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Top Ten Bands For Fall

Top Ten Bands For Fall (photo)

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For some, Fall is a time of great beauty and nostalgia, a boon for the sartorialist who can finally break out favorite jackets and scarves. Others are less thrilled, perhaps victims of some primal human apprehension about the coming of winter. One thing is certain, it’s a season of greater introspection after the wanton abuses of summer. It’s also a great time for music as all the vapid pop hits of the sweltering months fade out and people give more airplay to music with a bit more depth.

Digging through my records for Halloween weekend, I decided it was time for the ultimate Fall playlist — and the following list is a distillation of that. I dispensed with most of werewolf tunes and tried to focus in on that hazy Autumnal groove, with a touch of foreboding. Consider it a list of costume ideas as well, I’ve already seen one kid rolling around as Michael Jackson though.

Disclaimer: I limited this to only vinyl, CD’s, or mp3’s that I own, and you can add The Clientele as runner up to any of the following:

10. Michael Jackson

“Thriller” from the album, “Thriller”

The King of Pop is not all about Fall, and Fall’s not only about Halloween, but it punctuates the season, a last hurrah before the long grey chill. And Halloween weekend without “Thriller” is like Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes. Really, who does that? Here’s to zombie dancing in loafers.

9. Grinderman

“Kitchenette” from the album, “Grinderman2”

I keep hanging around your kitchenette and I’m gonna get a pot to cook you in. I stick my fingers in your biscuit jar and crush all your gingerbread men. Thank the spirits for Nick Cave.

8. The Cure

“Lullaby” from the album, Disintegration

The Cure is a marvelous combination of Autumnal blues and black fingernail polish. I know it’s unfair, but it always seems like goth kids are stuck in some twilight hour, celebrating Halloween, every day of the year.

7. Elliot Smith

“2:45 AM” from the album, “Either/Or”

Sometimes you come to associate a musician with a season simply because that’s when you first heard him. You bought “Either/Or” as the colors were changing and you felt like you were changing too, then that album was forever linked to that time. Every October after that you find yourself reaching for the record after having not played it for a year. This seems to be what happened with a great many people and at least one album by Mr. Elliott Smith.

6. The Fall

“Frightened” from the album, “Live At the Witch Trials”

Like a punk James Brown on a huge quantity of downers, Mark E. Smith grabs a dope hook and just clings to it until the stage collapses beneath him. It’s just not just the name of the band, these guys capture some kind of primal foreboding feeling about Fall and amplify it, repeatedly.

5. Tricky

“Hell Is Around The Corner” from the album, “Maxinquaye”

As Fall bridges Summer and Winter, so Tricky manages to bridge pop with hip hop. He also does it with immense style. You could start shouting about Portishead here but this is better, sexier. It’s apples, crisper.

4. Tubeway Army

“My Shadow In Vain” from the album “Tubeway Army”

Most people think of the moog pop hit, “Cars,” when they think of Gary Numan, but I think of the terrorizing bass, drums and full blown guitars of his earlier incarnation. Few men look as good in white face paint with blue lipstick as late 70’s Numan.

3. Dead Man’s Bones

“Lose Your Soul” from the album, “Dead Man’s Bones”

Actor Ryan Gosling wrote this record with his friend Zach Shields after exploring a shared fascination with ghosts and Disneyland’s “Haunted Mansion.” What began as a theatrical project using instruments that they’d never played before and liberal use of the Silverlake Conservatory Children’s Choir, turned into a band with magnificent results.

2. Simon & Garfunkel

“The Sound of Silence” from the album, “Sounds of Silence”

If Fall is a time of introspection and melancholy contemplation, I can think of few more appropriate groups than Simon & Garfunkel to provide it’s soundtrack. Because a vision softly creeping, Left its seeds while I was sleeping, And the vision that was planted in my brain; Still remains.

1. Tom Waits

“Frank’s Wild Years” from the album, “Swordfishtrombones”

One night Frank was on his way home from work, stopped at the liquor store, picked up a couple of Mickey’s Big Mouth’s. Drank ’em in the car on his way to the Shell station; he got a gallon of gas in a can. Drove home, doused everything in the house, torched it….
Parked across the street laughing, watching it burn, all Halloween orange and chimney red.

Waits just puts me in a jolly mood to drink bourbon and scare children.


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.