Entries tagged with: Carrie Brownstein

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by Bill Pearis

Flaming Lips Portlandia Pickathon

The sixth season of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's series Portlandia premieres Thursday (1/21) at 10 PM on IFC and takes place entirely at Oregon festival Pickathon (which just announced its 2016 lineup). Among the storylines are that headliners The Flaming Lips have split into two competing groups: The Flaming Lips Featuring Wayne Coyne and More Flaming Lips (with Steven Drozd, Michael Ivins and a new singer). Surely this will be the most momentous festival-based comedy episode since Homer Simpson went to Lollapalooza. Watch a clip below.

You can also watch an entire new episode of Portlandia (not the Pickathon one) over at IFC.

Related: Fred paid tribute to the late David Bowie on this past week's SNL.

Continue reading "The Flaming Lips headline Pickathon in the season premiere of 'Portlandia' which airs this week (watch a clip)"

photos by PSquared; words by Bill Pearis

Sleater-Kinney @ Market Hotel 12/16/2015
Sleater-Kinney
Sleater-Kinney
Sleater-Kinney
Sleater-Kinney
Sleater-Kinney

It was a momentous night: the final stop of Sleater-Kinney's five-show NYC run (and tour), and the final show of what has been a busy, triumphant year for the reunited indie rock trio. Additionally, it also served as a reopening for Bushwick DIY spot Market Hotel after what has been a long (and not quite done) renovation process. The place was packed (but not uncomfortably so) and featured the best sound and light show I've ever experienced at Market (both surely brought by the band). It was sweaty and I'd forgotten how much the floor bounces, as it did when S-K trucked out classics like "All Hands on the Bad One."

Like the three previous nights, Fred Armisen was brought out for an encore rendition of B-52's classic "Rock Lobster." I can't say it's one of my favorite B-52's songs but they totally nailed it, and clearly were having a blast playing it, making for one of the most pure-fun moments of the night. They then wrapped up 2015 with "Call the Doctor" and "Dig Me Out." For that encore, the band were all in specially made t-shirts: "Fucking Janet Weiss," "Fuck Carrie Kill," "Whorin' for Corin," and Fred was wearing "Another Lady for Katie" (for touring guitarist Katie Harkin). Setlist is below.

Opening was Lee Ranaldo (weirdly the fifth time I'd seen him perform in little more than a week), who made a total racket, christening the not-quite-finished space. As to that, Market Hotel looked spiffed up but not too different. (I can't actually remember what the last show I saw there was, but it's been five years for me.) It was a temporary permit for last night's show and the general (if entirely unofficial) consensus I heard last night was they are looking to be back in business at the end of February. It was really cool, though, having the J/M rumble by the window and seeing traffic flow behind Sleater-Kinney (with "S-K" and hearts scrawled in the fogged-up window). I look forward to seeing more shows there soon.

More pictures from the whole night, including pics of Ranaldo's set, below...

Continue reading "Sleater-Kinney wrapped up their 2015 tour at still-being-renovated Market Hotel w/ Lee Ranldo (pics/setlist)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher

Sleater-Kinney, with Fred Armisen @ MHOW - 12/15/15
Sleater-Kinney
Sleater-Kinney
Sleater-Kinney

Night 1, night 2, night 3, and now night 4 of Sleater-Kinney's sold-out five NYC shows happened last night (12/15). This one was the most intimate yet, at Music Hall of Williamsburg. I caught them at their first NYC reunion show at Terminal 5 earlier this year, where they were undoubtedly great, but it was much better seeing them up close and personal in a venue like MHOW. Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss are all rock stars, and that was more than apparent last night. Whether they're playing something off this year's No Cities To Love (their first album in ten years) or an old ripper like 1997's still-furious "Dig Me Out," they sounded as on-point and intense as ever. Setlist-wise, we got about half of that new album and half of their final LP before initially breaking up, The Woods, and a pretty good mix of older songs.

Like at Irving Plaza and Terminal 5, Carrie's Portlandia partner Fred Armisen came out during the encore to sing lead on a cover of The B-52s' "Rock Lobster," which Corin wore a bright pink wig for. That encore wrapped up with "Modern Girl" (that had the whole crowd singing) and the aforementioned "Dig Me Out." Pictures and setlist are in this post.

Opening last night's show were the sugary, energetic pop rockers Charly Bliss. Sleater-Kinney's run wraps up tonight at the even more intimate Market Hotel, and doubles as re-opening night for the venue. Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo opens.

In related news, a new trailer is out for Portlandia Season 6, and it includes a teaser of Glenn Danzig's appearance. Check it out (via Vulture), with more pics from MHOW, below...

