DID YOU READ

“The Other F Word,” Reviewed

“The Other F Word,” Reviewed (photo)

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When Roger Daltrey first sang “My Generation” and said he hoped he’d die before he got old, just how old was he talking about? The guys’s 67 and not only is he not dead, he’s still singing that song. That’s the weird thing about rock stars: they get older but their songs — and their fans — stay the same age. When Jim Lindberg started the punk band Pennywise, he was 23. Now he’s in his mid-40s with a wife and three young daughters. On stage, he’s still the same obnoxious guy he was two decades ago, singing about effing authority. Off stage, his big concern is making sure he’s home from touring in time for the big father/daughter dance. Reconciling those two sides of his personality is hard and getting harder.

That’s why I liked the documentary “The Other F Word” about Lindberg and a whole generation of punk rockers who have become parents. It’s not just a fluffy portrait of dudes with tattoos and their cute kids; like a good punk rock song, “F Word” is suffused with anger and love and frustration. These guys love their families, but they love their music too. Both are full-time jobs, and it’s tough to have two full-time jobs at the same time.

Lindberg’s existential crisis and his increasing isolation from his Pennywise bandmates (who don’t have kids) provides “The Other F Word” with its core narrative, but director Andrea Blaugrund Nevins fills out the film with anecdotes from tons of punk rock dads At every turn, their interviews confounded my expectations. I wasn’t prepared to watch Flea cry while he describes what his daughter means to him or to listen to Art Alexakis talk about the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that inspired his song “Father of Mine.” I typically don’t have a lot of patience for woe-is-me stories about celebrities, but these are different. There’s a genuinely tragic dimension to this punk rock lifestyle. Its live fast, die young ethos has been romanticized by its fans to such a degree that they expect and almost demand their heroes live deranged, tortured lives. In many cases, that expectation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Few punkers have enough money to retire so they have to keep playing, and to keep playing, they keep acting like they’re 21. As Lindberg notes, that can be hazardous to your health in middle age whether you’re a father or not.

There are plenty of laughs in “The Other F Word” — who doesn’t get a kick out of NOFX’s Fat Mike’s daughter scowling at him as he giggles at his own farts — but there are some hard truths too, most importantly about the sad state of the music industry, where record sales have evaporated to the point that the only way to make a living at rock and roll is through constant touring, which isn’t an option for a family man like Lindberg. The movie really captures how soul-deadening it can be to play the same song night after night, in one city after another, while your family is thousands of miles away. In maybe the best scene in the film, Lindberg tries to do a video Skype chat with his family while he’s out on the road. The connection’s bad and the call gets lost, and his kids are left talking to a big black void on their computer screen whether their dad used to be. That scene is emotionally devastating enough to make you hope you die — or at least get out of the business — before you get old.

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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.