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Coachella 2015: Jenny Lewis tells us the song she'll never, ever play live




Jenny Lewis performs on Day Three of the Coachella Music Festival.
Jenny Lewis performs on Day Three of the Coachella Music Festival.
Cameron Kell/KPCC

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Jenny Lewis is an indie-music veteran who has been playing music for over 15 years and has been on the road touring for about the same amount of time. 

Lewis started as a frontman in the Los Angeles-based folk-rock band Rilo Kiley in the late '90s. During the band's 12-year career, she also helped start the short-lived indie-electro band the Postal Service with Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello and Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard

Currently, Lewis is going solo and recently released her third solo album, "The Voyager." She performed most of the album at Coachella this past weekend. The Frame's James Kim talked with Jenny Lewis about her 15 years on the road, what songs she doesn't like performing and what her favorite show she's ever played was: 

Jenny Lewis on the first time she started touring: 

When I first started touring, we had a crappy van and we would all share rooms. So for many years as a grown adult woman, I would share a bed with a bandmate, whether it would be Jimmy Tamborello from the Postal Service or Pierre De Reeder from Rilo Kiley, just a pillow barrier between us sleeping on the same bed. I mean, it was really fun though. 

Favorite places to take a break on tour:

I love waking up in a new spot every day. Anywhere is fun though. My favorite days off on the road are typically nowhere, like Bismarck, North Dakota, and you find yourself in a mall and you're like, 'This is awesome!' 

What Lewis is thinking when she's performing on stage:

What am I thinking when I'm on stage? It sounds like [expletive] up here, or at least that's always my first thought where I'm like, 'Oh my god. It sounds terrible and everything is always broken.' Some shows suck, but I always-- the show must go on. I learned it from my past as a child actor. The show must go on. You have to just keep on with it. 

Least favorite song to play live:

There's a song called 'Glendora,' an old Rilo Kiley song that gets yelled out at every single show I've ever played. It's a weird song that has a lyric about 'The Silence of The Lambs' in it. It's a really weird song. Weird words written by a 19-year-old, and for some reason all the Kiley fans always yell out 'Glendora.' So I will never play it, but I invited a fan up on stage the other day and she sang the first verse flawlessly.

If you're in the right environment you can pretend that you want the audience to sing it. I have a lot of lyrics, some of my songs are really wordy, so I feel like people are pretty forgiving and I do great like 85 percent of the time. 

Best live performance:

My Coachella experiences have been really amazing over the years — the Postal Service two years ago on the main stage — that's the biggest show I've ever played, maybe the biggest show I'll ever play, and it was pretty magical because I love those songs so much, and whenever the first notes of 'The District Sleeps Alone Tonight,' I was just moved, true goosebumps. 



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