"Portlandia," Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's gentle skewering of all things precious, hip and overly politically correct, returns Friday at 10 p.m. on IFC.
Which is great and all, though we would remind Brownstein and Armisen that "Battlestar Galactica" didn't exactly stick the landing on their series finale, and maybe their upcoming "One More Episode" campaign is noble but misguided. But we digress.
The second season features an impressive array of comedic guest stars, but Brownstein and "Saturday Night Live"-vet Armisen also recruited a number of notable figures from the alternative/indie music world for guest spots, including Eddie Vedder, Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock, Joanna Newsom, Sex Pistols' guitarist Steve Jones and Annie Clark, a.k.a. St. Vincent. That an impressive array of talent, and we're frankly pretty curious to see Newsom's comedic chops in action.
But what to do for an encore? "Portlandia" is IFC's most popular original series by far, so a third season seems reasonable. Because Nonstop Sound is nothing if not helpful, here's our suggestions for five more alt-music types that should drop by the delightful world of put-a-bird-on-it.
1. Jon Wurster
In addition to drumming for Superchunk and The Mountain Goats, Jon Wurster is one half of Scharpling and Wurster, the greatest radio comedy duo of our times. Which, yeah, is like saying someone is the greatest dinosaur fighter or something, but still. Get on their wavelength and these guys are choke-on-your-drink hilarious, with Scharpling playing the sane, patient foil to dual citizen of music and comedy Wurster's Man-of-a-Thousand-Voices array of grandly delusional characters. And one look at his precise mugging abilities in music videos for his own band and others makes it clear that he's an ace character actor waiting to happen, and would fit right in with music-obsessed world of "Portlandia." Plus, it's not like Brownstein and Wurster have ever played a show together or anything.
2. Tunde Adebimpe
Adebimpe's band TV on the Radio is best known for making schizo-phonic, beat-happy music that explores the dread, anxiety and hope of life in modern times. But before joining TVOTR, Adebimpe was both an animator for MTV's "Celebrity Deathmatch" and turned in a sweetly awkward and quite funny lead performance in the 2001 film "Jump Tomorrow." (He wasn't quite as funny in "Rachel Getting Married," but that wasn't the point.) He might sing about love among the ruins, but he's got a goofy side. For further proof of his comedy chops, check out the video for "You," where he brings a hilarious dignity to his portrayal of himself as a disheveled Prince impersonator.
3. Marnie Stern
Anyone who has seen the guitarist monster live has gotten both an earful of hyper-technical shredding and lots and lots of potty mouth stage banter. Any episode with the immensely likable Stern will feature approximately 1000 percent more jokes than usual about the female anatomy.
4. Das Racist
Though they play coy about how serious you should take them, it's clear that Das Racist are both one of the smartest and most hilarious acts in the music world today. We're sure Heems would have a lot to say about Things White People Like capital of the world, and they might bring their Michael Jackson impersonator along with them.
5. Yo La Tengo
These O.G. indie guys were working with "Mr. Show" dudes way before music and comedy were in each other's peanut butter, and remain tight with hilarious peeps like Marc Maron and Eugene Mirman. In case their accountants-on-the-weekend look makes you doubt their humor cred, check out this ace "Seinfeld" re-enactment or this album title.