“Saturday Night Live”/”Portlandia” star Fred Armisen was out in full force to celebrate Record Store Day in Los Angeles on Saturday, April 20, playing an impromptu set of punk covers and engaging in a fan Q&A at Highland Park’s all-vinyl/cassette indie store Mount Analog.
Fred treated amused shoppers to ramshackle covers of songs like the Clash’s “Train in Vain” and answered questions from spectators, revealing that the first album he ever bought was by the Ramones and the first concert he ever attended was by Adam & The Ants. He also took accent-imitation requests from the crowd (explaining how the Tarzana and Long Beach dialects in the hilarious “SNL” skit “The Californians” differ, and even singing a bit of the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” in a Danish brogue), before wrapping things up with an attempt at the Beatles’ “Blackbird.”
Fred Armisen is actually one of “SNL’s” coolest music-associated alums, with a bona fide background in indie rock. He was once married to Sally Timms of the Mekons; he’s played drums for the Grifters side-project Those Bastard Souls, the Blue Man Group, and Les Savy Fav; he had a cameo in the Flaming Lips’ cult movie Christmas On Mars; and long before he went into comedy, he was a member of the Chicago punk band Trenchmouth in the 1980s. His “Fistfight in the Parking Lot” hardcore skit for “SNL,” playing in a fictional reunited ’80s punk band alongside Dave Grohl, is the stuff of comedy legend. Fred currently stars on IFC’s cult-hit show “Portlandia” alongside Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney/Wild Flag fame.
Fred was also spotted at L.A.’s Vacation Vinyl boutique on Record Store Day, where he may or may not have cut in line. No word on whether he picked up one “SNL”-affiliated release, “YOLO” by the Lonely Island with Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar, which was issued on limited-edition yellow vinyl especially for Record Store Day.