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Exclusive Premiere: Diamond Rugs Uncovered

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In the music world, collaborations are a thing of beauty. From the dulcet countrified tones of the Traveling Wilburys (Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, George Harrison) to the heady and thumping “Watch the Throne” effort from hip hop titans Jay Z and Kanye West (as if you didn’t know that) collaborations have the habit of making incredible music. Which is exactly what happened when John McCauley (Deer Tick), Robbie Crowell (Deer Tick), Ian Saint Pé (The Black Lips), Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), Hardy Morris (Dead Confederate) and Bryan Dufresne (Six Finger Satellite) got together. One thing is clear after watching the documentary: These guys know how to have a good time. And just one listen to their self/titled debut album shows that they also know how to make great music. You can buy it here.

In this short documentary we go behind the scenes with Diamond Rugs as they play songs and tour in support of their album. Here’s what the director of the Diamond Rugs doc, Ryan Henriquez, has to say about the film, the band, and the project:

What distinguishes a “side project” from a new band? This short documentary explores the origins and chemistry behind the rock band Diamond Rugs, which started out as one and ended up as the other. Last Fall on little more than a whim, members of Deer Tick, Black Lips, Los Lobos, Dead Confederate, and Six Finger Satellite assembled in a recording studio in Nashville to drink some Buds, have some fun, and lay down some tracks, probably in that order. And then the unexpected. These searchers, kindred spirits all, immediately found themselves dialed-in and speaking a language unto themselves, as the music simply unspooled out onto analog tape til suddenly there was an album. Almost by accident and to everyone’s surprise and elation, a new band called Diamond Rugs had formed. Have a look at what happens when it all just clicks.

Watch Diamond Rugs Uncovered:

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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: The Amazing “Gentle Stream”

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When you name your band The Amazing, you have a lot to live up to. Luckily, the Swedish indie outfit delivers on their own titular aspirations offering up winsome psychedelic rock with a Laurel Canyon bent. Their album “Gentle Stream,” which came out overseas late last year, has finally been released stateside on Partisan.

The album shows The Amazing at their best, blending muted psychedelia with a dark retro sound, which ends up sounding equal parts Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Tame Impala (who they are touring with this month). The Swedish quartet — fronted by two members of famed Swedish psych rock outfit Dungen — easily traipse between appealing acoustic ballads filled with drawn out guitar solos and evanescent rhythms and thoughtfully-arranged hard rocking numbers built on dense melodies, intricate layers and frontman Christoff Gunrup’s swirling vocals. The result is an updated easy going folksy prog rock played with a modern sensibility and no pretenses. If you’re going to pick up only one album this month, it would be hard to go wrong with this one.

Watch the video for their new single exclusively here. The Amazing “Gentle Stream”:

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Check out The Amazing on tour:

11-05 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
11-07 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg *
11-08 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer *
11-09 Boston, MA – Royale Night Club *
11-10 New York, NY – Webster Hall *
11-13 Chicago, IL – Metro *
11-15 San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore *
11-17 Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre *
* with Tame Impala

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Exclusive Premiere: Glen Hansard “You Will Become”

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Glen Hansard has done a lot of incredible things during his long and storied career as a musician. He’s made a name for himself with his work with the influential Irish band The Frames. He’s developed a devoted following with his duo The Swell Season. He even won an Academy Award for his song “Falling Slowly” from the movie “Once.” But the one thing Hansard hasn’t done is release a solo album. Until now.

After twenty years in the business, Hansard finally achieved that goal and released his first solo album, “Rhythm and Repose.” The album is filled with Hansard’s renowned emotive lyrics, there are songs about unrequited love, desperate longing, mistakes made again and again, and the pursuit of happiness. The songs are quiet, but powerful, with Hansard channeling his humble angst through a filter of maturity and well-earned wisdom. While fans of The Frames may find Hansard’s usual intensity muted on his solo work, the album is a solid slow burner.

Watch the exclusive premiere of the video, directed by Hedi Rose, for Glen Hansard’s track “You Will Become”:

GLEN HANSARD TOUR DATES
*Eddie Vedder tour

October 31-November 1 /// Las Vegas, NV /// The Pearl at the Palms*
November 4 /// Phoenix, AZ /// Comerica Theatre*
November 6 /// Albuquerque, NM /// Kiva Auditorium*
November 7 /// El Paso, TX /// Plaza Theatre*
November 9-11 /// Austin, TX /// Bass Concert Hall*
November 12-13 /// Houston, TX /// Jones Hall for the Performing Arts*
November 15 /// Dallas, TX /// Music Hall at Fair Park*
November 16 /// San Antonio, TX /// Lila Cockrell Theatre*
November 18-19 /// Tulsa, OK /// The Brady Theater*
November 21 /// Memphis, TN /// Orpheum Theatre*
November 24-25 /// Jacksonville, FL /// Moran Theater*
November 27-28 /// Orlando, FL /// Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre*
November 30-December 1 /// Ft. Lauderdale, FL /// Broward Center*
December 3-4 /// Clearwater, FL /// Ruth Eckerd Hall*

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