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!!!’s “Strange Weather, Isn’t It?”, Reviewed

!!!’s “Strange Weather, Isn’t It?”, Reviewed (photo)

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Band: !!!
Album: “Strange Weather, Isn’t It?”
Where: Sacramento, CA / Berlin, Germany
Label: Warp
Release: Aug 24th

I remember somewhere between the release of !!!’s first record in 2001 and their second in 2004 how much mystery surrounded them, as people who had no idea who to say their name began discovering them and trying to tell others. Their dance punk funk was hip too, à la late ’70s early ’80s — A Certain Ratio and all that.

Now, !!!’s fourth album takes them to Berlin — or maybe Berlin took them to their fourth album — where they look to Brian Eno and others who have gone before them for new inspiration after a massive change in the band’s lineup and the horrid death of their drummer who fell down an elevator shaft last fall.

Nic Offer talked to Dazed about the Berlin scene. “It wasn’t anything conscious or planned. We’d jam and bring in feelings and states of mind and suddenly, sometimes, it’d sort of come together and we’d be like ‘Yeah, this is Berlin,'” Offer said. “New York has become pretty sterile in terms of dance music. It feels stale. In Berlin, there is a lot of innovation and creativity going on. It feels so much more alive.”

I recall how the mystery was lifted for me when I went to see !!! for the first time. I know now it was the cryptic nature of their name (derived from African “bush language, which makes the sound cluck, cluck, cluck”) that led me to expect a band of strange cool, few words and heavy Manchester scene revival grooves. I was stunned when these awkwardly tall guys came out, talked constantly, jumped around and jammed it up — I mean they really got jammy.

“Strange Weather, Isn’t It?” is jammy too, and I dare say a bit techno — dirty words where I come from. There’s a kind of overarching dork disco vibe to the whole album that some people are just at odds with, myself included. Opener “AM/FM” is a shrug for me. The closer, “The Hammer” makes me want to take one to the head.

The must-dance power of “The Most Certain Sure” is undeniable though and I’m most certainly sure it’ll be a big hit at sweaty parties for what remains of the summer. On another positive note, something of great sonic magnificence occurs halfway through “Even Judas Gave Jesus a Kiss,” the standout track from !!!’s Berlin-inspired formula — I’m sure Brian Eno himself would dig it.

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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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