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.


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…


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. 


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 ’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?”


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).



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.


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


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

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.


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.


Forget Public Wifi

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



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.


Self Defense

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


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