The Rich Girls Are Weeping

01 March 2006

Crushing beer cans in high heels -- it's a valuable skill. Saw The Wedding Present last night; I hate to say it, but they're not really my cup of tea, though we still had a good time. Sorry to the people behind me who got beaned with the second can I semi-crushed with my girlie shoes. (The first run was better.)

For some reason, I'm reminded today of early Rilo Kiley; perhaps Pinky's plans to post hard-to-find or out-of-print albums wholesale has been inspirational. I realized that I hadn't seen many (if any) posts of the tracks from the band's work pre-Take-offs and Landings, and I just happen to have a copy of
The Inital Friend EP, released in 2001, that I'd love to share with y'all. The EP went through several incarnations -- there were two pressings as a self-titled release with most of the same songs in 1999 and 2000. As you can imagine, these two releases are almost impossible to find -- but really, the songs dropped from the third pressing are no great loss.

In the summer of 2001, I was terribly unhappy and did a lot of shopping -- especially for used books and CDs. You know, happiness via acquisition, that time-honored coping mechanism? It was on one of the many, many trips I made to the old ABCD's on Airport after work one day that I discovered two incredible albums in the used bins on the same day --
The Shins' Oh! Inverted World and the aforementioned Rilo Kiley EP. (That might have also been the day I found Phantom Planet's first record in the $1.99 bin, I can't remember...)

Now, naturally, file sharing and mp3 blogs were not what they are today, obviously, and finding these CDs was a red-letter day -- I'd read about both bands in
print publications ('zines, probably) but previously hadn't been able to find any of their stuff in stores. I also remembered Jenny from Foxfire and I'd seen the band's appearance in the utterly awful film Desert Blue, so recognized the name immediately thinking, "Hey, it's that band with the former child stars."

[Here's a weird sidebar: That makes me wonder, were there even any prominent mp3 blogs at that time? I seem to remember getting everything on Audiogalaxy or from Napster in those days, but it was mostly a crapshoot. I had just returned to doing more stuff online after a self-imposed hiatus of 2 years (seriously, I hardly emailed people, even). It was around that time I'd just discovered Livejournal and I'm not even sure if
Scott Stereogum had started his journal there yet, but I know I started reading him some time around then.]

Anyway, it wasn't long after this that I went to my first Rilo Kiley show (August 2001 at the Mercury, which is now The Parish) -- the one I always tell people about. There were literally four people there. (Ok, maybe a few more than that, but not many!) I don't need to tell you about how my heart swelled with pride when I saw them sell out Stubbs last spring. Capacity? 2000+. I will never, ever begrudge the band their success; they truly deserve it.


So, getting to my point -- the interesting thing about these songs is that a lot of the tropes still evident in Jenny and Blake's songwriting were already firmly set in place, even in the early days of the band -- there's a call out to Morgan, who appears in later songs on The Execution of All Things and More Adventurous. "Frug" is a jaunty retro number that bookends with "I Never" from More Adventurous; in the former Jenny claims she'll "never fall in love;" in the latter, the lyric echoes back a contrary sentiment lifted straight from a Motown classic,"'cause I never loved somebody the way I loved you." There's also an early version of one of my favorites from
Take-Offs and Landings, "Always," and the semi-autobiographical tone of both Blake and Jenny's work with Rilo Kiley and on their side projects figure strongly in "85" and "Troubadours." The only misstep is the forced, tacky-country "Gravity" -- but both Blake and Jenny tone down the twang in later songs whilst still preserving the essence of that influence.

Rilo Kiley -- Frug
Rilo Kiley -- Papillon
Rilo Kiley -- Always
Rilo Kiley -- 85
Rilo Kiley -- Sword
Rilo Kiley -- Asshole
Rilo Kiley -- Gravity
Rilo Kiley -- Troubadours

15 Comments:

Blogger cookies from elastic said...

This is awesome! I have come to love Rilo Kiley, and it's great to hear some of their early recordings! But I've not been able to download the last song, Troubador. Not sure why.
All the same, cheers!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006 4:18:00 PM  
Blogger chacal la chaise said...

i think i'm batting 1000 now on deleted comments versus posted ones...as i began before, i love the spacetime aspect of this entry...my how time flies!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006 4:54:00 PM  
Blogger cindy hotpoint said...

Cookies: That was a little typo, the file should be okay now! Thanks for letting me know. (:

Wednesday, March 01, 2006 5:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope, still not working.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006 7:38:00 PM  
Blogger cindy hotpoint said...

wow, i am SO lame today, i completely cannot spell. it really is working now, i promise!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006 7:43:00 PM  
Blogger cookies from elastic said...

Way cool, Cindy! It is indeed working. Thanks a million!

Thursday, March 02, 2006 11:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for being the most incredible person ever.

Thursday, March 02, 2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger cindy hotpoint said...

2nd Anon: You are too kind, really! Thank you. (:

Friday, March 03, 2006 2:47:00 PM  
Blogger Cu said...

Thank you so much for posting these, I've been looking for tracks from The Inital Friend for a long time. :)

Saturday, March 04, 2006 7:34:00 PM  
Blogger Aimee said...

Wow! Thanks for posting these!

Just listend to them all and they are amazing! :)

Thursday, March 09, 2006 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Aimee said...

Wow! Thanks for posting these!

Just listend to them all and they are amazing! :)

Thursday, March 09, 2006 10:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 1:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ive been looking for The Initial Friend EP, too! Thanks so much- this is really great!!

Sunday, May 21, 2006 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Describe more on the can crushing. What shoes did you use? What did they look like? How did you crush the can and how many? How flat? Do you like stepping on things and crushing them? PLEASE E-mail me back.

Sunday, November 25, 2007 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Patrician said...

wow great article. just wish i could get those mp3s. i've been dying to get my hands on rilo's original stuff but i can't find it anywhere. if you put the songs back up let me know.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 8:55:00 PM  

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