Tag: Rilo Kiley

Five favorite travel-related songs

A long time ago in a galaxy not so far away, this blog was devoted to music and concerts. Since I started travel writing, I’ve neglected my passion for the auditory arts. I’m combining the two today in this post.

When I walk around town, I always have a song playing in my head. It’s like having a personal soundtrack. Here are some of my favorite travel-related songs/compositions. I’d love to hear what yours are in the comments.

Continue reading “Five favorite travel-related songs”

PHOTOS – Songs That Remind Me of Places

I love how hearing songs can help one rediscover places frequented long ago. The way smells seem to bring back forgotten memories (Juicy Fruit gum for me, for some reason), it’s like you’re transported back to when that sensation of being was first mentally recorded. Usually emotive, intense nostalgia can be both fun and scary.

Is there a song that reminds you of a place? How does it make you feel? Let me know in the comments. And please click the images to get a deeper story on where each photo came from…

I’m in Vancouver for my cousin’s wedding. I had been listening to Carla Bruni’s “Tout le monde,” finding the music video where she emerged through a dark tunnel as particularly relevant to international travel (even to Canada). While I didn’t have to pass any dark tunnels, Vancouver was definitely a light at the other end of the path. Pristine, brisk and full of natural beauty, it was a great escape from the normalcy of everyday life.

Coldplay always reminds me of my time at The Conversation Group, most likely because it was there that I first listened to Viva La Vida. While it was bittersweet, as all their songs are, it leaned more to the sweet side.

I’m home in Hawaii for Christmas and I find an unopened copy of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Show Your Bones in my parents’ collection. No one is really sure how it got there, so I immediately enjoy the album and claim it for myself. While I didn’t care for YYYs after hearing “Maps” in college, the songs on Show Your Bones really resonated with me. I’ve since gone back and acquired their previous releases, but this album is still my favorite.

I spend about 13 hours wandering around Manhattan while listening to Rilo Kiley the entire time. I have tickets to their upcoming show at the The Warfield and I need a crash course on their discography before heading back home. While this isn’t my favorite song from their first few albums, it’s the one that reminds me most of wandering around for hours. Another good candidate would be “All the Good That Won’t Come Out,” a song I recall hearing a lot despite the random rotation.

Another one in New York City: I’m at the Brooklyn Bridge, and hearing this song reminds me of the other, more familiar ocean. When I hear this song, I imagine drifting away on waves into the vastness of the ocean, a characteristic of the sea I’ve always marveled at.

“The ocean rolls us away… away… away…”


Here are some songs for the day, a set of more upbeat tracks than those on my previous playlist, “Night.” I’m still looking for a decent playlist generator that includes all the obscure (non-live) songs I desire. Oh, well…


Hey Jude – The Beatles

Feeling Good – Muse

Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve

Lucky Man – The Verve

Spectacular Views – Rilo Kiley

Portions For Foxes – Rilo Kiley

Silver Lining – Rilo Kiley

If The Brakeman Turns My Way – Bright Eyes

LDN – Lily Allen

Smile – Lily Allen

Lovers In Japan / Reign Of Love – Coldplay

Viva La Vida – Coldplay

Don’t Look Back In Anger – Oasis

Learn to Fly – Foo Fighters

1 2 3 4 – Feist

Have a nice day!

Rilo Kiley – Under the Blacklight


Rilo Kiley’s fourth album, Under the Blacklight pops more noticeably than the previous. Simplistic lyrics repeat, forming hooks elevated by polished (and subsequently produced) instrumentals. Audio elitists may shun Blacklight for these reasons alone, however, as a songwriter, my appreciation for this album seems more inclined.

Having experienced some evolutionary growth as an artist, I find maturity in the digestive qualities of this album. The lyrics are simple, but not to the point of idiocy. Cleverly fun lyrics like those in “15”: “She was bruised like a cherry/Ripe as a peach/How could he have known that she was only 15?” and the effective use of hooks (hear the infectious, “Dejalo”) create a succinct and profound musical balance. Finally, “Give a Little Love,” my favorite track from the album, features Jenny’s beauteous voice at the forefront of the tender ballad.

But I can agree this album isn’t quite as deep as the previous three. (Execution of All Things remains my favorite Rilo Kiley record.) A fluffy piece like, “Moneymaker,” won’t keep you up late at night pondering God or why the hell you still eat Cheetos despite the health risks. I have other things keeping me up anyway (Doritos).

In the end, Under the Blacklight leaves you feeling damn good, and isn’t that what it’s all about?

Jenny Lewis: “OMG, I feel so hipster awkward!”

Rilo Kiley @ The Warfield Theatre (09.06.07)


I don’t even know where to begin. There are concerts that rock (Muse), and there are concerts that just make you feel good (Dylan)…

Rilo Kiley falls gracefully between glory and groove.

From power-pop folk affairs like, “Portions for Foxes” and “Spectacular Views,” to uber-love ballads, “I Never” and “Does He Love You?” Rilo Kiley succeeds on all fronts and never fails to please. Amazing vocals by Jenny Lewis; their collective instrumentals, superb. The ambiance was perfect.

“We can see the stars, from where the birds make their homes, staring back at us….”

This was Rilo’s first show after playing overseas, and you could tell they were pumped to be back home. Ever-charismatic lead guitarist, Blake Sennett, contributed a healthy share of the entertainment. Bassist, Pierre de Reeder, and drummer, Jason Boesel¸ established a strong rhythm with which the audience flowed with no restriction.

“Indifferent, but distanced perfectly…”

Opening acts, Jonathan Rice and Grand Ole Party, were excellent as well. And when someone yelled, “Rilo Kiley!” near the end of Rice’s set, he cuttingly replied, “Yeah, I like them better than YOUR band too…” Suh-sizzle, snap.

“Projected endlessly…”

But I remember you, dear Jenny, though you may not remember me. You see, I was a dopey kid enthused with, “The Wizard,” a movie about an even dopier kid who excels at playing Nintendo. You were hot then and, damn it all, you are hotter now. But, seeing you on stage…

How did you put it?

Oh, yeah…

“It’s so fucking beautiful.”