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“Star Wars” for classical music fans.

“Star Wars” for classical music fans. (photo)

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These are heady days for “Star Wars” nerds — today and tomorrow, “Star Wars: The Concert” arrives at Anaheim’s Honda Center, preceding dates in downtown LA, around the US and, eventually, the world.

This is no ordinary concert; $35-85 gets you two hours with 86 orchestra members, a 60-voice choir, a 60×35 foot tall LED screen showing clips (presumably for those not obsessed enough to mentally match music to image), lasers, flame, smoke, original props and costumes (OMG) and lord knows what else. The orchestra’s lead by Dirk Brossé, a Belgian conductor who once wrote the music for a “Sacco and Vanzetti” musical, which obviously makes him perfectly qualified. Somewhere, KISS are nodding in admiration.

At the Los Angeles Times, John Horn has a write-up that makes note of the three target markets for such an admirably vulgar spectacle: “Wars” devotees, the kind of elderly rocker who wants a return to Deep Purple’s glory days, and “a distant third, classical music aficionados.”

“Distant,” I’d say, is a total understatement — after a youth spent chaperoned to countless classical music concerts by cultured parents , I can tell you that even one microphone can be cause for distress (unless we’re talking about George Crumb’s absolutely terrifying “Black Angels” piece for “electric string quartet”). 12 trucks of equipment might send a classical music buff into shock.

That said, many of the big film score composers were classically trained: Erich Wolfgang Korngold — who wrote the brassy score for the classic “The Adventures Of Robin Hood” — was dubbed a genius by Mahler. John Williams came up with the idea for 14 million different themes — one for each character, one for the Death Star, etc. — by borrowing Wagner’s “leitmotifs,” which were conceived for his 12-hour, four-opera cycle “Der Ring des Nibelungen,” which is about…a ring that can give you power over the entire world. Which (depending on who you believe) was or wasn’t an influence on “Lord Of The Rings,” which all those many years later was turned into a symphony from Howard Shore’s score — hey, full circle.

[Photo: “Star Wars in Concert,” Lucasfilm, 2009]


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…