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[NSFW] Exclusive Premiere: Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra “Want It Back” [NSFW]

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When you’re known around the world as Amanda Fucking Palmer, people don’t expect you to play it safe. The former Dresden Doll has made a name for herself as an artist, performer, and musician based on taking risks. Whether it is writing a song about an Oasis fan’s tragic tale on her album “Who Killed Amanda Palmer?” that got her banned from British television; or fondling a fake Katy Perry along with Margaret Cho for an anti-Proposition 8 sketch; or fundraising for an album on Kickstarter and breaking the million dollar mark; or even getting married to author Neil Gaiman via flash mob, Palmer knows how to make a memorable splash.

Because of her reputation for risk taking, when we found out her new video was considered NSFW, we weren’t surprised. What we weren’t expecting was to see a gorgeously animated video filled with text running up and down Palmer’s naked body in a manner that renders the nudity far more artistic than suggestive. While many artists would be uncomfortable exposing themselves to fans, not Amanda Palmer. “I’m so comfortable being naked at this point that I almost forget..and in moments like when we made this video it’s a great advantage to feel no sense of modesty whatsoever. You’re just there, naked and working hard,” she said about the video for her latest track, “Want It Back.” “I’m also proud that the video has nudity but isn’t really sexual or erotic – it’s using the body as a raw canvas, which I love.” The video’s animation was a true labor of love. Palmer explained, “For three days straight it was just me, Jim [Batt, the director], the tattoo-grafitti artist Curran James, and a painstaking process as we created the video, shot by shot by shot. Building an animation like this is almost like building a massive, three story tower out of teeny Legos – you get to actually see your progress as you create, unlike most videos where you don’t know what you’re going to wind up with until you see an edit.”

The song “Want it Back” was recorded with her band, The Grand Theft Orchestra, their album Theatre Is Evil is due out in September. Based on the songs we’ve heard, including this track, it seems that Palmer is using the million dollars she raised on kickstarter wisely. While the song is clearly influenced by pop music, producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Modest Mouse, Xiu Xiu) has tempered the bubblegum with dark, edgy undertones. It’s risky for an artist raised on the edges to dabble in a mainstream sound, but what else would you expect from Amanda Fucking Palmer?

Here’s the NSFW video for “Want it Back” by Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra:

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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 Premiere: Animal Kingdom “Skipping Disc”

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Animal Kingdom’s 2009 album, Signs and Wonders, was a stunning debut filled with atmospheric melodies, haunting lyrics and dream-like sonic sequences. The group — Richard Sauberlich (Vocals/Guitar/Piano), Hamish Crombie (Bass) and Geoff Lea (Drums) — recorded their album with producer Phil Ek, who worked with Fleet Foxes and The Shins, and you can hear his influence on the songs. Ek helped fill the British trio’s album with a muted brilliance, orchestral arrangements, and dazzling tracks like “Chalk Stars,” all of which helped the group earn the title of “Best New Alternative Act” according to iTunes, who knows a thing or two about these things.

Animal Kingdom’s sophomore album “The Looking Away” is now available through iTunes and will be released physically on July 17. The album follows in the same dreamy vein as their debut, although this go-round they worked with producer David Kosten (Bat for Lashes, Everything Everything) who gives the group’s sound a slightly more singular sound. The songs on the album are lush with choruses that get your heart racing. The album’s first single “Strange Attractor” shows Animal Kingdom at their best with heart-wrenching pensive lyrics set to a blazing indie rock beat. It’s the perfect juxtaposition of heart and head and a welcome addition to an iPod filled with soundalike indie tracks.

Their latest single “Skipping Disc” continues to showcase the band’s skills as songsmiths. “It’s my favorite song on the record,” said Richard Sauberlich, Animal Kingdom’s vocalist and guitarist. “Skipping Disc’s a song about being trapped in a pattern, being stuck. Waking every day to the same loop – kind of like “Groundhog Day” – and being unable to get to where you want,” according to Sauberlich. “I got the seed of the idea for the song from hearing that sound a computer makes when its about to die and the hard drive starts to skip, like a stuttering kind of noise – and then it kind of grew from there, and I began to collect other images to fit around the idea of repetition like ‘the serpent eats it tail’ line.“

Here is our exclusive premiere of Animal Kingdom’s “Skipping Disc”:

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Animal Kingdom is hitting the road in the U.S. this summer:

JULY

24 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
25 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
26 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
30 – Albany, NY – Jullian’s
31 – Columbus, OH – The Basement

AUGUST

03 – Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza
04 – Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock
05 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room
07 – Colorado Springs, CO – Black Sheep
08 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre
09 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
11 – San Francisco, CA – Outsidelands Music and Arts Festival
12 – Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room
14 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
16 – San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
17 – Santa Barbara, CA – Soho Room

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Exclusive Premiere: Fallulah “Out of It”

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It’s not everyday that we get to premiere the video of a singing sensation who has had a #1 song on both the radio and iTunes. It’s even more rare that we get to premiere a track by a multi-platinum recording artist that few people in the U.S. have ever heard of. Fallulah is a Danish pop star whose song “Out of It” topped the charts in her native land. Those Danes know a good thing when they hear it, as do fans in the States who caught her killer sets at SXSW and CMJ. Fallulah’s songs are mined from the same vein as Lykke Li and Bat for Lashes, but Fallulah’s edgy and upbeat songs are tinged with the Balkan beats she picked up during a childhood spent performing with gypsy dancing tours. The result is a quirky pop sound unlike any other.

Now Fallulah is getting ready for her American invasion. Her debut album, The Black Cat Neighbourhood, hits stores August 21. She already has leg up on her takeover of the U.S. music scene. DJ Mark Ronson is one of the singer’s biggest boosters and has been championing her insanely catchy track ‘I Lay My Head’ around the world. Plus the remix of her single ‘Out of It’ by Shook was Top 5 on the Hype Machine.

Here’s the exclusive premiere of Fallulah’s “Out of It”:

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