Carrie Rachel Brownstein (born September 27, 1974) is an American musician, actress, writer, director, and comedian. She first came to prominence as a member of the band Excuse 17 before forming the rock trio Sleater-Kinney. During a long hiatus from Sleater-Kinney, she formed the group Wild Flag. During this period, Brownstein wrote and appeared in a series of comedy sketches alongside Fred Armisen which were developed into the satirical comedy TV series Portlandia. The series went on to win Emmy and Peabody Awards. Sleater-Kinney eventually reunited; as of 2015 Brownstein was touring with the band as well as in support of her new memoir.
Brownstein at Lollapalooza
Carrie Rachel Brownstein
September 27, 1974
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Home town||Redmond, Washington, U.S.|
Brownstein was born in Seattle, Washington, and was raised in Redmond, Washington. Her mother was a housewife and a teacher, and her father was a corporate lawyer. They divorced when Carrie was 14, and she was raised by her father. Brownstein has a younger sister. Her family is Jewish.
Brownstein began playing guitar at 15 and received lessons from Jeremy Enigk. She later said: "He lived in the neighborhood next to mine, so I would just walk my guitar over to his house. He showed me a couple of open chords and I just took it from there. I'd gone through so many phases as a kid with my interests that my parents put their foot down with guitar. So [the instrument] ended up being the [first] thing that I had to save up my own money for – and maybe that was the whole reason that I actually stuck with it."
After high school, Brownstein attended Western Washington University before transferring to The Evergreen State College. In 1997, Brownstein graduated from Evergreen with an emphasis on sociolinguistics, and stayed in Olympia, Washington for three years before moving to Portland, Oregon.
While attending Evergreen, Brownstein met fellow students Corin Tucker, Kathleen Hanna, Tobi Vail, and Becca Albee. With Albee and CJ Phillips, she formed the band Excuse 17, one of the pioneering bands of the riot grrrl movement in the Olympia music scene that played an important role in third-wave feminism. Excuse 17 often toured with Tucker's band Heavens to Betsy. The two bands contributed to the Free to Fight compilation. With Tucker, she formed the band Sleater-Kinney as a side project and later released the split single Free to Fight with Cypher in the Snow.
After both Excuse 17 and Heavens to Betsy split up, Sleater-Kinney became Brownstein and Tucker's main focus. They recorded their first self-titled album in early 1994 during a trip to Australia, where the couple were celebrating Tucker's graduation from Evergreen (Brownstein still had three years of college left). It was released the following spring. They recorded and toured with different drummers, until Janet Weiss joined the band in 1996. Following their eponymous debut, they released six more studio albums before going on indefinite hiatus in 2006. In a 2012 interview with DIY magazine, Brownstein said that Sleater-Kinney still planned to play in the future. On October 20, 2014, Brownstein announced on Twitter that Sleater-Kinney would be releasing a new album, No Cities to Love, on January 20, 2015, and would tour in early 2015. At the same time the announcement was made, they released the video for the first single from the album. The single, "Bury Our Friends", was also made available as a free MP3 download.
Critics Greil Marcus and Robert Christgau deemed the band one of the essential rock groups of the early 2000s; In 2015, Stereogum Chief Editor Tom Breihan called them the greatest rock band of the past two decades.
In September 2010, Brownstein revealed her latest project was the band Wild Flag, with Janet Weiss, Mary Timony, and Rebecca Cole, formerly of The Minders; according to Brownstein, about a year earlier "I started to need music again, and so I called on my friends and we joined as a band. Chemistry cannot be manufactured or forced, so Wild Flag was not a sure thing, it was a 'maybe, a 'possibility.' But after a handful of practice sessions, spread out over a period of months, I think we all realized that we could be greater than the sum of our parts." They released a self-titled album in September 2011.
Brownstein began a career as a writer before Sleater-Kinney broke up. She interviewed Eddie Vedder, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Karen O, and Cheryl Hines for The Believer magazine. Brownstein has also written a couple of music-related video game reviews for Slate.
From November 2007 to May 2010, Brownstein wrote a blog for NPR Music called "Monitor Mix"; she returned for a final blog post in October, thanking her blog readers and declaring the blog "officially conclud[ed]."
