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Indie Rock: A Love Story.

Indie Rock: A Love Story. (photo)

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There are people out there who leap on any chance to fling the epithet “hipster” as the ultimate insult. As a wise editor of mine once pointed out, all the adjective really means is “people in my scene who I don’t like and don’t want to identify with.” But when a movie pops up with its title in all lower case, its lead roles cast from indie rock institutions, and its trailer kicking off with the line “Did you ever get your heart broken?” against some kind of warm ambient backdrop, it’s kind of begging to have that finger pointed its way.

I don’t doubt that “some days are better than others,” the first feature from Matt McCormick, starring Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein and The Shins’ James Mercer, comes from a sincere place. But that somehow makes it worse: the acting in the trailer is wooden and confuses stuttering for realism and bathos for emotion. If using music as an emotional soundtrack crutch is bad, using the actual musicians that way seems worse.

It’s not that I disapprove of casting musicians across the board: Will Oldham is better known as Bonnie “Prince” Billy, but he trained as an actor first, starring in John Sayles’ “Matewan” as a teen and later helping rocket “Old Joy” to critical acclaim. And this isn’t the first time Brownstein has acted — she had a role in 2002’s little-seen “Group.” Really, casting amateurs, musicians or otherwise, should just be about a director’s choice to put non-professionals in front of the camera for a particular effect.

Here, though, the effect seems to beg indie rock kids to love/view the film based on cast list alone, like a concert movie that accidentally turned into a drama. The synopsis notes that it’s about Brownstein’s “twenty-something reality TV enthusiast, video diarist and animal shelter worker” vs. Mercer’s “mid-30s slacker who could offer a thoroughly researched social critique explaining all the reasons why he shouldn’t get a job,” which almost seems designed to mock its stereotypical target audience: slackers with quirk, ahoy! Trailer’s here:

[Photo: “some days are better than others,” Matt McCormick , 2009]


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


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.


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

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…