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’08 WAS GREAT!: Top 5 Shows

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Another day, another dollar. Does that phrase work for the whole year? Another year, another $365. Doesn’t have the same ring to it. Ah well, another year has come and gone and probably most of us don’t even have $365 to show for it. But with the bad comes the good. Let’s not forget all the awesome things that happened in 2008.

My personal favorite was of course the summer Olympics. While it may not seem that I would be into sports, I’m obsessed with the Olympics. So much so that when I was younger and able to stay up late–because I didn’t need to wake up early for work–I’d watch them in the afternoon and then again when they re-aired in the later evening hours. And of course there was that little Presidential election that occurred in the first week of November. This could go on forever, so to avoid going too far on this tangent, you can see the rest of what happened in ’08 on Wikipedia, but I warn you, it’s mostly depressing.

As this is the Indie Ear, what’s a discussion about 2008 without music? Useless, I say. So, without further ado, here are my Top-5 shows of 2008. I considered doing eight, to be kitsch, but decided to stand my ground and be selective!

1. June 17 & 18, 2008 – The Futureheads – Bowery and Pianos
The Futureheads are truly one of my favorite bands, and have been so for quite some time. Unfortunately, they were testing my fandom as they decided against coming to the States for nearly two years, so these intimate gigs were really a treat. Not to mention, their junior effort, This is Not the World, is without question, the best album of ’08 for me.

2. February 13, 2008 – Foals – Silent Barn
Foals played a show at Bowery the night before, but this D.I.Y. show was far superior. Silent Barn’s makeshift feel is really the perfect setting for a band like Foals, who enjoy interacting with their audience and making every show unique.

3. September 19, 2008 – The Rifles – Mercury Lounge
Because The Rifles have been on heavy “rotation” on my iPod for years and I was never afforded the luxury of seeing them since they never tour the States, I had high expectations for this show! Having played a week prior with Paul Weller at the larger Highline Ballroom, it was nice seeing them in a far more intimate setting. The Rifles did not disappoint; my only wish was that they would have played a longer set and never left New York.

4. March 20, 2008 – The Cribs – Music Hall of Williamsburg
After an incredible appearance in Austin at South by Southwest, The Cribs decided to treat the East coast with a very raucous performance at the recently renamed North 6. The crowd was filled with Brits and a mosh pit ensued. Also, Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth joined The Cribs onstage for their collaboration on “Be Safe,” and personally, that was one of the coolest moments in rock ‘n’ roll for me in 2008.

5. June 9, 2008 – The Young Knives – Mercury Lounge
Not only do The Young Knives make incredibly catchy songs but they are also ridiculously funny. The onstage banter between the two brothers (Henry Dartnall and The House of Lords) is hilarious and you’re really getting two shows for the price of one!

Unsurprisingly, my list is comprised entirely of British bands and I can’t really say I’m too upset about that. While 2008 was a year of fantastic music, I can’t wait to see what 2009 brings us!

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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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