I caught Jenny Lewis live in Boston at the The Wang Theatre in Boston this past Tuesday night, 9/13/16. What a fantastic show. It was one of her 10th anniversary of Rabbit Fur Coat shows, Rabbit Fur Coat being her first solo effort. The album featured the exquisite Watson Twins on backing vocals and they were present for Tuesday night evening’s show, just as they’ll be for the entire tour. As I’d hoped, they performed the entire Rabbit Fur Coat album front to back then after a brief intermission they played songs from Jenny’s other solo albums, mostly from The Voyager, her AM gold pop-style treat of a third and most recent. Hearing the whole Rabbit Fur Coat album was a real treat, as there isn’t a bad song on it and I never expected I’d ever get to hear half of those songs live. Now I’m hoping she’ll do a 10th anniversary tour of Acid Tongue, her second solo album, which is my favorite thing she’s ever done. Tuesday night’s second set included Rilo Kiley’s “I Never,” a cover of The Shirelles’ “I Met Him On A Sunday” and “Door” from the self-titled debut by her Nice As Fuck project, which sounded much better live than on the album, being that live it had three electric guitars playing it live and the under-produced album only has bass, drums and vocals. I wish I was a guitarist so I could make my own version of the album with guitars on it. Kind of like how people have taken Metallica’s …And Justice For All and added bass guitar on it, since it was largely inaudible on the album, their way of hazing Jason Newsted, who’d just joined the band. In any case, if you’re a fan of Jenny Lewis, you should definitely check her out on this tour.
I also recently saw Butch Walker live at The Sinclair in Cambridge (Boston’s sister city) on 9/1/16 and he was fantastic as usual. It was the fifth or sixth time I’ve seen him live and he never fails to impress, which is just one of the many reasons why he’s my favorite artist on the planet. He is currently promoting his new solo album, Stay Gold, which is fantastic, and he kicked off the show with five songs from the album, including the title track, “Ludlow Expectations,” “East Coast Girls” and “Descending.” He kicked off “the old stuff” portion of the show with “Bed On Fire,” my favorite song from his last album, Afraid of Ghosts. He played for two full hours, focusing on singles like “Pretty Melody,” “Summer of ‘89″ and “Synthesizers,” closing the set with “Meet Me at the Record Store,” the final song from Stay Gold and a pretty little ballad at that. I highly recommend you see him when he comes to your city.
One album I have had on heavy rotation chez moi is Adiam’s “Black Wedding,” which explores the darker side of pop but not without plenty of delicious hooks that will light up your inner pop junkie like a Christmas tree. There truly aren’t any “deep cuts” on the album, as every song on it could be a single. It’s that damn good. My favorites include “Black Wedding,” “Quiet Desperation,” “Sleep” and “Wild Honey.” Adiam is one of today’s best new singer/songwriters and you won’t be able to get enough of her edgy tunes, trust me.
I’m also really digging KoKoro, the new album by the always brilliant El Perro Del Mar, who I really ought to look into interviewing. On this album, she incorporates many sounds from traditional Asian music, Japanese music in particular if I’m hearing it right. Of course, I could be mistaken about it being Japanese-music driven, but in any case it definitely has a very old school Asian music sound with lots of wood instruments, percussive sounds and strings that you do not hear every day. She recently released a cover of Red Hot Chili Peppers “Breaking The Girl,” which I liked better than the original but found myself thinking that it would be super out of place on the new album. So, thankfully, she left it off the record, which is all the more focused without it. El Perro Del Mar always changes things up with each album, so it’s hardly shocking that she went far off to the East for inspiration. Likewise, it’s no surprise that the album is incredibly moving and contains some seriously good hooks, like on my favorite tracks “breadandbutter” and “Clean Your Window.”