Continue reading "Sleater-Kinney played night 4 of their NYC run at MHOW (pics); new Portlandia trailer ft. Danzig out now (watch)"

photos by Ebru Yildiz

Corin Tucker / Carrie Brownstein / Meredith Graves @ Irving Plaza - 12/14/15
Sleater-Kinney
Sleater-Kinney
Perfect Pussy

Sleater-Kinney continued their sold-out five-night run of NYC shows last night (12/14) at Irving Plaza with Perfect Pussy opening. So far the setlists have been similar but not exactly the same, and each show gets a cover. The cover last night was the same as night 2: Fred Armisen joining for The B-52s' "Rock Lobster." Check out coverage of nights 1 and 2 here. Pictures and setlist from night 3 are in this post.

The run continues tonight (12/15) at MHOW with Charly Bliss and ends on Wednesday (12/16) at Market Hotel, which is that venue's first real show back. Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo opens that one.

S-K also stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert yesterday and played "Bury Our Friends" off this year's great comeback album, No Cities to Love. Watch the video of that below.

For Perfect Pussy, that show came after singer Meredith Graves played three shows with Kevin Devine and friends (pictures, video and review from Brooklyn and Philly), and right before their tour with Big Ups, which begins in Easthampton, MA tonight. It hits NYC on Friday (12/18) at MHOW with DFA's Guerilla Toss playing too (tickets). Speaking of Big Ups, they just released a new song.

More pictures of S-K and PP at Irving, plus S-K's setlist an their Colbert video, below...

Continue reading "Sleater-Kinney continued their NYC run at Irving Plaza with Perfect Pussy (pics, setlist), played 'Colbert' (video)"

Kirk Windstein personalizing holiday cards
Kirk Windstein

As you may have noticed, it's the holiday season, and that might mean you feel the need to make holiday cards for your friends and family. If this seems daunting, fear not, sludge great Kirk Windstein of Down and Crowbar can make you a personalized holiday card this season. For only $10 he'll personalize the card to you or a friend and include a signed photo. What are you waiting for?

Looking for other holiday metal gifts? How about heavy metal nutcrackers? This is a line of nutcrackers in the likeness of famous heavy musicians like King Diamond, Ronnie James Dio, Lemmy, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford, Cliff Burton, Danzig, Abbath, and also Morrissey and Jerry Garcia (???). MetalSucks also has a metal holiday gift guide that's very useful. It includes items like Slayer's "Reign in Blood Cabernet Sauvignon" which comes in a small coffin, a Metallica bib for your friends with kids, and just some nice skull slippers.

You could also go the classic sweater route. There's just something about metal Christmas sweaters (hey, the thought of someone like Kirk in a Christmas sweater is always good for a laugh); they're just always a thing. Loudwire put together a list of some of the best this season has to offer, which include an Anthrax Hannukah sweater, a Babymetal sweater, and the always classic Slayer sweater.

Check out more details on the the Windstein cards and Carrie Brownstein's nutcracker instagram below...

Continue reading "Crowbar's Kirk Windstein will personalize a holiday card for you ++ metal nutcrackers, Metallica bibs & more metal gifts"

photo: Flaming Lips at Levitation 2015 (more by Tim Griffin)
Flaming Lips

We already knew that Glenn Danzig would be one of the guests on season 6 of Carrie Brownstein & Fred Armisen's show Portlandia, and now Pitchfork points out IFC announced the premiere date (January 21) and more guests:

Guest stars coming to Portlandia this season include Jillian Bell (Workaholics), Louis C.K. (Louie), musician Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips, rocker Glenn Danzig, Gregory Gourdet (Top Chef), Mitchell Hurwitz (Arrested Development), Moshe Kasher (Another Period), Zoe Kravitz (Dope, Mad Max), John Levenstein (Kroll Show), NPR's Kai Ryssdal, Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development), Robert Smigel (Saturday Night Live), and Bitsie Tulloch (rimm).

Returning guest stars include Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is the New Black), and Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley).

Sounds great as always. While you wait for January 21 to roll around, you can catch up on the first five seasons on Netflix.

Carrie Brownstein's new memoir is out now and we just interviewed her about that and other things. Sleater-Kinney are touring soon too, including five NYC shows in December. Most are sold out but tickets for some are still available.

The Flaming Lips are also touring soon as Miley Cyrus's backing band, and with Dan Deacon opening. They're also giving a physical release to their Christmas single with Yoko Ono, and an autographed copy is one of the items being auctioned off with proceeds going to Surfer Blood's Thomas Fekete, who is battling cancer.

by Jonathan Dick

Carrie Brownstein

Carrie Brownstein's creative versatility might otherwise be astonishing were it not for the fact that the actor, musician, and writer, is grounded to a familiar commonality in which her fans continue to find comfort and even catharsis. From Portlandia to Sleater-Kinney and everything in between, the trajectory of Brownstein's creative mind remains a vulnerable place of self-awareness and a rare kind of honesty concerning her perspective of her own celebrity. That characteristic is especially present in her newly released memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. A humbling, bare, hilarious, and altogether moving recounting of her life and the challenges both past and present she faces, the book is simply yet another perspective on Brownstein's powerful simplicity and candor.

