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“hello, my friends come on, have a seat”

“hello, my friends come on, have a seat” (photo)

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I came into this world a surprise to a Father who, after 4 kids with his first loving wife, had “fixed” himself, literally. An old school doctor, legend has it he did it one morning in the bathroom at home. Turns out my Mother, though not even very religious, had been praying for a miracle knowing full well of her husband’s medical status and surgical dexterity. A biological mistake or divine intervention I cannot say, but one late afternoon in the mid 70’s, I was born to a Korean Father and an Italian Mother with “Nights In White Satin” playing on a cassette tape my Mother brought with her to the Hospital.

(Left: You have vastly more mp3’s than I, but I do have this giant boombox.)

But this is not about how I was born wearing a white suit singing the Moody Blues or that I’m a musical prodigy. I was not a musical child in the least, and I’m a huge hack with a guitar. Compared to most, I came late to a love for music. Like many, I had older brothers who continuously played the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, but music was just something adorning the background. Movies were my thing. I was at the theater every single weekend from age 5 onward, like clockwork, the result of both desire and the planned scheduling that comes with a divorce. It wasn’t until my best friend gave me a couple tapes in third grade, that I began to listen to music on my own. Those two tapes, INXS “Listen Like Thieves” and The Art of Noise “Into Battle With the Art of Noise” peaked my interest. Later it was N.W.A. Then it was Nirvana, then Radiohead, then Elliot Smith, then TV on the Radio, these revelations keep coming.

Still, my dirt bike gang, soccer team, search for aliens, and Dungeons and Dragons sessions (and anything else Spielberg totally nails about an early 80’s childhood in E.T.) were my focus. Around the same time, we went to see “Conan the Barbarian” and it blew our minds apart the same way “Star Wars” had but I was old enough to appreciate it more completely. Afterward, we had that incredible score by Basil Poledouris (composer of other violent male fantasy films such as “Red Dawn,” “Flesh+Blood,” “RoboCop,”) stuck in our heads. With homemade dogwood bows and toy swords we hummed and yelled that theme song in unison, blood brothers dashing through backyard woods, butchering foes by the score. The lamentations of their women were heard echoing through hill and dale, I can assure you.

That’s the first time I recall having an awareness of the combined power of music and film, how it can hold sway over the mind, how it can “magnify” as Cillian Murphy put it to me recently. Of course, the flip side is how ruinous music can be to a film, how quickly a scene can cheapen. In truth, I dislike more than I like. Heavy handed scores and bad trendy songs are too common, but they make the good stuff all the more worth celebrating. I’ll be musing about both the good and the bad and talking to people about this oft overlooked intersection of music and film.

Fret not hungry music lovers, I won’t be ignoring indie bands in favor of soundtrack reviews or childhood swords and sandals stories. I’ve worked in film more recently than the music industry, but I was a booking agent/publicist/venue hustler for much longer. I’ve seen so many shows I’m already half deaf in one ear. The other one I’ll be putting to the ground to serve up gems when I can and continue the good work already begun here. I have broad tastes, but find myself returning more to those old roots between new discoveries. Like the Fleetwood Mac song says, “So I’m back to the velvet underground… back to the gypsy that I was.” I also like to quote Silver Jews lyrics in blog post titles.

How about you?

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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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