The Queen Of Cool
Before Carrie Brownstein was the Emmy-nominated writer and star of IFC TV series Portlandia, she was a singer-guitarist in beloved feminist-rock band Sleater-Kinney, formed in 1994. But when the trio went on hiatus in 2006, she ventured into new territory, sketching comedy bits with fellow actor-musician Fred Armisen that paved the road to Portlandia's biting, bizarro satire (just renewed for its sixth and seventh seasons). Brownstein, 40, has since landed roles in Amazon's Golden Globe winner Transparent and Todd Haynes' upcoming film, Carol. And now that a reunited Sleater-Kinney is touring behind new LP No Cities to Love (released in January), Portlandia's bigger fan base -- "construction workers, police officers, farmers," says Brownstein -- is discovering that a really sick guitarist has been hiding in plain sight.
TV Fans Vs. Music Fans
"I was sitting in a restaurant, and this guy comes up to me: 'Me and my wife love Portlandia. Can we get a picture?' Then this couple sitting next to me turned and said -- as if they were admonishing the other guy -- 'We heard your new record. We love Sleater-Kinney.' There was this sense of one-upmanship, which only exists in music. No one in TV is like, 'I'm going to tell you about the most obscure show.' "