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IT’S LIKE THAT: The Power of the Package

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No Age Package.jpg

In an age where some bands don’t even have album artwork anymore, while others are releasing their albums in eco-friendly, thinner-than-a-slice-of-American-cheese, recycled cardboard sleeves, I was somewhat surprised (and a little confused) earlier this year, when I received No Age’s brand new album, Nouns.

Unless your name is Conor Oberst, indie bands and labels usually don’t splurge on anything over a tri-fold album cover, but No Age’s Nouns is a ¼” thick and includes a 36-page colored–yeah, that’s right, I said “colored”–booklet.

Five pages of the booklet are dedicated to album info and lyrics, while the other 31 are filled with seemingly random pictures of landscapes, foreign dudes in whitie-tighties, band equipment, and backstage snapshots. There are also six colored pages that are completely blank.

(left: Jim trying to figure out the meaning behind the blank pieces of colored paper and the guys in the whitie-tighties.)

It almost took me longer to leaf through No Age’s album booklet than it did for me to listen to their album, which clocks in at a little over 30 minutes.

Because I know many major labels are strapped for cash this year, I could only imagine what indies are doing to save a penny. I highly doubt No Age are swimming in the moolah, let alone their label Sub Pop, and for that reason I was trying to figure out why it would be worth it to create such a deluxe (and abstract) album package. Imagine how many more packs of guitar strings you could have bought if you didn’t go with the 36-page booklet. If you went with a meager bi-fold (no staples), maybe you could’ve brought a merch guy out on tour with you?

This week though, the rational finally made sense.

The trashy-experimental-indie-rock duo, No Age, was nominated for a Grammy Award.

For what?

Best Recording Package.

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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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