Fred Armisen is a man of many characters on "Saturday Night Live" and "Portlandia," but he's proven himself to be a tremendous talent otherwise when he's not on TV. Consider this performance of Armisen covering the Devo classic "Beautiful World" with the band The Forgiveness at Union Hall in Brooklyn last weekend.
Before launching a career in comedy, Armisen was a full-time musician, most notably as the drummer for Trenchmouth. In fact, his comedy career launched almost by accident, when Armisen recorded funny video interviews during downtime at the musical festival South By Southwest. Today, New Yorkers regularly spot Armisen popping into small clubs and bars to perform in comedy and music shows.
Luckily, this one was captured on video. The Union Hall show Armisen performed at, Heart of Darkness, regularly features darlings from the world of music and comedy spanning from Ted Leo to Reggie Watts. It's always hosted by Greg Barris and his house band The Forgiveness, who also back up Armisen for his rendition of the New Wave classic.
This song may have been near and dear to Armisen's heart -- he told New York magazine earlier this year that Devo was one of the reasons he got into performing.