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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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.