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DID YOU READ

Seven songs about movies.

Seven songs about movies. (photo)

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Yesterday, a coworker asked me if I’d seen the “Event Horizon” music video.

I had not. But it arrived in my inbox a dozen times over the next 24 hours from other friends who, too, found NYC-based band .357 LOVER’s ode to the 1997 sci-fi non-classic, complete with delightfully shoddily greenscreened video, irresistible.

Anyone can Will Smith their way into a plot song about the movie it appears in (usually running over the end credits). It’s a rarer and, often, cheesier tune that apropos of nothing in particular devotes itself to a film. Here are seven selection from the past three decades, from newest on back to the early ’80s.

02242010_eventhorizon1.jpg.357 LOVER – “Event Horizon”
Inspired by: “Event Horizon” (1997)

Those visuals! That endless guitar solo! And those lyrics: “Then we’ll rescue our friends from the gates of hell / Wave back to the rest and wish them well.” Singer Jon Cunningham, better known as Corn Mo, devotes an improbable amount of heartfelt passion to the happenings of Paul WS Anderson’s haunted spaceship Blockbuster rental standard. (I’d be remiss to not mention the band also have a song devoted to “Time Cop.”)

02242010_diehard.jpgGuyz Nite – “Die Hard”
Inspired by: “Die Hard” (1988), “Die Hard 2” (1990) and “Die Hard: With a Vengeance” (1995)

While this 2006 song already sounds oddly Fall Out Boy-era dated, the chorus is still fist-pump catchy: “We’re gonna die (DIE!) die (DIE!) die (DIE!) die hard!” Guyz Nite, who label themselves “Beer Metal” and have testosteroned-out stage names like Guy Manley and Bear Woods, sometimes cheat on their rhymes (“The good cop wouldn’t miss this / Even though it wasn’t Christmas”), but deserve extra points for covering the first three “Die Hard” films (“Live Free or Die Hard” hadn’t come out yet) and working John McClane’s signature profanity into a downright lovely bridge.

022420210_lotion.jpgGreenskeepers – “Lotion”
Inspired by “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)

The Chicago-based Greenskeepers had the ingenious revelation that Buffalo Bill’s famous “The Silence of the Lambs” line to Catherine Martin, imprisoned in his basement, scans perfectly, no edits or additions necessary: “It rubs the lotion on its skin / Or else it gets the hose again.” Combine that with a slinky bassline and you have something that could outlast its own serial killer song novelty potential.

02242010_iamthemob.jpgCatatonia – “I Am The Mob”
Inspired by: “The Godfather” (1972)

The late Brit-pop band Catatonia never really made headway in the U.S. market, and if they were going to break through, it probably wouldn’t have been with “I Am The Mob,” an awful song that happens to be, quite unabashedly, about “The Godfather.” “I put horses’ heads in people’s beds / ’cause I am the mob,” sings Cerys Matthews, though you’d imagine Don Vito Corleone would put a more nuanced spin on it. The repeated closing line: “Luca Brasi, he sleeps with the fishes.”

02242010_manontheedge.jpgIron Maiden – “Man on the Edge”
Inspired by “Falling Down” (1993)

Remember “Falling Down,” the Joel Schumacher movie in which a disgruntled Michael Douglas lays waste to a Los Angeles convenience store, fast food restaurant, telephone booth and so on, all the while trying to get home to his daughter’s birthday party? So does Iron Maiden. There are quite a few movie-centric songs in the band’s body of work, from “The Wicker Man” to “Where Eagles Dare,” but “Man on the Edge” both makes its subject into a bellowed chorus (“Falling down! Falling down! Falling down!” sings Blaze Bayley) and manages the following bit of poetry: “Once he built missiles a nation’s defense / Now he can’t even give birthday presents.”

02242010_debaser.jpgPixies – “Debaser”
Inspired by: “Un chien andalou” (1929)

I have no idea what came out of my mouth when I would try to sing along to this song growing up, but it sure wasn’t a conscious Buñuel reference. Black Francis/Frank Black sings about “a movie” and “slicing up eyeballs,” but you’d be forgiven for not getting the gesture toward the surrealist classic — the chorus, in which he declares that “I am un chien andalusia,” as a fan page helpfully explains, “actually mixes English (‘I am’), Spanish (‘un’, which exists in French, but is actually pronounced as in Spanish), French (‘chien’), and something undetermined (‘andalusia’ as such is neither French nor Spanish).”

02252010_neildiamond.jpgNeil Diamond – “Heartlight”
Inspired by “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982)

Universal Studios claimed copyright infringement and got $25,000 from Diamond and his cowriters on this syrupy slice of adult contemporary heaven, Carole Bayer Sager and Burt Bacharach, even though it never mentions the adorable blockbuster alien that inspired it. Then again, lyrics like “Turn on your heartlight / In the middle of a young boy’s dream / Don’t wake me up too soon / Gonna take a ride across the moon / You and me” didn’t leave Diamond much room to argue he was actually crooning about “The Cannonball Run.”

And? What have I left off? Besides Falco’s “Amadeus.”

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

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Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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