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Devendra Banhart

Devendra Banhart (photo)

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I have mostly ignored Devendra Banhart, somewhat regrettably. I think it started with some phishhead wearing filthy Teva’s talking about him in ’02 and I just made a shallow association that stuck. The super strange name and Banhart’s excessive beardy look didn’t help dispel these notions and it was not until about 2 years ago I caught on to his genius. This guy Daniel Arnold, who’s opinion I generally trust went crazy talking about him one night at Lil’ Frankies in Manhattan while I was totally distracted by Elijah Wood. I didn’t listen to a lick of the first half of the story because I was desperately trying to figure out a way to talk to Elijah and make him my best friend without coming off like a Hobbit-crazed Tolkien lit nerd – which I am.

[Devendra Banhart, photo by Daniel Arnold]

Youk now when you’re hanging out in the same five foot space with a celebrity you like and someone starts telling a story? You can’t really listen to their stupid story at first because you’re overcome with your own delusions of grandeur. But Daniel launched into this animated telling of his little brother all wide-eyed going up to Devendra Banhart after some religious experience at a recent show, and Devendra turned to his little brother and made him feel like he was the only person in the entire world. The skinny singer hugged him and performed some kind of magic whereby he pulled some heirloom or precious metal from Daniel’s little brother’s sweaty shirt pocket that had not been there before, lovingly handed it to him and hugged him again.

I became so mystified by this bizarre but beautiful story I forgot all about Elijah Wood. What a wonderful thing he did with Daniel’s little brother. Rare is the rock star who hugs sweaty (male) kids at his shows, and cares enough to really connect them, even for a few precious moments. Rare indeed, for anyone these days.

So it is with great thrill I have been listening to this Wizards new record, “What Will We Be.” You have got to hear the song “Maria Lionza” (track 10 below). It refers no doubt to the goddess of nature, love, peace, and harmony in Venezuelan tradition where Banhart was raised, but it reminds me of good friends and love, and precious moments. Somewhere around 4 minutes and 20 seconds it takes off into the most subtle genius, it’s like having an American Jorge Ben whispering the most important reminder in your ear.

What Will We Be
(You’ll have to click play full song to hear the whole thing on imeem for now)

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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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