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DID YOU READ

Exclusive premiere: Madi Diaz “Let’s Go”

Exclusive premiere: Madi Diaz “Let’s Go” (photo)

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Nashville’s Madi Diaz appeared in the 2005 documentary “Rock School” (which later inspired Richard Linklater’s “School of Rock”), but she first caught my attention only last year with an incredible Stevie Nicks cover and then a sweaty performance of “Let’s Go,” shot in a van at the dangerously intemperate, Bonnaroo festival. She’s just finished a proper collaborative video for the song with director Matt Amato — much of the footage shot by herself and her pals using the retro-digital Harinezumi camera, which purposely lends a nostalgic image quality by mimicking the charm of super 8. I asked her about this, but that was really just an excuse to get her to talk about kissing and Fleetwood Mac.

Tell me about the origins of this infectious pop song, from what place did it spring forth?

I’m not sure, but I think it was on my basement ceiling just wandering, floating around waiting for someone to walk head first into it. I could hear something in the foundation that my guitar player, Kyle Ryan, was building on his home studio that was just begging for something playful to be laced over top. It was our first home in Nashville and that basement was magical. Too bad the rest of the house was kind of in shoddy shape.

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Who are you kissing?

I have no idea. Kissing sure is fun though, right? Actually…I think his name is Erik…Erik with a “k”. Yeah that HAS to be it, why would I remember such specific spelling otherwise? He was a very sweet guy. A gentleman even. I had never kissed on camera before and he was very forgiving.

You shot some of the footage too with a Harinezumi? What was it like collaborating with Matt Amato on the finished video?

Matt. I could never ever say enough about Matt Amato. He has an indescribable presence; this warm loving serene calm with intense interest and excitement bubbling beneath his exterior. He’s some sort of amazing mind reader and balances it with his trust in you and yours in him. Example, that kiss was not planned (at least not to my knowledge) and yet I felt like it was somehow almost our idea together. Shooting the footage together was just one big adventure day. A getting-to-know-you adventure day. There were 7 of us shooting the Harinezumi’s all over the place. Actually, because all of the footage was so fun and unique and filled with story and adventure, we decided to create vignettes for each camera navigator to give a little more of an in depth look at how much work went into shooting this video. So many different incredible perspectives and such absolutely stunning work by all, it would’ve been such a major shame to only use enough to make a four minute music video! It was truly such a wonderful experience and so, so fun to be apart of a visual artist’s world for a moment.

If you could go anywhere right now, where would that be?

Late summer, 7:30 pm in the middle of a massive pine forest lying on a huge, thick bed of red pine needles looking up at the sky with my eyes half closed. The prettiest light in the world. And not one sound — only forest sound. No cars, no planes, no highways, no people, no white city noise, just pine tree forest noise.

That Fleetwood Mac/Stevie song you did with Keegan Dewitt is almost traumatizing it’s so beautiful, and I don’t normally care for Fleetwood Mac covers. How did you two piece that one together?

Thank you! Funny you should say, but before Keegan showed me “Wild Heart” (during his super heavy Fleetwood obsession phase) I didn’t spend much time on it either. But whoa, watching the video of Stevie Nicks just singing her heart out during her backstage photo shoot and her voice just soaring over everything just made my heart jump over and over. Keegs was putting together some material for a session he was doing in town and asked me to join him on this song, and I grabbed a little toy plunker piano that we had strapped a little Casio buddy to and we cracked down. We used the progression straight from the video as that was the one that made us both swoon so hard. Still makes us swoon.

Diaz’s EP “Far From Things That We Know” is out September 20th on tinyOGRE with a full-length slated for early 2012. She kicks off a tour today (with Keegan Dewitt on most dates). Check out her website for some free tracks.

Madi Diaz Tour Dates:

8/8 @ Imogene & Willie, Nashville, TN
8/10 – St. Louis, MO @ Old Rock House*
8/11 – Columbia, MO @ Mojo’s*
8/12 – Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck*
8/13 – Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre*
8/17 – Albuquerque, NM @ Low Spirits Bar & Stage*
8/18 – Tucson, AZ @ Solar Culture Gallery*
8/19 – Mesa, AZ The Nile – Basement*
8/20 – San Diego, CA @ Bar Pink*
8/22 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe du Nord*
8/23 – Santa Barbara, CA @ SoHo
8/25 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Café*
8/28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Sunset Junction
8/30 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge*
9/1 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry*
9/2 – Evanston, IL @ SPACE*
9/3 – Maquoketa, IA Daytrotter Barnstormin/Codfish Hollow Barn

*co-headlining with Keegan DeWitt

Are you swooning? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!

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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.