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Preview of Coming Attractions

Starting in about 12 hours, I'm going to be guest blogging at an obscure website called Talking Points Memo for a few days while the usual proprietor does . . . well, I actually don't know what he's doing . . . and since I also have a day job writing about politics that's going to leave me stretched a bit thin. So no more political content on this site until Thursday. You'll probably get some basketblogging and if things go well my thoughts on Ireland: 1912-1985.

In the interim, some reader advice would be appreciated. Rilo Kiley is coming to town in the not-too-distant future, so I was checking out some of their tunes. "A Better Son/Daughter" is brilliant, but I'm totally unimpressed by "The Frug," "It's a Hit," and "Teenage Love Song." Are there other, more "Son/Daughter"-esque songs I'm missing, or is this just a band whose sound I don't like very much and who happened to write one awesome track? Relatedly, my colleague Jeff Dubner has propounded a theory that any indie rock done to a march beat is going to be cool. Counterexamples?

April 30, 2005 | Permalink


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I don't have any bloody idea if you would like enough Rilo Kiley songs. The only evidence I can offer is that I like them a whole lot, and I am awesome. Therefore, logic would dictate that they are also awesome. QED.

Posted by: Matt_C | Apr 30, 2005 12:18:04 PM

You know, if you just merged with Talking Points on a permanent basis, I could remove one button from my Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar. Isn't the neatness of my computer screen worth a little Yglesias humility?

Posted by: Brian C.B. | Apr 30, 2005 12:18:52 PM

You'll probably like RK live but not be blown away. I don't know "A Better Son/Daughter" but I do know that I like their song "Science vs. Romance" quite a bit.

Posted by: Martin | Apr 30, 2005 12:19:16 PM

While "Better Son/Daughter" is clearly in a different level than the rest of their stuff, I also like "Portions for Foxes" and "Go Ahead." For the record, I think "Teenage Love Song" is pretty good, but "It's a Hit" and "The Frug" are forgettable.

Posted by: mc | Apr 30, 2005 12:23:58 PM

Definitely listen to "Portions for Foxes." That's an awesome song too.

Posted by: Nick | Apr 30, 2005 12:29:05 PM

Matt - when you guest blog it's considered good manners to post a link. An oversight, I'm sure. See you at TPM.

Posted by: pebird | Apr 30, 2005 1:26:04 PM

Brian, I must protest. MY moving to TPM may help your toolbar but it would wreak havoc on my RSS aggregator! TPM only provides summaries and you (sigh) actually have to go all the way to the web page to read the article. It's bad enough to have to do that for TAPPED.

Seriously, I know people need to drive up traffic for their site (esp. those with blogads) but I hate it when I can't get full article text in an RSS feed. I'm on a mission to get people to change that. I'll gladly put up with ads in the feed if it means I get the whole text (like Oliver Willis and Slashdot). I think in the long run people who only use summaries are sacrificing page hits for mindshare. I know that if I stumble across a site and think it's great and register it with my reader only to find out it just provides summaries, I usually think it's not worth it and delete the feed. I'm much more likely to stay current with sites that provide full text feeds (Oxblog, Ezra Klein, OW, MY) than ones that don't (TAPPED, TPM, Kevin Drum), even though the some of the sites that don't are are just as good or superior.

And, Matt, if you can do anything about TAPPED, I'll buy you a cookie. ;-)

Posted by: Rebecca | Apr 30, 2005 1:35:13 PM

Hey Matt, make sure you continue to update about the Princeton Filibuster.

Posted by: googlize this | Apr 30, 2005 2:10:09 PM

Has Jeff turned you on to Extra Action Marching Band?

Not for the faint of heart. But they really should be seen AND heard rather than just heard.

Posted by: Rich | Apr 30, 2005 2:28:31 PM


Sorry to see you demoted to TPM!

Posted by: noodles | Apr 30, 2005 3:00:15 PM

Almost all of More Adventurous is spectacular. It's a Hit is very catchy. Absence of God is a beautiful song. I/Me/Jim is great too. Portions for foxes and Ripchord are both very well done. The new stuff is very different than the Execution of All Things/Take-offs and Landings period, and in a very positive way. They're one of the bands I really can't wait to see when they come around NYC next month. So go. Enjoy. Jenny is amazing, but be careful, she's been known to break hearts.

