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Exclusive Premiere: The Goldberg Sisters “Erik Erikson”

Exclusive Premiere: The Goldberg Sisters “Erik Erikson” (photo)

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Adam Goldberg was once a young, handsome, multi-talented actor, musician and director. The last time I spoke with him he was fresh off the completion of a 16mm elegy for The Goldberg Sisters’s song “The Room.” He was prolific, witty, some would say muscular, and his whole life was ahead of him. But, as you’ll see in the Warholian video for this track with a killer riff, “Erik Erikson,” he’s now turned 40.

Viewers sensitive to images of developmental psychologist Erik Erikson, imposing fonts, or those with anxiety about what stage of psychosocial development they’re stuck in, should hit play with caution.

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Erikson is best known for giving us the concept of identity crisis and his theory of the psychosocial stages of development — which have clearly haunted Adam Goldberg, who’s been an existential psychoanalysis fanatic since high school (See “Dazed and Confused“). “I found a journal entry recently,” Goldberg told me. “I was a senior in high school…. pining over an unrequited romance or rather, at the time, I think it was requited, but I was ambivalent, according to this entry dated 3/11/88 12:29 A.M.” The entry read, “It is odd, yeah, yeah, Erikson is really right: you can’t have a relationship — or a successful one or a satisfying one — if you don’t like yourself.”

Clearly, Goldberg was grappling with what Erikson would call, Intimacy vs. Isolation, well ahead of the normal developmental schedule. Fast forward to the year 2000 and Goldberg writes this song, “Erik Erikson” about prematurely experiencing the last of Erikson’s “stages of life” (Integrity vs. Despair) at the age of 30. Now, another decade later, he updated the track for release on The Goldberg Sisters.

For the developmentally curious, the landmark age of 40 is marked by Erikson as the Generativity vs. Stagnation stage. A sense of stagnation, an unproductive lull is often felt when entering midlife. Those who perceive that they have failed to achieve anything, and continue to stagnate through their 40’s, feel stuck and eventually sink into despair. Even alpha types who were incredibly successful, who seemingly sprung effortlessly through life, a career and fame, may find it all catching up with them and suddenly feel burdened. What was it all worth? Is this all that I am?

Others, like Goldberg (who let’s face it, has been living anxiously the whole time) take this opportunity to create art, to “generate” more — which is why he’ll surely ascend to Erikson’s last stage with integrity. Here we see him about to turn 40 complete with numerical evidence. He sat down in a chair and waited for it (and filmed it with a 16mm camera along with his iPhone). “And much like life,” he said, “nothing happens.”

In the spirit of developmental evolution, here’s the decidedly Sonic Youth-inspired, scratch track Goldberg recorded at home. It’s spare, raw promise, compared to the salvo of overlaying guitars and pedal lust that made the final track on the album:


DOWNLOAD: “Erik Erikson – Scratch”

Hey, what developmental stage are you in? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!

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Final Countdown

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 IFC.com

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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…