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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.

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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.

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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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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.