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2008…Never Say Never

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Ironically, Metallica released a single in 2008 called “The Day That Never Comes.”

(left: Oh the memories of ’08.)

But in many ways, 2008 was “The Day That Did Come,” even for the band mentioned above, who released a back-to-form album, Death Magnetic, which included 8-minute songs, guitar solos, and the return of the old Metallica logo (surfaces of high school desks beware).

For those who have ever uttered the word “never,” 2008 was a year for them to eat their words:

Guns N’ Roses will never release Chinese Democracy. Really? Believe it or not, in 2008 they actually did, and it seemed like the perfect time to do so–the balance of apathy, anticipation, and high/low expectations was just right. Critics were ready to slam the album (as some did), but I think many were just happy to see Axl Rose back, with or without Slash and Duff.

There’ll never be a black president. Hmm, interesting, in about a month we’re going to swear one into the White House. President-Elect Barack Obama went 15-rounds with Hilary Clinton in the Democratic Primaries before beating John McCain by TKO in the Presidential election.

Never say never.

Over the last decade, indie music fans chuckled whenever they heard Wayne Coyne talk about the holiday movie that he was working on in his backyard. Yeah right, Christmas on Mars will never see the light of day. Guess what? Not only was it released this year, but the Flaming Lips also put together a mega-deluxe edition of Christmas On Mars (which includes trading cards, stickers, a soundtrack, a t-shirt, and some popcorn), just in time for Christmas…on Earth.

Eight gold medals in one Olympics? That’s never going to happen. Wrong again, Michael Phelps swam to eight gold medal victories this summer in eight different events–that’s more than any human being has ever won at one Olympic Games. Even if you’re sick of seeing his face on television commercials, you gotta respect his unprecedented achievement. (I don’t think I could tie my shoes eight times in a row.)

Never thought you’d see Zack De La Rocha release a solo album or side-project? Think again. Since 2000, we’ve been waiting for De Le Rocha’s solo album to drop, an effort that (apparently) features production from Trent Reznor, ?uestlove, and DJ Shadow. Because De La Rocha is a perfectionist extraordinaire, the album has been put on hold, and some speculate whether it will ever be released. This year, in a move somewhat surprising for a perfectionist, De La Rocha–supplying keyboard riffs and vocals–teamed up with former Mars Volta drummer, Joe Theodore, to form the group One Day As A Lion. They even released a 5-song EP–that’s five more songs than some people thought they’d ever see from a non-Rage Against The Machine, De La Rocha project.

Never say never.

Gas will never be cheap again. How’s $1.30 per gallon sound to you?

O.J. will never go to jail. Guess where he’ll be spending the holidays (and the next few years)?

Never thought a moose-hunting-mother-of-five could be an election and one heart attack away from being the most powerful person in the world?

Never say never.

Never thought the fastest race ever run by a human being could also include a 15-meter, self-congratulatory dance celebration (from a guy named after a lightning bolt)?

Never thought billion dollar corporations could rack up debt like a 15-year old girl going on a spending spree with her parent’s credit card?

Never thought you’d see a better Joker than Jack Nicholson?

Never thought an ex-stripper named after the devil would win an academy award for her very first screenplay (a story about a pregnant teenager with a penchant for witty slang)?

Never thought you’d see the last game at Yankee Stadium?

Never thought you’d see Brett Favre play football again?

Never thought you’d see Britney Spears with a full head of hair and her career back on track?

Never thought you’d see Trent Reznor giving away Nine Inch Nails albums away for free?

Never thought you’d see CBGB’s turn into an upscale clothing boutique?

Never thought you’d see Chinese Democracy? How about democracy in China?

Never say never, there’s always 2009…


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…


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.