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New American Music Union Day #1 Recap

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With three music festivals to chose from this weekend–All Points West (Jersey City, NJ), Virgin Mobile (Baltimore), New American Music Union (Pittsburgh, PA)–I decided to attend the latter, just for the fact that I was heading back to Pittsburgh anyway to compete in a golf/fishing/corn-hole triathlon.

I was only able to catch the first night of the New American Music Union Festival, which was the obvious appetizer course (Tiny Masters Of Today, NASA, The Black Keys, and The Roots) for the festival’s second day (Bob Dylan, The Raconteurs, Gnarls Barkley, Spoon).

Being that this was the festival’s inaugural year, there were some ups and downs during the first night. Here goes:

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The Black Keys

Best performance of the night. Dan and Pat pulled out all the right tracks getting a big pop from the crowd during “Just a Little Heat,” “Your Touch,” “Strange Times,” and ending solidly with a rib-sticking performance of Attack & Release’s “I Got Mine.” And what would a Black Keys performance be without a Captain Beefheart cover? The duo also helped fill their ample stage space with a huge inflatable Black Keys tire. A+ for stage props!

The funniest man in indie music, drummer Patrick Carney, still doesn’t have a microphone for stage banter.

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Anthony Kiedis

The man who handpicked the line-up was actually there, in the flesh, to back-announce the first three acts and introduce The Roots!

Anthony Kiedis’ address to the concert-goers felt like a sales pitch. At first, it sounded like he was going to deliver the I’m-a-rock-star-here-for-the-money-and-I-have-no-idea-what’s-going-on spiel, saying, “What’s the New American Music Union? I have no idea.”

If he left it at that, it would have been hilarious.

(above: “Look, Anthony Kiedis is as big as my finger!”)

Then he took a page out of The Office’s Michael Scott’s playbook and told the sold-out crowd that the New American Music Union is a girl driving eight hours from Ohio to get here, it’s his sister meeting up with him in Pittsburgh, it’s the Black Keys playing an impassioned set (which reminded him of Hendrix playing Woodstock), it’s…whatever we make it (can someone pass me a Kleenex?).

After watching just three sets by Tiny Masters of Today, NASA, and The Black Keys, Kiedis also said–and I’m not kidding–“What a night, huh? This is the best feeling I’ve ever had at a festival.” If he was a 14-year old boy attending his first live show, yes, I would have believed him, but c’mon, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have played just about every huge music festival–in the world. The first-year New American Music Union Festival trumps them all?

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The Roots

Opting not to trash talk on Pittsburgh sports fans despite the fact that their hometown Eagles were in town playing against the Steelers in an NFL exhibition game.

Jamming out on what seemed like a 20-minute version of “You Got Me.”

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Bike-powered Cell Phone Chargers
By peddling a bicycle, you could actually charge your cell phone!

The bicycle only had one adapter, which didn’t fit my cell phone.

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Free Shirts and Water Bottles
A free water bottle meant you could fill it up at drink stations inside the concert grounds, saving you the $4 you’d usually spend on bottled water.

Getting free stuff is awesome, but it also means that you have to carry it around all night long.

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Valet Bike Parking
Just the idea is awesome!

How much do you tip someone who valets your bike?


Living in an Apartment Right Outside the Festival
You don’t have to pay to get in.

Having thousands of people loitering in your backyard.

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Having a Media Badge
Getting to use a clean bathroom instead of the porta-potty.

Having to walk ten minutes across the concert-grounds to use them.

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Throwing a Festival in Pittsburgh
Another excuse to go to Pittsburgh–the greatest city in the world!


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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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