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SXSW: Day#2

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If I was a top-notch blogger in the same arena as Perez Hilton, and–see, I can’t even name another prominent blogger. Anyway, if I was blogging by today’s standards, I should have already posted five or six blogs by now. Keep in mind though, I come from the ‘zine world. Back in the day, all of the info I’m gathering here at SXSW would be used for one issue of a ‘zine–which probably wouldn’t come out until a month after the event. It’s not like I’m sitting poolside licking BBQ off my fingers. It just so happens I’ve only been able to get to my laptop a couple times each day…


The Presidents of the United States of America
The morning started off early with a visit to The Presidents of the United States’ hotel suite (sounds scandalous, doesn’t it?). At 10AM (which is ass-crack early for SXSW standards), drummer Jason Finn had already gone for a run and was doing some calisthenics when I arrived at the hotel. You all probably remember Jason as the hefty drummer of the group–he’s not so hefty anymore. I was also joined by the rookie of PUSA, guitbass player Andrew McKeag (who replaced founding member Dave Dederer). Frontman Chris Ballew was out doing another batch of press interviews somewhere else. The Presidents seemed jolly as always, maybe because they had a BBQ pig-out session the night before. I found out that the Presidents don’t resent their 90’s hits “Lump” and “Peaches,” and mentioned that a performance could quickly turn into a riot if they didn’t include the above mentioned songs on their set-list. On the way out, Finn spotted a Pittsburgh Steelers logo on my back-pack and mentioned how he and Terry Bradshaw shared a spirited conversation during a taping of The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (Steelers reference #1). The Presidents of the United States of America Play tonight at Cedar Door, 11:40PM.


Money Mark
Next up, I met with Money Mark. He’s in town for one show tonight (Buffalo Billiards, 10:45PM), promoting the soundtrack work he did for the yet to be released film, Beautiful Losers. Don’t expect another Money Mark album until possibly next year. He did mention that he is currently writing songs for it. We also talked about the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack, which I (and according to Mark, “many of his friends”) think is a blatant Money Mark rip-off. He said after his friends watched the film he got about 100 text messages that congratulated him on the score. On the Beastie front, Mark is writing songs with the group, but could offer no forecast on when the new Beastie Boys album will be complete. I was also surprised to find out that he has never injured himself while maniacally jumping on his keyboard during the Beastie’s performance of “Sabotage”.


A little bit later I met up with Moby. Besides spinning a whole bunch of parties at this year’s SXSW, he also has one full-band performance scheduled, and just finished performing two Velvet Underground covers at the Lou Reed tribute show, going on right now at the Fader Fort (the line to get in is pretty insane). Moby said he doesn’t want to tour with a full band anymore, until he can find an easier and less stressful way to do it. At the moment he’s just having a good time spinning records of “other people’s music.” His new album, Last Night, comes out in April. After the interview he also noticed the Steelers patch on the back of my backpack. He mentioned, “I used to be obsessed with the Steelers when I was a kid.” It was both joyous and oddly random to hear player’s names like “Lynn Swann” and “Franco Harris” come out of Moby’s mouth (Steelers reference #2).


Jim Noir
Jim Noir was next on our list. He looks a lot younger in person than he does on his videos–maybe because he came dressed in a windbreaker and sock cap, as opposed to his bowler’s cap and three-piece suite. Jim mentioned that he was on “holiday,” hence the break in dress code. Amazingly, he creates songs much like Jay Z. He’ll start with a drumbeat, piece different loops together, and freestyles his poppy hooks over the instrumental (nothing is written down). He plays all the instruments himself, but performs with a four-piece band in concert settings. He also wanted to inform me that it was not his voice on a recent Target holiday commercial, it was a Jim Noir “sound-a-like.” Noir and band will perform at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop this Saturday at 9PM.


The Raveonettes
Up last was Sune Rose Wagner, frontman of The Raveonettes. The wear-and-tear of SXSW is starting to show. His band is playing 12 shows in four days. When I met up with him this afternoon, they had already done two. I asked him what his favorite part of SXSW was. His answer was very honest, “Leaving.” After their dozen shows here The Raveonettes continue their tour of the U.S. hitting up Minneapolis, MN.

On my way back to type this blog, I came across one of the many stars on Austin’s walk-of-fame (and I’ve seen some good ones the last couple of days: Carol Burnett, Buddy Holly, George Foreman). Since artists were randomly dropping Steelers references today, is was fitting that I spotted the star of Mean Joe Greene (Steelers reference #3).

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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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