From Sleater-Kinney to ‘Portlandia’

The least expected member of a new comedy series may be Carrie Brownstein, the former member of Sleater-Kinney and sometime rock journalist who combines with Fred Armisen of “Saturday Night Live” (and director Jonathan Krisel to make “Porlandia,” which starts on IFC this month.

“It wasn’t something that I thought of doing when I was in Sleater-Kinney,” Brownstein told a morning panel at the TV Critics press tour.

Instead, she and Armisen have been collaborating on short films for their amusement, under the name ThunderAnt, since 2005.

“We did the videos for no other reason than as an excuse to hang out and to have fun. They were just silly and really dwelled on these awkward moments,” she says.

“It just was a natural extension of my friendship with Fred. And ‘Portlandia’ is something that we would have done anyway, even if IFC hadn’t come on board. It was just a labor of love and a passion project. And so it was really my work and collaboration with Fred that got me interested in doing these kinds of comedy videos.”

But Brownstein, who is appearing in a band called Wild Flag, says she isn’t interested in doing live improv for shows like “SNL” or on tour.

“I like performing live when it’s music,” she says. “And if you make a mistake, you can just turn up your amp really loud.”

Here’s a clip from ‘Portlandia’

Here’s Carrie back in Sleater-Kinney

“Portlandia” starts Jan. 21 on IFC.

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