NEWS ROUNDUP: Grimes is (Sort of) Back, RBMA Announce 2019 Shows, and MORE

Grimes photo by Eli Russell Linnetz

So, About Grimes…

Where to begin? Claire Boucher (who turned 31 on Sunday and now prefers to be addressed as the italicized, lowercase letter ‘c‘) gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal; between the very odd conversation and her recent Instagram posts, it seems like she’ll be appearing in our News Roundups for a while, so buckle up.

First of all, she’s officially announced a new Grimes record. It’s called Miss_Anthropocene, and revolves around the concept of  the “anthropomorphic goddess of climate change,” according to her own Insta post. She describes the character thusly: “A psychedelic, space-dwelling demon/ beauty-Queen who relishes the end of the world. She’s composed of Ivory and Oil” and continues, “Each song will be a different embodiment of human extinction as depicted through a Pop star Demonology. The first song ‘we appreciate power’, introduced the pro-AI-propaganda girl group who embody our potential enslavement/destruction at the hands of Artificial General intelligence.”

In the same post, she also hinted that there might be an EP coming soon as well, which would ostensibly contain some of the stand-alone stuff she’s been working on while putting the LP together, like “Pretty Dark.”

On to the interview, which is behind a paywall I can’t afford and don’t want to pay to a conservative pub, so bear with me. c wants to “kill off” Grimes in a “public execution” because she feels limited by the branding she created back in 2009; her vision of herself as an artist is much more expansive, necessitating a Game of Thrones-esque book that will create a “lore” around her art and music. “It’s super, super pretentious,” she notes.

Reiterating her Instagram post, she says that she aims to make climate change “fun” with the new record, feeling that people ignore it largely because it makes them sad. Her solution to this dilemma is a series of “apocalyptic PSAs” in which she sits nude at a Last Supper-style dining table eating species on the brink of extinction, like a big bloody elephant head. You know, fun.

The album features an epic love ballad called “So Heavy I Fell Through The Earth” which Grimes says was inspired by the Assassin’s Creed movie trailer rather than her relationship with Elon Musk, whom she all but refused to talk about. She did say she “loves him” but was “simply unprepared” for the attention/criticism that dating him has brought her. WSJ did quote an email Musk sent to them about Grimes, saying, “I love c’s wild fae artistic creativity and hyper intense work ethic.”

Grimes tweeted that she was mostly pleased with the interview, but that generally she hates doing them because “it’s like fighting a battle with a fake version of urself to see who the public believes more.”

Red Bull’s NYC Music Academy Lineup is Here

Taking place across NYC throughout May every year, Red Bull Music Academy has become one of our favorite non-festivals – the lineup is always diverse and well-curated, with an eye on slightly more obscure avant-garde acts playing off-the-beaten path venues. Now in its 16th year, the programming for 2019 has been announced, and there’s a lot to be excited about.

For one thing, RBMA will host breakout Spanish singer-songwriter Rosalía for her first live appearances stateside. Her stunning 2018 album El Mal Querer flips Flamenco on its head, and the elaborate visuals that characterized her gorgeous visuals will likely make their way into the two performances scheduled for the newly-reopened Webster Hall.

Also performing over two nights, FKA Twigs returns to NYC for her first shows here since 2015, when Red Bull staged her vogue-opera Congregata in an abandoned hangar. This time, she’ll take over the Park Avenue Armory’s similarly cavernous drill hall. She hasn’t released new music in a while, so we’re curious to see what form these shows will take.

Four more women will bring immersive shows to the fest: Harlem’s own Teyana Taylor presents House of Petunia, a “spectacular audio-visual experience spearheaded by her all-female production company, The Aunties, featuring provocative stage design and mesmerizing choreography from a world-class team of dancers;” Tierra Whack headlines New York for the first time at the iconic Rainbow Room with “quirky and surreal stage design” that mirrors her surreal “Whack World” project; composer and sound artist Holly Herndon premieres the live iteration of her forthcoming album PROTO, “incorporating a fluid ensemble of eight vocalists, Spawn (a nascent machine intelligence), machine learning specialists, choreographers, and visual artists;” and Moor Mother weaves sound and history together with a “large-scale performance” she’s curated alongside an installation by Black Quantum Futurism, both of which are based on the race riots that engulfed America in the “Red Summer” of 1919.

More from RBMA’s press release:

Additional Red Bull Music Festival New York shows include: Rapper/producer JPEGMAFIA, who will showcase his gritty and abrasive beats with a dynamic live show in-the-round; NYC’s Onyx Collective bringing together their notable friends from the worlds of jazz, hip-hop, soul, and R&B for a free and unreplicable performance of intense, genre-expanding jazz at one of New York City’s beautiful parks; and the festival closes with Nyege Nyege Night featuring a propulsive and bass-heavy set from Ugandan DJKampire who – after laying the bedrock for the creation of safe party spaces for women and the LGBTQ+ community at home – will  make her US debut, co-headlining with rising singeli duo MCZO & Duke.

Tickets are sold for individual events and can be purchased here.

That New New

Speaking of Red Bull, break out that Hennessy – it’s Jenny Lewis Day, bitches.

Fresh off her Tim Presley collab DRINKS’ sophomore LP and tour, Cate Le Bon has announced her next solo album, Reward, out May 24 via Mexican Summer, with lead single “Daylight Matters.”

Nearly fifteen years after the release of their collaborative EP In The Reins, Calexico and Iron & Wine have reunited to record a full-length, Years to Burn. “Father Mountain” is the first single from the LP, out June 14 via City Slang.

Damien Jurado shared a new song from his stripped-down acoustic record In The Shape of a Storm, out April 12.

Juan Wauters has released the first single from Introducing Juan Pablo, out May 31. “Letter” was written in 2015; the record as a whole is something of a companion piece/prequel to his recently released La Onda de Juan Pablo LP.

Surprising no one, there’s a second volume to Broken Social Scene’s recent Let’s Try the After Vol. 1 EP on the way. Vol. 2 is out April 12 and its first single is “Can’t Find My Heart.”

Papercuts released a new three song EP, Kathleen Says, this week.

Lizzo and Missy Elliott have collaborated on a track, so music is basically over. Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You is out April 19.

Building on the momentum of recent single “Not What I Thought,” Somalia-born, Toronto-based vocalist Amaal brings the heat with another scorcher, “Coming & Going.”