In March 2009, Brownstein was contracted to write a book to "describe the dramatically changing dynamic between music fan and performer, from the birth of the iPod and the death of the record store to the emergence of the 'you be the star' culture of American Idol and the ensuing dilution of rock mystique"; The book, called The Sound of Where You Are, is to be published by Ecco/HarperCollins.
Brownstein has acted (what she calls a "mere hobby") in the short film Fan Mail, the experimental feature Group, and the Miranda July film Getting Stronger Every Day. Brownstein and Fred Armisen published several video skits as part of a comedy duo called "ThunderAnt". She also starred opposite James Mercer of The Shins in the 2010 independent film Some Days Are Better Than Others. The film had its world premiere at SXSW on March 13, 2010.
After their ThunderAnt videos, Brownstein and Armisen developed Portlandia, a sketch comedy show shot on location in Portland, for the Independent Film Channel. The two star in the series and write for it with Allison Silverman from The Colbert Report and Jonathan Krisel, a writer for Saturday Night Live. The show, which features appearances of some of the characters from ThunderAnt, premiered in January 2011. The series has received positive feedback, and has been renewed up to its eighth season.
In 2015, Brownstein portrayed Genevieve Cantrell in the Todd Haynes film Carol, based on Patricia Highsmith's novel The Price of Salt. However, the majority of her scenes were cut due to the film's length. The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2015. It began a limited release on November 20, 2015.
Brownstein was outed as bisexual to her family and the world by Spin when she was 21 years old. The article discussed the fact that she had dated bandmate Corin Tucker in the beginning of Sleater-Kinney (the song "One More Hour" is about their breakup). After the article was out, she said: "I hadn't seen the article, and I got a phone call. My dad called me and was like, 'The Spin article's out. Um, do you want to let me know what's going on?' The ground was pulled out from underneath me... my dad did not know that Corin and I had ever dated, or that I even dated girls."
In 2006, The New York Times described Brownstein as "openly gay". In a November 2010 interview for Willamette Week, she laid to rest questions about her sexual orientation, stating that she identifies as bisexual. She says, "It's weird, because no one's actually ever asked me. People just always assume, like, you're this or that. It's like, 'OK. I'm bisexual. Just ask.'"
Since working together on ThunderAnt, Brownstein and Fred Armisen developed what Brownstein has called "one of the most intimate, functional, romantic, but nonsexual relationships [they have] ever had." According to Armisen, their relationship is "all of the things that I've ever wanted, you know, aside from like the physical stuff, but the intimacy that I have with her is like no other."
|2001||Getting Stronger Every Day||Various||Short film|
|2009||Light Tiger Eye||Woman||Short film|
|2010||Some Days Are Better Than Others||Katrina|
|2011–2018||Portlandia||Various characters||77 episodes; also co-creator, co-executive producer, writer and director|
Peabody Award (2012)
Writers Guild of America Award for Comedy/Variety (including talk) series (2013)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series (2012–14; 2016)
Nominated—Writers Guild of America Award for Comedy/Variety (including talk) series (2014)
Nominated—Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (2015)
|2012||Vancouvria||Photo extra||Episode: "Big City Survival Class"|
|2012||The Simpsons||Emily (voice)||Episode: "The Day the Earth Stood Cool"|
|2012||Saturday Night Live||Cameo as herself||Episode: "Martin Short/Paul McCartney", "What Up with That?" sketch|
|2013||Saturday Night Live||Cameo as herself||Episode: "Ben Affleck/Kanye West", "It's a Lovely Day" sketch|
|2014–present||Transparent||Syd Feldman||Recurring character|
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2015)
|2015||Man Seeking Woman||Doctor at Chill Acres||Episode: "Branzino"|
|2015||Archer||Doctor Sklodowska (voice)||Episodes: "Drastic Voyage: Part 1" and "Drastic Voyage: Part 2"|
|2016||Saturday Night Live||Cameo as herself||Episode: "Fred Armisen/Courtney Barnett", "The Harkin Brothers" sketch|
|2016||The Realest Real||Short film; director and writer|
|2017||Curb Your Enthusiasm||Mara||Episode: "Foisted!"|
|2018||Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot||Suzanne|
|2019||Shrill||Episode: "Date", director|
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is a 2015 memoir by Carrie Brownstein, a bisexual guitarist and singer. Named for one of her lyrics, is about her life in and around music. Starting with her as a young hyper-performative young nerd, who runs for vice president of her Washington State elementary school. The story goes on to cover Brownstein's 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.Janet Weiss
Janet Lee Weiss (born September 24, 1965) is a rock drummer, best known as a former member of Sleater-Kinney and a current member of Quasi. She was the drummer for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, leaving after the album Mirror Traffic, and contributed to the Shins' fourth studio album, Port of Morrow (2012). She was also the drummer for the supergroup Wild Flag.