Season 6 of Portlandia is due in 2016 (with Danzig) and Sleater-Kinney will be going on another tour this year, five December NYC shows included. Currently touring for her memoir, Brownstein just made two NYC appearances this week -- the Barnes & Noble in Union Square on Wednesday (10/28) with Gaby Hoffman and Saint Vitus on Tuesday (10/27) with Questlove. Guests on other upcoming dates include Amy Poehler, Dave Eggers, Jessica Hopper and more.

I recently caught up with Carrie and discussed the tour, the challenges of writing her memoir, and why music remains a sacred space for her:

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BV: You've got a number of interesting and influential guests that you're collaborating with on your book tour. Was that something you wanted to do from the outset once you'd finished Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl?

Carrie Brownstein: Yeah. I had interviewed both Lena Dunham and Kim Gordon on their respective book tours, and I really liked the conversations I had with both authors. I felt like what I wanted was to bring together a group of people that would each have a different perspective or take on the book, so that each night I was essentially having a different kind of conversation, so that I would never sort of be on message. I'm not somebody that feels I'm on message or on point very much in terms like a politician. [Laughs.] But at the same time I thought, well, this will at least highlight different elements of the book, or potentially veer of into a tangent that might be interesting or exciting every night.

continued below...

Continue reading "Carrie Brownstein talks her memoir, Kendrick Lamar, Sleater-Kinney, social media activism & more (in a BV interview)"

Carrie Brownstein

Carrie Brownstein's memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, is out October 27 and the Sleater-Kinney singer/guitarist and Portlandia star will start her book tour that day, with a reading and Q&A at Brooklyn's Saint Vitus (10/27) and Questlove will be in conversation with her at that one. Tickets are on sale and include a copy of the book.

The next night (10/28) Brownstein will give a reading at Barnes & Noble in Union Square which is free though there's priority seating for those who buy the book at B&N. No special guests have been announced for the B&N appearance but most of the dates of Brownstein's book tour are "in conversation" with someone of note. SNL's Aidy Bryant in Philadelphia, Amy Poehler in Los Angeles, and Dave Eggers in San Francisco. All dates and special guests are listed below....

Continue reading "Carrie Brownstein adds Brooklyn reading/Q&A w/ Questlove to book tour; other dates w/ Amy Poehler, Dave Eggers, more"

danzig

Officially looking forward to the next season of Portlandia after seeing the above photo posted to Carrie Brownstein's Instagram, hoping Carrie wears that outfit to her upcoming almost-Halloween appearance at Barnes & Noble in Union Square, hoping Danzig does not wear his outfit at any of his Halloween-time shows this year (October 21st at Best Buy Theater included), AND not sure when Portlandia Season 6 hits IFC, but meanwhile you can catch Fred in his new IFC show Documentary Now!.

Check out a couple more pics from what seems to be a goth-themed sketch, via Fred's instagram, below...

Continue reading "Danzig on Portlandia? (this pic of Carrie, Glenn & Fred rules)"

Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello will release a memoir this year, titled Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink and due out October 13 via Penguin (pre-order). Here's more, via Penguin's description:

"Unfaithful Music" describes how Costello's career has somehow endured for almost four decades through a combination of dumb luck and animal cunning, even managing the occasional absurd episode of pop stardom.

The memoir, written entirely by Costello himself, offers his unique view of his unlikely and sometimes comical rise to international success, with diversions through the previously undocumented emotional foundations of some of his best known songs and the hits of tomorrow. The book contains many stories and observations about his renowned co-writers and co-conspirators, though Costello also pauses along the way for considerations on the less appealing side of infamy.

Elvis will be in NYC to celebrate it on October 13 at Barnes & Noble Union Square and November 10 at BAM, where he'll be in conversation with Rosanne Cash. Tickets for BAM are on sale now. To get in to Barnes & Noble, you have to pick the book from a B&N location. More info here.

Speaking of musicians with book events in NYC, here are a few more. Sleater-Kinney/Portlandia's Carrie Brownstein will celebrate Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl on October 28 at Barne's & Noble Union Square. You have to pick up the book from a B&N location to get in. More info here. S-K are also touring, including five NYC shows in December.

The Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle will be here for a discussion/signing of last year's Wolf In White Van book, which was recently released on paperback. It happens September 1 at Strand, and to get in you have to pick up the book or a $15 gift card from Strand. More info here. He'll also introduce a screening of Pier Paolo Pasolini's Medea on August 31 at Lincoln Center, followed by a book discussion and signing (tickets). Mountain Goats are also touring again later this year. No NYC shows, but all dates are listed here.

New York's St. Joseph's College is hosting a series of "literary presentations and discussions" this fall semester that includes a couple musician-authors. One is the previously discussed appearance by Patti Smith (one of three NYC dates on her book tour), and the other is Throwing Muses' Kirstin Hersh in support of Don't Suck, Don't Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt, her book about her friendship and past tours with Vic Chesnutt. That one takes place October 21, and Kristin will be in conversation with author/music journalist Amanda Petrusich (NY Times, Pitchfork, etc). Full schedule and tickets for all shows here.

