Zach Braff may have raised over two million Kickstarter bucks to make a new movie, but a flick about Dr. Demento is struggling to raise $100k. A group of filmmakers is working to make a feature-length documentary about the good doctor, but has only about $60,000 raised with four days to go. Under The Smogberry Trees would provide a sanctioned look into the life, works, and massive record collection of Barry “Dr. Demento” Hansen. Hansen is participating, as are some of his favorite musical comedy acts like Barnes & Barnes, Bill Frenzer, Sulu, MC Lars, and Devo Spice.
Depending on how much they kick in to the Kickstarter, contributors can pick up Dr. Demento kazoos, whoopee cushions, iron on transfers, t-shirts, CDs, top hat-shaped flash drives, and movie production credits. Act fast, though, because the funding period ends Saturday, May 4.
Over the course of his 60-year career, George Jones released about 150 full-length records. That’s a hell of a catalog and when Jones died late last week, a lot of interested newbs were confused about where to start with the Possum’s extensive country catalog. Fortunately, Philadelphia Inquirer music critic Dan DeLuca came through this weekend with a solid 30-song Spotify playlist of what he thinks are Jones’ most crucial tracks. It’s nowhere near comprehensive, of course, but, hey, it’s a start.
With The Great Gatsby hitting movie theaters May 10, tracks from the film’s absolutely stacked soundtrack are beginning to circulate. Just this weekend, Beyoncé and Andre 3000’s version of Amy Winehouse’s “Back To Black” popped up, and now, The A.V. Club is premiering another track from Music From Baz Luhrman’s Film The Great Gatsby. As the lead singer for Quadron, Danish singer Coco O. slithers through electrosoul cuts. On “Where The Wind Blows” from Gatsby, though, O. applies that style to a sultry riff set over some plinky, ‘20s style piano. It’s an enchanting track, and an intriguing glimpse at what viewers can expect from the Luhrman film.
Music From Baz Luhrman’s Film The Great Gatsby is available for pre-order now.
The Internet is full of interesting things to read outside of The A.V. Club—no, really! In our periodic Read This posts, we point you toward interesting or noteworthy pieces that caught our eye.
As anyone who watched MTV pretty much exclusively in 1996 knows, Buzzkill was the network’s first anarchic prank series. It ran before Jackass, before The Tom Green Show, and way, way before Punk’d.
The series, which starred Dave Sheridan, Travis Draft, Frank Hudetz, and Vince D’Orazi, ran for just seven episodes before getting cancelled for being too crazy. That’s a shame, because it was funny. Like, laugh out loud at Hudetz’s impression of Isaac Mizrahi funny. Unfortunately, It’s also basically unavailable online, save for a few “camera recording the TV” clips on YouTube.
Fortunately for other Buzzkill nerds, Seth Manning investigated what happened to the series for The Awl this week, and it’s a pretty fascinating story. Not only does Manning detail the genesis of the group and show, but he also goes into how talking to Whitney Houston at the VMAs nearly got the group fired. Check it out:
“MTV told us, 'You can fuck with anybody ...
Two days ago we told you about Zach Braff's Kickstarter campaign to finance his next movie, and it drove you crazy. Yesterday we told you how it drove Tim Heidecker even more crazy—so crazy that he wrote a one-page script to be included in the film. (It wasn't very flattering.) Now, some filmmakers with exactly the right amount of time on their hands have produced Heidecker's work and posted it to YouTube. You may soak it in below.
Tim Heidecker wrote a page of Zach Braff's directorial follow-up to Garden State, and it's not very nice
As you may have read and been infuriated by already, Zach Braff—presumably a millionaire several times over, right?—has turned to Kickstarter looking for $2 million to complete his directorial follow-up to 2004's Garden State, that movie you used to like a lot but hate in hindsight. Not-very-merry prankster Tim Heidecker has offered up a page for Braff's script via Twitter: It's a scene that refers to the Kickstarter campaign itself. Layers upon layers. Heidecker will likely not be invited to participate, but at least he gave it a shot.
