Live in L.A.

Portlandia Was Partly Inspired by Los Angeles

Comments (0)


Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 3:30 AM

click to enlarge Portlandia_Fred_Armisen.Carrie_Brownstein_thumb_480x319.jpeg
Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's Portlandia has put Portland on the pop culture map. To quote from the show itself, it's a place where young people can go and retire, all the hot chicks wear glasses, and you can put a bird on anything and call it art.

The Saturday Night Live cast member and the former Sleater-Kinney frontwoman created the show as a love letter to the city, Brownstein says. Still, it's got to sting just a little to residents of that Pacific Northwestern burg, who will have you know it's not Seattle, as Portlandia is also populated by humorless feminist-bookstore owners, DIY musicians, militant bike riders and even more militant animal lovers.

The show began its second season on IFC earlier this month, and the pair is in the midst of a show-inspired tour that includes music, screenings of clips and guest performers. It arrives at the Echo tonight, and goes through tomorrow.

"There's plenty of shows that take place in L.A. or New York," Brownstein says. "We wanted to differ aesthetically. It wasn't a place that people necessarily knew. It's a good substitute for a dream city, the kind of city people romanticize. It's less familiar and iconic."

Brownstein is a Portland native, while Armisen, who hails from New York, quickly became a fan. "I liked how kind of overcast it was and how all the colors are very dark and everything just seemed well built and well designed," he says. "I immediately thought, 'Oh, this is just a great place.' Everything just fit."

Believe it or not, the show was actually written and filmed, in part, in L.A. It makes a certain sense; both locales share an obsession with healthy living and healthy eating. But that's not the only part of Los Angeles that they were inspired to lampoon. One new skit concerns owners of a store that literally sells only two shirts.

"You feel like you've actually insulted the people that own it by entering," Brownstein says. "It's almost like you're ruining the aesthetic of the store by just being there. That, I definitely feel in L.A."

Related Content

Now Trending

  • R.I.P. Drew Bernstein, Freak Fashion Pioneer

    Drew Bernstein, the creator of popular rock and roll clothing lines Lip Service and Kill City, was found dead yesterday of an apparent suicide by gunshot. His body was discovered on a hiking trail in the Hollywood Hills off of Mulholland Drive. He was 51.  The L.A. native came up...
  • What Do We Do Now That Our Band Is Getting Noticed?

    Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to...
  • The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Week

    Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar! Monday, August 18 Smoke Season ECHOPLEX Gabrielle Wortman is best known as the voice of the electronic combo TEMP3ST, but when she’s paired with Honor Society keyboardist Jason Rosen in side project Smoke Season, she reveals newfound elements of folk...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets