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Portugal. The Man Prog Rocks The IFC Crossroads House

Portugal. The Man Prog Rocks The IFC Crossroads House (photo)

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When you’re in the same room as Portugal. The Man, you notice the climate. You sense the Alaskan landscape from which the band hails. You smell the rain of Portland Oregon, where the group now resides, and where they recorded their latest LP, “American Ghetto” in 2010. And you feel warm for them in their sweaters, with the heat of the lights and the electric energy of all their fans. Portugal. The Man, it may be cold in Alaska, but you can wear short sleeves here.

At their show at the IFC Crossroads House yesterday, the band tried out some of their latest prog pop rock numbers, in anticipation of the release of their upcoming album, due out in May. Like so many other artists who were shaped in remote locations, Portugal. The Man’s compositions are reflective of the landscapes of their youth, embodying both the enlightenment of isolation and the occasional heavy noise you experience when you’re alone with your mind.

The group is at their best when they’re singing anthemic songs like “The Sun,” off their 2009 album, “Satanaic Satanist.” Bright and hook-ridden, this is the kind of song you play in a ’57 Chevy as you’re driving down US 1 with the top down. The same goes for “People Say,” the band’s big hit, with its Brit rock bent. The group crafts sing-along choruses, Gourley’s honey voice and hyper falsetto leading you forward. And the crowd responds with eager participation.

But what makes this band so compelling is that they are not content to sit within the confines of a simple, cleanly executed melody. Their live shows are arenas for experimentation, looping effects and pushing sound to its robust edge. One minute, soulful melodies are plotting along their course, and the next, Jason Sechrist launches into feverish drumming. Zachary Scott Carothers rips into his bass. Gourley lets his high notes loose. And is there isn’t a machine keyboardist Ryan Neighbors isn’t using to manipulate the band’s sound from clean to grungy and bombastic. Together they create a beautiful, harmonious mess that leaves you lingering in a strange climate of the band’s making.

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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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