Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fred Armisen's Guide to Music and SXSW 1998

You know him from Saturday Night Live and the five million movies he's been in, but this is the video that launched Fred Armisen to stardom and it was made on a goof.

For most of the 1990s, Armisen was the drummer for the arty Chicago hardcore band Trenchmouth. Trenchmouth was a real-deal band that did van tours and played crappy clubs, just like everyone else. The band even landed an opening gig on a Fugazi tour before signing with a major label and fizzling out by the end of the century.

Meanwhile, back in 1998, Armisen found himself in Austin with a few days off and not much to do. So he hit the streets with a video camera and unleashed a fury of Ali G/Borat/Bruno-style interviews years before that filmmaking style was really "a thing." This whole enterprise began as a time-wasting, goofy activity before the band's gig later that week. It ended with Armisen joining the SNL cast less than four years later.

If there are any lessons to be learned here, I suppose it's that what we all know as modern hipsterism is basically a bunch of dum-dums from the suburbs jocking Fred Armisen's style. It ain't his fault. Check out those "hipster glasses" Armisen is wearing. He was rocking those 15 years ago, while most of you were brutal nu-metal warriors and/or little kids.

Think about it.

Check out this video. It's the funniest thing you'll see all year.


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