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DID YOU READ

TALK: Jim Noir

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Last week the fun-loving Jim Noir released his eponymous sophomore album, Jim Noir. At this point in time, most Americans are probably more familiar with the commercials (Target, Adidas) his songs have appeared in, than the actual songs themselves. Noir’s catchy hooks are radio-friendly, easy-to-digest, pop goodies that will get stuck in your head after just one listen.

(left: Jim Noir talkin’ about the new album, Jim Noir)

Teaming up with Barsuk Records–the same label that brought us the indie goodness of Death Cab For Cutie and Nada Surf–Noir is hoping to make a big splash stateside with his second go-around:

Jim Shearer: A lot of people in the States may not be familiar with you yet. What can we tell them about Jim Noir?

Jim Noir: I’m a songwriter and producer who comes from Manchester in England and I make music.

Shearer: Because when I tell people about you I say, “He’s got some catchy hooks.”

Noir: Yes.

Shearer: Where do you come up with the ideas for your songs?

Noir: I don’t know, they just come to me. I don’t really write anything down or think of anything. I do all our music first. So lyrics are just something I have to do to [finish] the songs.

Shearer: So you after you track a song will you say, “Ah, this kind of sounds like a happy tune about playing soccer in the backyard”?

Noir: I just press record and talk rubbish for an hour, and make a song out of it. It is all spontaneous, sort of magic–poof!

Shearer: I read in an interview once that said you don’t work for more than one hour on a song, if you do, you’ll throw it away.

Noir: Yes, I’ll put it in the bin because if I get bored after an hour then everyone else would get bored when they listen to it. It is a very quick process.

Shearer: Pop-culture-wise, I just want to know how you grew up, because a lot of your songs take me back to my youth. I was just wondering about the TV shows you watched and the music you listened to.

Noir: It’s all just little memories and things like that. I find that those are the nice elements of life, you know? Like, I suppose I’m still just a kid at heart and I just want to remember those innocent days–it’s like therapy.

Shearer: A lot of people have called your music “childlike.” Does that bother you at all?

Noir: No, I think that is a compliment, because if you keep all of [your youthfulness] then that’s certainly a good thing.

Shearer: Does that make you nervous though? What if you wanted to go in a more serious direction with your music?

Noir: Yes, I mean, I don’t really tend to write much that is too serious. I don’t really want to make any point in particular, because I just don’t think I’ve got the right to tell anyone else what is right and wrong in the world. So I just talk about some random silliness and people can relate to that just as much as they can if I’m talking about politics or whatever. It doesn’t interest me to change anybody’s lives–I think.

Shearer: Although you could do so by not meaning to.

Noir: Yes, yes. If that’s the way it works, then I’m happy to go with that.

Shearer: Your debut album, Tower of One, was that recorded in your parent’s house?

Noir: Yes most of it, I would say about 80 percent.

Shearer: And the new one [Jim Noir], where was it recorded?

Noir: My flat, or apartment, as you Americans call it.

Shearer: Do you ever get yelled at by your neighbors?

Noir: No, actually I don’t. The end of the first album was recorded in my old flat. I was making a lot of noise–I got all my equipment taken away by the local counsel so I had to move.

Shearer: Why did they take it away? Just because you were too loud?

Noir: Yes, pretty much.

Shearer: Are you in a place now where you can be as loud as you want?

Noir: Well [my neighbors] don’t seem to mind. I think they are nosier than me actually, so it’s okay.

Shearer: Do they know of Jim Noir?

Noir: No, no, no. I keep my location secret, like a top-secret hideout.

noir then and now.jpg

(left: Not only does Jim Noir have a top-secret hideout, but he also has a brand new top-secret disguise.)

Shearer: For your last album you sort of had a fashion motif with the bowler’s cap and the suit. Looks like you are a little more casual this time around?

Noir: Well I’m on holiday. I might dress up for the gigs, but I don’t wear the bowler anymore. I just don’t want to be known for what I look like [instead of] what I sound like. You know? Maybe that is a mistake. Who knows? We’ll see.

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Final Countdown

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 IFC.com

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Rev Up

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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Give Back

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

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…