Posted by: Zoidberg | Apr 30, 2005 3:03:22 PM

Obscure? LOL See you there.

Posted by: Deborah White | Apr 30, 2005 3:38:22 PM

Rilo Kiley are somewhat hit-or-miss but their best songs are fabulous -- charming and infectiously catchy. The last record was a trying-too-hard disappointment, I thought, but they have about a half-dozen tunes on a par with Better Son/Daughter, and will probably play most/all live, so I'd urge you to go.

If you need convincing check out 'Plane Crash in C,' 'Wires and Waves,' and 'My Slumbering Heart' -- all sweet, smart indie-pop gems. (I think the Frug is just some tossed-off B-side, don't get hung up on it.)

Plus - and let's not pretend this doesn't matter, boys - the singer is damn cute.

Posted by: Rilo Fan | Apr 30, 2005 4:03:01 PM

My favorite RK songs are "With Arms Outstretched" and "The Execution of All Things." Your mileage may vary.

Posted by: Matt | Apr 30, 2005 4:05:31 PM

P.S. Not sure about a bad march-beat song but a Hall of Famer is 'King of Birds' by (the admittedly-not-quite-indie) REM...

Posted by: Rilo Fan | Apr 30, 2005 4:06:43 PM

Actually, there are people who will miss your posts here. I am puzzled.

Posted by: Jennifer | Apr 30, 2005 4:16:44 PM

Good grief, Matt, why not just stay here and send you posts to the other site?

Posted by: Jennifer | Apr 30, 2005 4:47:54 PM

I wonder if Matt can get the comments turned on while he's over at TPM.

Posted by: Rented Mule | Apr 30, 2005 5:11:36 PM

I like:

The Execution of All Things (from the album of the same name. )
Spectacular Views(also from execution)

Also I recomend Mirah's album C'Mon Miracle

Posted by: Dan Berkman | Apr 30, 2005 5:12:44 PM

I'm surprised, he doesn't link to you.

Marshall has very gradually stated burying the hatchet. He linked to a matt post on tappped in december or so, which was sort of a breakthrough. So, this is a startling development. Er, or something. Tracking these things are amusing, anyway.

Posted by: David Weman | Apr 30, 2005 6:01:08 PM

In my humble opinion, I'd skip Rilo Kiley. . . But check out the new album by Feist. My favorite album of the year besides Picaresque is Superwolf by Bonnie "Prince" Billy (Will Oldham) and Matt Sweeney. If you aren't big into Oldham's work in his various guises, well then I guess I'll have to stop reading this blog.

Posted by: John Nanney | Apr 30, 2005 6:16:40 PM

All I know is, you have to check out The Hold Steady (http://www.theholdsteady.com/). Fronted by Craig Finn, formerly of Twin Cities band Lifter Puller. They're based out of Brooklyn. They've got their second CD coming out May 3.

Anyone into indie has to listen to this band.

Posted by: Erik Mitchell | Apr 30, 2005 6:23:19 PM

Duuuuuudes. What is wrong with you people? Rilo Kiley is probably my favorite band of the last 5 years.

Anyway, you're more likely to hear "Better Son/Daughter"-type stuff on their second album, "Execution of All Things," which I think is their best.

Just download the whole thing via itunes and give it a few listens. It will grow on you like a virus and you'll never be able to shake it.

And oh, they're fantastic live. Don't miss it.

Posted by: Realish | Apr 30, 2005 6:43:21 PM

My apologies that "grow on you like a virus" makes absolutely no sense.

Posted by: Realish | Apr 30, 2005 6:44:51 PM

I think Jenny Lewis is a great lyricist and a really good singer. Her sense of phrasing is just great, especially for indie rock. Songs I like that no one's mentioned: 'More Adventurous', 'The Good That Won't Come Out', 'Does He Love You, 'Spectacular Views'.

Posted by: RC | Apr 30, 2005 6:54:40 PM

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