Tag Archives: carrie brownstein

“Your Family Will Still Be In Trouble Tomorrow, I Promise.”

22 Feb

Over the weekend, I got to watch Portlandia with my two favorite brothers. It was a delight. One of our favorite sketches involved Carrie Brownstein’s character hiring an adult babysitter to watch her husband. The woman playing the babysitter was hilarious, and in this behind-the-scenes video they explain how awesome she is.

Lady Jam: Wild Flag, Electric Band

20 Jan

This video combines my love of Wild Flag with my fear of full-body costumes. I’m scared and excited, ALL AT THE SAME TIME!

Carrie Brownstein is Living In My Dream Home

10 Jan

Do you ever think to yourself, “I wonder where Carrie Brownstein lives? I bet it’s pretty. I bet it’s spotless. I bet it’s filled with great books, and I bet she has hardwood floors, and I bet it’s just perfect.” Well, turns out you were right!

The Best Lines From The New Yorker’s Article on Carrie Brownstein/Portlandia

3 Jan

Maybe you don’t have time to read this whole article about Carrie Brownstein. I didn’t think I did, either, but then Lauren posted it on my wall and I was at my parents’ house, and, well…it’s a good read, you guys. I learned lots of things. In case you don’t get around to it, here are the best lines.

-“Brownstein and Armisen began building a friendship, but, given that they were living on opposite coasts, they decided that they’d have to work on something together. As she put it, when you’re not dating somebody, “it begins to seem kind of weird if you’re flying around the country to see him.””

-“Armisen and Brownstein text each other every night before bed. Brownstein says of their friendship, “Sometimes I think it’s the most successful love affair either of us will ever have.” Both claim that it wouldn’t work if they were romantically involved. “It would be colder, because we’ve both treated our romantic relationships in a cold way,” Armisen says. “Carrie and I are more romantic than any other romantic relationship I’ve ever had—that sense of anticipation about seeing the other person, the secret bond. But things don’t become obligatory. I’m not thinking, I’m doing this because you’re my girlfriend; I’m just thinking, I love Carrie.””

-“Bill Oakley, a former head writer for “The Simpsons” who had moved to Portland, has helped out on the show. He says, “I’ve spent a lot of time in writers’ rooms. They’re pressure cookers. In most cases, they’re heavily male. You work long hours and many of the people in them have a really negative view about themselves and life.” The “Portlandia” writers’ room, however, is collaborative and laid-back. Some meetings have been held in the loft of the director Gus Van Sant, who has become friendly with Brownstein. “Gus’s dog was wandering in and out,” Oakley says.”

-“In one sketch, Toni, played by Brownstein, reproves a woman who has written an appreciative account of her boyfriend’s sexual technique for the store’s “journaling class.” “I feel like it was a brag journal,” Toni says. “And what a journal should be is a document of misery.””

-“In the bathroom were posters seeking roommates for group houses, including this one: “We are into open and honest communication, dumpstering, crafts, music, raw/living foods, biking, natural building, permaculture, living in shacks and trailers and all kinds of fun stuff like that. We are a vegan house, except that some of us do dumpster dairy.” (When I mentioned this to Brownstein, she said, “If I were into dumpster diving, dairy is the last thing I’d dive for.”)”

-“When Miranda July tried to explain why she and Brownstein had stayed friends since their riot-grrrl days, she began to say the word “ambition,” but hesitated. Instead, she said that they shared “a steady focus on what we are going to do next. We’re always asking each other, ‘What’s the next project?’ And, that being the throughline in our lives, more than relationships, that becomes pretty meaningful, at a certain point.””

-“It had taken a while, she said, for her to shed the sense that it was unseemly to “take credit for something you did. So Fred is so nice, because he never came from that scene. And it’s not about being self-aggrandizing. It’s just about taking a moment to be proud of yourself, that you worked hard and feel good about it.” Maybe, she mused, it helped that he was a guy.”

-“Brownstein mentioned how hard it was “to stay sharp on tour,” and said that she did a lot of reading. She had James Baldwin’s “The Devil Finds Work” and Hawthorne’s “The Marble Faun” tucked into her travel bag in the van.”

-“But Fred is someone whom I deeply trust, he’s already an extension of what I’d call family…We drove home late and I dropped him off at his hotel. Sometimes I get confused and think, Are we supposed to kiss goodnight? But, the truth is, I don’t want us to kiss, I want us to teach each other how good it can be to stick around.”

