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September 4, 2015


'Portlandia' Star Carrie Brownstein and Four Other Indie Rockers On TV

by Mike Moody, posted Jan 21st 2011 4:30PM
Portlandia, Carrie Brownstein, Fred ArmisenIt's hard not to envy Fred Armisen these days. He's one of the funniest people on 'Saturday Night Live,' he married Peggy from 'Mad Men' (for a while, anyway), and now he's writing and starring in one of the funniest new TV shows of the year, IFC's 'Portlandia.'

Here's another reason to be jealous of the guy: he shares the screen with the awesome Carrie Brownstein, guitarist for the influential Portland indie rock band Sleater-Kinney, in 'Portlandia,' a sketch show that targets organic food-obsessed couples and feminist bookstore owners in the "city where young people go to retire," premiering tonight on IFC.

Brownstein's casting got us thinking about the some of our favorite indie rockers* who have turned up on the tube in bit parts, cameos, reality show judge panels and, in one case, their own eponymously-named talk show. After the jump, watch a searing political rant, listen to some good tunes and to take a trip back to the '90s with our list of 5 Indie Rockers Who Made the Jump to TV.

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Snoop Dogg returning to One Life to Live

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 12th 2009 11:01AM
snoop_dogg_handsThe Dogg is back. That's right, rapper Snoop Dogg is returning to One Life to Live on February 24... and you know what? I'm excited about it. Believe it or not, but when it comes to musicians dropping into a daytime soap, Snoop's was one of the best. You do know that singers often are written into a soap for a song and scene or two, don't you? Well, they do. Oftentimes, however, it's just awkward and unreal.

One Life to Live, on the other hand, does it really well. The last time Snoop was there, back in May, he did a couple of songs and interacted with the cast. The writers made it that Snoop had a past history with Bo, so they could get into it a bit in a funny way. When Snoop returns in February, he and Bo wil mix it up again. The Dogg will also do a song from his new CD, Malice N Wonderland.

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Free download of Studio 60's Christmas musical performance

by Julia Ward, posted Dec 9th 2006 4:40PM
Trombone ShortyIf you didn't see Studio 60's Christmas episode, then you should. Not only was it one of the show's best, but it featured a musical performance by New Orleans musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina that's sure to put a lump in your throat. The musicians were led by Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews in an original arrangement of "O Holy Night." You hear carols a thousand times, and after awhile, they lose the power to move you. This performance brought all that power back. You can now download the track as a free MP3 from NBC's Studio 60 website or iTunes.

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See that Johnny Cash video

by Adam Finley, posted Nov 13th 2006 3:02PM
johnny cashIf you've missed the video for the late Johnny Cash's song "God's Gonna Cut You Down," you can watch it in all it's sucktackular glory here. No offense to Johnny Cash, who deserves every modicum of respect he receives plus a million, but this video is exactly what I thought it would be: a bunch of mediocre musicians and Hollywood stars emoting for the camera. Granted, we do have a couple appearances by venerable musicians like Keith Richards and Brian Wilson, but the whole "tribute video" concept just feels forced and ingenuous to me. And really, why does there need to be a music video for a Johnny Cash song, anyway? Cash's music is meant to be played on an old record player while you smoke cigarettes and drink whiskey until the woman who done left you disappears into that fog bank called memory. Everyone knows that, it's the first thing you're taught in elementary school.

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Flaming Lips documentary on Sundance Channel

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 15th 2006 2:03PM
flaming lipsOkay, this might only be interesting to a handful of readers, but since The Flaming Lips are one of my favorite bands of all time I had to let everyone know that Bradley Beesley's recent documentary about the band, The Fearless Freaks, will be airing on the Sundance Channel on Monday, June 19 at 10:50 a.m. and again that same evening at 7:15 p.m. The documentary, which was released last year, had a very brief theatrical run in some cities and is currently available on DVD. Filmmaker Bradley Beesley, a longtime friend of The Lips, was given full access to the band, and the result is a film that is far more intimate, and often more disconcerting, than something that might have been cobbled together by a film crew with no real connection to a band that's been making its own kind of sublime (and ever-changing) noise on the fringes of the music scene for over two decades. Fans who haven't already seen it should check it out, but if you've never heard of the band, or have only a casual interest, it's still a well-made piece of documentary filmmaking, and worth checking out at least once.

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The Five: Best bands

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 13th 2006 8:35AM

trumpetHey kids, it's time to break out that ol' guitar, trombone, washboard, monkey trumpet, or whatever the heck else you play and join me in listing the best bands to ever grace the small screen. Today we're going to focus on real bands, but don't worry, there's another "The Five" right around the corner where we'll discuss the best fictional bands on television. But for now:

The Tonight Show Band (under Doc Severinsen): The Johnny Carson era of The Tonight Show came to an end when I was a sophomore in high school, and while I never had the same loathing for Jay Leno many others did, I don't think the show will ever be able to duplicate the vibe created by Carson, Ed McMahon, and bandleader Carl H. Severinsen (his friends call him "Doc"). Don't get me wrong, Kevin Eubanks and the current musicians on the show all have chops to spare, but Doc and his fellow bandmates had a kind of old-time classiness about them I couldn't help but admire. And who could forget those glittery, kitschy suits he used to wear?

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