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SXSW 2012: HR Talks “Bad Brains Band in DC”


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When you study the history of hard core punk, the lasting impact of legendary Washington, D.C., band Bad Brains is apparent. Formed in 1977, Bad Brains and their eccentric front man HR blended punk and reggae to create a sound that is still unparallelled. They are one of the most important and influential American bands and yet they are frequently overlooked, despite the fact that their influence can clearly be heard in groups like Beastie Boys, Nirvana, No Doubt and countless more.

The band is finally getting their due with a new movie “Bad Brains in DC” documenting the band’s complicated 30-year history. Using rare archival footage and original comic illustrations the film re-constructs Bad Brains’ story from scrappy punk rockers in DC to the elder statesmen of the hard core scene.

As part of our coverage of the Best of SXSW, the group’s legendary front man HR and the film’s director, Mandy Stein, talked to our music host Chris Keating about the film, which started as an off-shoot of a documentary on the shuttering of the iconic punk club CBGBs. In the following clips, HR explains the root of Bad Brains musical evolution and clarifies that while the band didn’t invent hard core, they definitely perfected it. It’s hard to argue.

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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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