Czarface, a hip-hop and comics collective featuring Inspectah Deck, has just released a collab LP with old Wu-Tang buddy Ghostface Killah. Czarface Meets Ghostface is out now, and so is this rad video for “Powers and Stuff,” seen from the POV of a very good boy.

Obliques are back with their first single since 2017’s “Instant Pleasure.”

Reptaliens’ sophomore LP VALIS arrives on April 26 – on cassette and limited edition pink vinyl. Watch the video for “Venetian Blinds” below.

Kero Kero Bonito released a video for “Swimming,” from last year’s Time ‘n’ Place.

Fat White Family return with a new video directed by Roisin Murphy. “Tastes Good With The Money” will appear on their third studio album, Serfs Up!, out April 19.

Plague Vendor unleash their new John Congleton-produced Epitaph Records LP By Night on June 7, and have shared a rowdy video for the raucous first track “New Comedown.”

Ibibio Sound Machine have a new album, Doko Mien, out today, and have shared a video for “Wanna Come Down.”

The latest video from Colombian breakout “Artist on the Rise” Elsa y Elmar is a journey, fam – and “Ojos Noche” is the Spanish-language alt-country bop you didn’t know you needed. Her next LP Eres Diamante arrives May 17.

Analogue special effects make for some gorgeous visuals in the dreamy new single from Heather Woods Broderick, who releases her newest album Invitation April 19. She’ll open for longtime collaborator and bandmate Sharon Van Etten at Webster Hall May 4.

Following the official announcement of her April 5 release Titanic Rising (and a video for “Everyday“) Weyes Blood shares a video for the album’s next single, “Movies.”

Tame Impala has released a new stand-alone single, “Patience,” to promote a headlining Coachella spot, numerous other festival appearances, and Saturday Night Live debut on March 30.

Honeyblood, now the solo project of Stina Tweeddale, releases their third LP In Plain Sight May 24, and have released a lyric video for “Glimmer.”

Here’s a ripper from new Queens-based band WIVES, who drop a two-part seven inch on City Slang in May.

Wes Miles unironically sings “Got the crew back together/Feels like it’s been forever” on “Bad To Worse,” the first song from Ra Ra Riot since the 2016 release of the LP Need Your Light; it’s produced and co-written by Discovery cohort Rostam Batmanglij.

End Notes

  • Iconic surf guitarist Dick Dale, best known as the man behind “Miserlou,” passed away on Saturday at the age of 81.
  • Myspace deleted your shit.
  • Did you know that Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst hosts a jazz night at Los Angeles club The Black Rabbit Rose every Thursday? Lady Gaga does – she showed up last week to perform some Frank Sinatra covers.
  • San Francisco’s Outside Lands have announced the semi-retired Paul Simon as a headliner and reveal the rest of the lineup on Tuesday.
  • Woodstock 50 has official released their previously leaked lineup.
  • The Lollapalooza lineup has been announced; we’d save you a click thru and tell you who’s playing except that it’s literally the same bands playing every other festival, but in Chicago.
  • Justin Vernon and The National’s Aaron Dessner will bring a topsy-turvy version of Berlin event PEOPLE called 37d03d (get it? good, because it’s annoying to type) to Red Hook’s Pioneer Works; it’s a five-day residency featuring experimental-ish musicians like Vernon, Dessner, Sinkane, Boys Noize, Greg Fox, Shahzad Ismaily, and others, culminating in two performances on May 3 and 4.
  • The David Lynch Foundation, which brings transcendental meditation to sufferers of PTSD, have also announced a lineup for their benefit showcase on May 17 and 18 at Brooklyn Steel, featuring Wye Oak, Garbage, Phoebe Bridgers, Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem, and more.
  • Presumably riding high on Pepsi’s Super Bowl endorsement, Cardi B has filed paperwork to trademark “Okurrr.”
  • In other Cardi B news, she’s been announced as part of the ensemble cast for Hustlers, a movie about vengeful strippers based on this New York Times article.
  • The Wyld Stallyns have announced a most excellent reunion.
  • Madlib squashed some rumors that his collab EP with the late Mac Miller (dubbed “Maclib”) will see ever the light of day.
  • Questlove is teaming up with SF-based vegetarian “meat” purveyor Impossible Burger to created a Questlove Cheesteak sold at sports stadiums nationwide.
  • Democratic Hot but actually pretty centrist presidential candidate hopeful Beto O’Rourke has unveiled a unique platform: reuniting the Mars Volta.

NEWS ROUNDUP: Alternative Beef, Cancel Chris Brown, and MORE

Courtney Love & Kathleen Hanna have had ongoing beef since the mid ’90s.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Rekindling a decades old beef, Courtney Love had some choice words for Kathleen Hanna following the news that the latter’s riot grrl act Bikini Kill would play a handful of reunion shows in LA and NYC this spring. In the comment thread of a Bust Magazine Instagram post lamenting the shows’ record sell-out times, Love referred to Bikini Kill as “the biggest hoax in rock and roll,” later adding: “Two of the band total amateurs. Hanna is a good hype man but her persona is such a diy nonsense dilettante. A big idea they cannot convey, because they suck.” Hanna has not responded and Love has since deleted the comments, but her words reminded everyone that these two feminist icons haven’t seen eye to eye since Lollapalooza ’95, when a backstage altercation ended any hope of them uniting to crush the patriarchy. We have a sneaking suspicion that Love’s dislike of Hanna is rooted in jealousy over Hanna’s friendship with Love’s late husband Kurt Cobain (Hanna is credited with inspiring the title of Nirvana’s breakout single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”). We’re taking Hanna’s side on this one; Love’s comments were petty and we’re impressed Hanna didn’t take the bait.

The saga between Grimes and Azaelia Banks deepens! Back in August, Banks visited Grimes at the home of Grimes’ then-boyfriend, tech mogul Elon Musk. The two musicians were supposed to collaborate on a single, but in a series of social media posts, Banks described being trapped in the home as Musk did damage control over a tweet where he claimed he planned to take Tesla private at $420 a share. Banks says that Musk was on acid at the time, and postulated that he and Grimes had invited her to Los Angeles for a potential threesome. But because the Securities Exchange Commission sued Musk over the tweet, texts between Grimes and Banks from that time period have been subpoenaed, and Banks posted some of the exchange on Instagram; the posts were deleted, but not before someone grabbed screenshots that Jezebel was all too happy to repost (and we are all too happy to recommend you go and read immediately). We can’t get down with either going for the low-hanging fruit of insulting one anothers’ appearances, but have to name Azealia Banks the winner of this spat. Maybe it’s all the practice she’s had talking shit to or about damn near everyone on the planet, but we have to give props to the biting specificity of referring to Grimes as a “brittleboned methhead” who smells “like a roll of nickles.”

