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Music Reviews

Low

Low

Double Negative

Sub Pop

There is a common trope about Low, which isn’t far from the truth — that Low is a great band, but their fans are a bunch of sit-on-the-floor-and-shush-everyone toads. I can see both sides of this, having once been shushed by a Low fan, and also because in a live setting it’s really hard to hear Low’s delicate sounds, which are so understated they make the Cowboy Junkies seem more like the Cowboy Tweakers and can be easily drowned out by an errant phone still on vibrate.

This will likely all change with Double Negative. If you have ever hooked up a CD player to a Phono input on an old-fashioned stereo and played your Brian Eno discs at full blast, you will have a general idea of what some of this sounds like. For the rest of you, Double Negative is coated with a layer of intergalactic grime, accumulated over the passage of millions of light years on its way to some civilization that does not exist yet, never mind have the capacity to decode the transmission. It’s noisy, rhythmic, full of clipping and distortion, roving waves of compression and rogue waves of filtering, droning beats and oversampled vinyl scratches. And yet interspersed with this monstrous vigor are such moments of beautiful clarity as to make the whole thing seem like an incomprehensible tower of light and fur.

No, I’m not high. It’s just rare to hear something as transcendent as Double Negative, flitting between the extremes of Sunn-O))) and This Mortal Coil to make a completely musical statement, and doubly-baffling to have this come from Low after a couple of decades of entrancing tinkle, tap, and jangle.

You will find me at the next Low show. I don’t think anyone will need to tell anyone to shut up.

www.chairkickers.com

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Music Reviews

Cornflower Blue

Cornflower Blue

Invincible

Hailing from Ottawa, Ontario, these guys do American roots rock better than most of the acts you’d find in the lower 48, primarily because they refuse to be kept in any one genre or fashion. Led by the vocals and guitar of Trevor May and Theresa McInerney, the group can go from twangy alt-country of “Way Down Town” to the full-on thrash of “Catherine”, which is a bit like what you’d imagine Bob Mould would sound like if he played a Telecaster and laid off the electronica.

The secret weapon on Invincible is the soaring violin of Deanna McDougall, whose melodic lines lift numbers such as the Cowboy Junkies-ish “Long Walk Home”, reminding you a bit of Rolling Thunder-Dylan and his work with Scarlet Rivera. And when May and McInerney sing together, such as on “Around My Heart” or “Snowed In”, you can’t help but be reminded of the great Richard and Linda Thompson duets. Their tribute to the Bakersfield sound on “The Ballad of Don Rich and Buck Owens” is a hella-fast romp with some nifty Richian twang fills, while the acoustic title cut tells of “feeling invincible on the playground”.

Cornflower Blue break out of the standard roots pack with good songs, great guitars and that sublime fiddle. A little bit Bottle Rockets, a bit of Sugar, mixed with a healthy dose of twang make Invincible a can’t miss. That’s an order!

www.cornflowerblue.com

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Music Reviews

Mount Moriah

Mount Moriah

Miracle Temple

Merge

One of the most powerful cinematic experiences I’ve ever had was watching 1999’s true story tragedy Boys Don’t Cry. It’s not a movie I often revisit because of its tendency to make me bawl like a broken-hearted teenager. However the images of it are burned in my soul and the song that plays over it is one from the soundtrack: “The Bluest Eyes in Texas,” performed by The Cardigans’ Nina Persson. Lying on a field beneath a Nebraska summer sky, stealing kisses and smoking cigarettes, hopeful and haunted — such is the place this song drops me into… and I’ve never even BEEN to Nebraska.

On their sophomore effort, Miracle Temple, North Carolina’s Mount Moriah wrap up that song’s, and that movie’s, beautiful melancholy in a quilt knitted with old country soul, and it is the most perfect record to stretch its arms around my neck in quite some time. To label it country or Americana or folk is not to do it justice. Mount Moriah have managed to stand on the shoulders of their influences and sound equally nostalgic and fresh.

“Younger Days,” with its anguished chorus of August is over so when are you coming back?, melts me in the same way Cowboy Junkies do and, upon first listen, I’m almost afraid to continue past this album opener for fear that the remaining 11 songs can’t possibly live up to the promise that this song makes. When I finally venture on, “Bright Light” wipes the sweat from my worried brow, and as the album plays on I sink deeper into a welcoming sadness that I haven’t felt since the ’90s when artists like Natalie Merchant, Sarah McLachlan, and especially Cowboy Junkies helped their listeners master the art of a good cry.

