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American Artifact: The Rise of American Rock Poster Art

American Artifact: The Rise of American Rock Poster Art (photo)

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I have a love-hate relationship with rock posters. Like many people who get involved in the music biz, I found them to be a complicated necessity. Anyone can make up a show poster, but not anyone can do it well. There are a lot of eyesores out there that just remind me of how many beautiful trees are felled so some kid can scrawl another scratchy cartoon figure with a name and date on another 500 stack of 11 x 17 sheets at kinkos. But at it’s best, a rock poster is at once an expression of an artist, a band, and a time. It is a cultural snapshot, a work of art.

[90s artist, Frank Kozik in front of his famous “Green Girl”]

Director Merle Becker’s “American Artifact: The Rise of American Rock Poster Art” takes a look at this art forms beginnings in the 60’s through today. Becker hit the road to interview rock poster artists of all ages, some legends from past era’s and the documentary is largely a look at the “movement” through their work. The film shines best when it stays with the some of the wild older guys who could give Timothy Leary a run for his blotter.

As someone who once tried his hand at making show posters, this film holds special interest for me. I did most of my (cut and paste + zerox + photoshop, no real illustration) work in an ignorant vacuum never really looking into what I was doing or where it fit in to a larger cultural picture. I recommend “American Artifact” for anyone who made a show poster or coveted one. Or anyone who likes checking out blown out 60’s artists.

“American Artifact” kicks off the The Royal Flush Festival in NYC this Thursday evening, 7pm, at Anthology Film Archives.

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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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