And finally, Princess Nokia noted the similarities between her song “Mine” (from her 1992 mixtape) and recently released Ariana Grande single “7 rings.” “Ain’t that the lil song I made about brown women and their hair?” she asks in a video posted to Twitter (and since deleted), concluding “Hmmm… sounds about white.” Soulja Boy also chimed in, claiming Grande had ripped off portions of his 2010 hit “Pretty Boy Swag.” The opening bars of Grande’s single crib more obviously from The Sound of Music‘s “My Favorite Things;” though Julie Andrews has yet to jump on the outrage bandwagon, someone who must be a literal genius mashed up all four artists and it kinda slaps. While we’re no fan of Grande’s ongoing issues with cultural appropriation, we’re calling this beef a draw – there’s nothing new under the sun, especially when it comes to hip-hop samples.

Chris Brown Accused of Rape in Paris

We’ll never forgive Chris Brown for using former girlfriend Rihanna as his personal punching bag – but we’re especially disgusted by the new lows he’s reached this week. A 24-year-old woman accused the singer and his entourage of taking turns raping her in his hotel suite at the Mandarin Oriental in Paris, where Brown had been attending Fashion Week events. The French are notoriously skeptical of rape victims, so it’s no surprise that Brown and the two other men accused of assaulting the woman were released within a few days on their own recognizance; the investigation is still ongoing. Rather than lying low, Brown took to social media in an attempt to discredit his alleged victim, even going so far as to create some truly tasteless merch that plays on the unfounded trope that women lie about sexual assault.

For what it’s worth, this isn’t the first time that someone has accused his entourage of mistreating women in their periphery – there’s a pending legal case against Brown, in which a woman claims she was raped by one of Brown’s friends at one of the singer’s drug-fueled parties.

That New New

Spanish sensation Rosalía released what has to be our favorite video this week, with a clip for “DE AQUÍ NO SALES” from her stunning 2018 album El Mal Querer.

Jenny Lewis is back with Stevie Nicks-ish jam “Red Bull & Hennessey,” a drink we do not recommend. It’s the first single from On The Line, due March 22.

Broken Social Scene shared details on their forthcoming EP Let’s Try The After – Vol. 1, which will arrive next month, along with early single “All I Want.”

Sneaks, the difficult-to-define solo project of queer black feminist Eva Moolchan, returns with Highway Hypnosis, her third studio album.

Sascha Ring, who produces electronic music as Apparat, announced LP5, his first album in six years, with diaphanous lead single “Dawan.”

J. Cole is producing a comp featuring artists from his Dreamville imprint entitled Revenge Of The Dreams II; his track “Middle Child” is the project’s official first single.

Groove Denied, an electronic solo album by Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus that was reportedly rejected by his label, will be released via Matador in March. The first single is the delightfully weird “Viktor Borgia.”

Lady Lamb announced her next album Even in the Tremor will arrive April 5th on Ba Da Bing Records, and has shared its title track.

Teyana Taylor,  Lena Waithe, and Mykki Blanco vogue their way through a ballroom dance-off for the ages in Taylor’s new video for “WTP,” from last year’s Kanye West-produced K.T.S.E.

Capping off her EP trilogy in March with Blue Pine, Munya shared the first of its three songs, “It’s All About You;” all three EPs will be packaged together as a full-length LP released on the same day.

Seattle’s Dude York have released two new singles alongside two previously released singles as the aptly titled EP Happy In The Meantime via Bandcamp.

Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst have appeared on each other’s albums in the past, but now the pair have teamed up to release a surprise record as Better Oblivion Community Center.

Vampire Weekend are back with a pair of singles, titled “Harmony Hall” and “2021;” both will appear on their fourth album and first in nearly six years. Titled Father of the Bride, it’s supposedly got 18 tracks and future singles will be released in pairs as well.

Florence + The Machine released a jazzy stand-alone single and its b-side on the heels of last year’s rousing High As Hope LP.

End Notes

  • Ariel Palitz, NYC’s new Nightlife Mayor, sat down with Billboard to share what she’s learned in her first year on the job, and how she plans to support the city’s DIY music community.
  • A Michael Jackson musical is in the works.
  • The Oscar nominations are in and we’re totally rooting for Lady Gaga, who’s up for Best Actress for her role in A Star Is Born. The film is nominated for best Best Picture, alongside Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (despite some recent sexual abuse allegations against its director). Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper seem like favorites to win Best Song for “Shallow” but Kendrick Lamar and SZA could give them a run for their money with “All The Stars,” from Black Panther. David Rawlings and Gillian Welch (“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs), Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns), and Diane Warren and Jennifer Hudson (“I’ll Fight” from RBG) round out the Best Song nominations.
  • Spotify introduced a “mute” feature that allows users to essentially block particular artists from popping up on your playlists. It’s a nice compromise given their failed attempt to censor artists they’d deemed problematic, not to mention allowing folks to avoid that overplayed earworm-of-the-moment.
  • Pickathon 2019 lineups have been announced, with Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and Khruangbin scheduled to headline.
  • It’s been a good week for cool band merch – check out this stuffed Ozzy Osbourne bat (with detachable head) and the new Morrissey Funko Pop.
  • We’re still not sure if it’s really the Pixies without Kim Deal, but the rest of the band are gearing up to release their seventh studio album (due in September), and a podcast about the band called “The Past Is Prologue” and hosted by Tony Fletcher will debut in June.
  • Some of hip-hop’s biggest stars, including Jay-Z and Meek Mill, have founded REFORM Alliance, aimed at much-needed criminal justice reform.
  • As the government shutdown stretches on, musicians from Kiss to Nile Rodgers are donating concert tickets, hot meals, and more to furloughed workers.

