I am dedicating this post to my dear friend Sarah Anna Cera, most simply because - without her, I am sure that my days would be rainy (even though the sun shines everyday here in Phoenix.) Some odd years ago, Sarah came into my life. Upon meeting, I knew she was special and that we would become very good friends indeed. Two summers ago found Sarah sleeping on my floor (I tried to get her to sleep in the guest bedroom.) This was somewhat of a godsend seeing as how I was in a very dark place. Sarah thought I was helping her, but little did she know just how much she was helping me. I would go to work in the morning and as I walked out at the end of the day - Sarah would be there waiting. We would walk to Starbucks, catch a movie, or simply follow our hearts. This usually led to a trip to "The Cave." A secret hiding place where we traded the real world, for a wonderland. Eventually we would grow hungry and make our way to some fast food chain, then back to my house to watch a movie. Everyday was much like the day before but I was starting to smile more and forget about those demons that haunted me. At summer's end, I had to say goodbye. For the first time in my life, I cried for someone other than me. We are 300 miles apart and we don't get to talk as often, but our friendship remains unchanged. Later this month she graduates from the Los Angeles Film School, I am proud that she gathered the courage to move to LA by herself and conquer her dreams! I think the world needs more Sarah's. Btw - I hope you like puppet movies!
I also have Sarah to thank for introducing me to Jenny Lewis. Sarah loves Jenny the way I love most other things I mention in this here blog. I don't want to say too much because I can imagine writing something bizarre and Sarah laughing and saying "no, that is not ok." Sarah tried several times teach me the ways of Jenny Lewis, but I did not get it until I visited Sarah down in LA and we went to see her at the Orpheum Theatre. I am not sure if it was the beautiful, intricate architecture of the old school style theatre or well just because Jenny Lewis is damn amazing - it was hands down the best show I have ever been to (okay, second best. You can't compete with Elton.) After that, I was hooked. I was on a Jenny Lewis high. A child star, Jenny grew into her own fronting the band Rilo Kiley. You may recognize her as the female vocalist from the Postal Service. But it is her solo project that gets to me.
My absolute favorite track by Rilo Kiley is "With Arms Outstretched" featured on the album The Execution of All Things. It is probably the best song to sing along to with the windows down. If only the weather would cool down. My second favorite track off this album would be the title track. It's a great song for driving in sunshine, actually, the whole album is great for this. Maybe I am just itching for autumn, which to me, means brisk weather, which means - driving with the windows down! If you are into dating guys you should probably not be dating More Adventurous is the album for you! With lyrics like "baby your bad news" and "my friends tell me to leave you" "Portions for Foxes" will be your theme song! In "Does He Love You?" Jenny croons about being in love with a married man, this song is for those who are really adventurous! I find that I identify most with "I Never." Jenny sings about being wary of falling in love, but it is her range of vocals that really make the song. I want to say "Ripchord" is about someone committing suicide, but do not quote me on that. The lyrics are beautifully tragic but the ukulele strumming along, with whistles and "ba da da's" make this 1940's radio program melody quite pleasant. Take Offs and Landings an early EP of the band, features a song titled "Pictures of Success." I once spent a whole day with my friend Hannah (the missing link to Sarah and I's friendship) listening to this song on repeat, screaming the lyrics "Mexico can @#%*ing wait." We probably had some angst built up. The latest album from Rilo Kiley is THE best breakup album. Every time I say goodbye to a boy, Under the Blacklight goes in and never leaves until I have found a new boy to love. With a fresh wound you will want to play "Breaking Up" how appropriate, right? "oooh ahhh feels good to be free!" Jenny wrote the title track (and I'm guessing the whole album) after breaking up with lead guitarist Blake Sennet. It also features one of my favorite lines "like a black widow, I'll be crawling." Another favorite line of mine "I never felt so wicked when I willed our love to die" is from "Silver Lining" which is also my favorite song on the album. To me, it represents finding yourself after you have been lost with someone else for so long and you're realizing that you are so much better off and that that one person will never find anyone better.
Right around the time Under the Blacklight came out, Jenny Lewis branched out onto her own and released Rabbit Fur Coat. The title track is a hauntingly beautiful memoir and I like to listen to "Rise Up With Fists" at full volume when I am mad at the World. Jenny's second solo album Acid Tongue is the best thing she's ever done if you ask me. I bought the album a year ago, in October, and I promise you - it has never left my CD player. I first heard the title track in Sarah's car. I do not remember what we were doing but it was the middle of the night and I was tired. I let the cool wind blow in my face and Sarah and I stayed silent listening. I remember thinking it was the most beautiful song I had ever heard. Of course at that time the album was not out so I could not buy it anywhere and I went crazy. "Trying My Best to Love You" is a sweet song that I have mentioned before in my Valentine's post. I like to imagine that Jenny Lewis sat on Hollywood Blvd. people watching while she wrote "Sing a Song for Them," and it makes it that much better, because you know what she is saying is true. My favorite song (that no longer works because I've worn it out) is "The Next Messiah." It is seven minutes of pure genius. I wish she would put out a live album version of Acid Tongue, it has a very raw sound, much like concerts in the 50's when Johnny Cash and Elvis just started touring - and believe me, this album is best heard live.