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Rilo Kiley

Guitarist Blake Sennett named Rilo Kiley but he has given alternate versions on the moniker's origin.

'05 Version: In a dream I was chased by a sports almanac and "when it got me, I leafed through it...and I came upon an Australian-rules football player from the 19th century named Rilo Kiley."

Another '05 Version: "We just looked in there (old Scottish sports almanacs) and the name of one of the star players from the turn of the century was Rilo Kiley."

'07 version:"Rilo Kiley is named after a character I'd met in a dream who had predicted the date of (vocalist) Jenny Lewis's death."

"We felt honored and grateful to have our music on a show with the integrity and credibility that Dawson's Creek has so rightly earned," said Rilo Kiley vocalist Jenny Lewis. "We feel proud also that they chose to play our songs during such poignant points in the episode." Figures a child TV actor would look favorably on her band's tunes being heard in TV shows, which in addition to Dawson's Creek, included The O.C., Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Grey's Anatomy, Nip/Tuck and Weeds.

Lewis, whose credits include Troop Beverly Hills, was not the only former child actor in Rilo Kiley. Guitarist Blake Sennett was in Salute Your Shorts and Boy Meets World. But rather than spend their time being jaded, bitter, ex-child stars with major drug/alcohol problems they started a band with bassist Pierre de Reeder and drummer Dave Rock (replaced by Jason Boesel).

Evidently Bennett came across the name of some obscure athlete and decided that they should appropriate it. What he was doing consulting ancient sports almanacs remains an enduring mystery.

Rilo Kiley signed with Barsuk Records for their first full-length album, '01's "Take-Offs And Landings." The relationship with the label was short-lived and a year later the group moved to Saddle Creek Records for their sophomore release, "The Execution Of All Things." '04 saw the arrival of "More Adventurous" which was distributed by Warner Brothers. The album nailed significant Billboard chart action which led to late night TV appearances. Also, Rilo Kiley toured, opening for Coldplay, as their songs were heard regularly on TV.

The budding relationship with Warner Brothers grew to the point the band was signed directly to the label. They released "Under The Blacklight," featuring the singles, "The Moneymaker" and "Silver Lining," in September, '07. Rolling Stone magazine listed the effort as one of the Top 10 (#8) Albums of the Year.

The great thing about working with a major label is the promotional budget (for as long as the label thinks the group is a good investment) including money allocated for making a video. That allowed Rilo Kiley to hire porn stars to appear in "The Moneymaker" video. Makes sense. The "actors" were told they were in a soft-porn flick (rather than a music video). Good marketing all the way around.

Rilo Kiley's hiatus, while Lewis recorded with her boyfriend Johnathan Rice as Jenny & Johnny, looked indefinite when Sennett announced that he left the band. "I just felt like there was a lot of deception, disloyalty, greed and things I don't really want to submit myself to," the guitarist told Spinner.

Apparently, this revelation had been brewing for some time since he claimed that he'd actually left following '07's "Under The Blacklight" tour.

To close out the show, Rilo Kiley issued a collection of rarities and previously unreleased tracks in '13 titled, "Rkives."
Rilo Kiley Discography


1999 Rilo Kiley (The Initial Friend EP)
2001 Take Offs And Landings
2002 The Execution Of All Things
2004 More Adventurous
2007 Under The Blacklight
2013 Rkives

Had Rilo Kiley started in Colorado, rather than L.A., their initial laid-back, Folk-Country sound would have made a bit more sense.

Critics hailed them as the new Fleetwood Mac - a rather dubious tag to say the least. Compounding the problem was that in places they were reminiscent of the post- "Tusk" edition rather than the vintage "Rumours" era.

Still, they were Alt. Rock darlings, and for the most part, deservedly so.

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