This Little Underground: The return of Jenny Lewis
Plus live reviews of Ray LaMontagne, Henry Toland; Jackson Rodgers debuts ‘New Faces’ showcase and attends Steve Earle’s Camp Copperhead
Published: July 16, 2014
There’s a lot of style that goes into what Jenny Lewis does, from the golden tones of her Cali-cool steeze to being the de facto majorette of indie coquettishness. But despite her soft-core flair and the baggage of peripheral Hollywood fame, she still manages some real, natural soul and even some respectable rock and roots. The gestalt is a particular space entirely her own. Even with somewhat muted sonic and visual treatment, this performance wove some rich nuance, proving the craft behind her work. And it wasn’t really until I saw her onstage again this time – with a shine that radiated more from plain-spoken gravity than cutie-pie affectation – that I fully realized how good it was to see her back on the scene.
Braiding his pop music with a rootsy sensibility and white-guy soul, headliner Ray LaMontagne is nothing if not a detailed and honed craftsman. Though his sharp but square adult-alternative styling isn’t especially my bag – and the fact that he’s one of those guys whom you suspect wears a back-canted brim hat all the fucking time – at least he’s not one of those half-cooked indie hypnotists who skirt by under the guise of arty impressionism. (Yeah, you, Bon Iver.) And even though sizzle isn’t really in LaMontagne’s mission, this was a fine-cut, professional performance.
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