Just Wild about Carrie

From left, Janet Weiss, Carrie Brownstein, Mary Timony, and Rebecca Cole of Wild Flag pose at Waterloo Records as part of SXSW 2011.

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 2012. And all the while she had been putting together Wild Flag, a rocking new 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 Sleater-Kinney who is not 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 to do a solo album, and I think it was something
Corinne wanted to do for a long time, and I was really supportive of
that, so it’s not that weird.”

We remind her that for a guitarist to all of a sudden do a comedy show certainly is daring and vulnerable though.

“I think there’s always that part of me that is a little bit audacious and bold in that way. As a kid I remember I’d always put on plays in my neighborhood, and gather the neighborhood kids and make them perform little skits and I remember even though I’d never taken ballet lessons, I’d perform ballet for all of 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.”

To say that Wild Flag approach their music with confidence and gumption is an understatement. They own the stage with riffs that could fit right into any AC/DC or Stones tune and melodies that surpass most of the material from their former bands. They bop around onstage, hardly able to contain their excitement for their songs.

“I really like collaborating, and ‘Portlandia’ is about my collaboration with Fred,” said Brownstein, “and obviously my new band is a huge collaboration too.” 

Sonic Youth
with Wild Flag
Friday, 5:30 p.m.
Williamsburg Waterfront
North 8th St. and Kent Ave., Brooklyn
$33-$40, 212-465-6100
www.ticketmaster.com


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