Jenny Lewis on Tour

Like many of her fans, I admire singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis for the sincerity she exudes in her recordings and concerts with her commanding, yet tender and plaintive singing. Over the years, and between her various albums, her singing style has shifted from casual and effortless, with a sweet and almost child-like quality, to soulful, smoky, and timeless. Her performances reveal an honest and unpretentious artist–transforming mundane personal conflicts and anxieties into something keenly introspective, and profoundly beautiful. I’ve always cherished her lyrics as well, grouping Lewis in my mind with other favorite bands and songwriters whose words are charmingly truthful, in a way that I feel reflects my own life experiences and beliefs.

So naturally, In 2007, I began searching for an appropriate Lewis song to play during my upcoming wedding ceremony. Initially, it seemed like a good idea since I connected with my husband through Rilo Kiley, a longtime favorite band of mine. But even though our mutual appreciation of Rilo Kiley’s unique alt-country-fused indie-pop resulted in eventual love and marriage, the band’s lyrics were simply too full of dark irony and cynicism to create the optimistic ambiance suitable for use in our wedding.

And the grass it was a ticking
And the sun was on the rise
I never felt so wicked
As when I willed our love to die

– From “Silver Lining” on Rilo Kiley’s album, Under the Blacklight.

Perhaps one of the more unusual reasons why I enjoy Lewis’ work is because (with the exception of Jenny & Johnny’s “Scissor Runner”) she has never written and released any purely happy, wedding-appropriate love songs through her solo work, Rilo Kiley, or her latest group, Jenny & Johnny. My husband and I DJ’ed weddings for a while, and having endured three years of ironically prosaic, machine-generated love songs from the wedding industry, I have an intensified appreciation for love songs that are slightly twisted, tragic, or foreboding, compared to those that are purely optimistic. “Honeymoon periods” don’t last forever, after all, and if it’s true that misery loves company, wouldn’t the doldrums of everyday life likewise crave cynical pop music?

Luckily for me and her fans, Lewis has been actively cranking out the witty, reflective and nuanced songs and lyrics she’s known for, with her current music-writing partner & boyfriend, Johnathan Rice. Last year they released their album, I’m Having Fun Now as Jenny & Johnny, and just ended a long international tour promoting the album in July. I’m hoping that with Lewis’ upcoming California tour, we’ll be treated to an official announcement of a third solo album. However, whether that third solo album emerges this year, or not, both Lewis and Rilo Kiley singer/guitarist, Blake Sennett, have mentioned in interviews that a compilation of Rilo Kiley B-sides will likely find a release date some time this year.

If you’re pining away for someone with whom you’re tragically incompatible, feeling the discomfort of a seven-year itch, or simply misunderstood by the opposite sex, you can find solace by catching Lewis live, in concert. (Those in happy and stable romantic relationships will also enjoy attending.)

15-Oct-11 Pioneertown, CA Pappy & Harriet’s
16-Oct-11 Santa Monica, CA McCabe’s
17-Oct-11 Los Angeles, CA Largo (Late Show)
17-Oct-11 Los Angeles, CA Largo
18-Oct-11 Santa Barbara, CA El Presidio Chapel
20-Oct-11 Big Sur, CA Henry Miller Library
22-Oct-11 Mountain View, CA Bridge School Benefit Concert
23-Oct-11 Mountain View, CA Bridge School Benefit Concert
24-Oct-11 San Francisco, CA Swedish American Hall
25-Oct-11 Visalia, CA College of the Sequoias Theatre


Jenny Lewis Official Website

Jenny Lewis Twitter

Jenny Lewis Facebook

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