Thursday, October 15, 2009

BIBJ Playlist of the 2000s entry #61: It's a Hit by Rilo Kiley

There's a bit of a negative overtone to this song.

But let's not dwell on damning the hypocrites among us. Nor let us jump on the bash wagon and assault the Man, sorority girls, and the recording industry. Let's not tear down, rather let's build up...praise for Jenny Lewis.

There's enough deft songwriting and femme fatality in here to please both sides of the aisle. Much like this picture here: there's a little something for everyone.

For her first salvo of genius, and after the line "Deploy more troops than a salt shaker," J-Lew mouths a"chicka-chicka-chicka" onomatopoeia gem. Who hasn't done this, most likely sitting at a red light? We've all been prone to the idling drum solo on the steering wheel or guitar solo with the only other instrument available: nonsense noises made from tongue and teeth. Green light and normalcy returns. But just try and do it straight faced after a scathing review of unilateral diplomacy. That takes talent.

One must then also appreciate the recurrent theme of shit throwing. Initially it was the image of a "smoking gun holding ape" lashing out at his enemies, but by the 2:23 mark it's underlining the general disgust society has with writers unable to fast as we want. Too often we the consumer just can't be patient enough to have our artists destroy themselves and their lives for our amusement. What better way to embolden this image than with flying feces. That's clever.

Lastly, no matter where one falls on the capital punishment continuum, Jenny Lewis wants to engage your opinions using doo-wop and allusions to The Wizard of Oz. She awakens the inner Ray Bolger and posits the ponderable idea of saying "with fingers pointed both directions, 'He went thatta way.**'" And don't get provoked with the tenuous possibility of placing a life in the hands of individuals or the state, or declaring a "holiday for a hanging." Because not matter where one's conscience lies at the end of this verse, Jenny Lewis has one thing to say, "Shoo-bop, Shoo-bop, my bay-beee."

It's too fun to be pissed off or emboldened. Just sit back and let J-Lew do her thing.

** I know the Scarecrow said, "Some people do go both ways," but come on. Everyone knows tWofOz is just an allegory for a totalitarian dystopia.

1 comment:

dn said...

I was trying to figure out a Rilo Kiley choice for my own list today. This didn't come to mind (I was leaning toward "The Execution of All Things), but I'm being persuaded by your argument. I love the horns in this song.