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With a Little Help From My Friends

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I’ve been meaning to post this blog for a while now. Here’s the deal–as soon as my circle of friends discovered that I was writing a music blog for IFC, my e-mail inbox filled up with several band and album recommendations. I’d be a real jerk if I didn’t share these with you. In the same vain as “Employee Picks” at record stores, here’s what my friends suggest that you listen to:

(left: that’s me being body surfed into the ceiling at a recent karaoke party)

“Have you heard of The Gaslight Anthem? My buddy Dan likes them and I saw that they are touring with the Bouncing Souls and Tim Barry of Avail. I listened to the CD a couple of times–it’s not bad but I don’t know if it will stay in rotation.”
Randy F.

She & Him–this is a great new band featuring actress Zooey Deschannel.”
Pete B.

“Someone showed me this artist’s video the other day, Lykke Li. Pretty cool.”
Toby L.

“I think at least one blog should be dedicated to Mike Patton and his post-Faith No More projects, of which there are many. He has his own label, Ipecac, and may just be the hardest working man in music.”
Rich B.

“Have you heard of The Organ? It’s my favorite band of the moment.”
Brian M.

Ed. Note: I believe The Organ has broken up (shh, don’t tell Brian).

“I would first suggest (that is, if you’re not already familiar with) El Ten Eleven. They’re an incredible two-piece with a whole lot of talent delay/loop effect pedals! There’s a pretty sweet video of them playing/recording a song from their self-titled first album called “My Only Swerving”. Just so it wouldn’t seem like you’re writing about them randomly, they wrote a good portion of the score for the film Helvetica (yes, the film about the font) and that just came out on DVD.

There’s another band out there (Brooklyn-based) called Ola Podrida. Their frontman, David Wingo, wrote the score for another amazing, criminally under-distributed, ultra-indie flick called The Great World of Sound. Both the film and the band are well worth checking out!”
Jacob S.

“Check out my new favorite band, I Love You Airlines, from NY.”
Sean K.

“Jim you best review my boys’ new album Widespread Panic, Free Somehow.”
Bryan W.

“You know what’s cool and coming soon to this side of the pond? Duffy. She’s AMAZING. Haven’t been as moved by anyone since Amy Winehouse, but that’s UNTIL Duffy. She’s not as dark/brooding, but definitely as deep.”
Jennie R.

“The new Mars Volta and the Into the Wild soundtrack are both AMAZING, and the semi- new Coheed and Cambria totally shreds!”
Marissa G.

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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

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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.

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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

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