Punk legend Richard Hell makes an appearance supporting his Massive Pissed Love essay collection on October 14 at Strand. More info here. He'll also be at Book Court on October 27. Details coming soon.

Amanda Palmer, who is about to have a child, is making one more NYC appearance before then at the New York Public Library on Thursday (8/20) at 6 PM. It actually takes place outside the library, it's free, and will include a children's book drive as well as a performance from Amanda. She writes:

PLEASE bring a children's book (or more than one!) to donate to the NYPL's early literacy program. the performance is in part a book-drive to get books to kids (and their parents) who don't have access. please make sure the books are new (they can't accept used books due to mold, etc).

***FOLLOW THE TWITTER & FACEBOOK FEEDS if IT RAINS! we will need to come up with some alternative space***

More info here.

Carrie Brownstein Hunger Makes Me a Modern GirlCarrie Brownstein Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

Sleater-Kinney's five NYC shows all go on sale today. Tickets for Market Hotel and Irving Plaza go on sale at 10 AM; Music Hall of Williamsburg, Terminal 5 and Kings Theater go on sale at noon.

In other news, Carrie Brownstein shared the cover design of her memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, and that's it above. The book's out October 27 and here's the official PR:

Before Carrie Brownstein became a music icon, she was a young girl growing up in the Pacific Northwest just as it was becoming the setting for one the most important movements in rock history. Seeking a sense of home and identity, she would discover both while moving from spectator to creator in experiencing the power and mystery of a live performance. With Sleater-Kinney, Brownstein and her bandmates rose to prominence in the burgeoning underground feminist punk-rock movement that would define music and pop culture in the 1990s. They would be cited as "America's best rock band" by legendary music critic Greil Marcus for their defiant, exuberant brand of punk that resisted labels and limitations, and redefined notions of gender in rock.

HUNGER MAKES ME A MODERN GIRL is an intimate and revealing narrative of her escape from a turbulent family life into a world where music was the means toward self-invention, community, and rescue. Along the way, Brownstein chronicles the excitement and contradictions within the era's flourishing and fiercely independent music subculture, including experiences that sowed the seeds for the observational satire of the popular television series Portlandia years later.

Brownstein will going on a book tour this fall, so stay tuned for details on that.

photo: Carrie w/ Sleater-Kinney at T5 this month (more by PSquared)
Sleater-Kinney

Carrie Brownstein has briefly mentioned she had written a memoir before, and now it has a title, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, and a release date: October 27, 2015. Penguin Publishing describes it as a " deeply personal look at life in rock and roll" and...:

intimately [capturing] what it feels like to be a young woman in a rock-and-roll band, from her days at the dawn of the underground feminist punk-rock movement that would define music and pop culture in the 1990s through today."
It will cover her earlier days in music but, unfortunately, "today" ends right around 2006 when Sleater-Kinney went on hiatus. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is available for pre-order now.

In other Carrie news, the always funny Portlandia, which just wrapped up its current season last week, just got renewed for two more seasons. Carrie was just in NYC with Janet and Corin for two sold-out Sleater-Kinney shows at Terminal 5.

photos by P Squared Photography

Sleater-Kinney

Sleater-Kinney brought their reunion tour to NYC's Terminal 5 twice, first on February 26 (check out our pics and review) and then again the following night (2/27). The setlists were mostly the same, but night two got two songs from 1996's Call the Doctor (night one didn't get any), plus "Little Babies" and the 11-minute "Let's Call It Love." Anybody go to both?

More pictures from night 2 (including opener Lizzo), the setlist and a video, below...

Continue reading "Sleater-Kinney played Terminal 5 again (night 2 pics, video and setlist)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher

Sleater-Kinney @ T5 - 2/26/15
Sleater-Kinney

Sleater-Kinney kicked off their reunion tour in Washington earlier this month, and last night (2/26) they finally made their triumphant return to NYC. It was their first of two sold-out Terminal 5 shows and first time playing here since Webster Hall in 2006. And "sold out" is no understatement. This place was packed, maybe oversold. They probably could've added a third night and sold that out too. It makes sense for a lot of reasons: Sleater-Kinney are a beloved band, they've been gone for way too long, their old songs still sound great today, and they still have every bit of what made them special in the first place. But that's true for a lot of reunited bands, of which there seem to be more of each day. What Sleater-Kinney have that American Football, or The Blood Brothers, or even The Replacements don't, is new songs. A whole album's worth. Almost half the set was new songs, and they weren't these flimsy reunion tunes that had the crowd wishing for old favorites -- the new material rivals their best work.

