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Exclusive Video premiere: Gil Scott-Heron “I’m New Here.”

Exclusive Video premiere: Gil Scott-Heron “I’m New Here.” (photo)

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American musician, author, and old school poet, Gil Scott-Heron made his mark in the early 70’s with his radical spoken word performances. He’s probably still on a watch list. Think back, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” is part of our vernacular now, but it’s also Scott-Heron’s hard hitting social critique, a scathing indictment of our superficiality and over-consumption (and white suburban indifference). Though the names have changed from 1970, it remains completely relevant.

[Gil Scott-Heron. Photo by Mischa Richter.]

When asked sometime in the 90’s if the revolution would now finally be televised Scott-Heron replied, “Well you know the catch phrase, what that was all about, ‘the revolution will not be televised,’ that was about the fact that, the first change that takes place is in your mind. You have to change your mind first before you change the way you live,” he said pointing out the crux of the poem, and indeed the movement of the time. “So when we said that the revolution will not be televised, we were saying that like, the thing that’s going to change people, is something that no one will ever be able to capture on film.”

British directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, did capture Gil Scott-Heron though (if not quite on film) in this video for his incredible song “I’m New Here,” the title track off his latest record.

I don’t know about you but it puts me into the spirit world. It was recorded live in Clinton Recording Studio, New York, where most of the album was recorded and mixed. That’s Pat Sullivan, from the band Oakley Hall, on guitar.

Forsyth and Pollard were fresh off of another release of their “Do you love me like I love you” series that accompany the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds re-releases (each 40 minute film focuses on a specific album, with 7 of 14 now released) when they met up with Scott-Heron and shot this for him.

“Some things should be kept simple; no messing, no gimmicks,” they said of the video. “Shot with completely live sound, with half an eye looking back on classic footage of performers like John Lee Hooker and Bob Dylan, we wanted to shoot something bold and direct, that captured something of Gil’s remarkable presence and the raw power of his performance. We filmed him the day before walking around his neighborhood in Harlem then on the day we returned with Gil to the studio. There’s no narrative here, this is a deliberately simple video for a deceptively simple and beautiful song.”

Scott-Heron has had a tumultuous decade, in and out of prison for a possession charge and then violating parole by leaving a rehabilitation center. Ludicrous. Tax dollars going to put away 61 year-old guys for having a party, however ill-advised. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that it helped inspire new work by this legend.

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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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