It seems to be that there Jenny Lewis rolled into Hobokentown with that man of hers, Johnathan "Johnny Rico" Rice. There was no fussin', no fightin', just good time tunes from one of the finest songstresses in the business. I reckon that it was a fine time.
I can confirm that having J. Lew in a small capacity room lead to some freak out moments. For me, there was about 10 minutes of my internal dialogue saying, "Holy shit. That's Jenny Lewis." You see, we here in Jersey are simple folk, and we don't get many big name singers come through the 'Boken. Heck, even if she played all new tunes with that guy of her getting in the way, we'll take that.
- Scissor Runner
- My Pet Snakes
- New Yorker Cartoon
- Just Like Zeus
- Straight Edge of the Blade
- Just One of the Guys
- Big Wave
- Next Messiah
- Love Hurts (Nazareth cover)
With every project J. Lew takes part in, she further defines her place in the music world. She's the indie rocking, country queen of the U.S. This project with her man is her version of Johnny and June Carter Cash or Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham without all the barbiturates. It's the his and her country styles mixed with some pop sensibilities. I think it's a great idea, and if it's going to be done, then havethese two crazy cats do it.
The dynamic between the two works well. She's the fun-loving gal, while he's a tad bit goofy and fidgety. When I saw her at Town Hall with the Watson Twins, she sang her guts out and performed with great emotion. Tonight, she was laid back, laughing and enjoying her surroundings. I saw Rico open for Tilly & the Wall once and he still hasn't figured out how to talk normally between songs. He mumbles then talks fast without making sense. Somebody in the crowd asked about his pet snake, and he was jokingly waving his finger and mumbling, "No, you will never know its name." When you're that handsome a fella, you can get away with anything.
Going back to that Cash family idea, I liked that back and forth between them in the songs and out of the songs. "Shall we sing the folks another song, Johnny?" "Yes, Jenny. Why not?" Their album together, I’m Having Fun Now, works because its not a "we love each other" album, but rather portraying their arguments and observations. There is that good balance between sugary-girly pop songs and country crooning.
With the popular and beloved Lewis in the small setting, there was a fare amount of calls of love between songs. Let's face it, J. Lew is something special -- amazing talent and yes, damn easy on the eyes. She takes that all in stride, and nobody yelled out the famous line from The Wizard, "He touched my breast!" I didn't have the nerve to stay afterwards and ask her if she can do the Smurf yet. On the other hand, or ask Johnny Boy if his old lady picked out his t-shirt, which was a Jenny Lewis t-shirt.
Just as a final observation, it's not a set in stone fact, but it's safe to say that Rilo Kiley is done. J. is too popular now to go back to a band and she's found her niche on her own. Although Rilo drummer Jason Boesel drums for J & J on tour.
Opening for this tour, with Hoboken being the last stop, are local veterans Love As Laughter. They've always been one of those bands I know I've heard of, but can't tell you want they sound like. They've been mucking about since the 90s and have released a handful of records on SubPop. There songs range from Wilco-ish roots rock songs to heavy Neil Young-styled rock tunes. They even have a few punk songs up their sleeves.
The more I heard from them, the more I dug their tunes. They did a intense southern rock/bar room brawl styled song that was a winner with a sweet, rambling guitar rythem.