||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (March 2014)|
|Birth name||Carrie Rachel Brownstein|
September 27, 1974 |
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Origin||Redmond, Washington, U.S.|
Carrie Rachel Brownstein (born September 27, 1974) is an American musician, writer, and actress. She first came to prominence as a member of the band Excuse 17 before forming the punk-indie 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 with Fred Armisen which were then developed into Emmy and Peabody Award-winning satirical comedy TV series Portlandia. Sleater-Kinney has since reunited and Brownstein is touring with the band as well as in support of her new memoir during 2015.
Brownstein was born in Seattle, Washington, the daughter of Jewish parents. She was raised in Redmond, Washington. Her mother was a homemaker and a teacher, and her father was a corporate lawyer; her parents divorced when she was 14, and she was raised by her father. Brownstein has a younger sister.
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, where she met fellow students Corin Tucker, Kathleen Hanna, Tobi Vail, and Becca Albee. With Albee and CJ Phillips, she formed the band Excuse 17, which 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 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 plans 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; Tom Breihan called them the greatest rock band of the past two decades in 2015.
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] 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 Everyday. 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 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 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. It has been renewed for a third, fourth, and fifth season. Brownstein now plays the character of Syd on the TV series Transparent, which debuted in 2014 and airs exclusively on Amazon.
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 identity, stating that she definitely 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–present||Portlandia||Various characters||Also co-creator, co-executive producer and writer
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)
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|
|2015||Archer||Doctor Sklodowska (voice)||Episodes: "Drastic Voyage: Part 1" and "Drastic Voyage: Part 2"|
- Breihan, Tom (August 6, 2014). "Carrie Brownstein Finishing Nora Ephron Screenplay Lost In Austen". Stereogum. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
- Braxton, Greg (January 14, 2015). "Carrie Brownstein bounces between 'Portlandia' and punk rock". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
- Weil, Elizabeth (December 29, 2011). "Carrie Brownstein, Riot Grrrnup". The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
- "Works written by Brownstein, Carrie Rachel". ASCAP. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- Phillips, Amy. "Sleater-Kinney Return! New Album No Cities to Love! 2015 Tour! "Bury Our Friends" Lyric Video!". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
- "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
- Matsui, 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.
-  Rolling Stone: Sleater-Kinney Reform, Share Powerful New Song, "Bury Our Friends"
- O'Dair, Barbara (May 9, 2001). "A conversation with Robert Christgau". Salon. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- Frere-Jones, Sasha (January 19, 2015). "Sister Saviors: Sleater-Kinney returns". The New Yorker. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- Breihan, Tom (January 11, 2015). "Premature Evaluation: Sleater-Kinney No Cities To Love". Stereogum. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- "Carrie Brownstein Talks Sleater-Kinney, Acting, Writing, and More." Pitchfork, March 25, 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.
- "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.
- Kreps, Daniel. "Carrie Brownstein Pens Memoir 'Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl'". RollingStone. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
- "Riverhead Overview". Penguin.com. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
- 12.4 Candidates Arrive, a February 26, 2007 blog post from the Wieden+Kennedy blog
- "Carrie Brownstein Talks Spells, Book, Sleater-Kinney". Pitchfork Media. November 2008.
- "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.
- Ford, Rebecca (April 9, 2014). "'Portlandia's' Carrie Brownstein Joins Cate Blanchett in 'Carol'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
- 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
- Portlandia’s Comedy Chemistry, a January 9, 2012 Elle article. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
- Fred Armisen: Transcript from WNYC's Here's the Thing. Retrieved 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
- Carrie Brownstein Video produced by Makers: Women Who Make America
- Carrie Brownstein's blog, "Monitor Mix" at NPR (2007-2010)