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IT’S LIKE THAT: Judgment Day

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In the early 90’s, Terminator 2 (aka, T2) was one of my favorite movies. The special effects were years before its time, Sarah Connor (played by Linda Hamilton) ushered in a new era of female heroines that could kick some serious ass, and those half-sentence catch phrases from Arnold Schwarzenegger–man–who couldn’t resist those? Though I loved the film, I always thought the storyline was a little far-fetched. Computers and robots taking over the world? Yeah right!

(above: “I’m the biggest rock star of the decade!”)

As I sit here today, a good 17 years after the film was released (has it really been that long?), I realize that its premise wasn’t too far-fetched after all. The Terminator wasn’t just a movie franchise, it was a prophecy!

In years past, when a decade came to a close, we’d usually look back at all the people in music and pop-culture that made it so special:

1980’s? Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, and Madonna. Hip-hop goes mainstream. Underground punk gives way to New Wave. “College-rock” is born. American hardcore and post-punk emerge.

1990’s? Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. A young pop-tart named Britney Spears enters the scene. Punk and thrash metal go mainstream (thanks to two bands from the Bay Area). People go goo-goo over industrial, electronic, ska, alternative, and grunge music. “College-rock” bands score major label deals (and some don’t even have to whore themselves out in the process).

2000’s? Hmm. That’s a good question. Um, how ’bout that “Garage-rock” revolution? Oh yeah, I guess that never really took off the way music journalists wanted it to, did it? How about emo? I don’t even know if we can call this a movement since many “emo” bands don’t consider themselves “emo” to begin with.

Who were the big rock stars of the 2000’s? Dang, I think I can count them all on one hand, and the biggest one doesn’t even play rock music. Isn’t that right Kanye?

Sarah Connor would probably agree with me on this, but when people look back at the 2000’s (which they’ll start doing in about a year), the first thing that will come to mind are computers. Blackberries, YouTube, iPods, iPhones, blogs, Facebook, ProTools, RSS Feeds, and MySpace pages are the true rock stars of the ’00s.

If something was big this decade, there’s a good chance a computer had something to do with it. Record stores have been replaced by a quick browse and click on iTunes (or a gazillion other sites on the web), singers don’t have to sing in key anymore as long as they’ve got vocorders or auto-tune software, and why should a kid start a rock band when they can just buy a video game simulation of it?

Bands that were discovered this decade were discovered–on a computer. The latest music news and gossip is no longer told through ‘zines, press releases, or fan club newsletters, it’s told through blogs, which is done via–you got it–a computer. Encores at concerts are requested, not through lighters, but by the LCD screen on a cell phone. Many DJ’s don’t even cut up vinyl anymore, they simulate it by doing the “wicky-wicky” motion on a circular piece of plastic, that will then digitally “cut up” the files on their computer.

I could go on and on like a dramatic Sarah Connor monologue (flashbacks and all). Leafing through a book of CD’s in the backseat of a friend’s car has given way to scrolling through a playlist on their MP3 player. Why hang a concert flyer, when you could send a concert eVite? Why go to the box office, when you can buy and print out a ticket online? Why wait for a music video to play on your television, when you can watch any one you want (at any time of the day) on your computer? Why take the time to find a drummer who’s easy to get along with, when you could just rip some software that will program beats for you. Why pay for guitar lessons when you could learn the same thing on a 5-minute YouTube video?

If you work in music and don’t think a computer can do your job, think again. How soon will computers be able to write blog posts (which will pretty much end my tenure in the music industry)? It already has the power to put red zig-zag lines under each word I misspell, how long before it puts a red zig-zag line under me? Let’s face it, without a computer a music blogger is pretty much obsolete.

It’s coming everyone, Judgment Day is coming. You’ve been warned…

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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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