Eleanor Friedberger on why she’s a fan of ‘Portlandia’

What counts in music today


When “Portlandia: The Tour,’’ a traveling revue of the TV series starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, rolls into Boston next week, Eleanor Friedberger will be in tow as a special guest musician. What those duties entail, exactly, isn’t entirely clear, even to Friedberger.

“I have yet to fully find out,’’ she says, laughing. “I don’t want to give it away, but I will be singing some songs. I think I might get in trouble if I give too much of the show away.’’

Friedberger has known Brownstein for a while, ever since Friedberger’s main band, the Fiery Furnaces, toured with Sleater-Kinney, which included Brownstein on guitar and vocals.


From her home in Brooklyn, N.Y., Friedberger recently told us five reasons why she’s a fan of the show and why she’s excited to be a part of the tour. (The show at Berklee Performance Center on Monday is sold out.)

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1. Fred in drag. “Anytime Fred dresses up as a woman, I’m right there. I don’t know why he plays a very convincing woman.’’

2. Favorite “Portlandia’’ moment? “The feminist bookstore one.’’

3. Favorite recent sketch? “I saw one from the new season where they play in a band called Catnapped. They’re trying to think of a cool new genre, and a cat comes through the window, and the cat is in the band. It’s totally ridiculous.’’

4. It’s true to life. “In September, my bandmates and I went to the ‘Portlandia’ set to say hi to Fred and Carrie. On our way, I may have cut someone off when I was driving. The people in the car were straight out of the show. They were a middle-aged couple but with dyed dreadlocks. They were screaming at us, shaking their fists, the whole bit. The car passes, and they have a bumper sticker that says ‘co-exist.’ That seemed like a very Portland moment captured on the show.’’


5. Carrie’s acting skills. “She’s such a great performer and a great guitar player, and the fact that she also happens to be a good actress is pretty awesome.’’