by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
With the 10-year anniversary of the release of Jenny Lewis’ solo debut, Rabbit Fur Coat, there has been a ton of stories written about the making of that record. Or at least a half dozen. Lewis is conducting a brief tour on which she’s playing the album in its entirety with help from M. Ward and the Watson Twins, who appeared on the original album.
All the stories mention Saddle Creek Records in the heyday. Ah yes, those indeed were the days.
This piece in today’s Village Voice is among the most comprehensive. From the story:
“Looking back, she admits that the making of the album took place during what felt like such an innocent time. (‘I think I had just gotten my cell phone,’ she half-jokes.) The idea of branching out and going solo never occurred to her until her friend (and former Saddle Creek labelmate) Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes and Monsters of Folk fame) approached her about putting out an album on the new label he was launching, Team Love. ‘My first reaction was, “Are you crazy? I’m in a rock band!” but he persuaded me. I made it and had zero expectations.'”
Then there’s this piece in Noisey. where the interviewer says: “Omaha’s music community, at that time and even now, was so influential. Saddle Creek and everything that they were doing was pivotal for so many bands.”
Lewis responds: I’ve been really fortunate along the way to just have these guides and I’ve always been really afraid but when I get on stage I’m not afraid anymore, just getting there is terrifying. Conor, Ben Gibbard, Blake Sennett, and Ryan Adams… all of these guides, have just kind of pushed me out there, pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of doing. Each era is defined by a guide in a way.
The LA Times piece had Lewis uttering these words: “Glenn Frey is my David Bowie.”
Then there’s the piece in New York Magazine, which includes this gem (which isn’t a quote from Lewis): “I was a junior in high school the year that Rilo Kiley was like squatting in Omaha, and so many girls would get flustered seeing her out in the wild. She was always surrounded by the hot Saddle Creek guys.”
The hot Saddle Creek guys.
My first interview with Jenny Lewis was back in 2002 when Saddle Creek was releasing Rilo Kiley’s Execution of All Things, where she recapped her first Saddle Creek connection:
“We met Tim Kasher (Cursive, The Good Life) at a show in San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall,” Lewis said. “We were headed to Iowa for a gig and he invited us to join their caravan as they traveled cross-country.”
The Saddle Creek sound wasn’t a mystery to Lewis. “We had bought a copy of Bright Eyes’ Fevers and Mirrors a year before, so we were already fans of the music,” Lewis said. “We decided to record our next CD at Presto! and work with Saddle Creek because of the creative freedom we knew they’d offer.”
Ah, those were the days. Despite her nostalgia for Omaha, the 10-year Rabbit Fur tour doesn’t include an Omaha tour stop.
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The Waiting Room is hosting a benefit tonight for M’s Pub employees (the iconic Old Market restaurant burned down last month) featuring performances by Kait Berreckman, Brad Hoshaw, Michael Campbell, Matt Whipkey, The Matt Cox Band and All Young Girls Are Machine Guns. Admission is $10 and all proceeds will go to the employees from M’s Pub and The Market House. Show starts at 8 p.m.
Also tonight, O’Leaver’s is hosting blét, Iowa indie band Dagmar and Goedes. $5, 9:30 p.m.
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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2016 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.