Okay, you’re welcome, now go read the whole article!

Lady Jam: Laughing With a Mouth of Blood, St. Vincent

13 Sep

Annie Clark is probably one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen, so it isn’t fair that she’s also one of the most talented musical artists I’ve ever heard. And yet, she is. Meanwhile I’m weird looking AND tone deaf. That’s life, you guys!

Laughing With a Mouth of Blood was one of my favorite songs off of her last album even before she released this video starring Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen as their feminist bookstore characters. But with the video, it’s too perfect to resist.

She also has great style and, well, you know how I feel about curly hair.

Her new album is out TODAY (by the time you are reading this, I’ve already purchased it!), and she played a song on Letterman recently. Fantastic!

Wild Flag

3 Aug

You all know my feelings on Carrie Brownstein. If you don’t, let me recap all the ways she’s fantastic:

1. Portlandia/ThunderAnt
2. Sleater-Kinney
3. NPR
4. Do you need another reason? Well, here’s one:

Her band, Wild Flag, is so amazing that it makes me wonder: is Carrie Brownstein bad at anything? Maybe she is a really terrible cook, or maybe she can’t stay organized or return phone calls. I bet she is great at all of those things, too.

Lady Inspiration: Miranda July (again)

3 Aug

I’ve been looking forward to Miranda July’s new movie, The Future, for an absurdly long time. It looks strange and fascinating, and I already know I’m going to like it.

A lot of people will hate that trailer. I understand that Miranda July is a divisive figure, but I think if we all opened our minds and hearts to her work, we’d appreciate her more. You might think a character talking to the moon is stupid, but I say who among us hasn’t tried to bargain with some higher power in the sky?

Miranda July is a huge inspiration to me, and not just in the vague, “I like the way she dresses!” sort of way. Her writing and her film work helped me gain the confidence to write about what interested me when I was in college. The stories in her collection, No One Belongs Here More Than You, are about the only subject that really matters, which is how we connect with each other. She explores the themes of human connection in unique ways that feels as if they could only have sprung from her mind. It was by reading her stories that I got the confidence I needed to write a story that was really important to me, even though it was about something that might seem strange out of context (phone sex, okay? It was a story about a phone sex hotline operator). I say it was an important story to me not because of other people’s reactions, but because of the catharsis I felt writing that story, as cheesy as it may sound. When I read one of Miranda July’s stories about a woman who has sexual fantasies about Prince Charles, that was when I realized we should all just write about what we want, even if it might seem strange or disgusting to a certain fraction of the audience.

On a considerably more shallow note, I’d like to once again mention that I respect women who are very pretty, yet deliberately choose to look strange. Observe:

Lots of people hate Miranda July, and a large portion of those people are men. I have a theory about this (of course I do). While July’s work often deals with sexual undertones (and usually overtones), that sexuality is not directed towards men. She embodies many of the cliches of femininity (big eyes, curly hair), but she uses her sexuality in a way that feels aggressive just because it doesn’t appeal to the male gaze. There is always a darkness to the sexuality in her work, a strange other-worldliness that doesn’t exactly make sex sexy.

Of course, I also admire the way that Miranda July is an out and proud feminist and all the work she’s done to support other women. It’s so easy to hate things, especially things that are earnest and emotional instead of sarcastic and detached. I hope people will be open to this film, instead of just leaving knee-jerk critical comments on the AV Club’s message boards.

Because all things come back to Carrie Brownstein, here’s a Sleater-Kinney video that Miranda July directed. This is one of my favorite SK songs.

Lady Style: Carrie Brownstein

18 Jul

Obviously Carrie Brownstein has a lot more going for her than her style. She was in a great band (Sleater Kinney), and now she’s in a new great band (Wild Flag). She wrote for NPR. She’s writing a book. She does sketch comedy with Fred Armisen. She’s a Renaissance woman, and she just so happens to always look great. I talk a lot about women I want to look like or dress like, but Carrie Brownstein is one of the only women I actually want to be.

This is exactly what I wish I looked like:

Even though she typically looks pretty casual, she looks comfortable and sophisticated in more glam clothes as well:

But obviously the coolest, most stylish thing about her is how hard she rocks.

She’s also willing to look silly in the name of comedy, which is a quality I respect in a lady. There’s nothing more stylish than not giving a shit what you look like.