This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.

DID YOU READ

Viral signs: Sony’s obsession with the Internet

Viral signs: Sony’s obsession with the Internet (photo)

Posted by on

Last week, the hyperpolarizing California hip-hop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All–or OFWGKTA, or Odd Future, or those 11 dudes who have become as much of a meme as a musical outfit–confirmed that they’ve signed a deal with RED Distribution/Sony. It’s not a record deal, per se; rather, it is the launch of a new, largely autonomous label beneath Sony’s enormous, multinational umbrella. Odd Future’s members will make the records and all of the decisions about them; if all goes well, RED will simply make sure they’re sold where and how they’re meant to be sold.

Whatever your opinion of Odd Future, it is, at the very least, a victory for a group who’ve gotten this far by saying (sometimes regrettably) exactly what they’ve wanted to say. By the looks of it, they’ll be able to keep doing just that on a much grander and potentially more lucrative scale. The flipside, though, is that it’s another indication that major labels–epitomized here by the ostensibly Internet-interested Sony–are eating whatever the Web serves them and hoping it makes them money. Late last year, Sony (or the imprint Columbia) signed Cults, a retro pop outfit of art-school kids from New England; their charming four songs, all distributed through their Bandcamp website, got a lot of attention, and they got a record deal out of the hubbub. Last month, Sony signed 2Cellos, a subject-says-it-all European duo who quickly clocked 5,000,000 YouTube hits with their cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.” (It’s bad when a band makes you miss Alien Ant Farm.) In short, labels are looking for salvation in the same network that threatens to kill them; taking the long view, you have to think it’s the customer who’s going to suffer.

Labels, at their best, serve both as filters and fertilizers, selecting worthy bands and sometimes investing time and money to make those bands better. These roles aren’t always concomitant, of course. An excellent little experimental label like Family Vineyard, for instance, can’t really squander resources grooming Paul Flaherty’s beard for a press photo, but they do consistently seek out and release compelling music. It’s a brand you can trust. Major labels aren’t always the best at selecting compelling bands, but they can take a band with loads of potential and prepare their sound and story for the masses. The Avett Brothers are a recent Sony success story (also via Columbia) of just that. Signing viral bands–or acts that amass popularity and buzz via the Internet first–shortchanges that whole process a bit. The intended audience already knows what the product is all about; now, the label’s just have to hope there’s enough product to actually sell something. The consumer is no longer trusting a brand; the consumer is trusting brands that trust in the Internet. Typing that was scary enough.

Signing bands with a built-in fanbase is nothing new. A load of very popular bands that now call independent labels home once got a push from major-label bucks–Spoon, for instance, were on Elektra before finding sanctuary at Merge. And reality-cum-game shows like American Idol find fans by the millions for unknown teenage country boys like Scotty McCreery, who will, no doubt, find a label to call home no matter how the votes soon fall. But both of those models seem more diligent and demanding than simply going for whatever’s got Twitter all aflutter. Hell, Osama bin Laden isn’t even trending today.

Watch More
IFC_Portlandia-S8_pick-a-lane_subaru-blog

Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

Posted by on

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.

Watch More
Uncle-Buck

Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

Posted by on
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…

Watch More
IFC_Portlandia-AORewind-blog

A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

Posted by on
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.

Watch More