Miracle Temple allows me to enjoy the catharsis of a broken heart without experiencing the first hand devastation. You may call me a masochist, but that’s a beautiful thing.

Mount Moriah: mountmoriahband.com

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Music Reviews

Cowboy Junkies

Cowboy Junkies

Sing In My Meadow

Latent Recordings

The Cowboy Junkies fell off my radar screen a few years ago, but they’ve been busy: their latest project is called The Nomad Series. Sing In My Meadow is the third disc in this project, and it offers up a driving sound of electric blues, rough-edged psychedelia, and rock and roll angst filtered through the lens of the Canadian alternative rock scene.

Vocals are a filigree on the back beat of angry guitars moaning artfully discrete solos, and flustery drumming piles up to make a wall of sound with the unfocused energy of an Occupy Wall Street demonstration. “Continental Drift” puts singer Margo Timmins on the front lines of the demonstration, but there’s little more than a key shift when we leave for the after party. Join the march with “It’s Heavy Down Here,” as it drops us from a street protest to that dark cave of the best B-Side drug music that mellowed an older generation bent on changing the world. I’m struck by its early FM sound; this song stands alone more than anything else on Sing in My Meadow. The lyrics are more condensed, more introspective, and less angry at powers that can’t be controlled. True, the trite rhyme “…touch my soul / listen to late night radio…” lurks, but there’s enough reverb and distortion to take us back to the days when Clear Channel meant hot swamp music from WWL and not homogenized inflammatory politic rhetoric.

If all you know about this band is that ancient cover of “Sweet Jane,” tune in again — this Canadian family project has moved on, grown up, and found new lands to till.

Cowboy Junkies: www.cowboyjunkies.com

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Music Reviews

Various Artists

Various Artists

Joey’s Song: Volume 1 and Joey’s Songs for Kids: Volume 1

Joey’s Song: Volume 1 and Joey’s Songs for Kids: Volume 1 are a pair of albums benefiting the Joseph Gomoll Foundation to raise awareness for the Epilepsy Foundation. The albums are the work of Michael Gomoll, whose son Joey was not yet five years old when he died last year after battling Dravet’s Syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy.

Joey’s Song is perhaps the strongest collection of the two, but that may just be my preference. I say pick ’em both up. The money goes to a good cause. Gomoll clearly has great taste in music and great taste in friends. There are a slew of exclusive and rare tracks donated by some of my favorite folks in the business.

Folkie Tim Easton offers the acoustic guitar and harmonica fed original “In Love with You.” Another favorite folkie, Slaid Cleaves, turns in a nice cover of “Streets of Laredo.” Ed Harcourt offers his trademarked languorous pop on “The Sweetest Sound of All.”

Glasgow’s Del Amitri contributes a demo for a tune called “If Your Tears Don’t Make a Sound.” Like much of the band’s terrific ’90s output, it has pop hooks galore and of course, Justin Currie’s typically impeccable vocals to recommend it.

Thea Gilmore, who is sort of a British Tori Amos, exudes an effortless cool on “The Difference.” Backed by acoustic guitar and piano, she sings “Can you hear me talk / Whisper in those prayers in every accent that I know / I may walk the walk / It’s the only way I’ve got to hide this vertigo / And if I lose my nerve / All I know is how to talk my way out of this hole / It’s more than I deserve / And there’s not much left that won’t boil down to crowd control.”

Another great female voice, Neko Case, is represented here by “People Got a Lotta Nerve,” one of the strongest songs of her career from her most recent solo album, Middle Cyclone. Tracy Bonham provides an acoustic demo of “All Thumbs,” with cool double-tracked vocals.

Daddy, a band fronted by singer-songwriters Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack, offer up a live version of “Wash & Fold,” an acoustic Mississippi Delta slide guitar blues number. These guys are professionals.

Chicago-based singer-songwriter Robbie Fulks turns in a live cover of Bob Dylan’s Slow Train Coming track “I Believe in You.” Not really my favorite Dylan song, nor one of Robbie’s finer recorded moments but worth a listen for fans.

Also on the disc are Cowboy Junkies, Michelle Malone, HEM, A.A. Bondy, and, oddly, ’90s one-hit-wonders Crash Test Dummies (with a live acoustic version of that one hit).

