WireImage Love Is: Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice How They Make Sweet…
- Posted on Oct 20th 2010 11:00AM by Mike Ayers
C Flanigan, FilmMagic
With that, Lewis and her partner in everything these days Johnathan Rice continued on with 'Just Like Zeus,' not the dirtiest song you'll ever hear, but dirty enough for the start of CMJ 2010. Lewis' band Rilo Kiley essentially defined indie-pop in the early 2000s, but as a collective unit, the two draw comparisons to early '90s college rock, a la Juliana Hatfield or the Lemonheads. While this certainly interests some, what was more interesting about Jenny and Johnny is their onstage chemistry.
By now, everyone knows Lewis has pipes, but it's moments like when she's pounding a little drum on the S&M ode 'Slavedriver' or harmonizing with Rice on his own song, 'End of the Affair' that suck you in more than Rilo Kiley's offerings. Rice knows when to step back and let Lewis take over and vice-versa; there's nothing forced or awkward, which always could be the case when you're watching a real-life couple.
Since their debut 'I'm Having Fun Now' was released, they've been touring rather heavily, and to no surprise, their set these days culls mainly from that album. Songs like 'Big Wave,' 'Committed' and 'Straight Edge of the Blade' are recreated rather faithfully, but that's not the case for every song. They slow down 'New Yorker Cartoon,' inserting a weird, spacey jam in the middle and speed up 'My Pet Snakes,' giving those tunes a slightly different feel than their studio counterpoint.
Towards the end of their set, Lewis told the crowd she'd like to play a new song, introducing 'Just One of the Guys' as a song for "the girls out there." The tune's a Lewis-driven, slide-guitar-infused mid-tempo rock song that finds Lewis lamenting about how she's feeling as close to being one of the guys as she can, but in the end, something unknown prevents her from going all the way.
Although it's customary for bands to book a host of shows during CMJ, this was Jenny and Johnny's lone performance. Next up, they'll head out on the road with Band of Horses before spending the rest of the year in Europe.