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DID YOU READ

LOST TREASURES: XL & DBD

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Welcome to Lost Treasures, a brand new section here on the Indie Ear Blog, where every so often, I’ll go up in the attic, pull out some old boxes, and blow the dust off of some forgotten gems. These items, for whatever reason, have slipped through the cracks of music and pop-culture, yet managed to make an indelible impression on me.

There’s a well-known saying: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Hopefully my treasures don’t leave you running for the nearest garbage bin.

LOST TREASURE: XL & DBD, Sodom and America

It’s kind of hard to believe now, but when I was a child I was only allowed to listen to Christian music (no MTV, no radio, no secular music whatsoever). Eventually, with the help of my sister, I slowly broke my parents down. By the 10th grade, I was listening to secular radio and watching MTV on a daily basis. My Dad, not wanting me to lose my Christian-edge, would frequently buy me contemporary music from religious recording artists. I would always give my Dad the courtesy of listening to these albums, but in all honesty, most of the music was horrendous.

During my senior year of high school in 1993, my Dad brought home an album from a group called XL & DBD, titled Sodom and America. Like I did with all the cassettes he got me I gave it my one courtesy listen, but after I got through the album, I thought, “Hmm, that wasn’t half bad.” I actually starting listening to it more and more, and before long it was resting in heavy rotation alongside my Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, and Helmet tapes.

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Considering it was released off a Christian record label (BAI), the music was actually a bit before it’s time. Back then it seemed like certain Christian labels would jump on a musical trend, assemble a group together, and have them sing an album’s worth of material about the awesomeness of Jesus (don’t get me wrong, I believe that Jesus is awesome too, however, soulless songs about him are not). XL & DBD was different though.

So you might be wondering what they sounded like, right?

Okay, I’ll tell you, but I’m going to say a bad word right now (gulp), “rap-rock”. There, I said it. Keep in mind this was years before the whole genre got completely out-of-hand. Some rap-rock was done to perfection (a la Rage Against the Machine). From my understanding back then, XL was actually a legitimate emcee, and DBD (aka, Death Before Dishonor) was a metal band. When they combined forces, they became–XL & DBD (duh). Sodom and America came out only a few months after the first Rage Against the Machine album, so it’s not like rap-rock was the new craze sweeping the nation. Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain were still ruling the airwaves.

XL & DBD definitely expressed their Christian beliefs, but they did it in a very creative and thoughtful way, applying it to themes of racism, self-image, drug abuse, and capitalism. XL even boasted about using firearms in a clever manner, putting him on par with early 90’s tough-guy-talking rappers, “In 1993 racism trudges on and on, it seems it can’t be tamed/And if racism was a man and I had a 12-gauge I’d shoot him in the head in the Lord God’s name.” Years later this rhyme might scare a few non-Christians (and Christians for that matter), considering a certain world leader likes to do a lot of things in the “Lord God’s name”, but back then I thought it was pretty neat to hear a rhyme like this from a “Christian” artist.

For years I had trouble tracking down Sodom and America on CD. Only recently has it popped up on ebay. Sadly, one of the only informational pieces available on the band is their outdated webpage, which looks like an AV high school project from the early 90’s–which it very well could be.

If you ever come across XL & DBD at a used CD store or a yard sale at Pastor Ron’s house, definitely slap down the $1.50 for it–you won’t regret it at all.

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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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.

via GIPHY

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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