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SXSW Music: The Best Of The Rest

SXSW Music: The Best Of The Rest (photo)

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We tried to cover as much ground as possible in the four jam-packed days of the SXSW music fest, but let’s face it – you need twelve ears, six arms and zero hours of sleep to even break the surface of all that was worth reporting on in this marathon of musical mayhem. Here are some of the shows we saw that we didn’t have time to cover in-depth – all artists worth checking out on record, or if you’re lucky enough, in person.

Eddie Spaghetti @ The Red Eyed Fly: If you haven’t ever experienced the badassedness of the Supersuckers’ silly brand of 90’s American rock and garage punk, you probably would have passed right over this show by the band’s bassist and longtime front man, Eddie Spaghetti. With a full pit of beer-guzzling fans to cheer them on, Spaghetti and his band picked out songs from his new record “Sundowner,” including spirited covers of Dean Martin songs, obscure AC/DC tunes, and even the Dwarves hit, “Everybody’s Girl.” Spaghetti is beyond charismatic – in a cowboy hat with a handlebar mustache, he crooned his cow punk tunes, imploring the audience to throw up the devils horns after every song, to the cue of a spirited, “Cha Cha Cha!” Who were we to disobey?

Noah And The Whale at Stubb’s: The well-mannered chaps from London played twice at SXSW, and we caught them at Stubb’s, in a showcase with Portugal. The Man and TV on the Radio. The quintet, named after a not-so-subtle combination of film, “The Squid and the Whale,” and its director, is on tour to promote “Last Night On Earth,” their latest album of gushingly cinematic indie pop numbers. The band pulls off their folky compositions with a delightful energy, the band providing a lively backdrop for bandleader Charlie Fink’s stoic, Tom Petty-style narration and deadpan delivery. Extra credit for having two band members rocking the best curly pompadours since Lyle Lovett.

Andreya Triana @ The British Embassy (Latitude 30): We caught the tail end of Andreys Triana’s soulful set at The British Embassy (Latitude 30) “British Music Launch Event,” and just three songs was enough to win us over. With a silky voice and calming aura that called up India Arie, Triana belted and bluesed out tracks from her debut album, “Lost Where I Belong,” released this past September. To end her night onstage, Triana hopped down into the audience, microphone and all, to deliver an intimate cover of Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody,” her glorious voice and a single electric guitar leading the chorus to a song so infectious, mimes must sing along. Down on the floor with the people, all of us singing and clapping, the club felt like a house party – an organic setting befitting the earthy singer who we’re sure to hear more from in the future.

Sharon Van Etten @ The IFC Crossroads House: Sharon Van Etten played in our own IFC backyard, and was another one of the quiet surprises of the festival. A little lady, with a big red guitar and a bigger attitude, Van Etten dug into songs from her sophomore LP, “Epic,” full of heartwrenching tunes like the pleading “Don’t Do It,” in which she begrudgingly acquiesces, “If you want to do it, you are going to do it.” Her husky voice lost its whisper and gained strength as her set plunged forward, the effects of an earlier Merge showcase receding as her pipes began to warm up. Van Etten’s stage demeanor is shy, her sense of humor, coy and endearing. “One day I’ll have a spinning bow tie and I’ll be a lot more entertaining,” she said before launching into a song called “One Day.” Forget the squirting flower, Miss Van Etten, we’ll take you as you are.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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Nick Kroll and John Mulaney To Host Spirit Awards

The Spirit Awards Air February 25 LIVE on IFC.

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The 2017 Spirit Awards have finally found their frontmen: Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. And it’s no wonder. Just marvel in their splendid chemistry back when they appeared on Comedy Bang! Bang!:

The pair are prolific within the performing arts community: television (Kroll in The League and The Kroll Show, Mulaney as a writer of IFC’s own Documentary Now!), theater (including Broadway’s current Oh Hello Show), and stand-up comedy. In fact, it’s entirely possible that emceeing an awards show is one of the few remaining line items on their professional bucket lists.

It’s important to caveat this announcement, however. Unlike the bigger and more ubiquitously known awards shows, the Spirit Awards are not, well…boring. (We’re talking to you, Oscar.)

They’re funny. They’re honest. They have quality to match the red-carpet fanfare. And that’s alarmingly special. Last year’s show included some legitimately historic moments, like when transgender actress Mya Taylor won best supporting female, or Kate McKinnon’s hilarious and timely parody of Carol. See more highlights here to get the flavor of the Spirit Awards and read all about Film Independent to dig deeper.

The 2017 Spirit Awards air live February 25 at 5P ET exclusively on IFC.

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