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SXSW: Day#2

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If I was a top-notch blogger in the same arena as Perez Hilton, and–see, I can’t even name another prominent blogger. Anyway, if I was blogging by today’s standards, I should have already posted five or six blogs by now. Keep in mind though, I come from the ‘zine world. Back in the day, all of the info I’m gathering here at SXSW would be used for one issue of a ‘zine–which probably wouldn’t come out until a month after the event. It’s not like I’m sitting poolside licking BBQ off my fingers. It just so happens I’ve only been able to get to my laptop a couple times each day…


The Presidents of the United States of America
The morning started off early with a visit to The Presidents of the United States’ hotel suite (sounds scandalous, doesn’t it?). At 10AM (which is ass-crack early for SXSW standards), drummer Jason Finn had already gone for a run and was doing some calisthenics when I arrived at the hotel. You all probably remember Jason as the hefty drummer of the group–he’s not so hefty anymore. I was also joined by the rookie of PUSA, guitbass player Andrew McKeag (who replaced founding member Dave Dederer). Frontman Chris Ballew was out doing another batch of press interviews somewhere else. The Presidents seemed jolly as always, maybe because they had a BBQ pig-out session the night before. I found out that the Presidents don’t resent their 90’s hits “Lump” and “Peaches,” and mentioned that a performance could quickly turn into a riot if they didn’t include the above mentioned songs on their set-list. On the way out, Finn spotted a Pittsburgh Steelers logo on my back-pack and mentioned how he and Terry Bradshaw shared a spirited conversation during a taping of The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (Steelers reference #1). The Presidents of the United States of America Play tonight at Cedar Door, 11:40PM.


Money Mark
Next up, I met with Money Mark. He’s in town for one show tonight (Buffalo Billiards, 10:45PM), promoting the soundtrack work he did for the yet to be released film, Beautiful Losers. Don’t expect another Money Mark album until possibly next year. He did mention that he is currently writing songs for it. We also talked about the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack, which I (and according to Mark, “many of his friends”) think is a blatant Money Mark rip-off. He said after his friends watched the film he got about 100 text messages that congratulated him on the score. On the Beastie front, Mark is writing songs with the group, but could offer no forecast on when the new Beastie Boys album will be complete. I was also surprised to find out that he has never injured himself while maniacally jumping on his keyboard during the Beastie’s performance of “Sabotage”.


A little bit later I met up with Moby. Besides spinning a whole bunch of parties at this year’s SXSW, he also has one full-band performance scheduled, and just finished performing two Velvet Underground covers at the Lou Reed tribute show, going on right now at the Fader Fort (the line to get in is pretty insane). Moby said he doesn’t want to tour with a full band anymore, until he can find an easier and less stressful way to do it. At the moment he’s just having a good time spinning records of “other people’s music.” His new album, Last Night, comes out in April. After the interview he also noticed the Steelers patch on the back of my backpack. He mentioned, “I used to be obsessed with the Steelers when I was a kid.” It was both joyous and oddly random to hear player’s names like “Lynn Swann” and “Franco Harris” come out of Moby’s mouth (Steelers reference #2).


Jim Noir
Jim Noir was next on our list. He looks a lot younger in person than he does on his videos–maybe because he came dressed in a windbreaker and sock cap, as opposed to his bowler’s cap and three-piece suite. Jim mentioned that he was on “holiday,” hence the break in dress code. Amazingly, he creates songs much like Jay Z. He’ll start with a drumbeat, piece different loops together, and freestyles his poppy hooks over the instrumental (nothing is written down). He plays all the instruments himself, but performs with a four-piece band in concert settings. He also wanted to inform me that it was not his voice on a recent Target holiday commercial, it was a Jim Noir “sound-a-like.” Noir and band will perform at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop this Saturday at 9PM.


The Raveonettes
Up last was Sune Rose Wagner, frontman of The Raveonettes. The wear-and-tear of SXSW is starting to show. His band is playing 12 shows in four days. When I met up with him this afternoon, they had already done two. I asked him what his favorite part of SXSW was. His answer was very honest, “Leaving.” After their dozen shows here The Raveonettes continue their tour of the U.S. hitting up Minneapolis, MN.

On my way back to type this blog, I came across one of the many stars on Austin’s walk-of-fame (and I’ve seen some good ones the last couple of days: Carol Burnett, Buddy Holly, George Foreman). Since artists were randomly dropping Steelers references today, is was fitting that I spotted the star of Mean Joe Greene (Steelers reference #3).

mean joe.JPG

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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