Random Rules: Jenny Lewis
In Random Rules, The A.V. Club asks some of its favorite people to set their MP3 players to shuffle and comment on the first few tracks that come up—no cheating or skipping embarrassing tracks allowed.
The shuffler: Jenny Lewis: solo artist, leader of indie darling Rilo Kiley, and former child star. Her solo debut (with The Watson Twins), Rabbit Fur Coat, seems destined for year-end top-10 lists.
Blonde Redhead, "Melody Of Certain Three"
Jenny Lewis: Honestly, I have been listening to Blonde Redhead for years now, but I went out and bought my first Blonde Redhead record based on the fact that I'm a redhead. I swear to God. I'm a huge fan, and obviously I think twins are really cool. I [love Blonde Redhead] in the same way that I love Deerhoof: I love the sound of a Japanese girl singing.
The Libertines, "Last Post On The Bugle"
JL: I love The Libertines. I absolutely love them. I discovered them a little late, so I never got to see them play. Regardless of all the drug stuff and the drama and the heroin and all that, and, you know, stints at the priory, I still think Pete [Doherty] is a pretty killer lyricist. But you know the music—if you listen to that record Down In Albion [by Doherty's new band Babyshambles], it sounds so fucking cool, and it sounds totally loosely put together, and he sounds completely fucked-up. It's just a unique listening experience in this day and age of things that are overly snapped to the grid with Pro Tools and digital recording. It's nice to hear something that doesn't sound perfect.
Vetiver, "Amour Fou"
JL: You know, I can't believe these songs came up. I feel lucky that it's not, like, the Annie soundtrack.
The A.V. Club: That's in your iTunes?
JL: Fuck yeah!
AVC: As a child, were you totally obsessed with Annie and the Annie soundtrack?
JL: Annie and Pippi [Longstocking]. As a child, I auditioned for The New Adventures Of Pippi Longstocking. I made it to the final three. This is before reality shows, so you can imagine what was going on. I really, in my mind, had become Pippi Longstocking. I thought I was so awesome as Pippi, and I placed last. Not only did they not say, "You're not going to play Pippi," but they were like, "You're never going to play Pippi. You're too wimpy." I cried for a long time, but now I realize, thank God I didn't play Pippi Longstocking. It's hard enough to live down my past.
AVC: Now you just have Troop Beverly Hills.
JL: Which is the bane of my existence.
Kanye West, "Graduation Day"
JL: Kanye West. I like him a lot, especially this record [The College Dropout]. I prefer it to the new one, and I think there's an even newer one that may have leaked on the Internet. "Through The Wire" is a classic. That is a great, great song, and it kind of reminds me of the hip-hop that I grew up listening to. And I really like a lot of newer hip-hop—I like a lot of the stuff from the South. I really like Lil Jon. I like Lil Jon because he loves Bad Brains.
The Fiery Furnaces, "Bright Blue Tie"
JL: I love this record [Gallowsbird's Bark]. It's so great. I don't know if Eleanor Friedberger wrote more songs on this first record, or if she stopped writing for the more recent records. I'm not sure exactly how that worked out between them, but I just think she's so great. She's got such a great voice. I'm a huge fan of hers.
AVC: Do you like the newer stuff too?
JL: Some of it, not as much. I think it's really challenging sometimes, and for the most part, there are always a couple songs that I absolutely love. I like Blueberry Boat as well. I think that's a great record, but I find myself going back to this record.
Rick Ross, "Hustlin'"
JL: "Hey, I'm hustlin'!" Although there was another song that also has the word "hustling" in it that I like better than this one.
AVC: From that same record?
JL: No, a different song from about a year ago. I heard it when I was in D.C. I had to take a taxi to where we were playing in D.C., and it was playing in the taxi, and I was like, "Who is this?" And the taxi driver was like, "It's Cassidy, and it's called 'I'm A Hustla.'" Such a good song. I prefer it, even though I like both, and I like all songs that talk about hustling.
AVC: Because you're a hustla?
JL: I don't know if I'm a hustler. I'm kind of a procrastinator, kind of a slowpoke. Procrastinata!