But the biggest surprises, at least for me, come from Mike Viola and Michael McDermott. Viola’s “Hang on Mike” is a tour de force acoustic pop pep talk to himself.

“No my studio is not a bedroom,” he sings. “No my living room is not a venue / But when I sing to you my whole world changes / When you smile at my creation with a standing ovation.”

The raspy-voiced McDermott turns in a demo of a piano-backed tune called “Carry Your Cross” that makes me want to explore more of his catalog.

Joey’s Songs for Kids, while featuring many like-minded, similar artists (again, oddly, Crash Test Dummies are the lone common denominator between the two records), is a bit more of a mixed bag. But, as I say, that may just be my aversion to pretty much anything described as “children’s music.” I appreciate that parents who used to rock themselves would rather listen to their favorite artists play these tunes than say, Barney or Elmo. I get that. But who’s to say kids couldn’t just learn their ABCs from listening to, say, The Clash. In my mind, it’s never too early to introduce them to actual good music.

That being said, there is some fun stuff here. Ex-Dream Syndicate frontman Steve Wynn gives us the silly, jangly ditty “Monkeys.” Steve Forbert lends his trademark scratchy vocals to one of my favorite songs from childhood, “Puff the Magic Dragon,” here featuring pretty 12-string guitar accompaniment and a touch of harmonica. Ellis Paul turns in a nice vocal performance on “Mr. Teetot,” a change of pace tune that features some winning electric piano tinkling. And Nashville-based singer-songwriter Matthew Ryan manages to make the 72-year-old “You Are My Sunshine” his own with his raspy voice and homemade-sounding demo arrangement.

Elsewhere, The Band of Blacky Ranchette imagines what it might be like if the Velvet Underground cut “Working on the Railroad.” The Sleepytones, with a singer who sounds a little like Tom Petty, tackle a tune called “Little Blue Horses,” which provides a pleasant listen with or without the kids. April Smith & the Great Picture Show give us an arrangement of “Say, Say Oh Playmate” that should appeal to fans of Erin McKeown. And singer-songwriter Greg Trooper, always welcome on any record, here turns in the unadorned “Upside Down Town.”

But there are some head scratchers here too. Guitar slinger Gurf Morlix pays tribute to the stars of ’60s TV western Bonanza, because, um, all the kids love Bonanza. At any rate, it’s a repetitive goof that he probably just decided to say was a children’s song. Ralph Covert’s “Pickle Me Juice” features the kind of irritating, cornball humor that gives the kids’ music genre a bad name. Jon Dee Graham turns in the gruffly voiced, ukulele-backed “Hippopotamus,” a sing-song-y, predictable number that becomes tiresome after less than one listen. Lowen & Navarro demonstrate that “The Wheels on the Bus” is simply beyond rescue, despite the kinda honky-tonk, kinda zydeco arrangement they employ here. This would frighten small children. It frightens me. Speaking of frightening, Eileen Rose and the Legendary Rich Gilbert give us “Oh Johnny LeBeck,” a jaunty, grisly story of a butcher who makes mysterious sausage and meets an untimely, but entirely appropriate end. And there is of course the aforementioned Crash Test Dummies. “And It’s Beautiful” is actually a pretty decent song and certainly one of the more instrumentally fleshed-out songs on this compilation. But other than a weird auctioneer-like vocal break from singer Brad Roberts, I’m not sure it fits the children’s song mold. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It does beg the question, however, what are they doing here?

These compilations reportedly barely scratched the surface of the support Gomoll received when he began reaching out to his favorite artists to get them to contribute tracks. So we can look forward to additional volumes in the future. There’s enough strong stuff spread across both these discs that will make this a welcome ongoing series. And the money goes to a good cause, so collect them all.

