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Posted at 11:54 AM ET, 02/ 6/2011

B-sides: Carrie Brownstein on songwriting, the solitude of blogging, first show butterflies

By Chris Richards

wild flagCarrie Brownstein, second from the left, with her new band, Wild Flag. (Merge Records)

In Sunday's Washington Post, I profiled Carrie Brownstein, the former Sleater-Kinney guitarist, former NPR music blogger, current "Portlandia" star and current singer-guitarist of indie-supergroup Wild Flag. Here are some morsels that didn't make it into the story.

On how she abandoned drama for punk rock in high school:

When I was a kid, what I wanted to do was acting. I was always involved in theater and drama and would always go to classes outside of school. It wasn’t until high school that I discovered punk rock. And that just completely obliterated any interest I had in theater because it was so much more immediate and cool. Within a couple of days you can have a band or play a show. It was so much more rewarding. So I never really thought of it again.

On mourning the end of "Monitor Mix," her music blog for NPR, with strangers:

There was this guy at the grocery story the other day… We’re in the beverage aisle and he looks at me sort of forlorn. “I know you’re really busy and all, but I really miss monitor mix.” It was this really awkward moment where I felt like I should give him a hug. But then I ended up saying, “I miss it too.” It was like we were talking about an animal of ours that had passed away.

On the loneliness of blogging versus playing music with others:

I guess I’m just aware of how my work benefits from collaboration and input and critique. There are a lot of rewards that come from writing, but it’s very quiet and painful. The process of writing a song, you’re playing and there’s volume and it’s an outlet that’s not just the internal implosion of having writers block.

On songwriting in her new band, Wild Flag:

The best songwriting happens when we’re all together. We each bring in disparate parts and we move forward trying to take the best of what someone has brought in, and often it turns into something different…We’re very open to the organic process of writing and I’ve been doing something I never did in Sleater-Kinney which is start with vocal melodies and fill the music in later.

On the first Wild Flag show:

We played our first show in Olympia in November and I realized it had been four years since I played. And that was shocking to me. It’s strange how time goes by. It was also strange how normal it felt and how at home I felt on stage. It was very emotional, very strange. Music is something I never ever take fro granted and so it was really wonderful to feel connected again and feel very immersed in the music again. It was great. But to be honest, I had to have a shot of whiskey. I felt like I was going to have a panic attack.

By Chris Richards  | February 6, 2011; 11:54 AM ET
Categories:  B-sides  | Tags:  Carrie Brownstein, Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag  
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