Because J Mascis and “Portlandia” needed to combine their talents. Because only the IFC sketch comedy show could pull off something so fittingly bizarre as a “Battle of the Gentle Bands.” Because the Dinosaur Jr. frontman’s strange, non-verbal presence totally makes this genius skit.
(Watch J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. on “Portlandia” below.)
The premise in this new “Portlandia” sketch – airing Friday Jan. 25 on IFC — is a city-wide search for the “gentlest,” quietest band in Portland. Challenger No. 1, fronted by Fred Armisen, is Featherwash – a band reminiscent of real-life Portland band Horse Feathers. (The show is best when it’s only slightly on the outskirts of reality in the Pacific Northwest’s most detached city.)
The second act is Bless the Barn, where Mascis enters the picture. We won’t give anything away, but fans of Mascis’ noisy past will appreciate when he unplugs his guitar because, “We don’t wanna harm any insects.”
To boot, Mascis’ on-screen band includes the show’s Carrie Brownstein (best known musically for her place in Sleater-Kinney) and members of the Dirty Projectors.