DID YOU READ

MUSIC FLICKS: Wayne’s World

MUSIC FLICKS:  Wayne’s World (photo)

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Last week, Lips and Rob, of the underappreciated–yet highly influential–metal band, Anvil, got their day in the spotlight when the documentary, Anvil! The Story of Anvil, received rave reviews from various media outlets (the movie may also help score them a record deal). The last time two jean-jacket-wearin’, hard-rock-lovin’ buddies received this much attention from the world of film and music was back in 1992, when Wayne and Garth (Mike Myers and Dana Carvey) captured the heart of heavy metal in Wayne’s World, which I still believe is one of the greatest movies about music ever made.

Ever since I started taking a look at current and past “music flicks,” I wanted to include this film, because like The Blues Brothers or This Is Spinal Tap, Wayne’s World became a measuring stick for all music movies that followed; which says a lot, considering the characters of Wayne and Garth aren’t even in a band.

We can argue for hours, but Wayne’s World’s car-sing-a-long to “Bohemian Rhapsody” is my all-time favorite scene in a music movie. It perfectly captures a Friday night in any-town America. Not to take anything away from Queen, but even kids who never saw Wayne’s World will bang their heads–ala Wayne and Garth style–during the song’s breakdown. That’s some pop cultural power!

Wayne’s World works so well as a music movie, because instead of taking us of into the lives of rock and roll stars, it gives us the perspective of a group of diehard rock and roll fans–and who can’t relate to that? The subtle rock music references throughout the movie are genius, everything from the conversation Wayne and a doorman (played by Meatloaf) have about a group called The Shitty Beatles, to the would-you-still-love-me? Ravi Shankar and Elvis scenarios, to the greedy businessmen, to the joy of flashing a backstage pass, to the roll-your-eyes service you usually receive at a music store (and we can’t forget about the “No Stairway To Heaven” sign either; a brilliant jab at the choice riff heard at guitar shops around the world).

Instead of just tackling music for an hour-and-a-half, Wayne’s World also takes us into the hang-out lives of Wayne, Garth, and their burnout buddies. I grew up in the same neighborhood as a bunch of metal-worshipping headbangers, and I can tell you that they did a lot more than sew Metallica patches on the back of their jean jackets. Like Wayne and Garth, they also enjoyed chasing girls, spewing into Dixie cups, hanging out at their favorite eatery, and playing street hockey–that’s right, not roller hockey, street hockey.

Besides forever altering the way we listen to Queen’s “Bohemain Rhapsody,” Wayne’s World also put its unique stamp on Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” and Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver.” I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear “Foxy Lady” I’m always tempted to throw the fox ears behind my head.

One of the funniest moments in the film–a moment that revealed heavy metal’s sense of humor–was the scene where Wayne and Garth are backstage at an Alice Cooper concert. Before Ozzy Osbourne sang with Miss Piggy or Metallica was blowing up houses in video game commercials, a deadpan Alice Cooper delivered the most eloquent lines a musician has ever spoken about the city of Milwaukee: It’s pronounced milly-wa-kay, which is Algonquin for the “good land.”

Wayne’s World was not the first or last time a blonde and brunette burnout duo etched themselves in our pop culture memory. Bill and Ted came before and Beavis and Butthead followed, but in many ways Wayne’s World was the swan song for the burnout culture–a group of kids that I don’t think even exist anymore in the hierarchy of high school social classes. In 1992, the big rock that Wayne and Garth loved was losing its stronghold to up-and-coming grunge and alternative bands. Jean jackets gave way to cardigan sweaters, and guitar solos were being replaced by blasts of feedback.

Besides being one the most quotable and hilarious movies from the 90’s (whether you have a clever or sophomoric sense of humor), Wayne’s World is also a perfect time capsule of the period in music right before things changed for good. But who knows? Maybe if Anvil’s Lips and Rob have their way, kids will be finger-tapping on their flying-V guitars and banging their mulletheads again–just like their parents did some 20 years ago. Party on Lips! Party on Rob!

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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.