Joey’s Song: www.joeyssong.org

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Music Reviews

Venice Is Sinking

Venice Is Sinking

Sand & Lines

One Percent Press

Canadian country-torch legends Cowboy Junkies’ most epochal moment was the Trinity Sessions, where the band gathered in a local church, clustered around a single microphone and, caught up in fever of creation, recorded their most enduring set of songs in one night. It’s that spontaneous, holy vibe that Venice Is Sinking sought to alchemically replicate on Sand & Lines: The Georgia Theatre Sessions May 24-28th 2008. Well, that and Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes and probably the Velvet Underground’s third album. Coming off like a Rymanized Mojave 3 or Mazzy Star, Venice Is Sinking knocks out a set of covers and originals that are stately, melancholy, and ragged — like heading out into the sun after a sleepless night of heartache. A pleasant spontaneity pervades these recordings that puts this album above Venice Is Sinking’s last album AZAR. Of the covers, “Jolene” is pitched between Damon and Naomi and the VU (fuck yeah), but I gotta say, their baroque arrangement of Galaxie 500’s “Tugboat” (pace slowed to a graceful shuffle, strings, horns, and sleighbells) almost beats the original (and fucking On Fire changed my life at 17). “Falls City” smolders alluringly with ghostly Martin Rev organ, a head-nodding beat, a string section, and Link Wray twang.

Sand & Lines is clearly in hock to its admittedly impeccable influences — I could name about fifteen albums that hew similar ground — but there is no denying the elegant music that pours forth, like a torrent of tears.

One Percent Press: onepercentpress.com

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Music Reviews

Lou Reed

Lou Reed

Berlin – Live At St. Ann’s Warehouse

Matador Records

Sometimes you just forget about lesser, early albums by big name stars. That’s what happened to Berlin, Lou Reed’s second album after the wildly successful Transformer. Universally despised as depressing, uninteresting, and selling even fewer copies that the much later Metal Machine Music, Berlin is a classic ’70s concept album. The songs revolve around the unhappy couple Jim and Caroline, who are living in bohemian squalor near the Berlin Wall. They take drugs, run around, slap each other silly, and have a few kids to share the joy with. At the end Caroline kills herself, and Jim studies pictures of happier days. It’s a Robitussin and Quaalude moment if ever there was one.

After a few listens, the musical skill and sensibility of Reed stands out. While there was never a glimmer of a hit on the disc, it’s not that bad if you can ignore the lyrics and focus on the sound. “Sad Song” might have gotten some airplay if the topic wasn’t so dark, and perhaps someone like Cowboy Junkies will cover it successfully someday. If you’re a fan of Transformer or Sally Can’t Dance this is certainly worth a listen. If you’re a fan of Metal Machine Music, well, there’s not much anyone can do to help you.

The tracks were laid down in a series of three live performances, and the audio quality is typical for a live disc. The crowd noise is well controlled, limited mostly to pre- and post-song applause and the occasion fan whistling. Reed’s voice has shifted and sounds almost as if he has a dental plate. The guitar and drums are in tune and expertly played, but the dynamic range is limited and it might be worth looking up the original, even if than means digging out that old Pioneer turntable. Berlin – Live… is enjoyable, but not essential. The really grim lyrics don’t kick in until the second half of the set, but when they do, they’re enough to get your dog suicidal. Plan your emotional weekend carefully if you listen.

Matador Records: www.matadorrecords.com

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Event Reviews

Cowboy Junkies

Cowboy Junkies

The Plaza Theatre, Orlando, FL • February 11, 2009

On cold winter nights I like to curl up with Margo Timmins’ voice. The Cowboy Junkies vocalist has a sultry siren living deep within her soul, and the songs she sings could melt the snow off the back of a blizzard. At once heartbreaking and soothing, it is she who breathes an untouchable ache into her brother Michael Timmins’ gifted songwriting, and makes Cowboy Junkies stand apart as a musical genre all their own.

Margo Timmins

Jen Cray
Margo Timmins

After spending much of 2007 and 2008 on tour supporting both their most recent album of new material,At The End Of Paths Taken, and Trinity Revisited, a 20th anniversary revisiting of the band’s debut disc with guest stars like Natalie Merchant and Ryan Adams along for the ride, the band has been taking a much earned break before heading back into the studio to whip up their next release. Antsy, as musicians are prone to be, they decided to venture south — out of the cold white North — and do a short tour that mercifully included a stop in Orlando.

The Plaza Theatre was built as a movie theatre in 1963, but has recently gone through some major renovations and been reborn as an intimate, seated entertainment venue that welcomes all things musical and theatrical. Popcorn is still sold in the lobby, and ushers guide guests to their plush seats only moments before the lights are set to dim. It all feels so very yesteryear. It’s gorgeous. What a way to experience a band as quietly snug as Cowboy Junkies. Finding my seat — in the front row, no less — I just knew that I was in for a treat.

