Michael Shannon’s brilliant portrayal of an insane Federal prohibition agent in “Boardwalk Empire” has made him famous, if he wasn’t already, but the Brooklyn band he leads is totally underground. Shannon and Corporal bandmate’s, Robert Beitzel and Ray Rizzo (Dawn Landes, The Poison Tree) make music that call to mind the Silver Jews, if they’d had a hideout under the Brooklyn bridge. It’s gloriously strange, a bit grimy, and makes me feel comfortably drunk.
“Michael and I (and Rob) met in 2002 when we worked on a play in Louisville, in which we had to be a band,” multi-instrumentalist Ray Rizzo said. “Michael and I had already written songs on our own so we worked those up and the songs of others and played shows around Louisville and after the play was over, we kept in touch. If I was on tour and he was in the city working we would catch up.”
When Shannon moved to Brooklyn a few years ago, the two got together and started playing music. The film “I’m Not There” sparked conversations about Dylan at the time and “in particular ‘Blonde on Blonde,’ about the scope of the album and especially how quickly it was made,” Rizzo said. “So Mike and I and engineer Kevin Meeker set out to do the same and make a recording from start to finish in 10 days, which we did in 14 days.” With their busy schedules those 14 days were also spread over 18 months, but at least half of the album was recorded in 2 days.
“Glory” is out now, and Corporal plans to release a 7-inch single in July 2012 to accompany dates in New York, LA and Chicago. Here’s the title track, enjoy!
Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.
Posted by Luke McKinney on 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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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.
15. All My Children Finale, SNL
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.
CHAPPO’s psych pop gets served up by a wild bunch of crazies and some of the most troubling orifices ever imagined in this NSFW casting call directed by Ghost+Cow (Brandon LaGanke & John Carlucci). You’ll have to see for yourself, mindful of squeamish coworkers and children/parents, because no amount of confetti will obscure these curious balloons.
The Brooklyn four piece is releasing their debut full length, “Moonwater,” on May 15th via Majordomo Records. It follows their commercially successful EP’s “Plastique Universe” and “Plastique Universe II: Pisces Princess.”
video player loading
You Just Watched:
Exclusive download: Corporal, featuring Michael Shannon, presents “Glory”
CHAPPO kicks off an album tour tomorrow, and will be touring with of Montreal over the summer.
05/15 – New York, NY @ Dominion NY*
05/18 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Bar*
05/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bardot (School Night)
05/23 – San Francisco, CA @ Brick & Mortar
05/26 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground Lounge
05/27 – Boston, MA @ T. T. the Bear’s
05/30 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fire
05/31 – Washington, DC @ DC-9
06/01 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
06/02 – Atlanta, GA @ Vinyl
06/04 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
06/06 – New Orleans, LA @ Howlin’ Wolf Den
06/08 – Manchester, TN @ BONNAROO (Cafe Stage)
06/10 – Manchester, TN @ BONNAROO (Sonic Stage)
06/12 – Charlotte, NC @ Neighborhood Theater**
06/13 – Richmond, VA @ The National**
06/14 – Baltimore, MD @ Recher Theater**
06/17 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar**
06/18 – Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom**
06/19 – Covington, KY @ Madison Theatre**
06/20 – Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom**
06/23 – Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub
06/25 – Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s
06/26 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
06/28 – Milwaukee, WI @ SUMMERFEST
* = official Album Release Show
** = support for Of Montreal
How do you like them apples? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!
The first song Chantal Claret wrote after departing as the singer of Morningwood, was the chronicle of a hedonist that Nancy Sinatra and Tina Turner would equally appreciate. The crisp 60’s vibe with a huge low end sets “The Pleasure Seeker,” a daring song about her own father, in a direction 180 degrees from her previous work, but it’s the direction Claret always intended to go. It was something of a long shot too, she couldn’t find anyone who could mix the record until she sent an email to the general address listed on Mark “Exit” Goodchild’s (Erykah Badu, Cee-Lo) website. Amazingly, within a few hours, she’d won Exit over with her raw material and he was all in.
Claret’s previous “major label fiasco’s” drove her to seek creative satisfaction elsewhere (and new indie label), and she’s finally making music the way she’s always wanted to — as the bad girl of blue-eyed soul. I talked with her about her love for 60’s music and at extreme length about film, her other passion, during which time she gushed about “Labyrinth” and David Bowie. “Hells yeah, that’s the one acceptable use of spandex in the world, David Bowie’s pants!” she raved, accurately. I know she wouldn’t mind living in “A Hard Days Night,” eternally following the Beatles around either. She also proclaimed her undying love for “Meatballs.” It was a discussion about Bond movies though where we stumbled on a take away meant for one Daniel Craig. Chantal Claret’s record comes out June 19th on The End.
This is all such a big departure from Morningwood and what you were known for in the past, how did you come to such a musical reinvention?
Musically it is yes, but this is 100% me. This is the type of music I grew up listening to. Since I was 15, I would go out to mod clubs — I was a self proclaimed mod — I was in a short film called “American Mod” [laughs]. So I grew up dancing to 60’s music, if anything, it’s Morningwood that was weird for me. The 80’s inspired pop tunes were a switch for me. This is me with no filter.
