Our friend Kara Place had a hand in this. We’re proud to know her.


DESERT GOLD INTERVIEW : FRED ARMISEN

Fred Armisen, half of comedy duo ThunderAnt with Carrie Brownstein, has an impressive resume of comedic characters ranging from Brutus, “a monkey who has been having sex with a doctor,” to Manuel Ortiz, host of The Manuel Ortiz show on Television Dominicana where he “helps with whatever it is” his audience members are going through. Fred is extremely helpful. Tonight, he impersonates a DJ and horses around with Ms. Brownstein in the Amigo Room at Ace Hotel & Swim Club for Desert Gold.

What are some roadside attractions that have…attracted you? 

There’s a small family vacation/amusement park area north of Chicago called The Wisconsin Dells. It has these sort of homemade attractions, and one is called Robot World. It’s just a sweet place.

There’s also this amazing place (pictured with Fred above), an incredible record store/record label in Nashville. We visited a nearby record pressing plant nearby as well. Here’s xcess vinyl that’s stripped off and then used again for another pressing.

If you could be any highway or US route which would you be?

I’d be the 405 North.

If there was a highway named after you, where would it begin and end? Points between?

It would start in Baltimore, then circle out, then circle back, then out again, and back over and over, so that the highway resembled flower petals around the city. It would be the country’s only recreational highway.

Who is your ideal road trip mate, living or dead? (But this involves pretending they’re alive, not a corpse in your car.)

Boris Karloff.

Is that a pun? Also, what is your favorite song or band to listen to on a road trip? Do you have any songs you search the dials for? Be honest.

I search for Howard Stern if I’m in a rental with Sirius radio. And for music, dub is always nice for roadtrips. Yo La Tengo too. 

Best unexpectedly amazing thing you’ve seen on a roadtrip.

Nevada City, California.

(The Portlandia travel group.)


DESERT GOLD INTERVIEW : CARRIE BROWNSTEIN

Carrie Brownstein really requires no introduction. Early sightings include basement punk shows in Portland, OR with Sleater-Kinney and recent sightings include Portlandia and Wild Flag — both projects are taking off like rockets. Carrie DJs with co-pilot Fred Armisen Tuesday night for Desert Gold at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, and they’ll throw in some hijinks and group fun, so come ready.

What are some roadside attractions that have…attracted you? Along the lines of Ball of Yarn, BFI, Roswell, or any number of the lesser known or unknown pit stops or oddities along America’s shoulders?

Prairie Dog Town and Wall Drug. In the case of the former, I’d say it repulsed me more than attracted me. In fact, I am afraid to Google Prairie Dog Town because I really hope that it no longer exists. Basically, it’s an animal freak show with 5-legged cows and other oddities. It’s very squalid. In the gift shop is a pit of live snakes. The best case scenario is that one day the snakes will eat the owner. It’s a feel good movie waiting to happen, replete with an animal uprising. Wall Drug is one of those things wherein you’re beaten into submission via signage. Then you stop and it’s nothing and you move on.

If you could be any highway or US route which would you be?

I would want to be a logging road or some dusty stretch of road in the western part of the US.

If there was a highway named after you, where would it begin and end? Points between?

Probably the same answer as above, just somewhere quiet.

Who is your ideal road trip mate, living or dead?

My dog, Tobey. He has traveled with me across the country and back. He isn’t a great driver but he is easy to talk to and he lets me pick the music.

Favorite song or band to listen to on a road trip? Do you have any songs you search the dials for? Be honest.

Lately, I prefer podcasts like This American Life, Savage Love, Freakonomics Radio or Marc Maron’s WTF. I like listening to stories while I drive. If I’m listening to the radio, I’m never disappointed to stumble upon some late-night Sam Cooke or Otis Redding tunes; their songs always sound good under a starry sky.

Best unexpectedly amazing thing you’ve seen on a roadtrip.

Seeing a frozen Mississippi River is pretty surreal.


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