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LIVE: Anti-Flag

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Wednesday, March 26
New York, NY
The Knitting Factory

Last night’s Anti-Flag concert at the Knitting Factory was my first ever “MySpace Secret Show.” I’m still confused as to what a “MySpace Secret Show” entails? Besides a small banner hanging from the wall and some extra room in the mosh pit, you couldn’t even tell the evening was being presented by MySpace.

Um, I think if you add “Secret Shows” to your MySpace friend-list, you get alerted to the concert a couple days before everyone else?? I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about–let’s just get to the performance.

Anti-Flag opened the show looking and sounding like a well-seasoned punk band. All the members of the band were dressed in black (nice), all of them had cool-looking haircuts (nice), Chris #2 clocked some major hang-time with his flying scissor-kicks (nice), and to add to the spectacle, Anti-Flag had flood-lights on their amplifiers that nearly blinded everyone in the bedroom-sized Knitting Factory (double nice!).

Those expecting to see a punk show got one. I’m a fan of the brand of punk inspired by the artists of the late 70’s and early 80’s. Give me a little Ramones-pop, the stage moves, politics, and haircuts of The Clash, and the angry brow of Ian MacKaye and I’m a happy camper. In my opinion, only a handful of current-day punk bands can (sincerely) bring this to the table.

After watching Anti-Flag rip through a few songs, it’s obvious to see why they’re a cut above their punk contemporaries–they’re able to perfectly blend punk, pop, and spit-fire politics, all while bouncing around on stage sounding amazingly tight on their instruments (a talent many young punk bands have yet to master). Bassist, Chris #2, is the group’s high-energy showman, the “yang” to Justin Sane’s “yin” (it was very fitting that his buzzcut was dyed half black/half white). He also did an impressive job playing traffic cop last night directing the throng of kids being tossed up on stage.

Anti-Flag’s new material, “Good and Ready”, “The Bright Lights of America”, “Vices”, and “If You Wanna Steal” fit nicely into their set-list alongside their catalog favorites. In between songs, Chris #2 did most of the talking. A couple times throughout the performance, the banter seemed a little shticky, especially when the crowd was instructed to do a “circle pit” (I’m a firm believer in crowds starting their own “circle pits”), and Chris #2’s liberal use of the word “fuck.” After a handful of times, the mightiest of expletives, lost its impact. I can overlook this though, because I know Anti-Flag’s punk-rock politics stretch way beyond their stage show.

Midway through the set, Chris #2 mentioned, “Usually I’d say Rupert Murdoch was a mother fucker, but he did bring us all here tonight.” Justin Sane followed with, “Rupert Murdoch IS a mother fucker. If we can use MySpace for our gains, then it’s worth it–fuck Rupert Murdoch!” If you didn’t put two-and-two together, Murdoch is the chairman of News Corp., the global conglomerate that owns the Fox Network and, you guessed it, MySpace.

At the beginning of Anti-Flag’s encore, Justin Sane finally took some time to speak to the crowd in length. Because he kept silent most of the set, he seemed to have the EF Hutton-effect (when he spoke everyone listened). Sane spoke of a Free Tibet rally which he had attended earlier in the day in New York City, and also talked about the upcoming election–he’s not thrilled with Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, but fears that John McCain would just be a further extension of the George Bush presidency. After his mini-speech, Anti-Flag played the quintessential Anti-Flag song, “You’ve Got to Die For The Government”, then wrapped up the evening with “The Press Corpse.”

Ah, a nice hearty meal of some good ‘ol wholesome punk rock music.

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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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