Weiss is highly regarded as a drummer; Stylus Magazine listed her in 2007 as number 48 of rock's 50 greatest drummers, while in 2014 LA Weekly placed her at number 12 in the top 20. In 2016, Rolling Stone listed her as number 90 out of 100 top rock and pop drummers, and in 2018, NME ranked her as number 25 of the top 32 rock drummers.List of Portlandia episodes
Portlandia is an American satire television series created by Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein and Jonathan Krisel. The series stars Armisen and Brownstein. It premiered on January 21, 2011, on IFC. During the course of the series, 77 episodes of Portlandia aired over eight seasons.List of songs about Portland, Oregon
Many songs have been written about the city of Portland, Oregon. A song belongs on the list below only if the song is notably about Portland, although the song may additionally be notable for other reasons too. Therefore, this list does not include notable songs that merely mention Portland in passing.
"Portland's Burning"- Defiance
"Dream of the 90's" - Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen
"Alameda" - Elliott Smith (1997).
"By the Banks of the Old Willamette" (1909).
"City of Roses" - Esperanza Spalding; refers to her childhood days spent in her hometown and the nickname of Portland, Oregon (2012).
"Everyone Knows Everyone" - The Helio Sequence (2004).
"I Will Buy You a New Life" - Everclear (1997).
"Light Rail Coyote" - Sleater Kinney (2002).
"Night of the Living Rednecks" - Dead Kennedys (1979).
"On the Portland Picket Line" - Joe Glazer (1966).
"On the Bus Mall" - The Decemberists (2005).
"Paul's Song" - M. Ward; lyric "every town is all the same/when you've left your heart in the Portland rain" (2005).
"Portland" - The Replacements (1997).
"Portland" - Nerf Herder (2015)
"Portland Girl" - John Callahan (2004).
"Portland Life" - Cool Nutz (1997).
"Portland, Oregon" - Loretta Lynn and Jack White of The White Stripes (2004).
"Portland, Oregon" - Belle and Sebastian (2001).
"Portland Oregon You're My Home" - Carrie Brownstein (2010).
"Portland Rain" - Everclear (2006).
"Portland Song" - Jewel (2010).
"Portland Town" - Derroll Adams, later performed by Joan Baez, The Kingston Trio, and others (1957).
"Portland Water" - Michael Hurley (1991).
"Portland Woman" - New Riders of the Purple Sage (1969).
"Portlandia" - Marc C. Miller (1989).
"Rambin' Blues" - Woody Guthrie (1941).
"Rose Parade" - Elliott Smith (1997).
"Sisters of the Road" - Casey Neill (2001).
"Solid" - The Dandy Warhols; references Old Town (2000).NPR Music
NPR Music is a project of National Public Radio, an American privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization, that launched in November 2007 to present public radio music programming and original editorial content for music discovery. NPR Music offers current and archival podcasts, live concert webcasts, reviews, music lists, news, studio sessions, and interviews to listen to from NPR and partner public radio stations across the country, as well as an index of public radio music stations streaming live on the Internet. There are two blogs: "Monitor Mix" by Sleater-Kinney musician Carrie Brownstein and the All Songs Considered Blog by Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton.Portlandia (TV series)
Portlandia is a sketch comedy television series set and filmed in and around Portland, Oregon, starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. The show was produced by Broadway Video Television and IFC Original Productions. It was created by Armisen and Brownstein, along with Jonathan Krisel, who directs it. It debuted on IFC on January 21, 2011.The show shared its title with the sculpture of the same name that sits above the entrance of the Portland Building on Fifth Avenue in downtown Portland, which appears in the show's title sequence. The show has won a Peabody Award.