HIGH NOTES: 7 Songs That Were Inspired by Acid Trips

For decades, musicians have been known to experiment with LSD to stimulate their creative process. Because of the drug’s effects on the serotonergic system, people tripping on it not only experience warped sounds and images that might inspire music and lyrics but also become more open to experimenting with different styles. The result of these effects was no less than a musical revolution in the ’60s and ’70s and innovations in music that have continued up to the present day.

Many of the songs you’ve listened to have probably been inspired by acid trips, whether you realize it or not. Here are some songs that probably wouldn’t have existed as we know them without the help of lysergic acid diethylamide.

“Acid Rain” by Chance the Rapper

Hip hop may not be the genre you typically associate with LSD, but Chance the Rapper told MTV in 2013 that the drug inspired his album Acid Rap. This is perhaps most obvious on the track “Acid Rain,” where he raps, “Kicked off my shoes, tripped acid in the rain.” The song, like several on the album, is a tribute to his late friend Rodney Kyles Jr.: “My big homie died young; just turned older than him / I seen it happen, I seen it happen, I see it always / He still be screaming, I see his demons in empty hallways / I trip to make the fall shorter.” Presumably, his use of the word “trip” indicates that his psychedelic experiences helped him through the loss of his friend.

“Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” by The Flaming Lips

Though The Flaming Lips haven’t come out and said that this nonsensical story of a karate black belt’s battle with humanity-destroying robots was inspired by LSD, there are a few clues, the first being the weirdness of the whole story. The second clue is the album cover, which features the number 25 on a wall behind the robot, as James Stafford at Diffuser has observed. We also know that lead singer Wayne Coyne is a fan of LSD; he once said that the psychedelic “SuperFreak” video with Miley Cyrus was “originally intended to be for a song that has a reference to the drug LSD.”

“White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane

This list would not be complete without “White Rabbit,” possibly the trippiest song known to humankind. “It became the signature for the people who were doing the things it had reference to,” the band’s bassist Jack Casady told Louder Sound. The song is based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, which in turn is based on — you guessed it — acid. “One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small… logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead,” Grace Slick sang, evoking the visual distortions of psychedelic trips.

“I Am the Walrus” by The Beatles

The only song to rival “White Rabbit” as the world’s most obviously LSD-inspired song is “I Am the Walrus.” “I am he as you are he as you are me,” the opening line philosophizes before segueing into descriptions of “egg men,” “yellow matter custard dripping from a dog’s eye,” and a “pornographic priestess.” In case that doesn’t convince you that the song was written on acid, here’s a quote from John Lennon: “The first line was written on one acid trip one weekend, the second line on another acid trip the next weekend, and it was filled in after I met Yoko.” (I would’ve included “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” but Lennon has said this name actually came from the title of a drawing by his son. Still, it’s very possible that it was written on acid, too.)

“Lysergic Bliss” by of Montreal

With their wacky lyrics and colorful, over-the-top shows, of Montreal has a reputation for embracing the weird. This song leaves no mystery regarding its meaning, with a title referencing LSD’s full laboratory name, lysergic acid diethylamide. The song, however, appears to be not just about LSD but also about falling in love (perhaps falling in love on LSD?), with lyrics like “If we were a pair of jigsaw puzzle pieces / We would connect so perfectly.” But other lines like “Wearing an olive drab but feeling somehow inside opalescent” sound more like they’re about the drug itself.

“Acid Tongue” by Jenny Lewis

“Acid Tongue,” the eponymous song off Jenny Lewis’s first self-titled album, references Lewis’s first acid trip as a young teen in the line, “I’ve been down to Dixie And dropped acid on my tongue / Tripped upon the land ’til enough was enough.” She described the trip to Rolling Stone: “It culminated in a scene not unlike something from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas—the scene where Hunter S. Thompson has to lock the lawyer in the bathroom. I sort of assumed the Hunter S. Thompson character and my friend – she had taken far too much – decided to pull a butcher knife out of the kitchen drawer and chase me around the house. … At the end of that experience, my mom was out of town on a trip of her own and she returned to find me about 5 lbs lighter and I had—I was so desperate to get back to normal I decided to drink an entire gallon of orange juice. I saw that it was in the fridge and decided that this would sort of flush the LSD out of my system, but I didn’t realize that it did exactly the opposite.”

“Black Peter” by The Grateful Dead

Robert Hunter, a songwriter who frequently worked with The Grateful Dead, consumed apple juice containing about a gram of crystal LSD worth around $50,000 in 1969, after which he experienced firsthand the deaths of JFK, Lincoln, and other assassinated public figures. This scary and expensive trip paid off, though, because it inspired him to write “Black Peter,” which recounts this experience of dying in lyrics like “All of my friends come to see me last night / I was laying in my bed and dying / Annie Beauneu from Saint Angel / Say ‘the weather down here so fine.'”

HIGH NOTES: 10 Female Artists Who Reference Drugs in Their Music

When you hear the phrase “sex, drugs, and rock and roll,” you usually picture male musicians: Lou Reed croaking out the words to “Heroin” or “Waiting For My Man;” The Weeknd’s famously numb face; Kurt Cobain finding God in “Lithium;” The Beatles on LSD; Neil Young’s coke booger immortalized in The Last Waltz.

Stereotypes about drug users aren’t flattering to any gender, but female celebrities are held to especially high standards of behavior, with sex, drugs, and other supposedly hedonistic behaviors deemed “unladylike.” Maybe that’s why more women seem to avoid drug references—and why those who make them convey a special brand of “IDGAF.” Being unladylike, after all, is part of many artists’ images. Here are some women who have changed the public’s perception of women and drugs through drug references.


Halsey sprinkles drug references throughout her songs, which looks like a way of solidifying her image as a rebellious woman, until you realize few of them actually describe her taking drugs. “Are you high enough without the Mary Jane like me?” she sings in “Gasoline,” inspiring a remix by K.A.A.N. titled “Mary Jane.” In “Hurricane,” she sings of someone who “tripped on LSD, and I found myself reminded to keep you far away from me.” “Colors” centers on another toxic person: “You’re only happy when your sorry head is filled with dope.”

These songs may tell an anti-drug message, but in “New Americana,” she sings, “We are the new Americana, high on legal marijuana.” Confirming that “we” includes her, she said at the 2016 VMAs, “I smoke a lot of weed.” Altogether, her songs give an (accurate) picture of drugs as potentially both positive and destructive.


