Fucked Up: Live, sweaty, glorious

Fucked Up: Live, sweaty, glorious (photo)

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There’s nothing “slightly overweight” about Damien Abraham, the round-all-over frontman of relentlessly ambitious Toronto hardcore innovators Fucked Up. Abraham is an inarguably big man, not altogether dissimilar (in shape at least, as Abraham is a good deal smaller) from Butterbean, the rotund American boxing icon. But Tuesday night, 45 minutes and a gallon of sweat into his band’s forever-hype-affirming set in Raleigh, N.C., Abraham (perhaps wishfully) dedicated the tune “I Hate Summer” to all of his “slightly overweight” brethren. “One day let’s set up a home,” roared Abraham during the song, “where it’s winter all year long.”

North Carolina summer nights are, after all, sticky and hot, offering the kind of conditions that make thighs adhere to one another and turn any sort of physical activity into a slippery mess. But that didn’t slow Abraham’s usual antics or theatrics. Before four songs had been finished, both Abraham’s neon fitted cap and black T-shirt had been hurled onto the stage. Very bald and very breasted, Abraham lorded over the front rows, shoving his microphone into the screaming faces of fans during the refrains, sweat dripping from his body onto their faces. Then, halfway into the set, he marauded through the crowd–first to stage left, then to stage right, pulling his microphone cord through a nearly sold-out house. He gave hugs, kisses and high-fives as he sang, essentially taking the house-show/DIY-space culture of Fucked Up’s earlier days into a club half-full of indie kids who’d possibly never experienced such. It was grown-band work.

Eventually, Abraham made his way to the top of the bar at the back of the house, where he sang and smiled and smashed a plastic water cup onto his forehead. When he saw that this lubricating North Carolina heat wouldn’t let it stick, he simply tried to balance it on the crest of his skull. It fell off, of course, but he smiled again, leaning far to his right to deliver a high five to a guy who didn’t look much different–pasty and big and sweaty, but, with a monstrous grin wiped across his face, absolutely ecstatic to be where he was at that exact instant. The high-five was a half-miss, so all of the momentum that Abraham and the anonymous fan delivered at once resulted in an awkward little stumble for two big dudes. It didn’t matter: They both beamed, happy to have elicited cheers. Abraham headed back toward the stage as the band wound through its final notes.

That’s when he delivered the “I Hate Summer” dedication, or when he made it clear that even one of the best frontmen of any band in the world right now (it also doesn’t hurt that his three-guitar army is one of the best bands working right now, either) has to deal with the woes of being a sweaty, slippery fellow in the middle of a Southern summer. The moment couldn’t have been better.

This band might be in your town soon. Go see them.


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.