Carrie Brownstein from Sleater-Kinney has at least two projects to read/watch -- neither of which, alas, is either a solo album or an announcement that she's forming a supergroup with Jack White, Steven Drozd, the Friedbergers, and Spencer Krug.
But don't despair! This is good stuff!
She has a smart, lively, and thoughtfully questioning (questioningly thoughtful?) blog on music, hosted by NPR, called "Monitor Mix." She writes that "I would rather discuss and examine what it is that people actually consume than to tell you what you should be listening to. There are already plenty of great blogs and online resources that tell us what the best new music is or that unearth rarities and lost classics. Though I might occasionally review a piece of music, I would rather explore the contexts and the ways in which we enjoy or maybe even despise it."
I wanted 'Blogstein' but the powers that be liked 'Monitor Mix'. Plus, alliterations always sound nice.
What's the purpose of 'Monitor Mix' blog?
It aims to be an entertaining, insightful, and not too serious take on music and culture. I think fellow cynics and curmudgeons will relate and optimists will learn how to tone it down. Feelings of hopefulness will be encouraged but not nurtured.
Who can comment?
Spell checkers. And the rest of you, sadly.
Do you have rules about what people can or can't say in the comments?
Typically the posts start or end with a question: What band did you love devoutly but don't listen to anymore? What are your musical dealbreakers? And: "If you carry a cat around on your shoulder when you go out, or a bird, or a lizard, what music do you listen to?"
There is definitely a distinct and hitherto frustrated need that this blog meets, and for that we should rejoice.
But wait, there's more! Brownstein also has a video/musical/comedy project on the web. And this time her collaborators aren't rockin' lady bandmates or their supergroup dream counterparts, but Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen, who isn't a bad musician himself.
It's called ThunderAnt. Typical sketches include "Feminist Bookstore," an interview with Saddam Hussein (as an aging folk-rocker), and a little minimalist romantic sketch called "This is Nice."
And... that's it, 'cause there isn't that much of it. But it's nice, and Brownstein holds her own as a straight-(wo)man partner to Armisen's muted zaniness.