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Austin City Tidbits

10 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Austin

Fred moves to Austin in an all-new Portlandia tonight at 10P on IFC.

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This week on Portlandia, co-star Fred Armisen does the unthinkable. Abandoning the very heart of the show and rendering its title geographically incorrect, he decides to move to Austin. Sure, the laid-back, artist-friendly atmosphere would be a painless transition, but there are a few things you should keep in mind before you move there.

Here are some facts about Austin you need to know. And check out Fred’s journey to Austin on an all-new Portlandia tonight at 10P on IFC. (Click here to find IFC on your TV in your area.)

1. It’s home to the largest urban bat colony in North America.

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Accommodating 750,000 bats in the spring and summer — with population spikes to 1.5 million during the peak season — Austin is no place for chiroptophobics. (Yes, we had to look it up.) With this staggering bat to belfry ratio, it’s the perfect city for nocturnal crimefighters and goths really into “theme” funerals.


2. It’s the exact opposite of Portland (sun-wise).

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The Pacific Northwest isn’t known for its overbearing sunlight, and with less than 40% of sunny days per year, Portland isn’t exactly home to scorching driveways you can fry an egg on. Compare that to Austin, whose 300 days of sun per year will clear that vitamin D deficiency right up.


3. It’s the birthplace of Whole Foods.

Fred Armisen Whole Foods

Started in 1978 by two college dropouts and a $45,000 loan, Whole Foods is an organic gourmand’s American dream. Cuisine-focused Portlanders would find the transition easy to make, and those open to the whole squatting scene will be pleased to know Whole Foods’ founders briefly lived in their first shop and bathed in the dishwasher.


4. It’s also one of the healthiest cities in America.

IFC Originals

Whole Foods wasn’t an aberration. Healthy living’s a big priority in Austin and largely responsible for the 250 gyms, yoga studios, healthy restaurants, and health food stores throughout the city. But bear in mind, not every yoga partner’s going to have your best interests in mind.


5. It’s super dog-friendly.

Lovers of our four-legged friends will be pleased to discover that Austin holds our furry pals in the highest regard. Dog Fancy dubbed the city “DogTown USA,” and its many off-leash parks, swimming holes, and retailers catering to canines ought to keep the ankle-biters happy and Portland’s many animal activists from interrupting other people’s lunches.


6. It’s a haven for artists and musicians.

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If you happen to be handy with a brush or a guitar pick in Texas, then chances are you’re an Austinite. The city has the highest number of artists and musicians per capita in the entire state, making it a huge draw for fiscally challenged creatives.


7. It’s officially the Live Music Capital of the World.

Adopting the name in 1991, Austin hosts nearly 200 live music venues around town, thereby earning it another “per capita” claim: most live music venues. In fact, if concert bookers aren’t careful, they run the risk of double-booking two different Flaming Lips.


8. It’s a city of dedicated bookworms.

Fans of the printed word are sure to meet fellow hardbackers in Austin. Residents frequent their local bookshops with such frequency, the city draws the highest annual bookstore sales in the country, at nearly $200 per household. Of course, it’s best to know what the store owners are like ahead of time.


9. The Alamo Drafthouse is the best place to catch a movie.

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Heralded as the finest movie theater in the country, Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse is paradise for the discerning cinemagoer. With a strict “no talking or texting” policy and prohibitive access for unaccompanied minors, it’s a far cry from the distraction free-for-all that is your local multiplex.


10. It’s basically the Portland of the South.

Packed to the gills with artists, musicians, hipsters, freaks, and oddballs that continues to “Keep Austin Weird,” the city has almost all of the elements that makes Portland, Oregon just as eccentric. And we hear that its mayor bares a striking resemblance to Portland’s mayor, albeit with a sweet ‘stache.

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Forget Oscar

Find Your Spirit Animal

The Spirit Awards are LIVE this Saturday at 2p PT/5p ET.

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In just a few precious days, the greatest, most epic, most star-studded awards ceremony of the year comes to IFC.

And please, we’re definitely not talking about the Oscars. We’re talking about the Spirit Awards. Hosted by iconic comedy duo Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, it’s a relatively under-the-radar awards show with serious cred. And if the past is any indicator, we’re in for a wild night.

If you feel like doing your homework, you can find a full list of nominees and performance excerpts here. It reads like a who’s who of everyone that matters – those larger-than-life personalities with status that borders on mythological. Our celebrity spirit animals, if you will.

This isn’t hyperbole. Literally everyone who takes the stage at the awards show is spirit animal material. Let’s see if we can help you find yours…

Do you

Live in someone else’s shadow despite shining like the sun? Do you inexplicably vandalize your pretty-boy good looks with a sloppy-joe man bun and a repellent pubic-hair beard? Do you think sounding stoned and sounding thoughtful are kinda the same thing?

Congratulations, your spirit animal is Casey Affleck.

