Carrie Brownstein

American musician and actress

Carrie Rachel Brownstein (b. 27 September 1974) is a musician, writer, comedian, actor, and director from the U.S. state of Washington. Brownstein co-founded the punk rock bands Excuse 17 (in 1993), Sleater-Kinney (in 1994), and Wild Flag (in 2010). She and Fred Armisen—a fellow punk rock musician and comedian—co-created and co-starred in Portlandia (2011–2018), a sketch comedy series that ran for eight seasons on the Independent Film Channel. In 2015, she published her memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. She has written for Saturday Night Live, The Believer, Slate, and NPR Music.

Carrie Brownstein sits on a leather couch with her right arm on the armrest and her legs crossed at the knee. She is speaking to someone who is outside the frame. She wears boots, dark jeans, and a blouse with thin vertical stripes. A lavalier microphone is clipped to her blouse.
Carrie Brownstein speaking on-stage at the WebVisions Portlandia Panel on 20 January 2012


  • There is something freeing in seeing yourself in a new context. People have no preconceived notion of who you are, and there is relief in knowing that you can re-create yourself. When you’re entrenched in a community of people who know you, it’s scary to proclaim wanting to be different and wanting to experiment. We went to the other side of the world to make our own sound. Usually this is a methodology you employ as a restart later in your career. We did it right up front. We traveled to a foreign country for our first record. We had to uproot ourselves, not because we were deep into career ruts, or didn’t want to give credit to the places we had come from, but because we had no desire to sound like or emulate anything that had come before.

    It was an extreme way to start, but I learned later on how hard it can become to unsettle yourself, to trip yourself up, and I think that’s a good place to write from. It’s important to undermine yourself and create a level of difficulty so the work doesn’t come too easily. The more comfortable you get, the more money you earn, the more successful you are, the harder it is to create situations where you have to prove yourself and make yourself not just want it, but need it. The stakes should always feel high.
    • Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, chapter 7: "Self-Titled". In 1994, Brownstein and Corin Tucker formed the band Sleater-Kinney, and flew to Australia to write and record the band's debut album.
Wikipedia has an article about: