For the Portlandia song “What About Men,” Fred Armisen and two other Portland musicians came into the studio to record the vocals for this song filled with angst towards a world that had forgotten about “men.” The sketch was written before the 2016 election results, so one of the lines spoken by Carrie on her bike had to be cut in post production and didn’t make it into the music video. The singers were recorded by Brent in REX Studio 1 using a Neumann U67, LA-2A compressor and AMEK Angela preamps.
When creating animated content, the dialogue is recorded first, and the images are created later to match the audio. Portlandia’s Rats Acting Like Squirrels is no different, except maybe a bit for more fun. For the Squirrels segment some of the cast were in Portland, and some in Los Angeles. So we interfaced with a studio in Santa Monica so we could all hear each other. Jamie recorded the local and patched mics here, as did the studio down south. They sent their original files to us and we married everything together, and all were in sync in HD.
One day Portlandia producer Kevin Sullivan called REX to ask if we could record music with “…a singer-songwriter over the weekend.” Of course we agreed, and that Sunday afternoon Grammy and Juno winner and siren KD Lang, who had recently relocated to Portland’s Pearl District, came strolling in the door and down the hall with her guitar in hand and a grin on her face that said she was happy to be in Portlandia. REX audio engineer Brent Rogers tracked KD singing “Down To The River To Pray” on her old Gibson guitar using a vintage Neumann U67 microphone, LA-2A compressor and AMEK Angela preamps.
Other pre-records for Portlandia include the original “The Original Rats” sequence, “Money for Beer”, “I Want My MTV”, “Animal Parade”, “Banana Daiquiri”, and “Going Home”.