The opening lines of Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz are pretty telling: “Yeah I smoke pot, yeah I love peace, but I don’t give a fuck, I ain’t no hippy,” she sings on Dooo It!” and that’s only the beginning of an album littered with drug references. A year prior to its release, she sang about dancing with either “Miley” or “Molly,” depending on if you know,” prompting headlines like Miley Cyrus sings about molly again; experts warn of its dangers and Demi Lovato warns pal Miley Cyrus of the dangers of drugs after star confirms MDMA reference.”

But Miley’s not ashamed of her drug use. “I think weed is the best drug on earth,” she said in a Rolling Stone interview. “One time I smoked a joint with peyote in it, and I saw a wolf howling at the moon. Hollywood is a coke town, but weed is so much better. And molly, too. Those are happy drugs – social drugs. They make you want to be with friends.”

She did, however, announce last spring that she’d stopped using alcohol and drugs. “I haven’t smoked weed in three weeks, which is the longest I’ve ever [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][gone without it],” she told Billboard. “I’m not doing drugs, I’m not drinking, I’m completely clean right now! That was just something that I wanted to do.” Her reason? “I like to surround myself with people that make me want to get better, more evolved, open. And I was noticing, it’s not the people that are stoned.” Halsey might beg to differ.


Rihanna’s “We Found Love” video is believed to be an ode to the relationship-healing powers of MDMA, with montages of pills, raves, and expanding pupils as she and a male actor rekindle a dying love, though she then appears to leave him after they crash back to reality. The lyric “yellow diamonds” is thought to refer to the drug. But mostly, Rihanna’s a proud stoner, singing in James Joint,” “I’d rather be smoking weed whenever we breathe.”


From raving about a guy who “might sell coke” in “Super Bass” to saying she’s “high as hell, I only took a half a pill” in “Anaconda,” drug use is one of the many things Nicki Minaj is unapologetic about. She also establishes herself as defying conventions of femininity by dropping sports references in her songs. (Billboard counted 42.)


With music embracing female sexuality and celebrating clubbing as a way to lose your inhibitions, Madonna created a new archetype of femininity. MDMA was such a central part of this image, she named an album (and a skincare line) MDNA. But when she tried to speak to a younger generation of drug users, it backfired. “Have you seen molly?” she asked a crowd at Ultra, eliciting criticism from Deadmau5 and Paul van Dyk. In response, she claimed she was simply referencing a Cedric Gervais song, tweeting, “I don’t support drug use and I never have.” One notable exception: urging a lover to “get unconscious” in 1994 hit “Bedtime Story,” which she promoted with a pretty trippy video. 


Like most of Jenny Lewis’s music, her drug references paint depressing images. In Rabbit Fur Coat,” she sings of her estranged mother, “She was living in her car, I was living on the road, and I hear she’s putting that stuff up her nose.” In the eponymous track for her first solo album, “Acid Tongue,” she sings, “I’ve been down to Dixie and dropped acid on my tongue, tripped upon the land ’til enough was enough.” But drugs seem to be a thing of the past for Lewis. Later in the song, she sings, “To be lonely is a habit like smoking or taking drugs, and I’ve quit them both, but man, was it rough.”


Long before Halsey or Miley Cyrus, perhaps the OG of female stoner artists was Janis Joplin, whose ode to marijuana, “Mary Jane,” is somewhere between a celebration of the drug’s benefits and a confession of addiction. “I spend my money all on Mary Jane,” she sang. “Now I walk in the street now lookin’ for a friend, one that can lend me some change, and he never questions my reason why ’cause he too loves Mary Jane.” Of course, she would later lose her life to another addiction, dying of an accidental heroin overdose.


Aside from publicly refusing to go to rehab, Winehouse referenced her drug habits in lyrics like “I’d rather have myself and smoke my homegrown” in “Addicted” and “You love blow, and I love puff” in “Back to Back.”

In 2007, she told Rolling Stone that the change in her musical style from jazz to R&B reflected a change in her drug of choice from weed to alcohol. “I used to smoke a lot of weed,” she said. “I suppose if you have an addictive personality then you go from one poison to the other. The whole weed mentality is very hip-hop, and when I made my first record, all I was listening to was hip-hop and jazz. The weed mentality is very defensive, very much like, ‘Fuck you, you don’t know me.’ Whereas the drinking mentality is very ‘Woe is me, oh, I love you, I’m gonna lie in the road for you, I don’t even care if you never even look my way, I’m always gonna love you.'”


Drugs were a central part of 1930s jazz culture, and Fitzgerald was no exception. In “When I Get Low I Get High,” she sang about numbing her pain with drugs, and a few years later, she got more explicit in “Wacky Dust,” a song about a substance that “gives your feet a feeling so breezy” and “brings a dancing jag”—presumably, cocaine. It ends on a less celebratory note, though, warning listeners that “it’s something you can’t trust, and in the end, the rhythm will stop. When it does, then you’ll drop from happy wacky dust.”


“I can’t lie,” Tove Lo told BBC of “Habits (Stay High),” whose video features her downing drink after drink at a club (and whose lyrics reference the munchies). “What I’m singing about is my life. It’s the truth. I’ve had moments where that [drug-taking] has been a bigger part than it should be. It’s hard to admit to, and I could filter it or find another metaphor for it — but it doesn’t feel right to me.”

“There are so many dudes singing about the same subject,” she elaborated to Untitled. “I wonder if they get the same question or is it because I’m a girl that people ask me, ‘Don’t you feel like you have a responsibility to be a role model?’ And I think: do I have that [responsibility] more than dudes because I’m a girl and I sing pop? I think there’s a kind of denial on how much drugs are a part of people’s lives.”


TRACK PREMIERE: Whispertown “Freefaller”

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Whispertown Photo by Heather Porcaro

Whispertown is a one-woman powerhouse comprised of child-actor-turned-musician Morgan Nagler. Based in Los Angeles, Nagler’s music invites the listener to think beyond their mortal coil, to consider us all one being, connected through time and space. Big stuff for pretty music, but Whispertown handles the subject matter beautifully. “Freefaller” is the latest single from her forthcoming LP I’m A Man, out via Graveface Records September 1st. We talked to Morgan about her writing process, the road, and her imaginary roller rink.

AudioFemme: You’re a rare bird. LA native, right (via Oregon that is)?

Morgan Nagler: That’s right. To the core.

AF: What in your mind’s eye sets a native Angelino apart?

