If you’re a savvy music fan, you would probably have guessed by now that Booming Music Scene came from a line in the title track of the great Rilo Kiley album The Execution of All Things. Particularly the line goes:
Someone come quickly, this place was built for moving out,
Leave behind buildings, the city planners got mapped out,
Bring with you history, and make your hard earned feast,
Then we’ll go to Omaha to work and exploit the booming music scene… and humility
Granted that I am living in St Louis and not in Omaha, but still, it’s such a great line about change and new beginnings. For me, it was about the joy of exploring new music to fall in love with and cherish – which is what I aspire the goal of this blog to be about.
For the band, Jenny Lewis (lead singer and chanteuse of Rilo Kiley, whom you might also recognize from this awesome little movie with Fred Savage) was personally talking about the band moving to Omaha to sign with Conor Oberst’s Saddle Creek label, recording their new album, and starting their own little booming music scene. The line is perfect. It feels like the start of greater things for the Los Angeles-based band. And it was.
This was a period of peak for Rilo Kiley. After receiving some noteworthy buzz for their sophomore album Takeoffs and Landings under Barsuk, Rilo Kiley recorded The Execution of All Things with Saddle Creek. The Execution of All Things is widely considered by Rilo Kiley fans to be the band’s best album. (They received such commercial and critical acclaim from the record that they went on to sign with the major label Warner and released another great album in More Adventurous – their most commercially successful record).
Well, for me, The Execution of All Things IS the band’s best album and will always be one of my all-time favorite albums. Besides the fact that it contains such a great collection of songs, the record just screams so much joy and excitement. There’s a nervous energy charging throughout the whole album based on their new start with Saddle Creek as evidenced by the title track.
Beyond this, the album contains a sense of nostalgia yet still looks excitedly towards the future, none more so than My Slumbering Heart which talks about dreams of baseballs and meeting in mountains.
And who could forget A Better Son/Daughter? It was an anthem for a whole generation of teenagers and young adults growing up, unsure of their place in their world.
The period when The Execution of All Things came out really was the sweet spot for the band. And it was a personal sweet spot for when I really started my love for music. After my personal love affair with the anguished music of Fiona Apple, it only became natural that I discovered Rilo Kiley and their more laid-back brand of melodious rock music. Upon first listen, their songs already feel intimate and warm – familiar like an old friend. Rilo Kiley became one of my favorite bands and I would play their albums for hours on end.
I was devastated then when on July of 2011, Rilo Kiley officially announced their disbandment.
I was angry – here was my favorite band breaking up. Truthfully speaking, Rilo Kiley has disbanded long before their official announcement. Jenny Lewis is with current boyfriend Jonathan Rice forming their own band, Jenny and Johnny. And Blake Sennett, Rilo Kiley‘s main songwriter and guitarist, was doing his own solo project, The Elected.
But for that one brief shining moment though, back in that magical year of 2003, all was right and new and exciting in the world. My favorite band was at the top of its game and Jenny and Blake, the main principals of the band were in love.
Near the end of Execution, the last song, Spectacular Views has Jenny singing the following lyrics:
See the stars from where the birds make their homes
Staring back at us
Indifferent but distanced perfectly, projected endlessly
and then with sheer exuberance in her voice, Jenny shouted out:
It’s so fucking beautiful!!
Its so fucking beautiful indeed.