In January 2017, the series was renewed for an eighth and final season, which concluded on March 22, 2018.Portlandia (season 1)
The first season of the television comedy Portlandia began airing on IFC in the United States on January 21, 2011, until February 25, 2011, for six episodes. The series stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.Portlandia (season 2)
The second season of the television comedy Portlandia began airing on IFC in the United States on January 6, 2012, consisting a total of 10 episodes. The series stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.Portlandia (season 3)
The third season of the television comedy Portlandia began airing on IFC in the United States on December 14, 2012, consisting a total of 11 episodes. Season three kicked off with a special Christmas episode. The series stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.Portlandia (season 4)
The fourth season of the television comedy Portlandia began airing on IFC in the United States on February 27, 2014, consisting a total of 10 episodes. The series stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.Portlandia (season 5)
The fifth season of the television comedy Portlandia began airing on IFC in the United States on January 8, 2015, consisting a total of 10 episodes. The series stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.Portlandia (season 6)
The sixth season of the television comedy Portlandia began airing on IFC in the United States on January 21, 2016, consisting a total of 10 episodes. The series stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.Portlandia (season 7)
The seventh season of the television comedy Portlandia premiered on IFC in the United States on January 5 and concluded on March 9, 2017 with a total of 10 episodes. The series stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.Portlandia (season 8)
The eighth and final season of the sketch comedy series Portlandia premiered on IFC in the United States on January 18 and ended on March 22, 2018 with a total of 10 episodes. The series stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
The Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series is an award presented to the best sketch comedy-driven variety show of the year.
In 2015, Outstanding Variety Series was separated into two categories – Outstanding Variety Talk Series and Outstanding Variety Sketch Series.Sleater-Kinney
Sleater-Kinney ( SLAY-tər-KIN-ee) is an American rock band that formed in Olympia, Washington, in 1994. The band's current lineup features Corin Tucker (vocals and guitar) and Carrie Brownstein (guitar and vocals) following the departure of longtime member Janet Weiss (vocals, drums, and harmonica) in 2019. Sleater-Kinney was influenced by riot grrrl and is a key part of the American indie rock scene. The band is also known for its feminist and left-leaning politics.The band released seven studio albums between 1994 and 2005: Sleater-Kinney (1995), Call the Doctor (1996), Dig Me Out (1997), The Hot Rock (1999), All Hands on the Bad One (2000), One Beat (2002) and The Woods (2005). They went on hiatus in 2006 and devoted themselves to solo projects. They reunited in 2014 and released No Cities to Love on January 20, 2015, and Live in Paris in January 2017. Their second studio album after their reunion, The Center Won't Hold, was produced by St. Vincent, and released in August 2019.
Critics Greil Marcus and Robert Christgau have each praised Sleater-Kinney as one of the essential rock groups of the early 2000s. Marcus named Sleater-Kinney America's best rock band in 2001. Tom Breihan of Stereogum called them the greatest rock band of the past two decades in 2015.The Age of Backwards E.P.
The Age of Backwards E.P. was the first release by the short-lived band The Spells, a collaboration between Carrie Brownstein and Mary Timony.
The group also recorded a second E.P. entitled "Bat vs. Bird" in 2008, which also contained 4 songs and totaled about 9 minutes. "Bat vs. Bird," with its more prominent percussion (as opposed to the subdued backbeats of "The Age of Backwards") and overall "full band" sound, was more of a promise of what was to come from Wild Flag, which is composed of Mary Timony, Carrie Brownstein, Janet Weiss, and Rebecca Cole.The Oath (2018 film)
The Oath is a 2018 American black comedy film written and directed by Ike Barinholtz, in his directorial debut. In addition to Barinholtz, the film stars Tiffany Haddish, John Cho, Carrie Brownstein, Billy Magnussen, Meredith Hagner, Jon Barinholtz, Nora Dunn and Chris Ellis, and follows a politically divided family at Thanksgiving after the U.S. government asks all citizens to sign a loyalty pledge.
It had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival on September 25, 2018, and was theatrically released in the United States on October 12, 2018, by Roadside Attractions. The film received mixed reviews from critics, although Haddish's performance was praised.Wild Flag
Wild Flag was an American four-piece indie rock/post-punk supergroup based in Portland, Oregon and Washington, D.C.. The group consisted of Carrie Brownstein (vocals, guitar), Mary Timony (vocals, guitar), Rebecca Cole (keyboards, backing vocals) and Janet Weiss (drums, backing vocals), who are ex-members of the groups Sleater-Kinney, Helium and the Minders.