Behold the Joffrey Bieber Tumblr, "where fiction’s biggest brat and real life’s biggest brat become one"
This week alone, Justin Bieber has ruthlessly abandoned his pet monkey, unapologetically worn a ski mask and a fedora at the same time, and dodged some cops after the fuzz found some weed on one of his buses, so it makes a lot of sense that the denizens of the Internet have realized that, hey, that Canadian pop star kid kind of looks like King Joffrey from Game Of Thrones. Enter Joffrey Bieber, a new Tumblr “where fiction’s biggest brat and real life’s biggest brat become one.” Watch the baby-faced pop star (pictured actually wearing pants that fit) teach Margaery Tyrell how to use a crossbow! Check out what that asshole Joffrey would look like wearing nerdy glasses with no lenses! Reminisce about Bieber’s old, bang-heavy haircut while looking at a picture of the pop star with Sansa Stark!
So far, the site’s a little thin on pictures, but no doubt there are millions of Bieber-hating, Game Of Thrones-loving manipulation wizards who can change that soon enough.
In what he’s calling “one of the weirdest things I’ve ever done,” Paul Scheer has launched a web series, The ArScheerio Paul Show, in which he recreates classic interviews from The Arsenio Hall Show. Scheer plays Hall, flattop and all, and brings in pals to play the guests. This week, Will Arnett plays then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton. The duo talk about smokin’ weed and playing saxophone, and yeah, it’s as weird as it sounds. Next time, someone—Scott Aukerman? Aziz Ansari? Sarah Silverman?—will play Tupac Shakur. Consider us subscribed.
Patton Oswalt is an actor, comedian, writer, dad, Spiderman villain, taste tester, and now, a song subject. As part of a plea to get Oswalt to attend 826CHI’s Promic-Con fundraiser, A.V. Club freelancer Sam Zelitch wrote 59 songs about Oswalt and sent them to him via Twitter. Unfortunately, Oswalt is unavailable for the fundraiser, but Zelitch did send the songs to The A.V. Club, and we’re streaming some of our favorites below, including one that’s set to the tune of The Little Mermaid’s “Part Of Your World.” Some are better than others—quickly writing 59 songs about one person makes that pretty much inevitable—but all the tracks are streaming on Zelitch’s Soundcloud page.
For those in Chicago, 826CHI’s Promic-Con is this Saturday, April 27, at the School Of The Art Institute. Tickets are still available, and proceeds benefit the thousands of Chicago students enrolled in 826CHI’s free writing programs.
The Story Changes’ third full-length, Static And Trembling, comes out next month, putting the Ohio band’s ‘90s alt-rock-influenced sound back in the public eye. The band’s new single, “Hashtags And Therapists,” premieres today on The A.V. Club, and it’s pretty damn good. Harnessing the thundering power of the Queens Of The Stone Age, “Hashtags” is a rock radio single to the max. Check it out below.
Static And Trembling is available for pre-order now.
He might have a bit of a stupid moniker, but Jonny Fritz makes seriously great alt-country music. His album, Dad Country, is out now on ATO, was produced by Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith, and was recorded at Jackson Browne’s studio. The first single, “Goodbye Summer,” is a honky-tonk swinger, complete with talk of affairs and illicit hotel room meet-ups.
The video, premiering today on The A.V. Club, was shot by American Juggalo’s Sean Dunne and features Fritz acting pretty corny out in the desert, dancing like a madman as he both shoots off fireworks and gets Dunne to shoot them at him. It’s dangerous, but it works, and despite being called “Goodbye Summer,” the clip actually serves as a pretty good reminder that warm, fun days are (hopefully) just around the corner.
When Roger Ebert died earlier this month, the world mourned, remembering a great critic and a great person. Judging by the revelry at this past weekend’s EbertFest in Champaign, Illinois, the mourning period is over, and it’s time to celebrate life. Egged on by Ebert’s widow, Chaz, festival guest and Ebert pal Tilda Swinton led the crowd at the Virginia Theater in a rousing group dance-off set to Barry White’s “You’re The First, The Last, My Everything.” With enthusiastic crowds, a tear-inducing boogie by Chaz, and an effusive Swinton, it’s everything you could ask for in a memorial. Watch and cry.
