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The musical coincidences of “Up in the Air.”

The musical coincidences of “Up in the Air.” (photo)

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Director Jason Reitman has famously created a pie chart of all the repeat interview questions he’s been receiving as he’s been on the press circuit for “Up in the Air.” But it isn’t only the questions that he or audiences will hear over and over again. Here’s a quick primer on the many music-related coincidences that have cropped up with regard to his latest film, along with the one thing that can’t be replicated:

There will be two Ryan Binghams this awards season.
Not only is it the name of George Clooney’s plucky protagonist, but Ryan Bingham also happens to be the real-life musician who penned tracks for the hard-charging Spirit nominee and Oscar hopeful “Crazy Heart.” Although the gravelly-voiced frontman for the Dead Horses appears in the Jeff Bridges drama as part of down-on-his-luck country singer Bad Blake’s backup band, it’s the songs that Bingham co-wrote with “O Brother Where Art Thou” music mastermind T Bone Burnett, including the film’s theme, “The Weary Kind,” that give an extra weight to Bridges’ acclaimed performance and have a shot at hanging around in the spotlight until February 22nd.

Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger” has become the anthem of successful, but emotionally stunted middle-aged men everywhere.
Blame this on the Paramount marketing department, but those buoyant “La La La La Lalala La”s have turned the 1977 track off “Lust for Life” into the tune of choice for ads trying to sell audiences on dramedies about men of a certain age caught between the pressures of their professional and personal lives. (And the marketers at Paramount are feeling such pressure themselves, pouring hours into “Air”‘s campaign.) If the “Up in the Air” ads seem familiar, it’s because Paramount tried the same trick with the equally bittersweet Nicolas Cage character study “The Weather Man” four years ago. Granted, in this case, “The Passenger” makes a little more literal sense.

Young MC is collecting some big royalty checks this fall.
Not since the summer of 1989 has “Bust-A-Move” been so prevalent. If you’ve seen “The Blind Side,” you know that the song underscores one of the film’s big turning points, despite the fact that it would have been unlikely to hear on a car radio during the early ’00s, when the Sandra Bullock starrer is set. But Reitman went so far as to call in the rapper to hold court at a corporate retreat crashed by Clooney and Vera Farmiga for one of the film’s most exuberant scenes. The good news: It looks like Marvin Young kept the weight off since he appeared on “Celebrity Fit Club 3.”

12082009_kevinrenick.jpgOne name you probably haven’t heard of is Kevin Renick.
The one track on “Up in the Air”‘s soundtrack that’s inimitable is Renick’s, the St. Louis singer/songwriter who was one of the many unemployed who talked to Reitman before production started on the film. During a Q&A at Webster University, Renick handed Reitman a cassette with a song called “Up in the Air,” a lilting ballad that shares a passing similarity to the last artist the director championed in “Juno,” Kimya Dawson. Reitman joked in Toronto that he had to scramble to find something that would play the tape, settling on the cassette deck in the car of a P.A., but even in cramped quarters, he chose the song to play over the closing credits because he felt it was “authentic.”

[Photos: Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air,” Paramount Pictures, 2009; Kevin Renick]

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Rev Up

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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Give Back

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…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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