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Exclusive premiere: Dolorean “Black Hills Gold”

Exclusive premiere: Dolorean “Black Hills Gold” (photo)

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Dolorean’s fourth record, “The Unfazed,” brings them to to the kind of rainy, but resolute mood that singer/songwriter Al James seems most comfortable in. Their sound may have been best summed up by bass player James Adair’s father-in-law, as “a mood of acceptance without despair, or should I say, disappointment without resignation.”

In “Black Hills Gold” Al James digs deep into this melancholy while exploring the death of Dennis Wilson — Beach Boys drummer and enduring object of fascination for James who describes him as the “Adonis of the 60s.” The day Wilson drowned at Marina Del Rey in LA he’d been diving for personal treasures which were lost to the sea, thrown in after a fight with his lover years before. Together with director Dicky Dahl, James pays homage to Wilson and the tale of his last efforts to hold on to the pain, and passion, of his past.

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Al James explains the story of Dennis Wilson, the impetus behind the video, and poses pertinent questions for the romantic:

My fascination with and appreciation for Dennis Wilson, the late drummer for the Beach Boys, has continued unabated for the last decade. Dennis is an everlasting Greek God – the blonde haired, blue-eyed Adonis of the 60s and the only Beach Boy that mattered as far as every girl in Southern California was concerned. Everything came easy to Denny – surfing, motorcycles, partying, acting, he even learned to play drums on the fly when the Wilson family formed their band as teenagers. For all his natural talent, Dennis had his troubles. With his 1977 solo album “Pacific Ocean Blue,” Dennis wrestled these troubles and shaped them into something beautiful and personal. In 1983, however, he gave into the darkness and drowned at Marina Del Rey, the dock where his beloved sailboat “The Harmony” was once moored. He spent that day drinking and swimming, discovering bits of his life that had been thrown overboard years before during an explosive argument with an ex-wife. Dennis dove into the ocean over and over retrieving memories of his love and his life that were buried at sea. Ultimately, he dove too deep and was washed out into the abyss.

I wanted to make Dolorean’s first video “Black Hills Gold” as a short film based loosely on Dennis Wilson’s death. My partner in this endeavor was filmmaker Dicky Dahl. Dicky is a long-time friend and the writer and co-producer of the award winning documentary “The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack” (2000 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize). No stranger to telling stories about musicians and their struggles with heartache, memories and loss, Dicky and I set out to write a script that talked abstractly about Dennis’s actual death, but presented a scenario that mirrored his confrontation with his past just before dying. What sort of strength did it require for a man to go back, search out his darkest memories and hold them up to the light? Did this act always have to end in death? Why are we compelled to collect the things that are the most painful? We couldn’t have told this story without the talent of actor Matt Helms. For us, Matt embodied the rugged quiet and animalistic magnetism for which Dennis Wilson was widely known. This short film is dedicated to Dennis Wilson, to the passion that defined his life, and his courage in confronting his pain in a very visceral way.

DOLOREAN TOUR DATES:

8/27 Seattle, WA @ Columbia City Theater (with Pearly Gate Music)

9/8 Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar (MusicFest NorthWest w/ Damien Jurado)

9/11 Portland, OR @ Rontoms (MFNW Marmoset Music Party)

9/15 Al James solo / NYC, NY @ Dunderdon (Danner Boots Stumptown Launch Party)

10/14 – 10/15 Al James solo / Phoenix, AZ (AIGA Pivot Design Conference Talk, Q&A and Performance)

10/19 Al James solo / Salem, OR (Willamette University English Dept. Talk and Performance)

Are you compelled to collect the things that are the most painful? 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…