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SXSW: The “Dance” Bands

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I go to SXSW every year with incredibly high expectations, and surprisingly they are always met. The best thing that SXSW has to offer (besides all the free drinks, food, and goodies) are the bands that you normally would have never heard of, if it weren’t for the festival. It seems that each year, the dance bands have been the ones who won me over, and after doing a little research, I’m left asking myself, “Where are all the new dance bands?”


SXSW 2006
2006 brought me The Young Knives (pictured left) who are a glasses-and-suit wearing band that make angular, choppy beats–much like The Futureheads and XTC. Although this might be a bit of a stretch, I’d also have to include the extremely excitable (based on name alone) ¡Forward Russia! for brining the screamo type dance music to Austin. Then there was The Longcut, who were hands down the best discovery of ’06. Not only is their music incredibly dance-y, but it’s also dark–which may just be the best combination there is (not to mention, the lead singer is also the drummer!). And finally, for good measure, I’ll throw in the American band She Wants Revenge whose sythny, Interpol inspired beats got the Austin crowd moving their feet.

SXSW 2007
Last year’s SXSW somehow managed to top the year before by introducing me to four ridiculously good UK dance bands. First up, Hot Club de Paris, a band I had heard much about and had high expectations for. Their combination of acappella jams and punky riffs made them an incredibly fun live band, who I love, just like I love myself (that was a nod to their lyrics there). Then there was The Sunshine Underground, who completely blew every other band at SXSW out of the water with their anthemic, dance songs. I’ll even give a nod to Shitdisco (pictured above) for bringing the nu-rave dance tunes to Austin. And let’s not forget the American band for ’07, The Blood Arm, who are probably the most fun band in all of the United States.


SXSW 2008
Sadly none of the above bands will be at this year’s SXSW, but after doing a little research I found a couple of bands that may not be dance-y, but deserve your attention.

A lot of whispers have been going around for The Rascals (pictured left) and this may or may not be because their lead singer, Miles Kane, has teamed up with Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) to form The Last Shadow Puppets. To be fair to The Rascals, their own brand of music is a darker version of The Coral–which is an interesting twist on sea-shanty pop gems. They’ll probably be the it band of this year’s SXSW! Their official showcase is Friday, March 14 at 1:00 a.m. at Wave Rooftop (408 E. 6th St). You’d be wise to check them out!

If you’re looking for some pretty boys making pretty music that you can dance to, you’re best bet would be The Voom Blooms. Their official showcase is Thursday, March 13th at 8:00 p.m. at Latitude 30 (512 San Jacinto St).

Gimme a “H!” Gimme a “Y!” Gimme a “P!” Gimme an “E!” What’s that spell? Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong! Probably one of the most talked about bands this year are JL&TJJJ, but luckily for them (and us), I think they’ll actually live up to it. They’re good on record and I bet they’re even better live, but the only way to find out for sure is to go to their official showcase, which is on Saturday, March 15 at 9:00 p.m. at Emo’s Main Room (603 Red River St).

While this year’s SXSW may not be filled with tons of unknown dance bands, I know it’ll be just as good as years past!

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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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