Michael Timmins

Jen Cray
Michael Timmins

Seated with his guitar, turned away from the audience like a shy little child, Michael Timmins began strumming out the open notes of “Lay It Down” as drummer (and little brother to both Michael and Margo) Peter Timmins, bassist Alan Anton, and guest multi-instrumentalist Jeff Bird took their places on the blue-lit stage. Walking out to large applause, Margo took her seat at the microphone, behind a large vase of white flowers, and ushered us all into a world of midnight kisses and candlelit conversations.

As a live band, few can match their studio sound like this Canadian quartet. What surprises me most about hearing these intensely intimate compositions performed live is how they seem to expand in the theater and lull me into a trance that I gladly sink into. It’s not a sleepy hypnosis, but an invigorating, neck-tingling electrical feeling that captivates as it takes over. “A Common Disaster,” “Misguided Angel,” and “Hold On” practically knock me out of my chair and “Crescent Moon” causes my chin to quiver.

Cowboy Junkies

Jen Cray
Cowboy Junkies

It’s appropriate that one of the band’s most famous singles is a cover of Lou Reed’s “Sweet Jane” because, like Reed, Timmins’ song arrangements like to ride the air and stir up unexpected sounds — like when he throws a little distortion into a mandolin part. There’s an eerie desert sadness beneath the song’s foundations that usually only artists like Reed or Leonard Cohen can tap into so effortlessly.

These are songs I grew up listening to, in the early morning hours alone in my bedroom with an open journal and an open flame as my only companions. I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me these songs have always felt like private thoughts that liked to swim around inside my head where no one else could find them. Bouncing off the walls of this dark, decades old theatre they took on a brand new life for me.

Jen Cray

In between songs the adorably demure Margo speaks candidly, telling stories about being a 48-year-old mom on tour, about relying on a book of lyrics to remember songs she should know backwards and forward, and dedicating moments in the night to fans whose stories touched her. Like a more earthly Tori Amos, Margo Timmins tells these stories in between sips of tea.

After 90 minutes or so, the band takes their bow before a now standing and tirelessly applauding audience. An encore of “Still Lost” comes as a reward for the crowd’s kindness. For those willing to stick around — and there were many of us not yet willing to let the evening end — the female Timmins spent time with her fans in the theatre’s lobby after the set. “The best way to say thanks is to do it face to face,” she said.

To see more photos of this show, and others, go to www.jencray.com.

Cowboy Junkies: www.cowboyjunkies.com

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Music Reviews

Fred Eaglesmith

Fred Eaglesmith

Tinderbox

A Major Label

Ontario’s Fred Eaglesmith once again delves into elemental and primal aspects of human existence with the eloquence, literacy, musicality, and emotional potency that have become his trademarks.

A self-described Buddhist, Tinderbox finds Eaglesmith visiting what might resemble a Pentecostal Church high on storied Sand Mountain, Alabama where — at least in literature going back 100 years — deep spirituality has co-existed with deep depravity, but where faith and hope abound.

“Fancy God” takes a dig at the mega-churches where the parishioners “seed-offerings” often serve to supply the Preachers, Prophets, Bishops — or whatever title they endow themselves with — with bling, expensive cars, tailored suits, and mansion-like homes. “Your God is a fancy God he’s not the God I know…” and “Chain Gang” is probably the best Springsteen song that Bruce never wrote — but will wish that he had.

Earthy, simple, beautiful, and cosmically-fitting in its timing in several ways, the release of Tinderbox comes in the wake of the recent loss of longtime band mate and Canadian folk legend/mandolin virtuoso Willie P. Bennett, who was such a powerful presence in the band that even those who didn’t really get Fred simply adored Willie.

Eaglesmith songs have been covered by Kasey Chambers, The Cowboy Junkies, and most recently, Toby Keith with his version of “White Rose”, as well as Ralph Stanley II’s upcoming version of “Carter”. James King also covered “Thirty Years of Farming,” a song that ended up being the Bluegrass Song of The Year a couple of years ago. Tinderbox should extend Fred’s reach. Starbucks has requested a license to play this release in 10,000 of their locations. I can also imagine the Blind Boys of Alabama pulling a song or two from this one.

Fred Eaglesmith: www.fredeaglesmith.com

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Event Reviews

Rilo Kiley

Rilo Kiley

Grand Ole Party, Art In Manila

House of Blues, Orlando, Fl • Oct. 2, 2007

I expected Rilo Kiley to be good live, but I was not expecting them to be as good as they were. Then again, Jenny Lewis could sit in a chair and knit a scarf onstage and I’d be entertained (Ms. Lewis, you have made it onto my “freebie list,” welcome). Fortunately for the other 2,000 fans inside the House of Blues, she and her band did more than just knit.

