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INDIE EAR MADNESS ’09:  Elite-8 (photo)

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Would Kanye West have the final say against TV On The Radio? Could Karen O lead her squad to the Final Four? Did Franz Ferdinand dethrone rock royalty? Did the clock strike midnight for The Thermals?


1 Kanye West vs. 3 TV On The Radio
When you boil it down, Kanye West is just one man. Yes, he has an amazing light show, a sexy string section, and a talented person behind the vocoder, but when it comes to a live show–especially one that had Final Four implications–would Kanye be able to reign supreme over a band that is not only playing better than ever, but one that also received more critical acclaim than him last year? The answer is no. Kanye’s set was littered with lyrical tirades towards music critics: Yo, you really thought Dear Science was better than 808s and Heartbreak? C’mon, you don’t think all their albums sound the same? If Kanye stuck to the music, he might’ve won, but once again his mouth got him in trouble.


12 The Bouncing Souls vs. 3 Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Simply put, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs underestimated The Bouncing Souls. After advancing to the Elite 8, without even competing against Depeche Mode, Karen O and crew were too busy planning for their Final Four set against TV On The Radio instead of getting ready for The Bouncing Souls. A simple viewing of the movie Hoosiers would have clued them in on one of Coach Norman Dale’s memorable lessons, “There’s a condition in tournament play to never talk about the next step until you’ve climbed the one in front of you.” Without a bass player, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ set sounded anemic compared to The Bouncing Souls’ robust, punk-rock attack.

(above: Bryan “Papillon” Kienlen’s bass proved to be the deciding factor in the Bouncing Souls’ victory over the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.)


4 Franz Ferdinand vs. 2 The Cure
On paper, The Cure advance to the Final Four with ease, but in the live setting, it’s a whole different story. As they say: That’s why they play the shows. Franz Ferdinand worked the crowd into a tizzy and picked a perfect set-list for the night. When The Cure was good, they were golden, but too many times during the night they opted to do extended jam-outs, and decided to pass on some of the biggest hits in their catalog. When Robert Smith ended his band’s set with three consecutive songs from The Cure’s most recent album, 4:13 Dream, it cinched victory for Franz Ferdinand.


1 U2 vs. 10 The Thermals
Considering The Thermals made it into the Elite 8 without even having a complete tour to perfect the songs on their new album–which doesn’t even come out until next month–is a feat in itself. To do so when competing against U2 would take a complete miracle. The Thermals got lucky in the first couple rounds, by avoiding Animal Collective and Coldplay (who were both upset in their round matches), but weren’t so fortunate this time around. U2 is the lone #1 seed to advance to the Final Four in Indie Ear Madness ’09.

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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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