The only downside was that Terminal 5 is a less-than-ideal place to see Sleater-Kinney. They still play like a punk band, relying more on their own personal power than the kind of extravagant stage show that can suit a venue that big. But even while I was wishing they would be turned up three times as loud, you couldn't deny that they were a total force. Corin Tucker's voice was piercing, overpowering everything else in the room at almost any given moment. And the band members' interplay on stage was fucking electric. Carrie Brownstein with her rock star moves was the most fun to watch individually, but the way the three of them (four including new live member Katie Harkin of Sky Larkin) were constantly locked in and feeding off each other produced the kind of larger-than-life energy that only happens with a band this tightly knit. As great as Carrie and Janet Weiss's post-hiatus band Wild Flag was, there's something about having Corin, Carrie and Janet on stage at once that even the best side project can't replicate.

Sleater-Kinney

One of my personal favorite parts about the new album is, putting aside all the baggage that comes with a new Sleater-Kinney album in 2015, it's just a great guitar rock album. It's packed with almost as many riffs as a Led Zeppelin album, but they're not derived from blues, separating Sleater-Kinney from the masses of retro riffers. And seeing them shred away at those last night was the kind of thing that could melt Jack Black's face off. But as much as I think the new album is a big part of what makes this reunion so good, the most special moment of the night was the last two songs, two favorites from their initial run. I don't doubt that the crowd was singing along like this the whole show, but you could hear the entire room more than ever during the mostly drum-less penultimate song, "Modern Girl." It was one of those moments where you could actually hear the awe in the voices of the crowd. That led into the final song of the night, and the band's most wild performance, "Dig Me Out." It's the first song on the first album with the lineup of Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss (they didn't play anything from the first two albums without Janet), and probably the first song many people ever heard from that trio. 18 years later, they still sound passionate playing it.

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Kicking the night off was Minneapolis rapper Lizzo, who knew how to keep a packed house entertained, and whose short speech on gender and racial equality was met with huge cheers from the crowd. Before she came on, her DJ kept the crowd hyped with a set of The Runways' "Cherry Bomb," Le Tigre's "Deceptacon," Bikini Kill's "Rebel Girl" and more.

Sleater-Kinney and Lizzo do it again at T5 tonight, which is also sold out. UPDATE: Night 2 pics, video and setlist here.

Ahead of last night's show, S-K also played "Price Tag" on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Watch the video of that, with more pictures and their setlist from T5, below...

Continue reading "Sleater-Kinney played their first of two Terminal 5 shows with Lizzo, and 'Seth Meyers' (pics, setlist, review, video)"

photos by Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Sleater Kinney

Sleater-Kinney, whose great new album No Cities to Love is out this week via Sub Pop, were in NYC on Friday (1/16) to be interviewed by Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson of Broad City at Ace Hotel for NPR. The interview will be up on NPR this week, but while you wait for that, here's some highlights via Flavorwire:

3. Sleater-Kinney members are sick of having their gender pointed out -- like in the New York Times.

Weiss admitted frustration with seeing terms like "all-female band" show up in New York Times articles. (A recent Times profile also felt the need to dedicate three sentences comparing and contrasting members' looks.) Brownstein pointed out the absurdity of another aspect of the job: "No one's ever asked the question, 'Why did you decide to be in a band with all men?'"

Weiss called it the "Women in Rock" ghetto, referring to some publications' perception of women musicians as a specialized interest, and only comparing them to other bands with female members. "Who wants to be a white male? I don't," Brownstein added.

4. Likewise, Ilana is tired of Broad City being compared to Girls.

Brownstein related, wisely surmising, "If you're an 'other,' they want you to beat up the other 'other.'"

5. Don't expect to see Sleater-Kinney to play the festival circuit.

While festivals have grown into one of the music industry's few saving graces during S-K's decade off, don't expect to see the group making the rounds, especially not billed as a reunion. They view their shows as events, and they lose that excitement at a festival.

Read seven other highlights here. Pictures of the interview are in this post.

As discussed, Sleater-Kinney will be touring soon (with Katie from Sky Larkin as a live member), and since we last spoke, Minneapolis rapper Lizzo was added as an opener to several dates, including both sold-out Terminal 5 shows in NYC. Updated dates are listed below.

If you're a satellite radio subscriber, tune in to XMU to hear Sleater-Kinney members guest co-hosting during the afternoon all week.

Meanwhile, Broad City Season 2 premiered last week on Comedy Central and included a very funny clip where they deal with just about every bad NYC subway experience all in one ride. Watch that video, with more pictures from the S-K interview, below...

Continue reading "Sleater-Kinney interviewed by Broad City (pics), who took on NYC subway nightmares in their S2 premiere (watch)"

Carrie Fred Conan

Portlandia partners Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen appeared on Conan last night to discuss the show's brand new season and, among other things, the reunion of Carrie's band Sleater-Kinney. Conan clarifies to Fred that Sleater-Kinney is "a band you are not in," but Fred insists he'll find a way to go on tour with them. Watch how that went down, along with videos of them discussing Twitter marriage proposals and Carrie and Fred working out some of their issues, below.

Sleater-Kinney's first album since 2005, No Cities to Love, comes out next week (1/20) via Sub Pop. Listen.

