My entire style of playing was built around somebody else playing guitar with me, a story that, on its own, sounds unfinished.
I've never understood people who play up the artifice of music.
I read a lot; fiction and non-fiction are the mediums I find most edifying and inspiring. I watch movies and listen to music and take lots and lots of walks. Nature is a nice reset button for me, it's how I get a lot of thinking done.
I get mad at myself when I get news from Twitter before I get it from a regular news source. Then I'm off to a bad start: getting the second-hand, filtered experience all day long.
I've realized that I have a lot of different loves, and I want to pursue writing, but I can never divorce myself from music.
I try, in the present, to not exalt the past because I think that's such a way of diminishing the present. And it's hard to live like that.
People barely have anything to say in 140 characters. The last thing we need is a bunch of discursive rambling on Twitter.
When my father came out to his mom, my grandmother said, 'You waited for your father to die; why couldn't you have waited for me to die?' I knew then that I never want to contribute to the corrosiveness of wanting someone to stay hidden.
Music has always been my constant, my salvation. It's cliche to write that, but it's true.
I think music took hold of me and captured my imagination at such a formative age that I ascribe a mysteriousness to it, and I exalt it and take it seriously in a way that I think has just permeated my life ever since. And I'm less interested in music that is novelty or jokey or ironic.
With so much of music blurring the lines between ersatz and authenticity, at least the 'Rock Band' game is a tribute to rock rather than an affront.
I'd rather do spontaneous and silly work like ThunderAnt than have somebody's film on my shoulders.
It was writing about music for NPR - connecting with music fans and experiencing a sense of community - that made me want to write songs again. I began to feel I was in my head too much about music, too analytical.
I'm pretty horrible at relationships and haven't been in many long-term ones. Leaving and moving on - returning to a familiar sense of self-reliance and autonomy - is what I know; that feeling is as comfortable and comforting as it might be for a different kind of person to stay.
Rihanna has guts and she always seems to be singing from someplace honest, dark and fierce.
It turns out I'm not very good at working with a traditional boss.
I really like sardonicism and wit. I love the writing of Joy Williams and Lorrie Moore. I like Tina Fey, Amy Schumer.
I wish I'd lived in New York in my early twenties. Or learned to speak more languages at a young age. I didn't do either.
For film and television, it's interesting how fans feel that their particular ways of manifesting their affections are the correct ones. It's not just about being a fan, it's about how you perform your fandom. That's always been interesting to me.
With music, I get to a much darker place. Where I'm able to go with 'Portlandia' has a wider range, but also a brighter range.
My father wasn't just taciturn - it was like he didn't want to be heard.
With Portlandia, I don't think our intention is always to find something funny. Sometimes the humor comes from taking something really seriously. We're okay with making somebody feel uncomfortable or uneasy.
I'll admit that I'm not quite certain how to sum up an entire year in music anymore; not when music has become so temporal, so specific and personal, as if we each have our own weather system and what we listen to is our individual forecast.
'Beasts of the Southern Wild' was one of those films that I felt like I could dismiss because it received so many accolades, but then I watched it and was won over.
With Rock Band, you can play along to Black Sabbath or Nirvana and possibly find new ways of appreciating their artistry by being allowed to perform parallel to it. Rock Band puts you inside the guts of a song.
I have really never aligned myself with hipsterdom or coolness.
I think that art, and making music or comedy, is a way of positing yourself on the map and then trying to find other people out there with you.
From dancing around to Michael Jackson and Madonna as a kid to having my mind blown by the first sounds of punk and indie rock, to getting to play my own songs and have people listen, music is what got me through.
When people grow up with a family characterized by chaos and uncertainty and fragility, you look for a substitution for that.
That's so rare in the world of TV or film to have a genuine friendship turn into something that people watch, that people relate to. That's so unique.
Meals and eating and that sort of ritual of gathering at a table is such a part of childhood, and that was such a strange moment. It made me nervous to watch my mom cook for us and then not engage in the act of eating with us.
I definitely love performing live because there are moments of spontaneity. And as much as you're performing on stage, I feel like the audience is performing, too.
I was always drawn to performing. I took improv and acting classes during the summers and was involved in middle and high school plays. But when I discovered indie and punk music in high school, those things sort of took over.
Rock Band is more like Stairmaster than it is like rock 'n' roll - it's the same steps with different degrees of difficulty.
I don't think I realized right away that I was switching from being a fan into being a performer. I've always tried to maintain that duality, because I think fandom is a way of being porous and curious, but it did feel like a step forward.
The game Rock Band has been haunting me like a bad ring tone. It gets stuck in my head and momentarily effaces all that I love about music.
So many things can be filtered through fandom - joy, compassion, love.
The 'New York Times' is my homepage because it forces me to go right into the news.
The process of coming out, as much as other people want to couch it in terms of politics, it's a very personal journey.
In the realm of fakery, I would choose 'Rock Band' over 'American Idol' or over any of the other flimsy truths masquerading as music.