He’s the self-canonized patron saint of anyone who’s got the goods but doesn’t give a damn.

Do you

Have mid-length hair and exude a certain feminine masculinity that is universally appealing? Are you drawn to situations that promise little to nothing in the way of grooming or hygiene as a transparently self-conscious attempt to conceal your radiant inner glow? Does that fail miserably?

Way to go, your spirit animal is Viggo Mortensen.

He’s the yoga teacher of actors, in that what should make him super nasty only increases his curb appeal.

Do you

Get zero recognition for work that everyone knows is unrivaled? Do you inspire greatness in others yet get shortchanged when it comes to your own acclaim? Are you a goddam B-52 bomber in an industry of biplanes?

Bingo, your spirit animal is Annette Bening.

What does it take for this artist to win an Oscar? Honestly now, if her performance in 20th Century Women doesn’t earn her every award on the planet, consider it proof that the Universe truly is a cold dark void absent of reason or compassion.

Do you

Walk into a room full of strangers and walk out with a room full of friends? Have you been hiding under the radar just waiting for the right moment to leap out into the spotlight and stay there FOREVER? Do you possess the almost messianic ability to elevate Shia LaBeouf’s on-screen charisma?

You guessed it (or not), your spirit animal is 100% Sasha Lane.

If you haven’t seen American Honey, then you haven’t heard of her. She came out of the blue with a performance both subtle and powerful, and now she’s going to be in all the movies from this moment on. Or she should be, at any rate.

Don’t see your spirit animal there? Worry not. There are many more nominees to choose from, and you can see them all (yes, including Shia LaBeouf) during the Independent Spirit Awards, this Saturday at 2pm PT/5pm ET only on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia Keeps Road Rage In Park

Get a lesson in parking etiquette on a new Portlandia.

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It’s the most American form of cause and effect: Park like a monster, receive a passive-aggressive note.

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This unofficial rule of the road is critical to keeping the great big wheel of car-related Karma in balance. And naturally, Portlandia’s Kath and Dave have elevated it to an awkward, awkward art form in Car Notes, the Portlandia web series presented by Subaru.

If you’ve somehow missed the memo about Car Notes until now, you can catch up on every installment online, on the IFC app, and on demand. You can even have a little taste right here:

If your interest is piqued – great news for you! A special Car Notes sketch makes an appearance in the latest episode of Portlandia, and you can catch up on it now right here.

Watch all-new Portlandia Thursdays at 10P on IFC.

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Naked and Hungry

Two New Ways to Threeway

IFC's Comedy Crib gets sensual in time for Valentine's Day.

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This week, two scandalous new digital series debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib.
Ménage à Trois invites people to participate in a real-life couple’s fantasy boudoir. And The Filling is Mutual follows two saucy chefs who invite comedians to make food inspired by their routines. Each show crosses some major boundaries in sexy and/or delicious ways, and each are impossible to describe in detail without arousing some awkward physical cravings. Which is why it’s best to hear it directly from the minds behind the madness…

Ménage à Trois

According to Diana Kolsky and Murf Meyer, the two extremely versatile constants in the ever-shifting à trois, “MàT is a sensually psychedelic late night variety show exploring matters of hearts, parts and every goddamn thing in between…PS, any nudes will be 100% tasteful.”

This sexy brainchild includes sketches, music, and props that would put Pee-wee’s Playhouse to shame. But how could this fantastical new twist on the vanilla-sex variety show format have come to be?

“We met in a UCB improv class taught by Chris Gethard. It was clear that we both humped to the beat of our own drum; our souls and tongues intermingled at the bar after class, so we dove in head first.”

Sign me up, but promise to go slow. This tricycle is going to need training wheels.

The Filling is Mutual

Comedians Jen Saunderson and Jenny Zigrino became best friends after meeting in the restroom at the Gotham Comedy Club, which explains their super-comfortable dynamic when cooking with their favorite comedians. “We talk about comedy, sex, menses, the obnoxiousness of Christina Aguilera all while eating food that most would push off their New Year’s resolution.”

The hook of cooking food based off of comedy routines is so perfect and so personal. It made us wonder about what dishes Jen & Jenny would pair with some big name comedy staples, like…

Bill Murray?
“Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to… Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to avoid doing any kind of silly Groundhog Day reference.” 

Bridget Everett?
“Cream Balls… Sea Salt encrusted Chocolate Ganache Covered Ice Cream Ball that melt cream when you bite into them.” 

Nick Kroll & John Mulaney? 
“I’d make George and Gil black and white cookies from scratch and just as we open the oven to put the cookie in we’d prank ’em with an obnoxious amount of tuna!!!”

Carrie Brownstein & Fred Armisen? 
“Definitely a raw cacao “safe word” brownie. Cacao!”

Just perfect.

See both new series in their entirety on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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