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Monsters of Folk: A chat with M. Ward

Monsters of Folk: A chat with M. Ward (photo)

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The first ever music video from Monsters of Folk is a pleasantly lit piece by director Lance Acord that everyone says reminds them of Michel Cimino’s film “Heaven’s Gate.” They must be referring to that film’s visual style and unbelievably epic cast, not its tremendous box office failure – clearly a collaboration between M.Ward, Conor Oberst, Jim James, and Mike Mogis is destined for some greatness.

[M.Ward, Conor Oberst, Jim James, Mike Mogis in “Say Please”]

I got to toss some questions out to M. Ward between the release of this video for “Say Please” and the band leaving for the UK. Check that out along with an mp3 for the track below the video, and have a happy Thanksgiving food coma!

I think this is great looking and sets a new standard for outdoor shows. Why are you guys armed?

I think we are armed because you just never know.

Was it all (director) Lance Acord’s concept or was there a story/idea brought to him initially?

As far as I know, this was Lance’s concept. We all really believe in his art and his vision so we all see it as a great privilege to follow his lead.

All bands are a collaborative effort, some more so than others. What kind of sacrifices or compromises do you have to make in a “super” group like this where there are so obviously many strong personalities?

There have been zero compromises and zero sacrifices – the best analogy for me to describe this project is a dialogue between four friends – we throw ideas into the air, they get batted around a bit and then we send the ideas into outer space – its a pleasure to work with Mike, Jim and Conor on creative ideas because their input is instinctively mind-blowing.

I saw a picture of you guys posted on a popular online site a while back (looked like you were in the shiny chrome back of a bus or camper) compete with a wide array of reader comments … many positive, others praising certain members while trashing others, to quips like “looks like they are in the cockpit of the Enola Gay.” The usual reaction or is MOF getting a different reception?

Strong opinions make the world of art go round. Ideally, the haters should hate something enough that they are inspired to go create something in opposition to what they are seeing/hearing. I hope the followers are just as inspired to make something new – hopefully borrowing someone’s ideas and pushing them farther.

Who’s the best drummer now?

Ringo Starr.

What film you would like to have done the soundtrack or score for?

“Sweet and Lowdown” or “No Country for Old Men.”

Good choices. Monsters of Folk’s self titled debut record is out now on CD and LP. Visit them here.

Download Say Please.

The cast of Heaven’s Gate includes some of the greatest “character” actors of all time Brad Dourif and John Hurt among them, as well as Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, Jeff Bridges, and Willem Dafoe.

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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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