Photos have been making the rounds today of Robert De Niro meeting Lil Bub, the Internet cat sensation whose documentary, Lil Bub & Friendz, is currently the talk of De Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival. These photos are sort-of funny. Anyway, after Marah emailed one to the staff, I spent about 90 seconds making the above photo of Robert De Niro meeting Grumpy Cat. It’s also sort-of funny. Then Josh told me I could justify those 90 seconds as actual “work” if I posted it, so here we are. Great job, Internet. Great job, me.
Just last week, Community’s Alison Brie sat down with Paul F. Tompkins to chat and imitate Internet memes. This week, it’s New Girl's Jake Johnson who gives virality a shot, hamming his way through humiliating and hilarious impressions of “Strutting Leo,” “You Don’t Say,” troll face, and the world’s favorite angry feline, Grumpy Cat. Warning: Johnson's cat face looks a lot like his character Nick Miller's turtle face.
The whole thing’s part of Tompkins’ YouTube series, Speakeasy, which in the past has featured guests as varied as Rob Delaney and Julia Stiles.
The Stooges put out a record in 2007, but Iggy And The Stooges haven’t put out a record since 1973’s Raw Power. The group’s latest, Ready To Die, is out next week, though, and NPR has a stream of the whole thing. Listen below and judge for yourself whether or not these old punks still have it.
Nostalgia or single-subject based art shows are all the rage lately, with Gallery 1988 having pioneered the field with its exhibitions centered around Lost or Breaking Bad. The I Am 8 Bit Gallery in Los Angeles took things in a bit of a different direction with a show that opened this past weekend, though. It’s The ShizNick! Runs through May 5 and aims to celebrate the slime-drenching kid-centric cable network Nickelodeon. With over 60 artists contributing, the show’s a veritable visual candy shop for any Nick-heads, particularly ones with soft spots for Ren And Stimpy, SpongeBob Squarepants, or The Adventures Of Pete And Pete.
The show opened this past weekend, with Yo Gabba Gabba’s DJ Lance spinning tunes and special guest Michael “Donkey Lips” Bower in attendance, but most of the art is available for viewing and purchase online now via the I Am 8 Bit site. Hands off the majestic Doug painting, though; that’s ours.
Although you’d be forgiven for having overlooked it, amid all that awkward tension and your inability to stop thinking about ketchup ever since, Sunday’s Mad Men featured a quick reference to 30 Rock, one even more sly than Tracy Morgan’s incredible, Emmy-snubbed run as Miss Blankenship. During their post-pitch gloating over the Heinz account, Peggy’s boss Ted orders up a celebratory “Old Spanish”—a cocktail of red wine, tonic water, and olives traditionally favored by gullible government employees like Matthew Broderick’s Cooter Burger, and also completely fake. 30 Rock writer Tracey Wigfield caught the cameo and declared it the “best thing ever,” though no one from AMC or Mad Men has officially confirmed that the reference was intentional. (Though, c’mon.) What is confirmed is that an Old Spanish sounds disgusting, no matter what era you’re living in. [via UPROXX]
Opened to the public this past weekend, the Third Man Recording Booth is a nifty little machine that allows members of the public to record songs, jokes, or messages into mini-LPs. Apparently the machine was a hit this past Saturday for Record Store Day and even Neil Young recorded a mini-record. Jack White tried the booth out too, and his song, a buzzy cover of Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” is available for streaming now. Spoiler alert: It’s good, just like most everything else Jack White does. [via Stereogum]
PBS’ occasional digital series Blank On Blank takes excerpts of obscure interviews with notable cultural figures and pairs them with cute black-and-white animation. The latest episode features Leonard Lopate’s WNYC interview with David Foster Wallace in 1996, just after the release of Infinite Jest, while Wallace was still a professor at Illinois State. The video covers Wallace’s frank reframing of Lopate praising his youth tennis career—which influenced a primary location in Infinite Jest—and Wallace’s transition from sports into writing and academia. Take a look, if only for how Wallace takes subtle glee in his reputation as Grammar Nazi among the faculty.
Australian quintet Gold Fields recently released their debut full-length, Black Sun, and popped up on both Jimmy Kimmel Live and Last Call With Carson Daly. With some tour dates (below) for the group on the horizon, The A.V. Club has the premiere of the band’s new single, “You’re Still Gone.” The electro-pop track soars and blips, and feels just right for spring. It’s a little Duran Duran, and that’s a good thing.
