Rilo Kiley | photo courtesy of the artist
Rilo Kiley to reissue rare 1999 self-titled debut album
Rilo Kiley, the beloved early-aughts band led by Jenny Lewis and Blake Sennett, just announced a reissue of their 1999 debut self-titled album. It will be released on vinyl and digitally for the first time on October 2 via the Little Record Company.
Even the most die-hard Rilo Kiley fans may not have a copy of this album — the handmade CD copies were sold only at the band’s early shows, and it’s been out of print since its first and only pressing; only one of its songs was released on the 2013 rkives compilation.
When the young Los Angeles band played their first show at the Silverlake club Spaceland in 1998, comedian Dave Foley happened to be in the audience. Impressed with their set, he offered to fund a demo recording — and some of those demos eventually ended up on the self-titled record.
According to Foley, the story goes like this:
January 1998, I was a young man, young compared to now, hanging out in L.A’s alt. rock club scene. One night in particular, I found myself at Spaceland, at the bar drinking when a band started playing. They were good, so good that I stopped fighting for the attention of the bartender and turned to see who it was. On stage was a very young, delightfully unpretentious group named Rilo Kiley. Between songs they were charming, smart and funny. During songs they were brilliant. After the set I introduced myself and learned that this was their first public performance. I was astonished. They invited me back to their rehearsal space for Thai food and to hear some songs they didn’t have room for in the set. Dreamily, I filled my belly with noodles and my head with one great song after another. I was in a full on, pop music fan swoon. Having decided to force myself into their lives, I suggested (insisted) that I should fund a demo recording. They relented. I also tried to talk them into changing the band’s name. They were unrelenting. A lot of years have passed. I remain proud to know Rilo Kiley and grateful that I had the opportunity and ability to be of some help.
With Foley’s help, Rilo Kiley’s first music video, for “The Frug,” debuted on MTV’s 120 Minutes, helping the band break out of LA scene. Rilo Kiley went on to release four more studio albums, 2001’s Take Offs And Landings, 2002’s The Execution Of All Things, 2004’s More Adventurous and 2007’s Under The Blacklight.
Watch “The Frug” video below and pre-order the Rilo Kiley reissue here.