MN: There is a palpable common thread. I have been recently thinking on the physical effects of our surroundings, the ocean and the forest most prominently, and the desert; having all these extreme elements of nature in such close quarters marrying the diversity and abundance of vibes in the greater Los Angeles area makes for a pretty unique experience of the day to day.

AF: I keep trying to tell my NYC friends this. Los Angeles is so diverse in terms of people and terrain. I’ve fallen in love.

MN: Yeah. It truly has everything. I think that’s also why it can take a longer time to figure out, if you move here without knowing anyone. I still discover new things all the time… there has yet to be something I’m looking for that I can’t find.

AF: We’re only going to touch on this, because news outlets seem to have covered it quite extensively. You were a child actor in the 90s, appearing in sitcoms like The Fresh Prince and Home Improvement. How has your early experiences with acting come to inform your music and live performance style?

MN: Despite being “comfortable in front of the camera” as an actor, unfortunately for me that comfort did not translate to live music performance right away. I feel more nervous playing music because it is more precious, so near and dear and vulnerable. But that’s also the appeal of performing live – breaking past obstacles in the name of human connection. There is a sub-section of LA native child actors. These are my people. But ultimately it was a huge part of life up until about age 24 so it definitely informs who I am, though it seems like another lifetime.

AF: Do you feel comfortable now on stage? Or is it too intimate to be called comfortable?

MN: I do feel comfortable now, but I get nervous beforehand. After the first one or two songs usually I’m able to just vibe out. What a feeling.

AF: You’re friends with Jenny Lewis, another child-star-turned-musician. You’ve also toured with her. How does the music writing process shift when you’re on the road? Do find yourself swapping lyrics and licks with whatever musician you’re around?

MN: When you’re on the road (in a car/van) there is very little not-spoken-for time. I mostly just try and write down the words that come into my head while in the car, then revisit later. I think I’m more likely to swap ideas with fellow musicians when I am home, not touring and have more time. Lately we have been hanging out at Jenny’s in her magical jam room and bouncing ideas off each other. Also, we play a game called “mouth music” sometimes. The game is: you give someone a guitar, or someone plays piano, and they just start playing a progression of chords, then two people (normally Jenny and I demonstrate) hold hands and look into each other’s eyes and (attempt) to sing a song together in unison.

AF: Tell us about your new single “Freefaller.” It’s subject matter seems to run parallel to songs from your most recent record 2012’s Parallel; this idea of oneness, of our intrinsic connection to the rest of the world.

MN: Yes. That is a consistently running theme. “Freefaller” was born when I was turned on to Kendrick Lamar. Jenny thought that this one female rapper on his first record kind of sounded like me, so “Freefaller” was my version of rapping. But it’s also a commentary on the disenchanted, the collective “fuck it” mentality that I think we are growing away from in our culture… but also there is a strange freedom in “fuck it” that appeals.

AF: Your music makes me very happy. There’s this grounded spirituality to the lyrics that feels really good. Do you consider yourself a religious person?

MN: While I don’t identify with organized religion I consider myself extremely spiritual. Spirit – the thing that can not die – that intangible essence that is our core – and that thing we try to tune into and follow that can not make mistakes.

AF: While researching for this interview, I found myself watching your YouTube videos obsessively. Your brother created them, using public domain footage. “Parallel” in particular really moved me, with its focus on the patterns that exist throughout our universe. Does he have any plans to create videos for your new songs?

MN: Yes. He is. He is such a powerful force. I am in awe of the insane and beautiful and thought provoking visuals he has brought to life. I feel like his videos should be in museums.

AF: What inspires you to write? Do you normally start with the music, or does it come from an idea or source material?

MN: Usually it’s a turn of phrase that presents itself. I am much more lyrically oriented, sometimes I write a whole song in just melody and words and the guitar comes later. “Can’t Stop Crying” was written on a treadmill, I then sang it a capella for Jake Bellows and he composed the music. Then sometimes it magically happens all at once, as if the song already existed.

AF: Your record release show is coming up September 1st at The Bootleg here in Los Angeles. What’s your favorite LA venue to perform in?

MN: The Bootleg is actually my favorite!! The sound there is so nice and it feels musically oriented (rather than bar/nitelife oriented) … also Kyle who books it is radical. I do also love the Troubadour… but I’m East side.

AF: If you weren’t a musician, what is another occupation that interests you?

MN: It’s hard to imagine myself out of a creative field. I would say a writer, but if that’s too close to home and doesn’t count. Perhaps psychology? Or perhaps winemaker? I could definitely run a roller rink.

AF: What advice would you give someone who feels trapped in their career, totally stuck going down a road they don’t believe in?

MN: Quit! Choose something new that you do believe in! Life is so short. This series of decisions – where you live, what you do for money – it’s so easy to feel trapped and complacent, but nothing has to be that big of a deal! You can just up and move to another city…. then you can also move back!

Whispertown will follow up her LA release show this Friday with a short Southwest tour; see dates below.

10.13 – Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre *
10.14 – Englewood, CO @ The Gothic Theatre *
10.16 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sister *
10.18 – Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole *
10.19 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom *
10.20 – Flagstaff, AZ @ Orpheum Theatre *

# with Jake Bellows, Nik Freitas, Jason Boesel & Special Guests
* with M. Ward[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

LIVE REVIEW: Jenny Lewis @ The Beacon Theatre


The Beacon Theatre‘s playbill for Jenny Lewis’s concert last Thursday displayed a curious itinerary: M. Ward at 8PM, Rabbit Fur Coat at 9PM, and a “voyage through the past, present and future” at 10PM.

“Voyage” was a reference to both Lewis’s latest solo album The Voyager and her musical journey from 1998 to the present — a trajectory that became palpable as the night unfolded.

2016 marks 10 years since the release of Lewis’s first solo album Rabbit Fur Coat, which was just reissued on red vinyl. The record broke from her work as lead singer of indie-pop band Rilo Kiley, incorporating country and folk influences and featuring collaborations with indie-folk legend M. Ward, former Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst, and alt-country sister duo The Watson Twins.


Two of these three collaborators shared the stage with Lewis Thursday night. M. Ward’s opening set, which included a cover of Tony Martin’s “I Get Ideas” that was featured on HBO’s “Girls” and a track from his upcoming album No Rain, delivered the solid performance expected of an artist who has been releasing albums since 1999. He shone brightest, though, alongside the headliner.

