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IFC LIST MONTH: Top 20 Musical Moments in Politics (11-20)

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< — Back to numbers 1 through 10

ralph.JPG11. Green Party with Ralph Nader (2000)
How many times has Ralph Nader run for President of the U.S.A.? How many times has he lost? Alright, so he’s never won–big deal. But, how many presidential candidates had Pearl Jam, Ani DiFranco and Ben Harper together on the same bill for a campaign concert? How many candidates had Adrock of the Beastie Boys remix a campaign speech?


Ralph Nader. Proving once again, that they’re ain’t no party like a Ralph Nader party!

(left: “Yo, you need someone to lay down a dope freestyle? Here, pass me the microphone.”)

12. Vote…or Die! (2004)
P Diddy introduces “Vote or Die” Campaign.

13. Vote For Kinky (2006)
Singer-songwriter, Kinky Freidman, runs for Governor of Texas.

14. When Betty Ford Asks…(1976)
Captain & Tennille were invited by First Lady Betty Ford to perform “Muskrat Love” in the East Room of the White House for Queen Elizabeth II and President Ford during the Bicentennial celebration.

15. Rockin’ On the White House Lawn (1986-88)
President Reagan begins “A Tribute to American Music” concert series on the White House Lawn (unfortunately, The Violent Femmes were left off the guest list).

dee and arnie.jpg

16. Twisted Sister and The Terminator (2003)
As a kid growing up in the 80’s, if you told me that one day Dee Snider of Twisted Sister would join Arnold Schwarzenegger at a campaign rally and sing “We Ain’t Gonna Take It” (which by the way would be the former Mr. Olympia’s official campaign song), I’d have to do my best Gary Coleman, “What you talking ’bout Willis?!”

(right: I’d write a pun here playing on one of Schwarzenegger’s movie quotes, but I’m pretty sure they were ALL used during this campaign.)

Oddly enough, it happened in 2003, and even more mind-numbing than that, consider that Snider may have had more experience in the political arena than the eventual governor of California. Remember when Snider went head-to-head with Tipper Gore at the music censorship Senate hearings in 1985?

17. Ronald Reagan vs. The Boss (1984)
There are varying stories, but during the 1984 Presidential Campaign, Reagan staffers apparently wanted to use Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” as their official campaign song, which ironically told the story of a struggling Vietnam veteran unable to find work. Riding the wave of the hit record, Reagan also name-dropped Springsteen during a campaign stop in New Jersey. A little agitated, The Boss responded a couple days later by dedicating a song to the President, “Johnny 99,” a tune about an unemployed auto-worker who is arrested and sentenced to 99 years in prison.

18. The Truman Show (1950)
President Truman’s daughter Margaret embarks on a singing career and is panned by Washington Post critic, the President wrote a threatening angry letter in response.

19. Using Mellencamp to Tug at the Heartstrings (2008)
Candidates all simultaneously start using John Mellencamp songs about the heartland at their rallies. Mellencamp asks only John McCain to stop. Ouch.


20. The Dixie Chicks Diss Bush (2003)
I remember it like yesterday. While visiting Texas, I read a front-page news story lambasting Dixie Chick Natalie Maines for saying the following at a London tour stop: “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas.”

(left: Just like my momma used to say: “Ain’t no better way to settle a political controversy than to get naked on Entertainment Weekly and cover yourself in Sharpie marker.”)

I thought to myself, “Wow, must be a slow news day in Texas.” Little did I know that this immediately turned into a national news story. Trust me, I’ve heard far worse said about the President at numerous concerts, so I was shocked to find out that a good chunk of the population was protesting the Dixie Chicks (seriously?!). Fortunately for the gals, they channeled their anger, wrote a song about it, “Not Ready To Make Nice,” and won multiple Grammys in the process.

This list marks day 16 of IFC’s List

Month — check back here for a new list every weekday!

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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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