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“Urgh!”: DVD of the year?

“Urgh!”: DVD of the year? (photo)

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Since March 23, Warner Bros. has been putting out rare, hard-to-find titles for your ultra-collectory types. For $19.95, Warner Archives will burn you a no-frills DVD-R, with a trailer the only potential extra — if they can dig one up. And as the AV Club‘s Noel Murray points out, one of their latest catalog titles is 1981’s “Urgh! A Music War.” This is pretty much the best news of the week.

If you’re unfamiliar, “Urgh!” is the greatest concert movie ever that’s not “Stop Making Sense.” Rather than wasting time on things like “context” and “interviews,” the film consists of 36 performances in two hours, an exceedingly random cross-section of rock bubbling just under and at New Wave radar. Director Derek Burbidge was willing to showcase anyone he thought might be remotely worthwhile, so you get Oingo Boingo and The Go-Go’s before they were big, but also less remembered groups like the delightfully named Athletico Spizz 80 (performing “Where’s Captain Kirk?”). There’s punk (Dead Kennedys), synth-pop, XTC before Andy Partridge had a nervous breakdown and stopped playing live and three sweaty, rocking Police performances. Upon release, the New York Times‘ Robert Palmer complained that many of the clips were misleading, and that “several bands have progressed considerably, or broken up, since the film was shot.” Which is precisely what makes it so great to watch; it’s a seemingly indiscriminate time capsule of excellent stuff.

It’s been impossible to find a decent copy of “Urgh!” for years now, and the sample clip looks solid. It’s unclear if the music rights situation that presumably made the film so hard to come by has been totally cleared up — the site doesn’t list splodgenessabounds as one of the acts on the DVD — but it’s good enough.

Best of all, “Urgh!” has the straight-up weird. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen legendary falsetto/downtown oddity Klaus Nomi in full black-and-white make-up and costume singing about a solar eclipse. Or Gary Numan riding in a little car around a stage seemingly designed for a musical version of “Tron.” His performance strategy is simply to glare at people when he’s not singing emotionlessly. Both are below:

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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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