‘Modern Girl’ Carrie Brownstein Describes Finding (And Hiding) Herself In Music

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Carrie Brownstein never had groupies and once fled from an orgy.

There are many sides to Carrie Brownstein, but the most famous two are: the one who shreds onstage with Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss as part of the punk rock band Sleater-Kinney and the one who gets goofy with comedian Fred Armisen on the sketch show “Portlandia.” Now there’s another variation: Brownstein the writer.Before she was putting a bird on it with Fred Armisen in Portlandia, Brownstein was paving the way in the punk-rock world with her band Sleater-Kinney.

In Sleater-Kinney frontwoman Carrie Brownstein’s sharp, funny new memoir Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl, she writes about her high school band Born Naked: “We didn’t take ourselves too seriously, almost as a means of warding off any potential criticism. Set to bring their unique brand of punk rock to New Zealand shores for the first time in 13 years, Sleater-Kinney will be performing their No Cities To Love touring show at Auckland’s Powerstation on Monday, 29 February 2016. Brownstein has worn many hats, from being a college student in the Pacific Northwest during punk’s heyday there to writing for NPR to receiving Emmy nominations for the hilarious work she does on “Portlandia.” “There’s kind of an incessant dissatisfaction that I have, that I’m always trying to either expose or fight against or wrestle with,” she told Pitchfork. “A real mistrust of the mainstream. A mistrust of conformity, normality.” “I’ve always been interested in queerness and underground and fringe and periphery, and who and what flourishes in those spaces. Boasting a backlog of tracks that includes hits like You Ain’t It, Pompeii, The Fog and Filthy Air and Lora’s Song, this all American girl-grunge trio are bound to wow local crowds come February.

Here are some of the memorable takeaways including Brownstein’s side job, her famous friends and that time she witnessed an orgy and felt totally uncomfortable. Here’s what we learned. “Punk existed very purposefully on the fringes and exulted the margins as a way of being able to operate with a freedom outside of infrastructures that had been sullied by capitalism, or sullied by corporate goals and mindsets that affected the art.” “The iconic looks and symbols of punk are often separated, I think, from the more politically charged music. I’m excited when the center reaches over to those places and pulls inspiration from them, and translates it for a lot of people. “I’m not saying that shouldn’t happen; that’s a really exciting moment. She likes to make jabs at the “business casual” get-ups she wore when performing with Sleater-Kinney and regales readers with tales of her enduring awkwardness. To make sure there’s no question of how unglamorous being in a band is, she reminisces about buying her first guitar — not some magical moment so much as a typical transaction — and being on tour.

Then you had the Sex Pistols, Malcolm McLaren and these impresarios kind of shaping the aesthetic images of punk. “But it wasn’t really married to politics. I’ve never quite been able to shake that.” There is little mention in the book to Brownstein’s past relationship with Sleater-Kinney singer Corin Tucker, which Spin magazine pointed out in the band’s early days, famously outing Brownstein to the world. “It did. During shows, the band would ask audience members if they had some floor space where the Sleater-Kinney members could crash on a mattress they nicknamed “P.M.,” which stood for pube magnet. It was actually them looking to the bigger scenes of New York and LA and London, and thinking, ‘How can we replicate this?’ Their version of replication was unique.

Better that it happened in 96.” “Only because it seems so culturally important to be able to say who you are: I definitely identify as bisexual,” she said. “It’s weird, because no one’s actually ever asked me. We couldn’t mimic it perfectly, so we ended up mimicking it just wrong enough to find that it became its own entity.” “Geography makes you accountable to people and to place in a way that virtual geography doesn’t. When you live and operate in a community for whom you are responsible and to whom you rely on for means of production, you are often in dialogue with that community. “[For me], Olympia sort of lived and breathed the ethos of punk.

There was one Valentine’s Day party that sounds like a drunken mess that all started with a game of spin the bottle and devolved from there into a make-out fest. Specifically, because we were living outside of the media centers, what we wanted to achieve had very little to do with record sales or mainstream popularity. The morning after, Brownstein went to visit her friend Miranda July (the artist and filmmaker best known recently for her bizarre and delightful New York Times interview with Rihanna) and couldn’t help but notice that her friend’s neck was covered in hickeys. Just ask.’” If anyone is looking for an early birthday present for me, the Carrie Brownstein memoir would be clutch /p>— Jessica Smith (@jlsmith27) October 20, 2015 They were hanging out with a bunch of guys and two women, who might have been prostitutes, when things got “Dionysian.” It was a little uncomfortable. “I wanted to come across as insouciant.

But that doesn’t change the fact that when she tried to get into a party after performing in Oberlin, Ohio, she was turned away, because the place was too full, “as if there were a legal capacity to which they were adhering and only so many rubbery vegan hot dogs and red Solo cups to go around.” She wasn’t alone, though. Sleater-Kinney’s opener — a little band called the White Stripes — also got rejected. “I often think back on those two guys who turned us away, wondering if they know they kicked Jack White out of their party — if they saw him later on TV or in a magazine and thought he looked familiar, if he reminded them of the tall guy who stood helplessly on their front lawn and then walked back to an outdated, beat-up van.” So if you happened to be a high schooler in the Olympia School District circa 2000, the rocker may have given you a pop quiz or pressed play on a laserdisc.

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