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Video: Weezer covers Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android.” Yup…

Video: Weezer covers Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android.” Yup… (photo)

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Last year, a friend who I hadn’t seen in some time sent me a barrage of texts throughout an afternoon asking me to have a drink with him that night. He had some pals playing some covers that evening at a local muscle-shirt/short-skirts bar, and he didn’t wanted to be the stranded bro pretending to listen to ’90s radio hits he didn’t really care to hear. I obliged, and I’ve always been glad I did: I didn’t really love the atmosphere or the band, but watching them run through a well-rehearsed decoupage of hits from my teenage years was revealing. In the eyes of that band and the gaggle of casual listeners who drunkenly shouted along to each chorus, Third Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life” and Eve 6’s “Inside Out” sat alongside Weezer’s “Undone–Sweater Song” and Radiohead’s “Creep” just fine. For alternative rock, those songs could barely be more different thematically (one is pure self-loathing, while at least one is a completely inane break-up tune) or musically (Third Eye Blind’s includes, sort of, a rap verse). But for the cover band playing for tips, they were all uniform, unified symbols for the generation stuffing dollar bills into a water pitcher; they could care less what the songs meant.

Today, Weezer becomes that cover band in the corner playing for the greenbacks dropped in the plastic. Their cover of Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” is inarguably tight, each part delivered with the precision and zeal of the original. Frontman Rivers Cuomo strains his voice outside of his comfort range, mining Thom Yorke’s anxiety with every snarl and fade. When he leans into the microphone, hand close to throat, near the 2:27 mark, you know that he means this entirely. This isn’t a joke or a prank; Weezer, a band with songs called “Hash Pipe” and “Island in the Sun,” is tackling one of the best and darkest moments in pop culture with gusto and rehearsal but adding nothing to it except the affirmation that, given a decade or two, we come to think of songs as generic artifacts, not representations of real feelings of time and place. It’s the sort of moment that suggests, in 20 years, some once-lighthearted geezers in need of a new image might cover “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.” Just like Weezer, when it’s over, they’ll likely laugh and say, “That was so cool.” It won’t be.

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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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