For part two of the performance, Lewis entered with The Watson Twins, each holding a candle and harmonizing on “Run Devil Run,” Rabbit Fur Coat‘s first track. In fact, the entire segment followed the album’s order, ending with a reprise of the bittersweet ballad “Happy.” Ward contributed his guitar to several numbers and sang in “Handle with Care.”


At age 40, Lewis is no longer the damaged former child actor who belted her quarter-life angst as Rilo Kiley’s frontwoman. The band, which dissolved in 2011, explored unrequited love, suicide, and other themes that let millennial teenagers know at least someone somewhere was as sad as them.

Rabbit Fur Coat tackles more mature experiences like growing disillusioned with religion, coming to terms with a dysfunctional upbringing, and overcoming fear of intimacy. In its 12 tracks, Lewis makes peace with her troubled past and accepts responsibility over her future.

Lewis’s performance style has paralleled her personal and musical growth. She shouts less and smiles more than in her Rilo Kiley days. Like M. Ward, she’s been making music since the late 90’s, and she commanded the stage with the professionalism and ease only a music industry veteran can project.

The flip side of Lewis’s musical evolution is that she comes off less connected to her older songs. During the concert’s third portion, “Silver Lining” felt detached without her former sass.


Throughout the evening, Lewis’s lyrics came to life, taking on new meanings amid her psychedelic set. Rabbit Fur Coat‘s eponymous track, which sounds like an amusing cautionary tale about materialism in recordings, became an intimate confession about her estrangement from her mother as she sang it alone with no instruments but her guitar. “It Wasn’t Me,” a cynical song about dodging responsibility, became funny as she lackadaisically belted, “it doesn’t count because I don’t care.”

At one point, though, she actually altered the words. In “The Charging Sky,” where the recording describes her parents as  “spreading infection, somehow we’re not affected,” she instead sang, “somehow I’m not affected.”

Whatever her intentions, I couldn’t help but read this slight rewording as a testament to Lewis’s transformation from part of a “we” to a freestanding “I,” connected to but independent from her former band and upbringing.


The Used & My Chemical Romance

1. Jenny Lewis – “Head Underwater”

One of the best tracks off of one of the year’s best albums, “Head Underwater” is a

doozy of a pop song. Lewis sings conspicuously dismal lyrics (“My own mortality, I

contemplated”) over a bubbly, dynamic beat (that she also produced herself), creating

interesting tension within a sublime melody. Who doesn’t love a song you can have a

good cry to while also dancing?


2. Sylvan Esso – “Hey Mami”

It’s tricky to deal with a subject like catcalling, especially through pop music, but Sylvan

Esso pull it off gorgeously. Amelia Meath’s vocals are luxe and silky as she sings

“Sooner or later the dudes at bodegas will hold their lips and own their shit” over Nick

Sanborn’s bass-heavy, booming beat. A very welcomed “hey mami” that I’ll gladly listen

to as I walk down the street.


3. Jessie Ware – “Keep On Lying”

Jessie Ware’s impressive sophomore album contained quite a few pop gems, but “Keep

On Lying” is a standout. The weirdly magnetic song features a dramatic and opulent

choir of voices paired with a rinky-dink keyboard sound that, together, conjure

minimalistic pop magic.



4. Alvvays – “Archie, Marry Me”

Another powerfully catchy and sunny song that boasts quite a forlorn narrative. The

lyrics of this romantic plea are unassumingly genius in the way they roll off singer Molly

Rankin’s listless tongue (“You’ve expressed explicitly your contempt for matrimony”),

but they also hit a nerve that feels incredibly generationally relevant (“You’ve student

loans to pay and will not risk the alimony”). The push and pull between hopeless

romantic and practical realist has never sounded so blissful.

chumped 2

5. Chumped –Hot 97 Summer Jam”

Chumped ooze nostalgia for ‘90s and early ‘00s punk pop without ever losing their

originality. “Hot 97 Summer Jam” is a fun and quick listen with endearing “ooh”s over

gritty guitars.

st vincent audiofemme

6. St. Vincent – “Psychopath”

Amongst a roster of outstanding and complex tracks, “Psychopath” is notable for its

slightly more pared down sound. It hooks you instantly, with its quick repetition evoking

an OCD tick that you can’t quite shake, but the spaced-out chorus balances that quality



7. TOPS – “Change of Heart”

TOPS’ music sounds like pure summer. “Change of Heart” dazzles with ‘80s influences,

but it’s also got a slight shoegaze-y sheen to it that allows the infectious ditty to stand

apart from the sea of dreamy indie-pop out there.


8. Sabina – “I won’t Let You Break Me”

Brazilian Girls’ chanteuse Sabina debuted her solo efforts this year to little fanfare, but

Toujours was a solid record with the catchy “Won’t Let You Break Me” tucked in near its

end. Pulling from French Yé-Yé and rock a la Velvet Underground, this song is proudly

alluring pop rock with worldly charm.


9. Banks – “Beggin’ For Thread”

Banks’ industrial R&B leans most heavily towards pop with “Beggin for Thread.” It’s

confidently aggressive and also playful in both its lyrics (“So I got itches that scratch /

And sometimes I don’t got a filter”) and its sound, making it a perfect dance number.


10. Mr. Twin Sister – “Out of the Dark”

After a little musical reincarnation, the new Mr. Twin Sister gifted us this funky electro-

pop banger that begs to be played on a dark, sweaty dance floor. Andrea Estelle adopts

a monotone, robotic voice but, thankfully, nothing can shake her seductive qualities.

TRACK REVIEW: Jenny Lewis “Just One Of The Guys”

Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis

There’s only one difference between you and me

When I look at myself all I can see

I’m just another lady without a baby

Jenny Lewis has had a long and fruitful career since she began singing as the lead vocalist for Rilo Kiley back in 1998. After putting out five albums with the band – Take Offs and Landings (2001), The Execution Of All Things (2002), More Adventurous (2004), and Under The Blacklight (2007) and rkives (2013) – Rilo Kiley called it quits. During this time, Lewis moonlighted with The Postal Service, providing the female vocal counterpart to Ben Gibbard’s rather infamous electronic project on their debut album, Give Up (2003). Lewis also formed her own band with Johnathan Rice, appropriately named Jenny And Johnny, releasing their debut album I’m Having Fun Now in 2010. Jenny Lewis has also had a successful solo career, and has released two solo albums to date – Rabbit Fur Coat (2006) and Acid Tongue (2008), as well as a soundtrack for Very Good Girls starring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen in 2013. Once a child actress herself, Lewis is now set to release another solo album, Voyager, via Warner Bros. Records on July 29th. She’s been performing teasers from the record at live performances, but now she’s officially released “Just One Of The Guys,” the first single off of the upcoming album.

