OA: Samantha Stiles Column September 05, 2008

One woman doing an excellent job of writing strangely wrong songs about her mother, drug use, sex and random peculiar things is Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley.

But I love her. And maybe I buy all the albums she sings on because her lyrics are just so uncomfortable and she has a great voice.

Lewis has a new solo album “Acid Tongue” (Warner) coming out Sept. 23. It’s a follow-up to her first solo masterpiece in 2006, “Rabbit Fur Coat,” with those lovely ladies The Watson Twins (who also have a new album out now titled “Fire Songs”).

The California redhead will make the second and third stops of her upcoming tour in support of her yet-to-be-released album on Sept. 16–17 in Colorado. I think that’s fantastic.

More great musicians should start tours in Colorado. We’re a receptive bunch. Plus, we’ve got to go now before the snow keeps all the good bands from getting to us. A sad, sad, sad thought for me.

On Sept. 16, Lewis is at Fox Theatre in Boulder and the next night she’s in Denver at Bluebird Theatre.

Tickets cost less than $25.

I’ve seen Lewis sing live once. She toured with Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie soon after the Postal
Service released its one and only CD to date.

Lewis was once a child star and appeared in one of my favorite ’80s films, “Troop Beverly Hills.” I was never a Girl Scout, but I always wanted to be after watching that movie a couple hundred times. She also had an appearance in “Growing Pains,” a great sitcom. It’s where teenage girls first laid eyes on Leonardo DiCaprio.

Not to mention that Lewis is one of the few women who can wear felt hats and get away with it. She looks cool. Cool enough to make me think about buying a hat like that, and then I remember how ridiculous I look in hats. What a horrible idea, me in a felt hat. It’s like banana clips. Those plastic hair clips always looked better on other people. Now I wouldn’t touch one.

But back to “Acid Tongue” and how excited I am about its release. So excited.

I stumbled upon a phone number on Stereogum.com that people can call and hear the title track/the album’s first single.

I was a bit hesitant. What if I called it and a really angry person answered who was tired of people always calling expecting to hear Jenny Lewis sing? Plus, it’s an 888 number and that does seem fishy.

But, it’s completely legitimate. I called it at work the day I wrote this. I hope work doesn’t get mad (sorry work).

In case you’re curious, the number is 888-717-2243. It’s fun, try it. The song is good, too. Lewis’ voice sounds like she just woke up and Chris Robinson from the Black Crowes provided the back-up vocals.

“Acid Tongue,” the song, is a travelogue of sorts. Lewis has holes in her shoes, is drunk and looking for company and unlucky in love all in one song.

Special guests on the CD are Elvis Costello, Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward from She & Him, Paz Lenchantin from A Perfect Circle and members of Lewis’ family.

Want to see what Lewis’ full tour looks like? Go to www. myspace.com/jennylewismusic. You can also listen to “Acid Tongue” there without having to call the phone number.

I still think the phone number is fun, though.


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