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Exclusive Premiere: Masha Qrella “Take Me Out”

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Berlin-based songwriter Masha Qrella has announced the release of her long-awaited album, Analogies, which will be out on June 5th with Morr Music. This album marks her first original studio material since 2005, which is seven years too long for fans of Qrella’s diverse and dramatic indie rock. As a founding member of Berlin-based bands Mina and Contriva, Qrella is an old hand at making compellingly catchy tunes that veer all over the musical spectrum from lighthearted pop to breezy folk-inflected tunes to mesmerizing guitar rock. She first stepped out as a singer/songwriter in her own right with the release of her first solo album “Luck.” After two more full-lengths, one of which, “Speak Low,” was a collection of beautifully-rendered Kurt Weill and Frederick Loewe cover songs, Qrella finally returned to the studio. Her latest LP, Analogies, is a timeless album full of lilting tunes and riotous emotions. Whatever Qrella has been doing the last six years, she has imbued these life experience into the new album creating a genuine and more mature work, which will thrill old fans and surely earn her new ones.

Today we are premiering the video for “Take Me Out.” The song is part of the soundtrack for an intense award-winning documentary “Meine Freiheit, Deine Freiheit” about women in prison, which premieres this week after garnering buzz on the festival circuit. The song is pure Qrella, a distinct and thrilling singer songwriter stylishness with just enough pop loops to keep you on your toes and rock beats to knock you over. It’s an impeccable return for Qrella and we hope she doesn’t take another six years before making more music.

Masha Qrella “Take Me Out”:

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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.

Exclusive download: Corporal, featuring Michael Shannon, presents “Glory”

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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!


DOWNLOAD: “Glory” by Corporal

Did you know Michael Shannon was such a punk? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!

Listen to R. Kelly’s new song “Feeling Single”

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We’re all looking for ways to kill time until R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet: The Next Installment” comes to IFC in winter 2012. Even R. Kelly himself is keeping himself busy by putting out new and, shall we say, completely freaking awesome songs. Now via the magic of the series of pipes and tubes and hamsters on wheels that make the internet we get to listen to his new single aptly named “Feeling Single” while R. Kelly is still trapped in the closet, alone, apparently.

Listen to the new track here:

If for some reason you missed the news: “Trapped in the Closet” is back! Yep, multi-platinum recording artist R. Kelly’s show will be back on IFC with all new chapters in Winter 2012. The show defies categorization being part contemporary movie musical, part urban soap opera, part epic music video, part independent film, and part tabloid story. The series is full of suspense, mystery, drama and packed with unexpected twists and turns. The premiere chapters were a suspenseful, mysterious, humorous and dramatic story, packed with cliffhangers and unexpected twists and turns. Now, Sylvester, Rufus, Cathy, Gwendolyn, Bridget, Big Man, Rosie the Nosy Neighbor, Twan and Pimp Lucius are coming back. This year, the crew reunites on IFC in the next installments of R. Kelly’s continuing hip hopera about a group of characters interconnected by sexual exploits, little people and a mysterious package. Watch the trailer and stay tuned:

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“Trapped in the Closet: The Next Installment” comes to IFC in winter 2012

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