Portlandia stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein have been skewering rock’s great clichés from the beginning — remember our October 2011 interview with the pair? — and they’ve had some impressive help along the way, from a ghostily materializing Jack White to a hot-airborne No Doubt. This week’s forthcoming episode will feature cameos from gnarl-master general J Mascis and the SPIN Essential-dropping Dirty Projectors, both appearing in a sketch poking fun at the Pacific Northwest predilection for mellow music.
At a “Battle of the Gentle Bands” in an Oregon park, Armisen leads a group called Featherwash whose droning folk-lite is helped along by DP main man David Longstreth. Next up is Bless the Barn, fronted by Brownstein and a shamanistic Mascis who strums faintly on an unplugged electric guitar. Their coup de grâce? Projectors Amber Coffman and Haley Dekle ringing a large bell with their kisses. They’re all outdone however by Franny Wisp, who has an exceedingly gentle trick up her sleeve.