The 20 Best Carrie Brownstein Quotes

The 49-year-old Seattle-born rocker, actor, and entertainer Carrie Brownstein lives a diverse life. The frontwoman of the popular indie rock band Sleater-Kinney and co-creator of the beloved sketch comedy show, Portlandia, Brownstein has made her mark on the culture and then some.

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Given all her talent and success, it’s only natural that Brownstein has interesting things to say about the world around her. Find her thoughts on nostalgia, alone time, putting on a mustache, and so much more, below.

[RELATED: Sleater-Kinney Detail New Studio Album, Reveal 2024 Headlining Tour]

1. “I think music took hold of me and captured my imagination at such a formative age that I ascribe a mysteriousness to it, and I exalt it and take it seriously in a way that I think has just permeated my life ever since. And I’m less interested in music that is novelty or jokey or ironic.”

2. “There is a certain comfort that comes from feeling intellectually apart from phenomena. That you have the luxury of time to reflect or apply scholarly thinking to art and culture.”

3. “Writing isn’t necessarily about what one knows but what one wants to know.”

4. “Sometimes when you look at somebody else’s career or choices or family, there’s almost a comfort in knowing there’s another option.”

5. “There’s something about mean-spiritedness that has a way of distancing an audience.”

6. “I think there’s a lot of wonderful comics that leave you hanging in a state of apprehension or anxiety before alleviating that tension with a joke.”

7. “The Northwest, to make a generalization, is a fairly sensitive populace. Slightly self-conscious and very self-reflexive.”

8. “I’ve realized that I have a lot of different loves, and I want to pursue writing, but I can never divorce myself from music.”

9. “One summer, when I was elementary-school age, my neighbors and I built guitars and keyboards out of scrap wood, painted them in bright colors, and formed the cover band Lil’ ‘D’ Duran Duran. We didn’t make our own noise or even pretend to play our fake instruments.”

10. “When I was 16, 17 years old, I became aware of music coming out of Olympia, Wash., which is the state capitol and about an hour south of Seattle. And there were bands like Bikini Kill and Bratmobile and Heavens To Betsy, and for the first time, I heard my story being explained to me, being sung to me.”

11. “I want to have a sense of openness and optimism, even if that means being open to things that are potentially dark.”

12. “I feel like I live a pretty quiet life. I like to focus on work and friends, and I love being in nature.”

13. “I think alone time is good to know how to be alone with your own thoughts. I think it just helps you kind of be a better, more grounded person.”

14. “I like playing someone with a certain stability at the periphery of the madness.”

15. “I always find that nostalgia is sort of like memory without the pain. And that’s why it feels so good to kind of bask in that, and I think it can be deceptively comforting.”

16. “I don’t think I would live outside of the Northwest. I think the quality of life in Portland is really good. People move from intense, high-powered jobs, and move to Portland, work half as much and live twice as good.”

17. “There was a clarity to the Nineties. It was pre-9/11, before that anxiety kicked in that exists right now about the financial crisis or terrorism. We were all just going to move forward into the millennium and everything was always going to get better. Then, whoops, that didn’t happen.”

18. “It’s hard to beat the visceral high of playing live and creating something spontaneous.”

19. “I will say, as a woman, when you put a mustache on, you find out a lot of things about yourself.”

20. “Over the years, music put a weapon in my hand and words in my mouth, it backed me up and shielded me, it shook me and scared me and showed me the way; music opened me up to living and being and feeling.”

Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Vulture

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