Gold Fields tour 2013
April 23—Crescent Ballroom—Phoenix, Arizona
April 24—Solar Culture—Tucson, Arizona
April 26—Stubb’s Jr.—Austin, Texas
April 28—HOB Bronze Peacock—Houston, Texas
April 30—House Of Blues—New Orleans, Louisiana
May 3—Fillmore—Charlotte, North Carolina
May 5—Jewish Mother—Norfolk, Virginia
May 8—Paradise—Boston, Massachusetts
May 9—Irving Plaza—New York, New York
May 10—TLA—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 13—Mod Club—Toronto, Ontario
May 14—Cambridge Room—Cleveland, Ohio
May 15—The Shelter—Detroit, Michigan
May 21—Black Sheep—Colorado Springs, Colorado
May 22—Belly Up—Aspen, Colorado
May 23—Aggie Theater—Fort Collins, Colorado
May 24—Gothic Theatre—Denver, Colorado
May 29—Hawthorne Theatre—Portland, Oregon
May 31—Ace Of Spades ...
Temporarily banned from YouTube, sent packing by Japanophile-convention organizers, and despised by Williamsburg fashion plates, the sketch group Million Dollar Extreme is nothing if not polarizing. Its catalogue is divided between abrasive, strategically offensive acts of (sometimes public) provocation and anti-sketches that amount to hanging out with some very funny dudes while bargain-bin effects whiz by. Some videos borrow Wonder Showzen’s toolkit, wielding subliminal blips and eye-straining text in service of subversive ends. Some make use of the Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! aesthetic, and some are surprisingly slick, with excellent, eardrum-shredding music courtesy of talented mystery-men like Orangy and Vaervaf.
MDE has taken cameras into a Texas drug-dealer’s apartment, broken into a dilapidated LA manse, prank-called Craigslist prostitutes, and posted whole half-hour episodes of content, but the following videos are mostly on a smaller scale. Their output is large, various, and difficult to compress into a GJI! post here, but it’s worth taking a bite if you have an adventurous comedy palate. How adventurous? MDE videos, YouTube comments, and tweets sometimes espouse some pretty heinous views in the service of a joke, and the group doesn’t tend to “wink” when it’s ironically ...
The Internet is full of interesting things to read outside of The A.V. Club—no, really! In our periodic Read This posts, we point you toward interesting or noteworthy pieces that caught our eye.
When Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore announced their breakup in the fall of 2011, Sonic Youth fans (and fans of love) wailed in protest. What could have caused this longstanding couple to collapse? Well, a year and a half later, Gordon’s talking, and it’s pretty depressing.
While the couple isn’t yet divorced (Gordon says it’s because they’re having all their art, books, and records assessed), the frontwoman dished on her relationship for an Elle magazine feature this month. She says she can “understand people being curious,” but that she’s moved on and is dating younger men. And as for what actually happened to the marriage, well, as Gordon puts it, “it ended in kind of a normal way—midlife crisis, starstruck woman.” Elle runs down the whole sordid thing, saying,
“Some years ago, a woman Gordon declines to name became a part of the Sonic Youth world, first as the girlfriend of an erstwhile band member and later as ...
Daft Punk’s new single “Get Lucky” has already built an enormous amount of anticipation for the robots' new record Random Access Memories, first in snippets and a Coachella trailer, then in multiple unofficial leaks before the song's official debut last Friday. But now there’s yet another curiosity regarding the track—a YouTube video pitch-shifting the song that makes Pharell’s vocals sound like a long-lost Michael Jackson collaboration. It’s not completely precise, but by pitch-shifting instead of simply speeding up the track, it’s the same length and tempo, just with the ghost of the King Of Pop hovering over everything.
We can't get enough Game Of Thrones, and after last night's episode it seems especially appropriate to celebrate the show. (Holy crap, right?) Well, over at the University Of Wisconsin-Madison (birthplace of The Onion!), the carillonneur—a.k.a the person who plays the carillon—rocked out this very special version of the theme song. Seems like a show that a dude who plays a cumbersome old instrument would be super psyched about, so it all makes sense. Without further ado, here's "Main Title" played on some big ol' bells. [h/t to Vulture]
When a hilariously nasty letter from a University Of Maryland sorority sister started making the Internet rounds last week, the use of phrases from the letter, like “cunt punt,” became insider winks at those in the know. You’d either read the lengthy screed from the Delta Gamma sister, or you hadn’t. (But, seriously, read it.)
