DID YOU READ

Lollapalooza 2011: a missed booking opportunity

Lollapalooza 2011: a missed booking opportunity (photo)

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This year’s Lollapalooza, slated for the first weekend of August in Chicago’s Grant Park, is being billed as a celebration of the festival’s 20th anniversary, despite a hiatus that lasted the better part of a decade. You might think that, to coronate the close of the fest’s second decade, Perry Farrell might be looking to push Lollapalooza again to its formerly conception-shattering status, back when Ministry shared bills with Seaweed, Steve Earle with Wu-Tang Clan. Maybe you even hope that Farrell would stun with a few unexpected alumni and a fleet of artists who are, in 2011, pushing buttons in the ways of their forebears.

Instead, Farrell announced a lineup Tuesday that reads mostly like an abbreviated, milquetoast Top 40 playlist, surrounded by a passé flock of buzz bands. This year’s big expansion is Perry’s Place, an all-electronic annex that gathers big name DJs, mash-up dudes, rappers and producers. According to Greg Kot, it will double in size this year. When Girl Talk and Kid Cudi are the anchors of your big bonus, you’ve got problems–namely, you look obvious, with an edge as hardened as Irish butter. And speaking of butter, Farrell also wants everyone to know how fancy this year’s food will be. That’s his gift. Well, then, Lollapalooza 2011 is a missed opportunity.

Sure, there’s plenty of decent bands playing this year’s Lollapalooza, and the variety is, as always, an apparent priority. Headliner Eminem at least has Minneapolis rapper Atmosphere and New York’s Nas (unfortunately, with Damian Marley in tow) for company, while techno–from main-stagers deadmau5 to those sequestered into Perry’s Place, which is a gross name for a stage–gets more than its share this year. The festival, of course, relies heavily on a mix of rock ‘n’ roll stripes: There’s the massive lumber of My Morning Jacket, the prematurely reunited blasts of Death from Above 1979, the limber tunes of OK Go, the hyper-referential words of the Mountain Goats, and the weepy bliss of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, just to sample. Muse, Coldplay and Foo Fighters all split headlining duties with Eminem; whoops?

The roster of Lollapalooza alumni is an astonishing blend of artists who sort of shocked the mainstream with the chances they took–see Beck, Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins–and bands just too strange or aggressive or, really, great to make a big crossover dent. This is a festival that Body Count played in 1991, Lambchop in 1994; it took its chances, and, since we’re still talking about it two decades later, mostly won.

“A lot of this music–we’ll call it festival music–it’s still not popular music,” Farrell said in a widely circulated AP story yesterday. He’s lying, frankly. Lollapalooza has never before seemed so complacent with accepting standard and assumed popular fare. It’s an insult to a legacy that has a lot to do with how well what might’ve once been limited to the indie rock ghetto has done popularly and financially in the last decade. Now, it’s another big festival in another big park in another big city. There’s nothing wrong with that; in the past, that just wasn’t Lollapalooza.

(Note: Grayson Currin curates a North Carolina music festival, Hopscotch. It is quite different from Lollapalooza, both in scope and aim.)

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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.