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Exclusive premiere: The Cult “Elemental Light” (SALEM Remix)

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The Cult’s Ian Astbury is a deeply visual guy, so when he had a vision of “an eagle being ripped out of sky” by some man made machination, it had to become integral to his next marriage of sound and vision. Director Kostas Seremetis turned the idea into more of a gallery wall piece than a music video, echoing some similar sentiments from an earlier 2007 collaboration between the two called “The Resistance.”

“The sentiment of this film captures the loss of wilderness, and a generation trying to make sense of the trash heap they have inherited,” Astbury said, not pulling his punches. “It evokes nature versus man, that struggle [and] desire to control nature and ultimately death.”

The Cult reached out to SALEM and asked if they’d like to do a remix from “Weapon of Choice.” Remarkably, Astbury said he just used the the email address on an EP he had. It was a shot in the dark for a band notorious for not giving a damn, but then I suppose when some legends come calling, you answer.

 

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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: ARMS “Heat & Hot Water”

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Last year’s debut “Summer Skills” announced that ARMS had gone from a side-project in Todd Goldstein’s Brooklyn bedroom to a full band.  “Heat & Hot Water,” though it sounds like something woefully written right after hurricane Sandy, is actually from that release produced by Shane Stoneback (Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells, Fucked Up). The video features a couple in two highly recognizable phases of any relationship; raucous excitement and quiet disappointment.

“[It] was shot in Columbia, MO with Andrew Palermo,” Goldstein said, “the director behind all of White Rabbits incredible videos — and features Brooke Underwood and Wesley Powell as the slowly disintegrating couple.”

Goldstein confessed that his brief cameo could probably be characterized as “the Devil,” though he wasn’t entirely sure. “We wanted the video to play more like a short-film companion to the song, a mood piece that asks more questions than it answers. I like to think it’s an appropriate mirror of the album’s anxious/melancholy, narrative-driven tone, with a similar touch of the uncanny.”

 

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Exclusive premiere: Earthy Babes “Old Machine”

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Brooklyn’s Earthy Babes tapped into the karaoke video rage, adding a campy, old school horror twist with a little projectile celluloid. Director Ryan Zorad dreamed up the scene with babes, Tyler Jack Anderson and Justin Ripley and cast members of another Brooklyn band, The Suzan, getting down in a low budget romper room.

“We wanted to do something fun with a little style that mirrored some of the themes in the song, while being able to execute with no money,” Zorad said. “Tyler initially thought people performing the song in a karaoke setting would match the vibe and bouncy tone of the song. Due to the inherent campy nature of karaoke, I couldn’t resist bringing an early Sam Rami/David Cronenberg ‘practical horror’ feel that doesn’t take itself too serious. Justin had the idea to bring along his friends, The Suzan, to be our key performers. Their killer attitudes brought everything together.”

 

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Earthy Babes will be leaving their Bushwick studio to perform with their newly assembled 5 piece band and their new EP, “Still Earthy,” is due out this fall.

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