Rilo Kiley

Jen Cray
Rilo Kiley

For starters they covered up that ghastly HOB logo at the back of the stage, with a wonderfully retro shiny gold curtain,and they brought along a pair of bands I’d never heard of who won me over in a big big way. I love discovering a great new band that way, when it’s completely unexpected!

Art In Manila

Jen Cray
Art In Manila

Art In Manila are the post Azure Ray project of vocalist Orenda Fisk, the band’s debut disc is on Saddle Creek. While that may just be a bunch of words and names that mean nothing to you, this is still a band you should take a listen to. Backing up Fisk’s Cowboy Junkies vocal stylings and bass work are a full band of quiet but steadfast Omaha kids. The resulting songs are dreamy and airy, but not in the yawn-inducing way that a lot of those other Saddle Creek bands can be.

When the curtain parted a second time, the trio Grand Ole Party nailed me against the proverbial wall. What sort of band would you expect with a name like Grand Ole Party? Country? Folk? Americana? Wrong, so wrong! First of all, the singer is the drummer, and it’s a girl who looks like Karen O- complete with expressive eye makeup! They’re far removed from the Grand Ole Opry (where, I can only assume, they took their name)- imagine Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but more bluesy, less noise. Bad-ass! The song “Nasty Habits” will be a major hit, even if it’s only within my own private ipod! I cannot express how great this band is, and the way with which they took control of the audience was impressive. By the end of the set, there was not a quiet set of hands or vocal chords in the place.

Grand Ole Party

Jen Cray
Grand Ole Party

Both Orenda Fisk and Grand Ole Party vocalist Kristin Gundred returned to the stage to aid in backing vocals, and a wide assortment of other instruments (trumpet, congo drums and tambourine among them), for our darling headliners.

Rilo Kiley has gradually become a bit of a cult band, at least in Orlando. Their last time through town they sold out The Social, and packing in the HOB is a pretty big step up from there, and not only do they bring in the bodies- they bring in rabid fans! Fans who scream before the lights even come up on Jenny Lewis’ charming smile, fans who practically claw their way overtop of the audience barricade and onto the stage, fans who are near tears as the band kicks into their opening trio of perfect pop songs (“It’s a Hit,” “Close Call” and “Portions For Foxes”).

Rilo Kiley

Jen Cray
Rilo Kiley

The band’s dynamic onstage centers largely around the emotional history of Lewis and guitarist Blake Sennett. If you’ve missed the dozen or so headlines in the last months, the two had previously dated and like any great band with members who were once together, split up, but then stayed in the band- the romantic tension adds volumes to the band’s mythology. From painfully potent lyrics like “Are we breakin’ up?/ Is there trouble between you and I?/ Did my heart break enough this time/ Ooh, yeah/ Feels good to be free” (from “Breakin’ Up”), to the sweet little shared smiles onstage, or multilayered side glances when one or the other has the full spotlight- part of the band’s appeal is in this underlying drama.

…but only part. What saves Rilo Kiley from being just another VH-1 story is that their songs are just getting better from album to album, and the new tunes off of Under the Blacklight sound so damn huge live. I feel as if I’m watching Fleetwood Mac in the era of Rumours. Lewis’ silky, sultry voice opens up during “I Never” and her already sexier-than-she-should-be (after all, this is the darling little actress that I remember from movies like Foxfire and Troop Beverly Hills!) aura becomes unparalleled. Her persona onstage is heartbreaking. More heartbreaking is when the band goes into one of Jenny’s solo album masterpieces, “Rise Up With Fists.” Beautiful, the unexpected symmetry between a band and its singer’s solo project.

Rilo Kiley

Jen Cray
Rilo Kiley

Throughout the 90 minute set, both Lewis and Sennett chat with the audience, and the interaction reaches a new level when- during “Silver Lining”- the band tosses out two oversized clear beach balls filled with gold confetti. The balls evantually bust, showering us all. It was such a simple little moment, not as extreme as a Flaming Lips-like party ball, but still- it, like the band, was perfectly charming.

To see more photos of this show, and others, go to www.jencray.com

www.rilokiley.com