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Watch the exclusive premiere of Primus’ “Tragedy’s A’ Comin'” video, with bonus Les Claypool interview

Watch the exclusive premiere of Primus’ “Tragedy’s A’ Comin'” video, with bonus Les Claypool interview (photo)

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If Primus wanted to go for the obvious, the band’s new clip for “Tragedy’s a’ Comin'” — their first video in eleven years — could have featured any number of post apocalyptic scenarios or personal tragedies. But then they wouldn’t be Primus, and we wouldn’t have a lobster lament on our hands.

“Musically, it’s upbeat,” singer/bassist Les Claypool told IFC. “But lyrically, the song is all about impending doom. This last year has been a trying time in my world, with my mother fading away, my brother’s baby boy getting diagnosed with leukaemia, and other people having various ailments. So the song is about a storm coming, the rain must fall. But to depict that would have been the cliché thing to do, so we’ve got lobsters.”

As a lobster sits in his tank, he’s forced to watch all his friends get plucked out and served up to socialites one by one, and all he can do is wait and fantasize about being on a beach, where his larger-than-life self is played by Claypool.

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“I spent so many years dodging goofball bullets from doing the ‘Wynona’s Got A Big Brown Beaver’ video that I don’t resist it anymore,” Claypool said. “I got to put on a giant lobster suit, and that doesn’t happen every day.”

Claypool famously directed the “Wynona” video himself — and went on to helm several more before the band’s lengthy hiatus. To get back in the groove with “Tragedy,” he tried a combo of taking on some directing duties himself, but sharing the title with Mark Kohr, who lensed “Tommy the Cat” and “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” for the band in the early ’90s.

“I wrote the treatment, and I directed him when he was in it, but he’s officially the director of the video,” Claypool said. “Mark is one of the unsung heroes of the video world. His contemporaries are Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze, and he would have been just as massive as they are at this point in time, if an unfortunate illness in his family hadn’t caused him to fall out of the film world for a bit. We’re just excited to get him back in the saddle.”

Kohr plays the maître d’ at a restaurant who is about to serve up the unfortunate lobster. “People think it’s Steve Jobs when they see him, but we made this video before he passed,” Claypool noted.

Also not intended is any sort of animal cruelty statement. Claypool is an avid fisherman — hence songs such as “Last Salmon Man” and “Salmon Men” on Primus’ new album “Green Naugahyde.” But he’s never pulled a lobster out of the water, nor does he think a lobster’s culinary end is necessarily inhumane, despite it being boiled alive.

“PETA would probably hate me for this,” Claypool said, “but I think it’s kind of like going to sleep in a hot tub. Or like having too much wine and going to sleep.”

Speaking of wine, the restaurant scenes feature vintages from the musician’s own winery, Claypool Cellars. “You couldn’t put any real alcohol in videos before, because MTV wouldn’t play them,” he said. “We thought, ‘What the hell? MTV’s not going to play this anyway!”

RELATED: Les Claypool describes his top 5 movies

Leave your thoughts of the new Primus video in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

Primus frontman Les Claypool describes his top 5 movies ahead of tomorrow’s IFC.com video premiere

Primus frontman Les Claypool describes his top 5 movies ahead of tomorrow’s IFC.com video premiere (photo)

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Primus’ new album “Green Naugahyde” draws on Les Claypool’s filmic obsessions — even veteran Westerns actor Lee Van Cleef gets a shout out in a song called, well, “Lee Van Cleef.” “People always ask me who my heroes are, expecting me to say someone like Geddy Lee [from Rush],” Claypool told IFC. “But really, it’s more people like Elia Kazan, Sergio Leone, Frank Capra, Terry Gilliam, and Jared Hess.”

That might go a long way towards explaining why so many Primus songs seem to happily co-exist in the film world — for instance, “Spegetti Western,” or “Camelback Cinema.” Or why so many Primus songs are based on peripheral characters — “John the Fisherman,” “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver,” or, more recently, “Jilly’s On Smack.” “I love character actors,” the singer/bassist said. “If I’m switching channels, and something with Slim Pickens is on, or Walter Brennan, I’m stuck. I have to watch it.”

So with that in mind, Claypool — who directed a feature called “Electric Apricot” — made the equivalent of his Desert Island Discs for the movie world and shared his top five favorite films with IFC.

