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Matthew Dear’s “Black City,” Reviewed

Matthew Dear’s “Black City,” Reviewed (photo)

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Artist: Matthew Dear
Album: “Black City”
Where: New York
Label: Ghostly
Release: Aug 17th

Matthew Dear populates “Black City” with his darkest intentions. The sultry record is his 3rd as Matthew Dear but the Ghostly International and Spectral Sound co-founder also releases music as Audion, False, and Jabberjaw. I have a tendency to pass up works from the electronic bin, and though not every track on this album moves me I’m glad I didn’t pass it by. Furthermore, if this the kind of architecture electronic music is embracing, I’ll be admiring more of it again.

I’d been thinking about David Bowie lately and along came Matthew Dear, who — when not sounding like Bryan Ferry — sounds a lot like Bowie. Maybe a bit too much, but it’s hard to fault someone for biting Bowie’s style, especially when they’re so clearly working it in the context of their own.

The twitchy groove of “I Can’t Feel” grabbed my attention with it’s wiggly rhythms and freakish jangle. Dear alternately channels Bowie and a slow motion, Tubeway Army era Gary Numan. Speaking of him, the track “Monkey” plays like a b-side that got left of of Numan’s 1980 effort, “Telekon.”

Winner of the best song title I’ve heard all month, “You Put A Smell On Me” pounds along with a lewd, dirty 90’s beat and a whimsical almost Prince-like come hither attitude. I’d be uncomfortable if I heard it come on in a bar. But then Dear gets awesomely weird, and really goes for it buck-wild fetish time, repeating “Little red night gown, little red night gown, night gown, little red night gown” and I can’t print where my mind goes after that. Such a filthy beat, that little red night gown is going to need laundering I think.

The gorgeous album closer “Gem” is aptly titled. “No reward for calling out your name / As I have done time and time again,” Dear croons in a shimmering soundscape. “When you figure out what’s real / I’ll be standing here / A little bit older, but forgiving / As the night into day.” It’s a thick, dreamy lament that I’d like anywhere, but Dear’s placement of it at the end of the album is an especially welcome palette cleanser.

Download : “I Can’t Feel”

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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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