusiasm as carrying a sack of groceries. The album title, Years of Refusal, also makes you wonder if the (legendary for his bouts of celibacy) Morrissey is ready to have kids, or the exact opposite.

8. Lil’ Wayne, Tha Carter III
Continuing in the tradition of rappers putting youngsters on their album covers (Notorious B.I.G., Nas, The Game), a young Lil’ Wayne graces his most critically acclaimed work to date. Every time I see the album cover–and though I’m 99.9% sure I know the answer–I always wonder if his tattoos are real? How gangsta would it be for an infant to have facial tattoos?

7. Everclear, Sparkle and Fade
Technically, there’s only one baby on the cover of this album. Childhood pictures of Everclear’s Craig Montoya (left) and Art Alexakis (middle) clearly show the boys have grown past their infant stage. The same can’t be said about the baby picture of drummer, Greg Eklund (right), who seems to be completely thrilled that he’s either covered in pooh or chocolate pudding.

6. The Cure, Galore (The Singles 1987-1998)
How can you go wrong with two of the greatest blessings the world has to offer? Babies and ice cream! On top of that, this album is packed with The Cure’s catchiest hits.

5. The Beatles, Yesterday and Today
In 1966 the lovable, huggable Beatles suffered their first round of public criticism when they decided to release an album whose cover featured a picture of the band dressed in butcher smocks, smeared with pieces of meat and baby doll parts. After negative reaction from the “butcher cover,” Capitol recalled Yesterday and Today–making it the only Beatles album that Capitol ever lost money on. This little episode of butchers gone bad gave The Beatles some on-the-job training in out-of-the-box thinking.

4. Sebadoh, Bakesale
Bakesale bares the picture of a naked baby boy playing in the toilet (i.e., Sebadoh founder, Lou Barlow). Many consider this to be Sebadoh’s tightest and most concise album, and for anyone who was a college DJ back in the 90’s, the mere sight of Bakesale’s cover will take you back in time and flood your brain with a whole bunch of good memories.

3. Van Halen, 1984
That’s one bad baby, huh? Not only is this an unforgettable album cover from the 80’s, 1984 also boasts some of Van Halen’s biggest hits to date: “Jump,” “Panama,” and “Hot For Teacher.” This was also David Lee Roth’s swan song with the group–maybe that has something to do with the album cover being so memorable?

2. The Notorious B.I.G., Ready To Die
An etched-in-the-memory album cover from the Notorious B.I.G.’s debut album. Mention Ready To Die’s artwork, and any hip-hop fan will respond, “Baby with the afro sittin’ in his diaper” The prophetic picture says it all–Biggie was ready to die ever since he was born.

1. Nirvana, Nevermind
Not only the top baby album cover of all-time, but maybe one of the most iconic covers in music history as well. A baby swimming towards a one-dollar bill–did it represent Nirvana selling out? Did it symbolize the moment Kurt Cobain lost the innocence of his childhood? Are we baited into greed as soon as we leave the womb? Or was Nirvana just being cute (on a couple different levels)? The debate began in 1991 and continues today.

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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…

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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. 

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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-Craft

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?”

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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).

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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.

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

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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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.

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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.

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Forget Public Wifi

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

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Inter-not

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.

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Self Defense

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

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