Check out the premiere of Primus’ “Tragedy’s A’Comin'” music video and an exclusive interview with Les Claypool this Thursday at 8am ET only on IFC.com.


1. “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964)

“It’s my all-time favorite. You can’t watch ‘Dr. Strangelove’ with commercials. That would be sacrilegious. Peter Sellers, it’s just the most spectacular thing he’s ever done. George C. Scott, you don’t see those types of characters any more. I quote this film all the time to friends of mine, like Sterling Hayden’s speech to Mandrake about the fluoridation of water. And this film remains very relevant today. It makes a huge socio-political statement. And it looks spectacular. You could watch it over and over again. I do.”


2. “A Face in the Crowd” (1957)

“Not that Andy Griffith ever did anything subpar, but he’s just spectacular in this. I stumbled across it years ago, and it really holds your attention. It’s very frightening. And I think one of my greatest fears is that they’ll try to do a remake of this film with Adam Sandler. I’m sure he’s a very nice guy, but you don’t want to mess with this! This is the way it should be.”


3. “Meet John Doe” (1941)

“This is a Gary Cooper film with Barbara Stanwyck. It’s a film that very much influenced the Coen brothers, especially ‘The Hudsucker Proxy.’ It’s about this little guy against the big guy, like a lot of Capra stuff is, and in this case, it’s a baseball player who stumbles by the powers that be, who have him take part in this scam. At first, it’s a thing for good, but then it has a dark side, because it’s deceiving the public, and he tries to stand up to that. I watch this every Christmas. I inflict it on my in-laws from Iowa. I think they loved it the first three or four times, but now they kind of roll their eyes a bit.”


4. “Evil Dead II” (1987)

“Sam Raimi has gone on to become a champion of mine. ‘The Evil Dead’ and the whole series was a masterpiece. I’ve seen it countless times, in various states of mind, and I’ve been happy to turn my own kids on to this particular film, especially my son. There are so many aspects of the filmmaking in it that we’ve utilized just to make music videos! And Bruce Campbell, watching him get brutally beat down by these phantoms, and then he comes back with a chainsaw on his amputated wrist? Pretty sweet.”


5. “There Will Be Blood” (2007)

“Daniel Day-Lewis is my favorite actor walking the planet right now. He never ceases to amaze me. Bill the Butcher in ‘Gangs of New York’? And here as Daniel Plainview? He’s obviously a John Huston character. Paul Dano killed it, too. You can’t stand him, but you can’t not watch him. They both are despicable and compelling. And the score is amazing. I was listening to it going, ‘Who the hell did this?’ And then I discovered it’s Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead. Huge kudos to that guy. I love Radiohead, but this is the best scoring I’ve seen in years. We actually parodied this film once. We tried to pitch an animated series, and one of our things was doing the milkshake scene with hippies from Burning Man. I did my best Daniel Day-Lewis impersonation. It didn’t go over as well, I guess.”

Be sure to check out the premiere of Primus’ “Tragedy’s A’Comin'” music video and an exclusive interview with Les Claypool this Thursday at 8am ET only on IFC.com.

What do you think of Les’ list? Let us know below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Exclusive: Watch the entire film about Tegan and Sara’s India tour from the new DVD/CD “Get Along”

Exclusive: Watch the entire film about Tegan and Sara’s India tour from the new DVD/CD “Get Along” (photo)

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Canadian indie darlings Tegan and Sara have enjoyed over a decade’s worth of success, so it’s not surprising that we’re now seeing the release of “Get Along,” a DVD/CD combo that offers fans two mini-documentaries and a 70-minute intimate career-spanning performance (the album includes 15 of those live tracks).

The first film showcases the band’s early beginnings and their impressive musical journey that has resulted in legions of dedicated fans, touring sets with acts like Neil Young, Death Cab for Cutie, Weezer, Ben Folds and Paramore, and memorable offerings like “Walking with a Ghost” that was ultimately covered by the White Stripes (although personally, I much preferred T&S’s original version).

But it’s the second film that we’ll draw your attention to, since we have the whole thing streaming below for free. Entitled simply “India,” the half-hour mini-doc follows the pair on their first-ever tour of India, and combines interviews with the twins with fan/friends/family commentary as we get an up-close-and-personal view of life on the road in a foreign land.

Check it out below, and then pick up “Get Along” via Teganandsara.com or iTunes.

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Shout your praise of Tegan and Sara in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

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