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DID YOU READ

TALK: Tim Fite

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Next week, alternative-hip-hop-country twanger Tim Fite will release his brand new album, Fair Ain’t Fair (Anti-). Over the last couple years Fite has been wowing critics with both his full-length debut album, Gone Ain’t Gone, and his free-to-the-public, hip-hop album, Over The Counter Culture–which was chock full of thoughtful wit and social commentary.

(left: The hilarious, is-he-being-serious, is-he-not-being serious Tim Fite.)

Fite has developed a Pee Wee Herman-like talent for disguising his messages behind scribbled artwork and childlike behavior. Once you figure out what the big kid is up to, you realize he isn’t so childish after all.

Jim Shearer: Your new album, Fair Ain’t Fair, is coming out on May 6. In the past, you’ve created instrumentals by taking bargain bin CD’s and sampling them? Are you doing that for this album?

Tim Fite: Yes and no. There is definitely stuff from the bin and there is a lot more. I went and got people with real instruments and friends of mine to play and make it bigger and grander, and kind of started messing with other things besides thievery.

Jim: Speaking of thievery, have any of these artists, on the bargain bin CD’s, discovered that they were being sampled by you?

Tim: Yes. Some do, some don’t, some get asked and say “yes,” some get asked and say “no,” some don’t get asked and don’t have the choice of saying “yes” or “no.” But those folks shall remain nameless.

Jim: When you are sampling from these CD’s and you hear a good loop, do you ever get frustrated when vocals will come in right at the end of a measure?

Tim: It is not the singing. It is the breathing.

Jim: The breath before the next measure?

Tim: There needs to be less breathing and singing.

Jim: So arists–at least for your sake–shouldn’t start breathing or singing until the second measure?

Tim: Just lag a little, do some Sinatra. Is he early or late? I can’t remember.

Jim: I heard a story once where some record label people wanted Michael Jackson to cut out the long intro of “Billie Jean,” and he said it needed to be there cause it was the “jelly” of the song. Seems like this kind of tune would be ideal for you.

Tim: That’s right, intros are the bread and butter of sample musicians.

Jim: You said that you haven’t even heard your new album, Fair Ain’t Fair, because you had it outsourced to India and China. Is this correct?

Tim: Yes, just going with the general trend of globalization and, you know, why do all the work myself when I could have someone else do it for much cheaper.

Jim: (laughs) There could be some lead in the CDs.

Tim: Small amount of lead, but it should be safe, you know. Just don’t let your children lick it.

Jim: Your last album, Over the Counter Culture, was given out for free on the interent, because you said you would feel like a hypocrite if you had a social commentary on consumerism and made people pay for it.

Tim: Yes.

Jim: But how do you survive? How does Tim Fite get paid? Because you still need to put food on your table.

Tim: That’s a hard question to answer. I don’t really know how it works out, you know. Be frugal. If you are frugal and you don’t buy a lot of stuff, you don’t need to make a lot of money. It’s the nature of the beast–the more you make the more you want. So if you don’t make that much you can’t want that much, and you kind of get by.

Jim: Do you want a touring band?

Tim: I would love to have a touring band. But for now it is all good with me and Dr. Leisure.

Jim: But you said you can’t afford a touring band at this point in time?

Tim: No, because they cost money.

Jim: How can we get you some money?

Tim: Send me money.

Jim: Is it easier to convey political and social commentaries being more childlike than militant?

Tim: I think there is a time and a place for everything, you know? You can be angry and grown up and you could be childish and silly and still be making a difference. Children make a difference every day just by being here, and adults make a difference every day, [but] a lot of times the adults’ contribution is negative, so sometimes it’s best to just be a child because it is harder to be bad.

Jim: Are there any artists that you are tired of being compared to?

Tim: Um, Salvador Dali.

Jim: (laughs) The famous artist–hmmm. Explain.

Tim: He is in everybody’s dorm room.

Jim: (laughs) What about the Beck comparisons?

Tim: Beck is a good. He is a good singer and makes good songs. People need to make comparisons in order to understand the world, and if that’s the way they got to do it, then that’s the way they got to do it.

Jim: Last night you and Dr. Leisure ended the show by wearing black-and-gold Barack Obama t-shirts. Where did you get those from?

Tim: Oddly enough in a convenience store in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Jim: Will you vote for Barack Obama? What if he wanted you to play some shows on the campaign trail?

Tim: We just like the shirts.

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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…