|Born||Carrie Rachel Grace Brownstein
September 27, 1974
Seattle, Washington, USA
|Alma mater||The Evergreen State College|
|Occupation||Musician, writer, actress|
|Known for||Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag|
|Style||Alternative rock, indie rock, punk rock|
|Home town||Redmond, Washington|
Carrie Rachel Grace Brownstein (born September 27, 1974) is an American musician, writer, and actress, who first widely became known as a guitarist and vocalist in Sleater-Kinney. Since 2010, Brownstein has sung and played guitar for the band Wild Flag; they released their self-titled debut album in September 2011. Brownstein stars with co-developer Fred Armisen in Portlandia, a sketch comedy show which began airing in January 2011 on IFC.
Brownstein was born in Seattle, Washington, to Jewish parents and raised in Redmond, Washington. Her mother was a homemaker and her father was a corporate lawyer; her parents divorced when she was fourteen, and she was raised by her father. She attended Lake Washington High School before transferring to The Overlake School for her senior year. She began playing guitar at 15, and received lessons from future Sunny Day Real Estate/The Fire Theft frontman 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, she attended Western Washington University before transferring to more insular The Evergreen State College where she got to know fellow students Corin Tucker, Kathleen Hanna, Tobi Vail, and Becca Albee. With Albee and CJ Phillips she formed the band Excuse 17 that 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 Free to Fight split single with Cypher in the Snow.
While a student at The Evergreen State College Brownstein formed the Excuse 17 band with CJ Phillips and Becca Albee, one of the pioneering bands of the riot grrrl movement in the Olympia music scene that played an important role in Third-wave feminism.
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 during a trip to Australia in early 1994, 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. Brownstein has since affirmed that Sleater-Kinney will just start playing music again in the future during a 2012 interview with DIY magazine.
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."[dated info]
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 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 been an actress (in what she calls a "mere hobby"), with a role in the short film Fan Mail, as well as the experimental feature Group, and the Miranda July film Getting Stronger Everyday. Brownstein and Fred Armisen have published several video skits as part of a comedy duo called "ThunderAnt". She also starred opposite James Mercer of The Shins in the 2009 independent film Some Days Are Better Than Others.
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 stars 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, aired its premiere in January 2011. It has been renewed for a third, fourth, and fifth season.
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 it [the Spin 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 3, 2010 cover-story for Portland, Oregon's Willamette Week, Brownstein laid to rest questions about her sexual identity: "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.'" In 2012, Brownstein told interviewer Marc Maron that no one in Sleater-Kinney was gay, and that when she and Tucker had dated it was for "a second."
Since working together on ThunderAnt, Brownstein and 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."
- "Works written by Brownstein, Carrie Rachel". ASCAP. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- "Carrie Brownstein: 'I Have A New Band'". All Songs Considered blog. National Public Radio. September 22, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- "Wild Flag’s Debut Album in Stores". Merge Records blog. September 14, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
- "Meet Carrie Brownstein: A Triple Threat". Jewish Women's Archive. March 28, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
- "Interview: Carrie Brownstein on Portlandia". TheFader.com. January 19, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
- de Barros, Paul (March 3, 2012). "Carrie Brownstein: the Northwest's funny girl". Seattle Times. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
- de Barros, Paul (March 4, 2012), "Cover story—Full Frontal Fun: Watching Carrie Brownstein in 'Portlandia,' we have to laugh at ourselves", Pacific Northwest magazine (Seattle Times): 9
- Matsul, =Marc (December 17, 2002). "Eastside spotlight: Overlake School". Seattle Times. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
- Levin, Hannah (May 2005). "Rock of the Decade". The Stranger. Sleater-Kinney.Net. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
- Julianne Shepherd (August 28, 2006). "Get Up". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Eat 'em And Smile - Spin Magazine by Caryn Ganz, June 2005 from Sleater-Kinney.Net
- "Carrie Brownstein: Sleater-Kinney ‘Will Just Start Playing Music Again’". Thisisfakediy.co.uk. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
- "Carrie Brownstein Talks Sleater-Kinney, Acting, Writing, and More." Pitchfork, March 25, 2010.
- "A Final Word From Carrie Brownstein". Monitor Mix (blog). National Public Radio. October 6, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- Weil, Elizabeth (December 29, 2011). "Carrie Brownstein, Riot Grrrnup". The New York Times. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
- Caramanica, Jon (October 19, 2011). "Wild Flag Is What Passes for an Inspirational Supergroup at CMJ". The New York Times. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
- The Twenty-Five Most Underrated Guitarists Rolling Stone.com
- Contributors: Carrie Brownstein from the The Believer magazine website
- Rock Band vs. Real Band, a November 27, 2007 review for Slate
- Wii Will Rock You!, a November 19, 2008 review for Slate
- Welcome to Monitor Mix from the NPR Music website
- Matthew Thornton (March 16, 2009). "Book Deals: Week of 3/16/09". Book News. Publishers Weekly. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- "The Sound of Where You Are". Monitor Mix (blog). National Public Radio. December 17, 2007. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- 12.4 Candidates Arrive, a February 26, 2007 blog post from the Wieden+Kennedy blog
- Carrie Brownstein Talks Spells, Book, Sleater-Kinney a November 2008 article from Pitchfork Media
- "Thunderant". Thunderant. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
- Some Days Are Better Than Others from the Internet Movie Database
- "SNL Fans Prepare for 'Portlandia'". IFC Channel. August 6, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- "Before There Was 'Portlandia', There Was 'Thunderant'". IFC Channel. October 7, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- "IFC Unveils 2012-13 Programming Slate". Deadline Hollywood. March 20, 2012. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
- Sleater-Kinney Last Show from Under the Radar[dead link]
- Sleater-Kinney May, or May Not, Be Bidding New York Farewell, an August 4, 2006 article by Jon Pareles for The New York Times
- Mock Star a November 3, 2010 article by Aaron Mesh for Willamette Week
- "Episode 267 - Carrie Brownstein". WTF Podcast. WTFpod.com. April 2, 2012. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
- Portlandia’s Comedy Chemistry, a January 9, 2012 Elle article. Retrieved on September 14, 2012.
- Fred Armisen: Transcript from WNYC's Here's the Thing. Retrieved on September 14, 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Carrie Brownstein.|
- Carrie Brownstein at the Internet Movie Database
- Carrie Brownstein on Twitter
- Carrie Brownstein discography at MusicBrainz
- Official Sleater-Kinney website
- Carrie Brownstein – co-creator, co-writer, co-star from IFC's Portlandia website