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Carrie Brownstein, Beatles Studies and Courney Love

By Staff · February 1st, 2011 · Minimum Gauge


Funny Grrrl

Thanks to onscreen performances from Elvis to Mariah Carey, music stars who give acting a try are almost universally met with hardcore skepticism. It usually takes a spectacular performance or two before a musician is taken seriously for their acting (who would have thought P Diddy would be one of the more creatively successful music-to-acting crossovers?). Former Sleater-Kinney singer/guitarist Carrie Brownstein has beaten the stigma to a bloody pulp in her first major acting role, alongside comedian Fred Armisen in Portlandia, a strange but hilarious “sketch” show on IFC. Brownstein and Armisen created the six-part show together and, even paired with Armisen, Brownstein shines, showing a very natural comedic ability (made all the more impressive by the improv chops reportedly required). Brownstein’s future in acting seems neon-bright — great news for comedy fans, but a crushing blow for those dreaming of a new Sleater-Kinney album (the band has been on hiatus since 2006).


While Her Future Job Prospects Gently Weep

Trying to come up with a fake major while stoned in college is easy (“Dude, I wish I could major in, like, pot studies or ’80s TV sitcoms or something.”).

But trying to come up with a real major can be a bitch, especially as technology and a tanking economy have shifted and narrowed the job market. But every now and then, a college will irresponsibly offer advanced degrees in frivolous studies. A woman from Canada is reportedly living the dream by becoming the first person to earn a Master of Arts degree in “The Beatles, Popular Music and Society” at Liverpool Hope University. It’s a “fun” achievement, to be sure, but what kind of job can one get with that diploma? Unless Ringo Starr needs a new personal assistant, The Beatles’ iTunes store needs a caretaker or the military starts looking for Beatles experts after Osama sends out a new threat to the U.S. encoded within the lyrics of “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” the poor lady will probably have to go back to school and get her Ph.D. in The Moody Blues. Or become the biggest Beatles expert to ever pour coffee drinks at Starbucks.


Oxford Shows Some Love for Love

In other “Silly British Universities” news, Britain’s NME reports that infamous hot mess Courtney Love has been named an officer of the Oxford University Conservative Association. She’s following in the footsteps of past OUCA officers Margaret Thatcher and the Earl of Dartmouth, though they likely were not given the same title — “Non-Executive Officer For Rock And Roll” (we assume the “Non-Executive” part is Oxford’s way of saying “Don’t touch anything!”). Though the Hole singer did appear at an event at the university recently to accept the honor and participate in a Port and Policy debate (political discussions enhanced by wine drinking, which seems a recipe for disaster when adding Love to the mix), her “duties” are unclear. Perhaps she’ll counsel up-and-coming rockers with tips like “How to entrap and marry a Rock & Roll legend” or “How to flash your vajayjay on stage for maximum publicity.”



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