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IT’S LIKE THAT: Judging an Album by it’s Cover

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Yesterday, Troy (aka, Smooth, aka Clarence Nice, aka Mr. Q.P.T.), who is not only one of our frequent “posters” here on the Indie Ear Blog, but is also a revered and well respected member of the ‘zine world (which were basically blogs before blogs existed), commented on Weezer’s newly unveiled album cover (left). He mentioned how Rivers Cuomo’s “country” look doesn’t seem to be as smooth as Jack White or Beck’s transition into western-wear.

When done correctly, a cowboy hat and rockmount shirt (worn with a hint of irony) seems like an ideal wardrobe choice for any indie artist. If not done correctly–you could very well bring to mind the stereotypes of a Jeff Foxworthy punch line.

If I wasn’t familiar with Weezer’s music, their new album cover–featuring a mustached-Rivers Cuomo, an extra-hairy Brian Bell, a prep-school dapper Pat Wilson, and a tattooed-out Scott Shriner–could lead me to believe that they were either Larry The Cable Guy’s house band or our generation’s answer to the Village People.

However, over the years I’ve developed an uncanny talent of being able to look at an album’s artwork and determine what kind of music is contained within it.

Let’s see how good you are:

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A. Contemporary Christian recording artist, whose latest album is titled, Born to Worship.
B. Pop-starlet who is currently opening up for Hannah Montana.
C. Rocker chick whose latest single is called, “I’m a Bitch, 24-7”

A., Sarah Kelly, Born to Worship

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A. Sonic Youth inspired art-trio from Seattle who will be playing this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival.
B. A Josh Groban-like crooner, whose voice is known to make middle-aged women melt into butter.
C. A run-of-the-mill modern rock band who seems like they’d be interested in talking piercings and haircuts with Nickeback.

ANSWER: C., Saving Abel, Saving Abel

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A. Power-blues-rock band from Kansas City.
B. Rapper riding the momentum of the hit single “Low”, named after a state, but pronounced with a hip-hop twist.
C. Orchestral chamber pop musician.

ANSWER: B., Flo Rida, Mail on Sunday

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A. Indie-art-rock-dance outfit from Oxford, England. TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek produced their debut album.
B. Bubble-gum all-girl pop group from Mexico.
C. Country recording artist who has toured with Big & Rich and Vince Gill.

ANSWER: A., Foals, Anitdotes

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A. Black Metal group from Finland, whose debut album is titled, Bludgeon Your Head on the Devil’s Doorstep.
B. Emo artist who recently clipped his overgrown bangs.
C. Former American Idol finalist who discovered the “country” bug late in his run.

ANSWER: C., Phil Stacey, Phil Stacey


Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at


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.


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…