Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Carrie Brownstein Coming Out with Memoir

I've seen Sleater-Kinney only once. Around 2001, the Olympia, WA-based rock trio performed at a record store in my city. Since it was free, I figured I'd go. Because it was free, the place was nearly packed to the rafters, the crowd surging forward as Corin Tucker, Carrie Bownstein, and Janet Weiss walked onstage. It was a great show, and from my vantage point, I hugely enjoyed watching a certain cluster of girls standing shoulder-to-shoulder and staring openly, hungrily at Brownstein.
Carrie Brownstein.
Image via nopoboho.blogspot.com

These days, Carrie Brownstein is more famous for costarring, along with Fred Armisen, in the hit sketch-comedy television show Portlandia. Just as Season 4 of Portlandia is set to air later this month on the cable channel IFC, Brownstein revealed that she is working on a memoir. Talking to the music news website Stereogum, she admitted the process of writing a memoir is both "fascinating and weird," as I suppose it would be if you're only thirty-nine years old. "I think it always maintains a slightly surreal quality, and even a strange level of disconnect, because I'm not looking back on my life from the vantage point of old age. I mean, hopefully, I'm not at the end of my life," Browstein said in the interview. "I think part of it is just trying to assess what to write about and what feels important."

Elaborating further on writing the as-yet-untitled memoir, Brownstein said, "Our memories are very multidimensional and they're very colorful. And then you start to write about them and they immediately become flattened out because you have to tell the story. And everything that's grandiose and colorful in your memory becomes these little shacks on the page and you have to build the scaffolding with every sentence and paragraph. It is very daunting. You assume that it's going to get onto the page in the same magnificent way that it exists in your brain, and that's just not true. So I just find it incredibly arduous. But I'm getting through it." According to the New York Times, Brownstein's memoir will be published by Riverhead Books, which is a division of Penguin Group USA.

This memoir is hardly Brownstein's first writing effort. Wikipedia states: "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 concluded.' In March 2009, Brownstein contracted to write a book to 'describe the dramatically changing dynamic between music fan and performer, from both 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."

To read the Stereogum interview, in which Brownstein talks about her memoir and much more, go to THIS LINK. For more on the Season 4 premiere of Portlandia, go HERE. And since I mentioned Portlandia, I'll use that as an excuse to post a video from Season 2, Episode 9 of the show, in which The Smiths' guitarist Johnny Marr guest-starred. Not only is Marr a legendary musician, singer, and songwriter (and sex incarnate), but he's also a good sport with excellent comedic timing.

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