Continue reading "Carrie Brownstein & Fred Armisen discuss how Fred thinks he will find a way to tour w/ Sleater-Kinney on 'Conan' (watch)"

Q-Tip leading protests in Times Square last night (photo via @alphajada)
Q-Tip

Last night it was announced that the grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson, MO police Officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting and death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Protests sprung up all over the country. In NYC, Q-Tip lead protests in Times Square chanting "Whose streets? Our Streets!" and "Don't shoot! Hands Up!" Instagram videos of him in Times Square can be watched below.

Meanwhile, much much closer to the center of the story, Run the Jewels were performing in St. Louis, Missouri. Killer Mike, who sang about the police "terrorizing whoever, but mostly black boys" in his hyper-political song "Reagan," gave a moving, tearful speech during their set. "I knew it was coming...I knew it wasn't going to be good, but you motherfuckers got me today. You kicked me on my ass today, because I have a 20-year-old son, I have a 12-year-old son and I'm so afraid for them." You can watch it below.

Macklemore also took part in a protest in Ferguson, which Seattle King5 News has a clip of here.

Lots of other musicians expressed their feelings on social media. "I'm heartbroken over the news of no indictment in Ferguson. Let's all pray for peace," Pharrell Williams tweeted. Talib Kweli tweeted, "I feel really bad for the family of Mike Brown. To my brothers & sisters in Ferguson my heart is with you & I will join you soon."

A few more:

Azealia Banks also went on a long Twitter rant about it, saying, "What makes it even worse is the fact that I sleep with white men..... LOL" and "I might have to kill one of these crackers in their sleep !!" but then "Lol, I'm joking." She also got more serious and said things like, "But something seriously has to be done about this shit. I don't want to hear about another unarmed black kid being shot by the damn cops. It's so discouraging, just as a young black person, to know that people like me can be murdered and have there be no real justice." Read many more of her tweets here.

Not every musician was against the ruling. Gun expert Ted Nugent tweeted, "DarrenWilson did good MichaelBrown did bad justice is served."

Video of Killer Mike's speech in St. Louis and Q-Tip in Times Square, below...

Continue reading "Q-Tip leads Times Sq. Ferguson decision protests; Killer Mike gives impassioned speech ++ other musicians' reactions"

Aziz in a Daft Punk helmet
Daft Punk

Last night (4/3) was a good night for music on TV. Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy made an appearance on Portlanda (as announced), where he records a new song in the studio as Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein question the authenticity of his song. Watch the very funny video of that (via Stereogum) below. This follows St. Vincent's appearance on Portlandia, and as you may know, Jeff Tweedy is among the musicians set to appear on the season 6 finale of Parks & Recreation.

Speaking of Parks & Recreation, on last night's episode Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), in one of his usual disputes with Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) -- this time over DJing a prom together -- tells Ben he "is now working with DJ Rumbodrop" and proceeds to put on a Daft Punk helmet. You can watch that clip below too.

Continue reading "VIDEOS: Jeff Tweedy on 'Portlandia,' Aziz Ansari in a Daft Punk helmet on 'Parks & Rec' (watch)"

Portlandia Live at Bowery Ballroom in 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Portlandia

Fred Armisen (SNL, Ian Rubbish) and Carrie Brownstein's (Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag) quirky IFC comedy Portlandia is returning for its fourth season on February 27, but ahead of that, you can get a sneak peek of the new season over at Entertainment Weekly. EW also points out that this season's celebrity guests include Kirsten Dunst, Maya Rudolph, Olivia Wilde, Vanessa Bayer, k.d. Lang, and Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, and previous guests Steve Buscemi, Jason Sudekis, Kyle MacLachlan and Jeff Goldblum will return.

Right before the new season airs, Fred and Carrie will make their way to NYC for "A Conversation with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein" at 92Y on February 25. Tickets are on sale now.

In related news, Drag City is releasing a series of 7" of the many fictional bands Armisen was a part of on Saturday Night Live. The first of these will be released on February 18 and features Blue Jean Committee's "Massachusetts Afternoon" (originally on a 2011 episode hosted by Jason Segel) on one side and and the pseudo-synthpop group Fingerlings' "Embrace Me" (from the 2011 Dana Carvey episode) on the flip. You can check out The Fingerlings' sketch below...

Continue reading "Portlandia reveals 4th season preview video; Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein speaking in NYC"

Lee Ranaldo and his guitar (more by Kenneth Bachor)
Lee Ranaldo

Thurston Moore recently listed his favorite songs of all time and now his Sonic Youth bandmate Lee Ranaldo has offered a list of his five favorite guitarists of all time via Red Bull (who recently offered their own favorite guitarists list). It's a cool list, some choices more predictable than others, and you can check out the whole thing below.

Lee and his band The Dust (which includes SY drummer Steve Shelley) will play their next hometown show on February 13 at Union Pool with Steve Gunn. Tickets for the show are still available.

Lee Ranaldo's favorite guitarists list below...

