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Make Your Own “Night Catches Us” Soundtrack

Make Your Own “Night Catches Us” Soundtrack (photo)

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This week I’m catching up with 2011 Spirit Award nominees that I missed last year in preparation for the live webchat I’m hosting during the show on Last night I watched “Night Catches Us” by Tanya Hamilton, a moving period drama about two former Black Panthers linked by death, love, and guilt years after their revolutionary days have ended. The Panthers are played beautifully by Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington. The film’s nominated in the Best First Feature category against some very stiff competition, including presumptive favorite “Tiny Furniture,” but it is a very good debut feature worthy of recognition.

Especially worthy of recognition is the movie’s phenomenal soundtrack, an amazing collection of funk, soul, gospel, and blues tunes (plus a score composed and performed by The Roots) that form the sonic landscape of film’s Philadelphia circa 1976. The only problem is, as is often the case with small indie films like “Night Catches Us,” there is no actual soundtrack album. From a business perspective, this makes perfect sense: soundtrack buyers are moviegoers and, unfortunately, not a lot of moviegoers saw “Night Catches Us” in theaters (according to Box Office Mojo, the film grossed less than $100,000 domestically). From a cinephile perspective, this is an outrage. “Night Catches Us” had one of the coolest soundtracks of any movie of 2010. If only there was a way to own it.

So here’s what I did. I took the soundtrack listing at the end of the film’s credits then made a Ping Playlist in iTunes WHICH YOU CAN FIND AT THIS LINK featuring every song that was available. It ended up being only 13 out of 22 listed tracks, but that’s better than nothing, and it’s still a pretty outstanding playlist of music, with songs by El Michel’s Affair, Darondo, Cool Sounds, Joe Medwick, and Epitaph. Seriously: check it out. Until Apple creates some kind of kick-back system I’m not making any money on this thing; I just did this in the hopes of spreading the word about this fine film and sparking some interest in more indie film soundtracks. If you’re curious but iTunes allergic, here’s my playlist followed by the rest of the “Night Catches Us” songs that aren’t available through Apple:

A “Night Catches Us” Soundtrack iTunes Playlist
1. “C.R.E.A.M.” by El Michel’s Affair
2. “Please Accept My Prayer” by Shirley Ann Lee
3. “Bring Da Ruckus” by El Michel’s Affair
4. “Didn’t I” by Darondo
5. “Mystery of Chessboxin” by El Michel’s Affair
6. “Black Balloons” by Syl Johnson
7. “Let My People Go” by Darondo
8. “Is It Because I’m Black” by Syl Johnson
9. “Where Do We Go From Here” by Cool Sounds
10. “Criminology” by El Michel’s Affair
11. “Your Sweet Love” by Joe Medwick
12. “Epitaph Movement” by Epitaph
13. “How I Got Over” by The Roots

The Rest of the “Night Catches Us” Soundtrack
“Pledge of Allegiance” by Watts Prophets
“I’lL Never Get Over You – Night Cue” by The Don Rebic Trio
“Welcome The Boys Back Home” by Bill Moss and the Celestials
“Dem N****** Ain’t Playing” by Watts Prophets
“Party on 4th Street” by Black Nasty
“How Are You” by Muhal Richard Abrams
“Greek Lullaby” by Margaret
“Discovery” by Tom Paul
“Reflect” by DJDG

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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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