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SXSW: The Eagle Has Landed

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Not that I’m very eagle-like at all, but I have arrived in Austin, TX for SXSW 2008! Things started off pretty quickly. Soon after my arrival I met up with some IFC colleagues at Iron Works BBQ for a production meeting. We do things right here–forget the conference room–head straight for the rib joint. Oddly enough (because I just posted about it yesterday) I bumped into Matt Pinfield again. Unlike last year’s Iron Works encounter, I made sure to keep my greeting at a low volume level, just so Matt could sneak out without having to play music trivia with everyone (I guess it comes with the territory though). I also spotted Tokyo Police Club enjoying some Texas BBQ.

Before I even I had a chance to run back to my hotel to grab my camera, we were off to the IFC Crossroads Party at a club called The Parish. Yo La Tengo kicked off the proceedings–not a bad way for me to start off my SXSW 2008, huh? The indie veterans were in town because they had scored a film that was screening at the SXSW movie festival.


Since it was a party and not a proper music showcase, many people were taking advantage of the free drinks during the early portion of the performance. As I scanned the crowd, I noticed half were socializing and half were watching Yo La Tengo. Though the band was scheduled to play 45 minutes, it felt a wee bit shorter than that. In Yo La Tengo’s brief set they did manage to show their sweet, tender side, their punk rock leanings (which included a couple spaz-outs on guitar by Ira Kaplan) and their hankering for jamming out. It was also fun watching the trio swap instruments every couple of songs. I wish more people were into it, but what are you going to do? Free finger foods can be an evil temptress.

Once the drinks kicked in, everyone was ready to rock out for My Morning Jacket. Beer bottles were raised as the band took the stage behind some epic backlighting and an endless supply of stage smoke. These guys are so ready to tour arenas (that’s to be taken as a compliment). My Morning Jacket showed off some new material and jammed out extensively on a few of their catalog goodies (“Off The Record”, “One Big Holiday”). They sounded amazingly tight, and like Yo La Tengo, showed that they can be good quiet or be good loud. While taking in the set I thought to myself, “If they ever include one of these guys’ songs on the next Guitar Hero, there’s going to be some kids out there with achy fingers.”

Pictures of tonight’s show will be posted as soon as I get ’em. Also, please bear with me throughout the week. There’s a ton of people here at SXSW with their laptops, and the wireless internet is running S-L-O-W. I’ll get my posts up as soon as I can.

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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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