Continue reading "Lee Ranaldo lists his favorite guitarists of all time"

Wild Flag at Sasquatch 2012 (more by Chris & Rae Graham)
Wild Flag

After the breakup of Sleater-Kinney, Corin Tucker went solo, and Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss teamed up with Mary Timony (Autoclave, Helium) and Rebecca Cole (The Minders) to form Wild Flag. They gave us an excellent album (one of our favorites of 2011) and toured like crazy, but apparently this great run has proved to be a short one because the band are no more. Janet Weiss tells The Skinny (via Stereogum), "It was great but I think it just kinda ran its course. It's hard to have a band when you live five hours apart by plane." That's a bummer if Wild Flag is done for good, but if so, thanks for the great memories!

On the bright side, Mary has been busy with her new band Ex Hex (who have an album coming out on Merge), and Rebecca's also been playing keyboards in another Merge band, Telekinesis. Janet is forever busy, having released an album with Quasi and Drumgasm this year, and of course Carrie always has Portlandia. Oh yeah, and all three members of Sleater-Kinney reunited on stage with Pearl Jam last week, so here's to hoping that wasn't the last we'll be seeing of Corin, Carrie, and Janet together.

Watch a live video of Wild Flag at SXSW 2011 below...

Continue reading "Wild Flag are no more, it "just kinda ran its course""

by Nick Masi

Pearl Jam & Sleater-Kinney in Portland - 11/29/13 (via @eli_w_n)
PJ & SK

August 12, 2006 was the last time Sleater-Kinney performed together...that was until November 29, 2013! Corin Tucker, Janet Weiss and Carrie Brownstein joined Pearl Jam at the Portland, Oregon stop of their tour for a cover of Neil Young's 'Rockin in the Free World' at the Rose Garden last Friday, like Pearl Jam, Carrie and St. Vincent did in Dallas a couple weeks ago. Corin sang, Janet banged the drums with Matt Cameron and Carrie played guitar. Ah, the good ole days.

On our BrooklynVegan Blog Radio show on SiriusXMU, we have played a Sleater-Kinney song on every show since their hiatus and claimed that it wouldn't stop until they reunited. Does this count as a reunion? Personally, this isn't what I was holding out for, but it may be the start of something good. Fingers crossed. Check out the video below.

Continue reading "Sleater-Kinney reunited on stage w/ Pearl Jam to cover Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" (watch)"

St Vincent

St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark), who spent most of last year and this year on her David Byrne collaboration, is finally looking like she's set to release the followup to 2011's excellent Strange Mercy. She just announced a European tour, and in the video for the announcement, there's a 30-second clip of new music. Check out the video and list of tour dates below.

Annie also teamed up with Pearl Jam and Sleater-Kinney/Wild Flag/Portlandia's Carrie Brownstein in Dallas over the weekend (11/15) to cover Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World." Check out a video of that (via Stereogum) below.

Neil himself will be in NYC soon for four nights at Carnegie Hall.

Videos and list of dates below...

Continue reading "St. Vincent shares clip of new music, tour dates, covered Neil Young w/ Pearl Jam & Carrie Brownstein (video)"

by Bill Pearis

Fred Armisen & friends / Stefon & Seth / Kanye & Ben on SNL
SNL
SNL
SNL

Even without Kanye's musical appearance, last night's Ben Afleck hosted Saturday Night Live season finale was especially eventful (and teary) as it was the final show for three long-running star players: Bill Hader, Fred Armisen and Jason Sudekis.

Fred got his farewell moment via a sketch featuring his punk character Ian Rubbish who performed song called "It's Gonna Be a Lovely Day." His band featured fellow departing castmembers Hader and Sudekis (and Taran Killam, sure to be a big player next season), and then he welcomed a cavalcade of musical talent onstage, including his Portlandia costar Carrie Brownstein, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis, Aimee Mann, Michael Penn, and the Sex Pistols' Steve Jones. With a chorus of "It's been alright, I've had a lovely night," it was a nice little sendoff. Video of that is below.

Hader got his sendoff moment, as expected, as Weekend Update nightlife correstondent Stefon, where anchor -- and soon to be Late Night host -- Seth Meyers finally gives in to his advances. "Weekend Update" also featured a surprise appearance by former co-anchor Amy Poehler who came out for "REALLY??" and stuck around to read the news. Seth, who is also SNL's head writer, will leave midseason next year to take over for Jimmy Fallon who is moving up to The Tonight Show.

Hader, Armisen, Sudekis and Meyers' departure leaves a giant comedy hole for next season. It will be interesting to see how Lorne Michaels fills it.

Videos below...

Continue reading "Fred Armisen, Bill Hader & Jason Sudekis bid SNL farewell w/ help from J. Mascis, Carrie Brownstein, Amy Poehler + more"

words by Kelly Pratt; photos by Bryan Murray

David Byrne
David Byrne

Kelly Pratt of Bright Moments and many other musical projects has been on tour with David Byrne and St. Vincent, and chronicling it on BrooklynVegan. If you're just joining us, also check out part 1, part 2 , Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. Part 6 begins here...

