DID YOU READ

“The Other F Word,” reviewed

“The Other F Word,” reviewed (photo)

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A version of this review first ran as part of our coverage of South by Southwest 2011.

When Roger Daltrey first sang “My Generation” and said he hoped he’d die before he got old, just how old was he talking about? The guys’s 67 and not only is he not dead, he’s still singing that song. That’s the weird thing about rock stars: they get older but their songs — and their fans — stay the same age. When Jim Lindberg started the punk band Pennywise, he was 23. Now he’s in his mid-40s with a wife and three young daughters. On stage, he’s still the same obnoxious guy he was two decades ago, still singing about effing authority. Off stage, his big concern is making sure he’s home from touring in time for the big father/daughter dance. Reconciling those two sides of his personality is hard and getting harder.

That’s why I liked the documentary “The Other F Word” about Lindberg and a whole generation of punk rockers who have become parents. It’s not just a fluffy portrait of dudes with tattoos and their cute kids; like a good punk rock song, “F Word” is suffused with anger and love and frustration. These guys love their families, but they love their music too. Both are full-time jobs, and it’s tough to have two full-time jobs at the same time.

Lindberg’s existential crisis and his increasing isolation from his Pennywise bandmates (who don’t have kids) provides “The Other F Word” with its core narrative, but director Andrea Blaugrund Nevins fills out the film with anecdotes from tons of punk rock dads At every turn, their interviews confounded my expectations. I wasn’t prepared to watch Flea cry while he describes what his daughter means to him or to listen to Art Alexakis talk about the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that inspired his song “Father of Mine.” I typically don’t have a lot of patience for woe-is-me stories about celebrities, but these are different. There’s a genuinely tragic dimension to this punk rock lifestyle. Its live fast, die young ethos has been romanticized by its fans to such a degree that they expect and almost demand their heroes live deranged, tortured lives. In many cases, that expectation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Few punkers have enough money to retire so they have to keep playing, and to keep playing, they keep acting like they’re 21. As Lindberg notes, that can be hazardous to your health in middle age whether you’re a father or not.

There are plenty of laughs in “The Other F Word” — who doesn’t get a kick out of NOFX’s Fat Mike’s daughter scowling at him as he giggles at his own farts — but there are some hard truths too, most importantly about the sad state of the music industry, where record sales have evaporated to the point that the only way to make a living at rock and roll is through constant touring, which isn’t an option for a family man like Lindberg. The movie really captures how soul-deadening it can be to play the same song night after night, in one city after another, while your family is thousands of miles away. In maybe the best scene in the film, Lindberg tries to do a video Skype chat with his family while he’s out on the road. The connection’s bad and the call gets lost, and his kids are left talking to a big black void on their computer screen whether their dad used to be. That scene is emotionally devastating enough to make you hope your music career dies before you get old.

“The Other F Word” opens today at Film Forum in New York City and Friday at The Nuart in Los Angeles. If you see it, tell us what you think in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

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It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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