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LISTS: The Great & Potentially Great Rock Star Bands

LISTS:  The Great & Potentially Great Rock Star Bands (photo)

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Rock Stars–if they’re not already–should be placed on the endangered species list. In 2009, we speak of them in the past tense. It has been so long since we’ve had a Rock Star, we don’t even know what a real one is anymore.

(left: Is Queen one of the greatest Rock Star bands? You better believe it!)

The word “Rock Star” has become a disposable noun. If little Johnny scores a goal in his pee-wee soccer game, you may hear his mother calling him a Rock Star from the sidelines. He is no more a Rock Star than he is a cavalier, a knight, or a conquistador–titles that meant something back in the day, that described a person who did more than squeeze an orange wedge between his teeth and kick a ball passed another seven-year old kid.

So it can be recorded in the annals of history, here are some of the greatest Rock Star bands of all-time. (Note: You’ll notice the absence of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who from this list. Why? Well, as I’m sure you know: the sky is blue and water is wet.)

10. Green Day
Who knew years ago that Billie Joe Armstrong’s punk rock ditties could translate into sold-out-stadium anthems?

9. Kiss
Kiss isn’t just a band, they’re a brand. They could make a living just off their merchandise alone. Superheroes playing music? Or musicians playing superheroes? You be the judge.

8. Nirvana
If your band is credited for changing the musical landscape of an entire generation, then yes, you are Rock Stars.

7. Guns N Roses
Headline-grabbing lead singer, iconic guitar player with amazing licks, sold-out-stadium shows, biggest-band-in-the-world status, and eventual implosion. Looks like they learned from the best.

6. AC/DC
There’s a reason they’re called power chords.

5. Metallica
Ferocious bay-area thrash metal band that has built up such a reputation, they can sell out a coliseum in any country of the world (and probably do it in just a few minutes).

4. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Don’t think songs about everyday-America can fill stadium seats? Think again. Bruce Springsteen isn’t called The Boss for nothing.

3. U2
One of life’s great mysteries. How do you not age, stay socially conscious despite having more money than you know what to do with, make hit after hit, and still stay relevant and fresh after all these years?

2. Queen
Close your eyes. Hum yourself a Queen song. There’s no way that song is being performed in a 200-capacity club.

1. Led Zeppelin
Rock Stars? They wrote the book on it–really. Ever read Hammer of The Gods?

(left to right: Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.)

Don’t lose hope just yet. Here’s a list of bands that have potential of wielding Rock Star status:

10. Fall Out Boy
The most popular member of the group is their bassist. We just need some people to start recognizing their lead singer and then we’ll be in business.

9. The Mars Volta
If they weren’t so damn stubborn and could keep their songs more focused…

8. Kings of Leon
If only they were a band in the 70’s.

7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Nick and Brian need to be more vocal and compelling in interviews, otherwise the Rock Star burden is always going to fall on Karen O’s shoulders.

6. Vampire Weekend
In a different musical climate, they’d be a couple steps higher in their climb to superstardom.

5. My Chemical Romance
They’ve got some really “big” songs, but half of America still thinks they’re emo.

4. The Killers
If the members of The Killers were more exciting behind-the-scenes, they might have a better chance of making the list above.

3. Coldplay
How to get out of the shadow of U2?
muse bellamy.jpg

2. The White Stripes
Can you say “bass?”

1. Muse (right)
Their rocket is ready to launch. They’re just waiting for America to press the ignition button.

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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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