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San Diego through Vancouver and beyond

After the Dallas show we all pile on the bus for the long trek to San Diego. Fortunately we don't have to tackle it all in one drive so we stop in El Paso for the day off. Jon N and I end up taking a long bike ride, including a shady trek through an arroyo, to go see Looper. The film turns out to be quite entertaining, despite its numerous violations of the grandfather paradox.

The following morning we wake up in San Diego at Humphrey's Half Moon, a fancy resort on Shelter Island. We have the day off again, so most of us bike to Mission Beach to enjoy the food and drink on the boardwalk. We meet up at a bar with two friends of John A and while everyone else heads to the beach, I stay behind to hear about the profession of one of them: horseshoe crab blood salesperson. She explains that the blood is vital to the pharmaceutical industry as a testing agent to ensure their products are free of bacterial infection. The crabs "donate" their blood, then are placed back in the ocean where their blood volume returns to normal within a week. With the price tag of $15,000 per quart the blood is quite valuable, and some of us make a silent pledge to change careers at the end of the tour.

The following night's show takes place in the outdoor courtyard of the hotel. Susanne, the lighting designer, sets up her rig directly on the balcony of my room. We are situated right next to the marina and during the show several dozen people pilot their boats into a little recess where they can hear (but not really see) what is coming from the stage. During our set David addresses them as "the boat refugees" and thanks them for coming.

The next few shows are a bit of a blur, primarily because we are playing every night. While there may not be as many opportunities for extra-curricular activities it feels nice to get into a bit of a groove. If anyone knows what tour momentum is about, it would have to be The Melvins. On the road at the same time as us, they are currently attempting to break a world record of "51 shows in 51 states in 51 days". They have a fascinating (and funny) account of it here. Reading of Trevor Dunn's encounter with a rowdy fan during an improvised bass solo reminds me of a recurring joke from our tour. Early on Brian Wolfe told us of his theory of free jazz. According to him you can boil almost the entirety of the history of the music down into two factions: "scratch 'n sniff" and "pet store on fire". Both types can be present within a single composition, or even simultaneously, but one must be present at all times. It is a joke of course, but close enough to the truth.

At 5700, the Greek Theatre is the largest venue of our tour and one we have been looking forward to since the beginning of rehearsals. It is a stunning amphitheater and has housed many legendary concerts including Neil Diamond's "Hot August Nights". Everyone is a bit nervous, but nerves quickly dissipate as concentration is vital to this show. Afterwards we have our largest group of guests yet, including Jason D's parents. One lovely thing about this coast to coast tour is that many members' parents are able to see the show, including mine. We also get to meet our second O'Hara of the tour, Catherine (Mary Margaret came in Toronto).

Somehow I've managed to visit a different dim sum establishment nearly every time I've come to San Francisco. So upon arrival I decide to bike on my own to Hong Kong Lounge, one that comes highly recommended. The food is delicious, but I'm reminded of why no one goes to a dim sum restaurant by themselves. Cycling the hills of San Francisco with a belly full of dumplings isn't exactly easy, and I barely make it back for soundcheck. The first few weeks of the tour we picked up a ritual we have been performing every night, and it follows us here. The last song we play every night is The Talking Heads' "Road to Nowhere". The choreography is a loose follow the leader with the horns ending in a straight horizontal line behind David and Annie. As we leave the stage for the final time the line breaks in two and we depart on opposite sides, playing an improvised reprise of sorts. Once we are firmly backstage we continue playing, but the song morphs into a television theme song, typically one that takes place in the city we are currently in. Some previous numbers have included Dallas, Mr. Belvedere, and Laverne and Shirley. Tonight's version, of course, is Full House.

After a week in California we take off for the Pacific Northwest, and the home stretch of this leg of the tour. On most of the days off DB has been giving talks to support his new book "How Music Works", and we all attend one of these the evening after the Portland show. For this particular talk David is joined by Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia.

David Byrne

The format consists of David flashing an image onto a movie screen, followed by the two of them talking about what that image means to them. As a result the majority of the talk is concentrated around the importance of the visual side of a musical performance, be it fashion, lights, or movement. It is quite fascinating and something most musicians should spend more time thinking about. After Vancouver some of us take the bus back to Portland, while the rest of us head back to NY for a few days rest. Next up Colbert, and Australia in the New Year!

'Til next time,
Kelly

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Watch Kelly, the rest of the band and David Byrne & St. Vincent on Colbert tonight (11/1).

UPDATE: Colbert happened. Watch the videos.

They were also supposed to play Letterman the other night, but that was cancelled due to Sandy. Speaking of, read a Sandy-related letter David Byrne sent out to his mailing list, with more pictures from their tour, below...

Continue reading "On the Road with David Byrne & St. Vincent who didn't play Letterman, but play Colbert tonight (the final installment)"

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