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IT’S LIKE THAT: Judgment Day

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In the early 90’s, Terminator 2 (aka, T2) was one of my favorite movies. The special effects were years before its time, Sarah Connor (played by Linda Hamilton) ushered in a new era of female heroines that could kick some serious ass, and those half-sentence catch phrases from Arnold Schwarzenegger–man–who couldn’t resist those? Though I loved the film, I always thought the storyline was a little far-fetched. Computers and robots taking over the world? Yeah right!

(above: “I’m the biggest rock star of the decade!”)

As I sit here today, a good 17 years after the film was released (has it really been that long?), I realize that its premise wasn’t too far-fetched after all. The Terminator wasn’t just a movie franchise, it was a prophecy!

In years past, when a decade came to a close, we’d usually look back at all the people in music and pop-culture that made it so special:

1980’s? Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, and Madonna. Hip-hop goes mainstream. Underground punk gives way to New Wave. “College-rock” is born. American hardcore and post-punk emerge.

1990’s? Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. A young pop-tart named Britney Spears enters the scene. Punk and thrash metal go mainstream (thanks to two bands from the Bay Area). People go goo-goo over industrial, electronic, ska, alternative, and grunge music. “College-rock” bands score major label deals (and some don’t even have to whore themselves out in the process).

2000’s? Hmm. That’s a good question. Um, how ’bout that “Garage-rock” revolution? Oh yeah, I guess that never really took off the way music journalists wanted it to, did it? How about emo? I don’t even know if we can call this a movement since many “emo” bands don’t consider themselves “emo” to begin with.

Who were the big rock stars of the 2000’s? Dang, I think I can count them all on one hand, and the biggest one doesn’t even play rock music. Isn’t that right Kanye?

Sarah Connor would probably agree with me on this, but when people look back at the 2000’s (which they’ll start doing in about a year), the first thing that will come to mind are computers. Blackberries, YouTube, iPods, iPhones, blogs, Facebook, ProTools, RSS Feeds, and MySpace pages are the true rock stars of the ’00s.

If something was big this decade, there’s a good chance a computer had something to do with it. Record stores have been replaced by a quick browse and click on iTunes (or a gazillion other sites on the web), singers don’t have to sing in key anymore as long as they’ve got vocorders or auto-tune software, and why should a kid start a rock band when they can just buy a video game simulation of it?

Bands that were discovered this decade were discovered–on a computer. The latest music news and gossip is no longer told through ‘zines, press releases, or fan club newsletters, it’s told through blogs, which is done via–you got it–a computer. Encores at concerts are requested, not through lighters, but by the LCD screen on a cell phone. Many DJ’s don’t even cut up vinyl anymore, they simulate it by doing the “wicky-wicky” motion on a circular piece of plastic, that will then digitally “cut up” the files on their computer.

I could go on and on like a dramatic Sarah Connor monologue (flashbacks and all). Leafing through a book of CD’s in the backseat of a friend’s car has given way to scrolling through a playlist on their MP3 player. Why hang a concert flyer, when you could send a concert eVite? Why go to the box office, when you can buy and print out a ticket online? Why wait for a music video to play on your television, when you can watch any one you want (at any time of the day) on your computer? Why take the time to find a drummer who’s easy to get along with, when you could just rip some software that will program beats for you. Why pay for guitar lessons when you could learn the same thing on a 5-minute YouTube video?

If you work in music and don’t think a computer can do your job, think again. How soon will computers be able to write blog posts (which will pretty much end my tenure in the music industry)? It already has the power to put red zig-zag lines under each word I misspell, how long before it puts a red zig-zag line under me? Let’s face it, without a computer a music blogger is pretty much obsolete.

It’s coming everyone, Judgment Day is coming. You’ve been warned…

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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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