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Tag: Fred Armisen (1-7 of 7)

Fred Armisen's favorite cult records: The 'Portlandia' star talks Lungfish, the Damned, Wendy and Lisa and more

He may be British rocker Ian Rubbish or The Man With the Really Amazing Home Studio to you, but Fred Armisen was famously an actual musician (with the Chicago post-hardcore band Trenchmouth) years before he became a star on Saturday Night Live and Portlandia.

Recently, the actor/drummer/satirist-about-town, who’s also the new bandleader on Late Night with Seth Meyers, shared some of his favorite cult music picks with EW:

Klark Kent

“Klark Kent is an artist who is actually Stewart Copeland from the Police. And he put out these records, these singles and this one EP and it was all on green vinyl.  And Steward Copeland…this record is one of my favorite albums ever. He plays all the instruments and you can hear his influence on The Police. You can kind of see that he really was a third of that band. It’s so…the musicianship is great but at the same time it’s also still a very good punk new wave album. It has energy, it has a bit of a sense of humor to it, all the things about punk that I really love, all the positivity of punk.” READ FULL STORY

Fred Armisen interviews, plays with the Clash

As far as SNL characters go, Fred Armisen’s Ian Rubbish persona is remarkably well realized. Not only does the fake British punk have an official site where you can download classics like “Hey Maggie Thatcher,” he even managed to interview and perform with his idols: the Clash.

Packaged as a documentary titled “The Clash: The Last Gang In Town,” the Funny or Die video has Rubbish comparing notes with Mick Jones and Paul Simonon about their shared memories of the U.K. punk scene’s salad days. “We had a song called ‘White Riot As Well,’” Armisen, who really was a musician in a past life, tells the Clash.

It’s all fun stuff, but the best part is when Rubbish ropes Jones and Simonon to play his song “Hey Policeman!” with him. Watch Armisen try not to pee his tight black jeans in the video below:

READ FULL STORY

Fred Armisen to direct Kings of Leon live stream

Fred Armisen will direct a live stream of an upcoming Kings of Leon concert for the digital series “American Express Unstaged.”

The Nashville, Tenn., band’s Aug. 9 concert at London’s Shepherd’s Bush will be webcast globally on Vevo and YouTube, a spokesman for American Express told The Associated Press. READ FULL STORY

D'Angelo, Elvis Costello, Chris Rock, the Roots pay tribute to Prince at Carnegie Hall

Is it the singer, or is it the song?

That was the question on the minds of both the eclectic cadre of performers and the sold out crowd at New York’s Carnegie Hall on Thursday night for a benefit show titled “The Music of Prince.” A bevy of the Purple One’s contemporaries and followers joined together to genuflect at his funky altar, with the proceeds from the show going to a number of music-related charities for kids.

This was the ninth year for the series, and in the past, several of the tribute centerpieces—including Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young—made surprise appearances at their own shows. Prince himself did not materialize last night, but there were so many fascinating interpretations of his work and explorations of his unique charisma that it was almost better without his all-seeing eyes watching over the proceedings.

The evening began relatively tamely, with the Waterboys busting out a faithful rendition of “Purple Rain.” Though he bears no physical or aesthetic resemblance to Prince, singer Mike Scott managed to nail the same kind of passion and pathos the song’s creator first sent coursing through its veins nearly 30 years ago. It was almost too perfect, and it set an uncomfortable tone early in the evening: Would this simply be two and a half hours of extremely well-executed Prince karaoke, overseen by house band the Roots?

Luckily, subsequent performers took many more liberties with Prince’s songs, and while that led to some awkward moments, their ingenuity was generally rewarded. READ FULL STORY

'SNL' and 'Portlandia' star Fred Armisen's Eight-Step Guide to Being a Folk-Rock Star -- EXCLUSIVE

In this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now, we take a deep dive into the (re)emerging folk-rock boom and its relation to the current obsession with all things banjo’d, suspendered, and artisanally pickled.

To help us define the movement, we commissioned SNL mainstay, Portlandia star, one-time professional drummer, and artisinal-lifestyle expert (see: Portlandia‘s awesome “Dream of the 1890s” sketch) Fred Armisen to provide a playbook.

(And don’t take it too personally, folk fans; he teases because he loves!)

Step 1: Give the genre a name

“What’s this music even called? No one’s given it a name. If it were up to me, it would be called wooden-rock. You know, like it’s made out of wood? Or maybe it’s be the first kind of rock where it’s the word after rock, so maybe it’ll be rock-craft. Banjo-rock? Derby-rock? These are all question marks!”

Step 2: Play the right instrument

“The most important thing is that the case for your instrument is really well taken care of and vintage and of high quality and ornate and comfy-looking. So before you reach out for that banjo or ukulele, make sure that the case is really fuzzy inside and has something written in cursive on the outside. When you hand it to somebody at the airport, it goes without saying that it is extremely delicate. That said, I think you can’t wrong with banjo, and you can’t go wrong with accordion.”

Step 3: Travel in appropriately old-timey style

“I picture caravans of old milk delivery trucks or newspaper trucks from say the ‘30s. Or maybe an old city bus from 1951 in St. Louis.” READ FULL STORY

Fred Armisen and ?uestlove have a drum-off on 'Fallon' - VIDEO

Saturday Night Live‘s Fred Armisen famously costars with indie-rock luminary Carrie Brownstein (ex member of riot girl icons Sleater-Kinney and current guitiarist in Wild Flag) on Portlandia, which returns to IFC this Friday, but he famously has his own indie-rock bona fides, which he showed off last night on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

Armisen has actually demonstrated off his drumming skills in the past, and on Fallon, he went toe-to-toe hitting skins with the show’s bandleader Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson.

Armisen held his own against the imposing Root —check it out for yourself below.  READ FULL STORY

The Decemberists play for 'The Simpsons' -- Watch it here

What do a Portland folk rock band and Homer Simpson have in common? Nothing! And that’s the point.

The Decemberists, those NPR-approved bespectacled troubadours, made a brief appearance in last night’s episode of The Simpsons as Springfield Elementary’s new music teachers.

The episode revolved around a family from Portland — played, of course, by Portlandia‘s Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein — who move to Springfield and inspire a plaid-and-mustachioed makeover throughout the city.

So when Springfield Elementary briefly transforms into the “Springfield Charter Co-Op Experiment,” Colin Meloy and co. naturally turn up to impart their singular knowledge of “press gangs and infanticide.”

Watch the clip after the jump. READ FULL STORY

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