The song, “The Pleasure Seeker,” is actually about your Dad?
Yeah it’s about my Dad [laughs]. It’s not the most becoming song in the entire world, so I was absolutely petrified about playing for him, like shitting my pants petrified. And he flipped! He plays it for everyone. There’s a line in it, “a skinny little woman is gonna be your fatal flaw,” which is not a compliment. And that is a quote from him, “a skinny little woman is gonna be my fatal flaw,” he said. That’s not an awesome thing to admit, but he called up one of his girlfriends at the time and was like, “there’s a line about you in it!”
You even sing, “don’t tell him about this, ’cause it’ll go to this head.”
Yeah! I mean, he’s a character. And I had a lot of issues with him, you know? I wrote a couple songs about him in Morningwood too, and he always seems to take it as a compliment, which is funny, ’cause none of them are that nice. But ultimately, I think he looked past all the negatives and saw the underlying message that, I love him, I do. He’s my dad.
How did he kill a man, or is that a little tongue-in-cheek?
No, it’s a true story, and he took really big pride in it. My father was an art dealer. He told me this whole long story about how a man committed suicide and he thinks he had a part in it, because my dad was telling him stuff. It was horrifying to me.
He talked a man to his death?
He didn’t talk the man into it, but the man was so depressed and my Dad definitely didn’t, you know, help. It wasn’t like, Kevorkian or a mental coercion scenario.
Art dealers, you say? Maybe we shouldn’t say more.
Yeah, my father is an art dealer, or was an art dealer. There’s a lot of shady stuff in the art world.
Are you a fan of “The Walking Dead?”
Yeah! I’m actually friends with Rooker, he’s on it. Michael Rooker [who is rumored to return for season 3].
Right I heard that, and some of the inspiration for “Pop Pop, Bang, Bang” came from shooting guns with him?
Yeah, I took my husband for his birthday, on his private range. We were doing crazy stuff, like walking and shooting and we got out this stuffed animal that we had in the back of our car, and we were shooting it [laughs]. I love guns, I always have. It’s such a great sport, I don’t have any in my house but, I gotta say everybody looks cool with a six shooter…. so he took us shooting and he was saying all this cool gun slang. Ultimately when I was writing, I called him and I was like, hey tell me all that stuff again. But he went into this whole history of guns and .22’s, and proper terminology, and I was like you’re talking too much Rooker! So that’s why it ended up just being, “Pop Pop, Bang, Bang.”
What’s your favorite gun?
A .22! I love me some classic old school, six shooter lookin’ .22. It’s bad ass and I love wearing a holster. I wear a holster as a — I put my microphone in my gun holster.
There’s a weird convergence here, with six shooters and zombies and that connection to the show and you — where did the idea behind the video come from?
Yeah, I’m not too specific if they were zombies or dead. All I know is I wanted them to be snapping their fingers and a little saucy. Basically my friend David Yarovesky, who directed it, [pitched it to me] like, “so there’s all these dead girls in a hotel room.” I was like, I’m in. We got a hotel room, and we got all these girls, and the biggest expense was those white contacts. We were so paranoid about going into this hotel with all these girls that were in zombie makeup because you are not suppose to be filming there without a permit. We had this big plan about how we were gonna get all the girls in the room and then we got there and every single person at the hotel was in costume — we shot at the week of Halloween on October 27th. So, one of the girls went to get coffee and they were like “oh you’re here for the Zombie party?” And she was like, “Yes, yes I am.”
[laughter] What do you think that’s about? Other than that being during Halloween, the video is a grim reminder of the zombie phenomena in our culture.
You know, vampires have been tapped out. So I just gotta go with zombies. Plus, the impending 2012 end of the world. What’s left…zombies.
There it is. Zombies.
Nothing can beat “28 Days Later” though, that’s my favorite. Oh and IFC, [sings] I love IFC! I watch “Portlandia” and a ton of other shows! I went to the School of Visual Arts for a couple years, I wanted to be a director. So, I love me some movies.
And you directed some videos before, didn’t you?
Couple, yeah. I did some stop animation ones, and some, like, lo-fi ones. Back when Morningwood was signed to different labels, I felt like my hands were tied. There are things contractually where you can’t make music with other people and things like that. I would get so fucking frustrated! What the fuck can I do? And I’d be like alright, I’m gonna make a claymation video! I do it when I get frustrated. I’m like, what can I do to do something creative where I’m not gonna contractually get in trouble?
If you could write a soundtrack to a film what would it be?
A classic Bond film, doing a Bond theme is in my top ten dreams!
What’s your favorite Bond film?
“Goldfinger,” I don’t know! It’s hard, I judge them mostly by the theme songs [laughs]. Pussy Galore’s pretty awesome. Yeah, and Shirley Bassey. But I heard that Daniel Craig was a fan, he was a fan of my old band. So, I really want him to hear my new stuff.
There’s an idea!
Uh huh! Ya heard me Daniel Craig!?
We found the writer of the next Bond theme. You hear that Daniel Craig? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!