Just Wild about Carrie Brownstein

Time to get Wild: From left, Weiss, Brownstein, Timony and Cole. Wild Flag's debut comes out next month.

You’ll see a lot more of Carrie Brownstein in the next few months. The guitarist, who first appeared on the indie rock radar in the ’90s with her band Sleater-Kinney, had gone into semi-retirement not too long after that band’s last album in 2005. She did pop up on National Public Radio every now and then, but this year she has really amped up her exposure.

At the beginning of 2011, she and “Saturday Night Live” star Fred Armisen starred in the hilarious “Portlandia” series on the IFC network, which has ordered 10 new half-hour episodes to premiere in January. And all the while, she had been putting together Wild Flag, a supergroup with other women of ’90s indie rock. The band also includes Mary Timony from Helium, Rebecca Cole from the Minders and Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss.

Wait, wasn’t Sleater-Kinney a trio? How does Corinne Tucker, the one member of S-K who isn’t in Wild Flag, feel about that?

When we spoke with Brownstein earlier this year, she said that she and Tucker still talk frequently.
“I was really proud of Corinne: She did a solo record, which is something that I could never do,” said Brownstein. “It’s definitely a daring, vulnerable move.”

We reminded her that for a guitarist to start a comedy show certainly is daring and vulnerable too.
“As a kid I remember I’d always put on plays in my neighborhood,” she said. “I think there’s still part of me that operates under that assumption that if you have enough confidence and gumption and there’s something real at the base of it, you can get there and make people believe.”

Wave that Flag

To say that Wild Flag approach their music with confidence and gumption is an understatement. They own the stage with classic rock riffs and melodies that surpass some of the material from their former bands. They bop around onstage, hardly able to contain their excitement: “I really like collaborating,” said Brownstein, “and obviously my new band is a huge collaboration.”


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