I've been really busy - so it's time to play recap. I tell stories. Sometimes they become stories within stories, careening off onto some other random tangent and eventually finding their way back to the main point.
But I digress.
And as my boss is on vacation (this new gig has been seriously hampering my ability to slack), I will be taking full advantage of his absence to catch up on the writing. I promise.
So what snarkiness to embark upon just now? Hmmmmm... well, first things first. Rilo Kiley.
Last week at Amoeba Music in Hollywood (the best record store ever; excluding the Amoebas in Berkeley and SF), Rilo Kiley did a free instore performance. I went, being curious about the band I had sort of accidentally seen twice before. The first time was last year at the Sunset Junction Street Fair in my hood of Silverlake, the second time being that same evening onstage with former label-mate Bright Eyes (who was opening for Belle & Sebastian). I didn't see an entire set - just heard a song or two. So I went to Amoeba, knowing I liked a song or two, and wondering how a whole set would be.
It turns out I wasn't the only one with this idea. Approximately 2,000 other people had the exact same idea. It became the biggest instore the store has ever held (surpassing other biggies by PJ Harvey, Badly Drawn Boy, Paul Westerberg, Fantomas, Black Flag and even Queens of the Stone Age). There were about 300 people waiting outside who couldn't get into the store once we had to close doors due to capacity (and the store is about a city block big). The majority of the crowd was young college aged kids, with a smattering of twenty and thirty somethings like myself.
I normally camp out at the Info booth of the store, dead center view of the stage, so I can chat with friends and watch the show without being terribly disruptive. This time, however, the store was so caught off guard by the crowd that I took over my old job as the Info counter person, while those scheduled to be there were moved to security positions or cashiering areas or crowd control. We (the staff of Amoeba) were collectively stunned at the indie rock masses.
Well, once the show was over, I remained of the "Eh?" opinion I have of this band. To me, I liked a couple songs because they remind me of a couple songs by early nineties indie band Bettie Serveert. (Well, they still exist actually.) I liked Bettie Serveert because they kinda reminded of a couple songs I liked by Linda Rondstadt and Jackson Browne (mid 70's era). So I guess Rilo Kiley reminds me of the California lite pop of that era; a twinge of country, earnestness, catchiness and all done just poppy enough to not totally bore you. Not bad, but not shut-down-Sunset-Boulevard great.
I know I am a minority in this opinion amongst my particular group of pals, and I can accept that. We all know that back when Linda was dating Jerry Brown and Jackson was making the young starlets of Hollywood swoon, they put out albums highly regarded by the critics and still revered by singer-songwriters today. Nick Hornby has a whole chapter in his Songbook collection of essays about the poignancy of early Jackson Browne tunes. I still don't care for those records all that much, and I just can't get into Rilo Kiley.
Hopefully, I won't be kicked out of Silverlake for that.