Don’t get us wrong: Portlandia is one of our favorite TV shows, providing the artisanal-everything set with a much-needed dose of lighthearted satire. But over the course of the past three seasons, we’ve noticed that it isn’t just critiquing the lives of young, hip urbanites — it’s changing them, too, by shaming us out of our most hypocritical and cliché tendencies. In celebration of tonight’s Season 3 finale, we offer a list of everything Portlandia has ruined so far. … Read More
Like many other former fans, I stopped watching The Simpsons sometime in the mid-2000s. It’s not that I think it’s uniformly terrible now — it’s still better than a whole lot of other shows on TV — or I’m boycotting it on principle. Hell, I even end up tuning in a few times per season, for a “Treehouse of Horror” or if someone I like is guest starring. But unlike its newish neighbor in Fox’s Sunday-night animation block, Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons just can’t hold my attention anymore.
Sure, part of it is just that, a quarter-century into its run, the show rarely comes up with the kind of brilliantly loopy storylines that sustained it through the ’90s. What bothers me even more, though, is that a show that once had so many smart and original things to say about American culture has long seemed behind the times, its criticism mild and stale. In perhaps the most glaring example of this unfortunate trend, The Simpsons welcomed Portlandia stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein (as well as Patton Oswalt and, briefly, The Decemberists) to Springfield for an episode about hipsters. … Read More
We would have been happy to report one piece of good news about Portlandia, so you can imagine how overjoyed we are to have three. First things first: IFC has announced that the show’s third season will premiere January 4th at 10pm — just in time to cure your week-long New Year’s hangover. Chloë Sevigny, fresh off her terrifying American Horror Story turn, is set to guest star as Fred and Carrie’s roommate, and it wouldn’t be a season of Portlandia without everyone’s favorite mayor, Kyle MacLachlan.
And that’s not all! IFC will also air a special “Winter in Portlandia” episode December 14th at 10:30, which promises Christmas — sorry, non-denominational, optionally religious winter holiday — skits featuring Peter and Nance, the feminist bookstore ladies, and other familiar Portlandians. But don’t worry: if you still can’t imagine waiting another month to check in with Fred and Carrie, Portlandia has also just posted the season’s first preview clip. Watch “Meditation Crush” below. … Read More
In case you couldn’t tell, we’ve been having a difficult time dragging ourselves away from Twitter this morning. Since we’ve already brought you one of the strangest and most unpleasant celebrity reactions to the election, now seems like a good time to celebrate a tweet that lives at the intersection of people we… Read More
You may have read recently that
Mitt Romney Paul Ryan is the world’s most unlikely Rage Against the Machine fan, and the spectacular WTF-ness of his inexplicable declaration of fondness for left-wing agitrock will endure as one of the stranger moments of the 2012 campaign trail. The whole strange business also got us thinking: well, there are plenty of features around wherein artists have been asked to choose a selection of their favorite albums or songs. Surely there are some wacky choices in there? We got reading, and yep, there are some real winners to be found… so here’s a selection of such choices that we found particularly interesting — either selections we’d never heard of, or selections we just wouldn’t have expected. Who’d have thought that Bradford Cox was the only person in the world to like the second MGMT album, or that Frank Black was into weird faux-Greek music, or that both Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull were experts on reggae? Read on for more…
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What’s better than hearing road stories from the hilarious Carrie Brownstein, of Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag, and Portlandia fame? Well, how about hearing road stories from an animated Carrie Brownstein? As the latest subject of Pitchfork’s “Frames” series, which creates animated shorts to accompany audio from interviews with the likes of GZA and Fucked Up, she takes on the mystique of afterparties — which, as she tells it, never seem to live up to the hype. The White Stripes make a cameo in the tale of one college party that kicked out Sleater-Kinney, but the real high point is a Wild Flag story that’s just too good to spoil. Watch Brownstein on “Frames,” after the jump. … Read More
We recently learned that Carrie Brownstein — of Portlandia, but more importantly, Sleater-Kinney/Wild Flag fame — has signed a deal with Riverhead Books and is working on a memoir. We’re psyched, of course, and ready for a hilarious take on the ’90s riot grrrl scene and its transition into alt rock and indie punk. But the news also got us thinking about some of our favorite existing music memoirs, written by everyone from Throwing Muses frontwoman Kristin Hersh to folk superhuman Woody Guthrie (but we’re leaving out Just Kids, because we’ve talked about it so much here that we assume you’ve already read it). We can only hope Brownstein’s turns out to be as good as some of these, but knowing her, it probably will. Click through to check out our ten favorite memoirs by musicians, and let us know if we’ve missed any of your own favorites in the comments! … Read More
We all know that the dream of the ’90s is alive in Portland, where young people go to retire. But sometimes, in Portland or Brooklyn or Austin, all the DIY pickling and knitting and beard-growing starts to become reminiscent of another ’90s entirely — the 1890s. In the seemingly too-good-to-be-true follow-up to last year’s blockbuster musical number, Portlandia’s Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein have brought us “Dream of the 1890s.” Microbrew or die, bitches! … Read More
Portlandia is a show that works almost as a series of inside jokes. The sketches are all knowing winks to the audience about the culture they presumably know all about, in which your friend has begun pickling everything and people can “put a bird on anything and call it art.” But it also works because Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are the kind of people who you’d like to share an inside joke with. Both are unquestionably cool in their own right, but it’s their friendship, both on and off television, that’s an equally compelling force behind their television success. In interviews and on the show, they seem like two BFFs having fun as much as professionals with a television show, riffing off each other and cracking wise. But not all twosomes translate as well off the HDTV screen, so it’s a relief that the Portlandia live show, which wrapped up its first leg in New York this weekend, shows the friends to be every bit as fun as they seem. After the jump, the best moments from the show at The Bowery Ballroom, plus what Armisen and Brownstein had to say about spirit animals, overanalyzing text messages, and a possible Portlandia movie. … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we celebrated National Trivia Day with 119 amazing facts courtesy of our friends at Mental Floss. We got a behind-the-scenes look at Conan O’Brien’s daily life. We enjoyed this fantastic Joker-by-Seuss mashup from DeviantArt member DrFaustusAu. We got incredibly excited watching Fred Armisen and… Read More