Fortunately for the world, Michael Shannon read it, liked it, and decided to bring his sardonic reading of the text to Funny Or Die. The resulting four-minute clip is essential viewing and is so great that it should, arguably, be the final word on this burgeoning meme.
What won’t Henry Rollins do? From blogging about his colonoscopy to going on spoken word tours, the ex-Black Flag frontman keeps himself busy. This week, he pops up on The Gorburger Show, which is presented in part by Funny Or Die and The Warner Sound. In the exclusive clip below, Rollins chats up alien monster Gorburger about the ailing U.S. government and his career before helping the T.J. Miller-voiced character track down a ghost that’s haunting the studio. It’s as weird as it sounds, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Welcome to the working week: Here's an Arnold Schwarzenegger supercut/hip-hop track to get you going
It's Monday, maybe the sun is finally shining where you live (like it is here in Chicago), and you're sitting in front of a computer looking at a stack of work. This spoonful of sugar from Eclectic Method might help that medicine go down: It's a collection of Arnold Schwarzenegger movie clips set to some beats and scratching. It's simple, like a nice cup of tea, with just a few simple ingredients. It won't change your life, but it might offer a brief moment of respite. Enjoy.
Though America is still working through its Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week, it's nice to know there are some distractions to bring in some much-needed levity. Manhattan-born Israeli animator Leigh Lahav set the bar tremendously high for television-fanatic birthday presents, recreating an elaborate collection of credits sequences using her husband Oren Mendezitsky and their friends and family. It covers everything from Mad Men and Arrested Development to a gorgeous custom Adventure Time rewrite featuring Oren and his dog Missie, and little nods to The Simpsons, Frasier, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Lost. It’s even delightful enough to forgive the reference to 2 Broke Girls, which is basically the best compliment possible in that situation. Watch the video below, and feel the guilt for all the horribly inadequate birthday gifts you’ve given over the years.
Parks And Recreation star and stellar human Amy Poehler has posted a touching video response to the Boston Marathon bombing. Poehler addresses the tragedy in a clip for her “Smart Girls” series by answering a question for a 16-year-old named Millie about how to avoid negative images and videos online.
Poehler, who was raised in Newton, Mass., says she’s long struggled with how to keep informed and connected without feeling like she’s exploiting people and harming herself, saying that it feels like “everywhere you go, there’s just some picture that’s worse than the one before.” She advises Millie to soften her heart and mind, and give her eyes a break, meaning maybe the teenager shouldn’t check out the hundreds of pictures online of bloody sidewalks and horrified faces. As Poehler notes, “It’s okay to not be looking at what everyone’s looking at all the time,” (cough Twitter cough) and we should learn to “be okay with letting some things rest in peace.” She ends the segment saying that it’s been a weird week, but she “loves you, Boston,” and she’ll “see you soon.” [via Flavorpill]
Both as part of Matt Pond PA and on his own, Matt Pond’s been known for his sleepy and minimalist brand of pleasant rock. He’s also no stranger to covers, having teamed up with Rocky Votolato to cover The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” for The A.V. Club’s Undercover series. Now, whole on his own, he’s put together a cover of Stevie Nicks’ “Wild Heart,” which The A.V. Club is happy to premiere below. Listen to it while wearing black and flowy clothing.
Pond is on tour this summer, and a full list of dates is below.
Matt Pond tour 2013
June 27—Belmont Hotel—Dallas, Texas
June 28—The Live Oak Music Hall—Fort Worth, Texas
June 29—The Parish—Austin, Texas
June 30—Opolis Production—Norman, Oklahoma
July 1—The Firebird—St. Louis, Missouri
July 2—The Bottom Lounge—Chicago, Illinois
July 3—Triple Rock Social Club—Minneapolis, Minnesota
July 6—The High Watt—Nashville, Tennessee
July 7—Bottle Tree—Birmingham, Alabama
July 8—The Earl—Atlanta, Georgia
July 10—Jack Rabbit’s—Jacksonville, Florida
July 11—The Social—Orlando, Florida