Produced by Beck (who also provides the background vocals), the track is reminiscent of the floating and relaxed country/indie/folk blends that both artists are known for. “Just One Of The Guys” rolls through each verse and chorus with accented 2nd and 4th beats (on a steady 4/4 metre) that acts to keep the song moving while the slow tempo relaxes the mood. The drums actualize this rhythm as an electric guitar lazily strums over the beat. While the bells in the background add to the charm, nothing is more charming than Lewis’ vocals. While she rests in her middle range for the majority of the tune, she stretches into her soprano towards the end of the track, and the breathy beauty in her voice is fully realized – a fragility artfully counteracted by Beck’s lower, grumbling vocals.

Regardless of its musical pleasantness, “Just One Of The Guys” is actually a pretty angry song.  The frustration and dismay inherent in the narrative are mapped out plainly in the opening lines: “All our Friends, they’re getting on, but the girls are still staying young.” Lewis goes on to tackle the particular nuances of gendered double standards, in particular society’s approval of older, single, bachelors and subsequent disapproval of unwed, motherless women of a certain age. It’s not just societal faults that plague Lewis; as the chorus continues into the second verse, she wonders at the thing inside that won’t let her be as disaffected as her cooler male counterparts. And it’s not just her feminine emotions getting the best of her, but also that pesky biological clock. While her honesty is nearly cringe inducing, the last bridge of the song reflects a shoring up of resolve and a recognition of the strength of the so-called “weaker” sex: “I’m not gonna break for you, I’m not gonna pray for you, I’m not gonna pay for you, That’s not what ladies do.” The simplicity of the song belies the potential complexity of its content, and while it’s not clear if Lewis is really attempting to buck tradition or desperately give into it, it is still, in its way, astute and astoundingly relatable. It’s not quite “Just A Girl” but it’s got all the makings of a successful indie pop hit.

Jenny Lewis is currently in the middle of a national tour; Voyager comes out on July 29th. In the meantime, check out the lyric video for “Just One Of The Guys” below:

LIVE REVIEW: Jenny Lewis @ The Roxy

Jenny Lewis

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Jenny Lewis
Jenny Lewis performing at Shaky Knees Festival in 2014 (Photo by Robb D. Cohen/Invision/AP)

Much anticipation led up to Jenny Lewis’ May 6th stop at The Roxy. After touring with The Postal Service for most of 2013, Lewis has only granted her fans five solo shows, and Tuesday would mark her first appearance at  The Roxy in 2014. Long awaited, and much overdo, she returned with new material to make audiences squeal.

Having fallen hard for Jenny Lewis in my late teens, my first time at The Roxy (or in West Hollywood for that matter) couldn’t have been more filled with excitement, as my adolescent dreams would coming to fruition in an instant. After perusing her setlists from the Bridge School Benefit and much earlier shows, there really was no predicting what Jenny was going to pull out of her hat. All anyone really knew was that she was on at 9:30, and her opener, described as magical, was on at 9:23.

And magical he was! The rather cheeky magician performed a shrinking card act, a self-mending string trick, and ended with a cutout paper snowflake that eventually read The Voyager, the title of Jenny Lewis’ upcoming album. When the magic act ended, the curtain dropped suddenly and the real anxiety began.

If there is anything that is certain about Jenny Lewis fans, it is that their love for her does not stray from the extreme. I found myself gushing with fellow fans moments before the curtain rose, the type of gushing where you are unknowingly blushing and clutching your heart in swoon. When the curtain rose, the crowd erupted and Jenny sat down at the keyboard for the first song. I couldn’t help but notice that the performer had barely aged in the last ten years and is as energetic and on point than ever.

She opened with “Head Under Water,” a solid choice considering that the wonderfully upbeat piano ballad with a kick-drum rhythm got the crowd moving. After her first song she couldn’t help but crack an infectious smile; the crowd went nuts. She remarked  how long it had been and then busted out a Rilo Kiley classic, “Silver Lining.” Now, for me, the Rilo Kiley songs hit me hard, and by the gasp of the crowd, I could tell I was not alone. These were the most poignant moments of the night, and they warranted the best sing-alongs.

Lewis’ performance is magnetic; when she stands at the mic with her guitar, her eyes move from person to person, making intimate eye contact with every single fan, even if just for a split second. It is evident that this woman has spent most of her life in the spotlight because she certainly knows how to command the attention.

She prefaced every new song with hints about their themes, at one point divulging that Megadeth frontman, Dave Mustaine, is her spirit animal, confessing that, after all, she and Mustaine have the same hairstyle. Her anecdotes made the new material all the more enjoyable, which could have been difficult for a less gracious artists with such a beloved back catalogue. I’ve been to shows before where the artist plays new material, perhaps too heavy-handedly. There’s a fine line between giving the fans some new material to get excited about and inundating them with material that they’re not yet familiar with. Lewis did a superb job of mixing up her setlist with her classics, from Rilo Kiley and her own solo repertoire, and the new stuff.

To her credit, the highlights of the show were clearly the new material, which is so fresh and reinvigorating that you can almost (almost) forgive Jenny for taking so long to release a new album. As she hasn’t actually set a released a date for The Voyager, fans will have to continue to be patient. Also, she pulled out a very special Rilo Kiley treat when she played “A Man/ Me/ Then Jim.” Her encore was enchanting, as her new band stepped out from behind their instruments to sing backup vocals on “Acid Tongue.” She closed out the show with a new song, which I felt was a very risky move. But, as expected, she nailed it, because “She’s Not Me” is such a rockin’ jam.

From what I can gather about The Voyager, it is going to arguably be her strongest album to date. Acid Tongue saw Jenny Lewis honing in on her sound, and this new material sounds as if Jenny will be reinventing that sound in a very retrospective sort of way. Whatever it ends up being, I’m more than glad that she’s back and will be on the look out for more post-album release tour dates;  I will certainly be seeing her again.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]