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DID YOU READ

Music On The Silver Screen: Three Rock Docs To Watch

Music On The Silver Screen: Three Rock Docs To Watch (photo)

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While some songs suggests they’d “like to teach the world to sing”, the sad truth is that much of the world is tone deaf. We couldn’t write hit songs if our lives depended on it. We may not be able to even hum “It’s A Grand Old Flag” in key, let alone sing karaoke without humiliating ourselves. So instead of damaging the eardrums of those around us, we buy records and idolize musicians. However, save for autograph signings, impersonal if awesome videos, and concerts, there aren’t that many opportunities to get up close and personal with our idols. Then every few years comes a great documentary that shows our favorite bands in a unique light and makes us want to go buy their entire discography. Again. Currently there are some great documentaries available that give a peek into the lives of the musicians we love. Here are three to watch:

“Take One: Swedish House Mafia”

The world of superstar DJs is not something to which most of us have access. Luckily there are documentaries to introduce us civilians to the wonderfully strange world of wildly successful DJs who travel the world in private planes with half-dressed female fans thrown in their paths, exotic car collections, and stadium gigs filled to the rafters with avid fist-pumping crowds. “Take One” follows a trio of Swedish DJs Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso and Axwell– collectively known as the Swedish House Mafia — as they live the dance music dream. One of the most interesting parts of the film comes when the audience can see the DJs in action, creating the hook for their track with Pharrell, “One (Your Name)”. Directed by Christian Larson, who shot the doc in black and white, the 45-minute film is a fascinating look at a career that was definitely not mentioned in my version of “What Color Is Your Parachute.”

The film is available for purchase on iTunes.

“Color Me Obsessed”

Directed by Gorman Bechard this documentary looks at what the director considers the last best band, The Replacements. Bechard is not alone in this belief, and he gathered fans from near and far, including The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy, Craig Finn from The Hold Steady, Dave Foley, Lori Barbero of Babes In Toyland, critic Robert Christgau, producer Steve Albini, Grant Hart and Greg Norton from Hüsker Dü, and even this writer (yeah, me) to prove his point that The Replacements are often overlooked, underappreciated, and wildly influential. While at first it seems odd (or infuriating) that the movie doesn’t interview any of the members of The Replacements or feature any of the band’s songs, you soon get swept into the world of the fans. It’s like you wandered into a bar filled with Mats devotees and proceed to have the most sincere conversation about music, fandom, and the most lovable rock and roll fuckups ever.

The movie is in the festival circuit right now (head to ColorMeObsessed.com for details). Fingers crossed that it gets a distributor soon.

“New Garage Explosion: In Love With These Times”

From the filmmakers at Vice comes a look at the gritty, grungy world of garage rock. The documentary, made by VBS directors Joseph Patel and Aaron Brown with producer/journalist Mike McGonigal, kicks off with a look at the humble beginnings of the genre among kids in Detroit in the 1960s. The film then does a quick survey of the lasting influence of garage rock on ’80s punk, but the main thrust is the modern day scene. And what a scene it is: Notable acts included in the film are the late Jay Reatard, Black Lips, The Gories, The Clean, The Dirtbombs, Magic Kids, Golden Triangle, Smith Westerns, Vivian Girls and more. The documentary offers up intimate profiles of the artists working their asses off to make the garage scene and is a must see for music fans of any genre.

While this look at garage rock has been out since November, and available on YouTube for at least a month, the show has hit the road and is doing screenings in actual movie theaters. A movie this good deserves better than watching concurrent parts on YouTube, so head here for screening info

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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.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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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:

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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SO EXCITED!!!

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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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.”

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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. 

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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.