Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Peter Giles- Photo Credit: Augusta Quirk/IFC

Carrie's On

10 Awesome Things Carrie Brownstein Did in 2015

Carrie Brownstein returns to Portlandia starting January 21st at 10P on IFC.

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Writer, producer, actor, and bonafide rock star Carrie Brownstein has had an amazing year. Overstuffed with creative projects and lauded collaborations that span music, literature, comedy, and yes, even matrimony, 2015 has seen Carrie’s work explode and disseminate throughout the pop culture landscape with overwhelming critical acclaim. Heck, she’s even an emoji.

Here are Carrie Brownstein’s 10 best moments of 2015.

1. The goth-tastic fifth season of Portlandia

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Wrapping up their fifth season in March and gearing up for the sixth next month, Carrie and comedy cohort Fred Armisen continue to earn praise from fans and critics for their incisive and hyper-literate skewering of hipster culture and beyond. Few social commentators truly nail the quirks and foibles of modern society quite like Portlandia.


2. Releasing her memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

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Riverhead Books

Released in October, Carrie Brownstein’s memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl covers her complicated relationship with her parents, her whirlwind life on tour, and the co-creation of the Peabody-winning series Portlandia. The book has garnered rave reviews and offers a glimpse of a person who’s accomplished so much.


3. Sleater-Kinney’s long-awaited No Cities to Love album

As if the accolades for her TV and non-fiction work wasn’t enough, Carrie ensured yet another spot on year-end “best of” lists with her band’s latest release No Cities to Love. A decade since their last album, Sleater-Kinney once again wowed fans and critics with 10 raw, emotional tracks and was honored by 40+ outlets for releasing one of the best records of 2015.


4. Her role in Todd Haynes’ acclaimed film Carol

Carrie’s unstoppable work continued with the universally praised independent film Carol. Directed by venerated auteur Todd Haynes, the film is set in 1952 New York City and focuses on a young woman’s infatuation with an older woman going through a divorce. As Genevieve Cantrell, Carrie fills the supporting role with aplomb and rounds out the cast of a movie that’s already earned dozens of awards, over a hundred nominations, and is listed at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.


5. Her live Q&As with Questlove, Amy Poehler and more

Portlandia Q&A

The whirlwind book tour for Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl took Carrie across the country, where she talked about her memoir and career with everyone from Gaby Hoffmann to Amy Poehler. Her Brooklyn stop at Saint Vitus bar featured a lively Q&A with Questlove from The Roots and The Tonight Show, where the duo bonded over Madonna and the TV show The Affair.


6. Hanging out with Gaby Hoffmann on Transparent

As Amazon’s most acclaimed series, Transparent joins the ever-growing number of online programs that push the boundaries of scripted entertainment. So, of course, Carrie’s a part of it, too. As Syd Feldman, she plays Ali Pfefferman’s (Gaby Hoffmann) acerbic lifelong friend and source of comfort amidst her turbulent family.


7. Her appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

In October, Carrie dropped by the Ed Sullivan Theater as a guest on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show to chat about her memoir and offer up a selection from her true passion, traditional English folk ballads. In the clip above, the singer croons her way through a cripplingly maudlin tune about death and sorrow.


8. Officiating a wedding alongside Amy Poehler

Appearing at a live Q&A led by comedy dynamo Amy Poehler, Carrie was asked by two audience members if she could officiate an impromptu wedding. And she, being an ordained minister, was happy to oblige. Even with no speech prepared, Carrie still pulled off an amazingly heartfelt ceremony in front of a crowd who witnessed firsthand that this woman can do anything.


9. Getting miniaturized on Archer

This year, FX’s hilariously loopy animated series Archer welcomed the Portlandia star as a guest voice for a special two-parter season finale. Carrie plays Dr. Sklodowska who, along with the rest of Archer’s crew, is miniaturized and injected into a Russian defector’s body in a surreal parody of Fantastic Voyage. In the clip above, Carrie’s character is warned that warming up to Archer isn’t the wisest choice unless supplied with a heap of antibiotics.


10. Covering The B-52’s with Fred Armisen

Closing out 2015 with a string of live shows in New York City, Sleater-Kinney’s performance at Terminal 5 ended with a surprise appearance by Fred Armisen, who led the band in a pitch-perfect rendition of The B-52’s new wave hit “Rock Lobster.” Joyful and infectious, it was a beautiful topper to a year filled with amazing accomplishments for the Portlandia star.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.