Results for The Postal Service

interviews

Jenny Lewis

Another California native with a country spirit is singer/songwriter Jenny Lewis. The Rilo Kiley frontwoman joins Jim and Greg to talk about her latest solo album, Rabbit Fur Coat. Last year Rilo Kiley achieved some success with their second album More Adventurous, and even opened for Coldplay and played at Coachella. Therefore, the timing of this solo project seems to be curious. As Jenny explains, however, doing solo projects and side projects has always been apart of her band's experience. She previously worked with Ben Gibbard on The Postal Service, and Rilo Kiley bandmate Blake Sennett has another band called The Elected.

One of Jenny's motivations for this solo album was her desire to sing with women. She is joined on Rabbit Fur Coat and in our studio by The Watson Twins, Chandra and Leigh Watson. Jenny explains that she grew up singing with her mother and was inspired by albums like Gonna Take a Miracle by Laura Nyro and LaBelle.

It should be noted that Jenny didn‘t just grow up singing. She was also a fairly successful child actress and appeared in ’80s movies like Troop Beverly Hills and The Wizard. She explores some of that history on the album. She also addresses people who are skeptical of her authenticity — being that she was born in Las Vegas and bred in L.A. rather than Kentucky. But, as Jenny points out and as listeners learned in the previous segment, California and towns like Bakersfield have significant country roots. Oddly enough, Jenny is not the only member of Rilo Kiley to have that dreaded“child actor”label. Blake Sennett was a regular on shows like Boy Meets World and Salute Your Shorts.

Go to episode 19

Death Cab for Cutie

Jim and Greg are always fascinated and impressed by bands that are able to emerge from out of the underground fairly unscathed. The major label system today isn't always such a friendly place for bands to navigate, particularly those that have a sense of integrity. So, when given the opportunity to have Death Cab for Cutie, a true indie rock success story, on the show, Jim and Greg were excited. Then add an audience of about 200 people and a beautiful theater space — the show really couldn't ask for anything more. Lead singer Ben Gibbard, who many listeners will know through his side project The Postal Service, explains that the band has been really lucky. They spent 10 years growing and growing, with their last album going platinum. And their latest Narrow Stairs debuted at #1.

Ben Gibbard, Chris Walla, Nicholas Harmer and Jason McGerr treated Jim, Greg and the audience to a number of live songs. You can hear all their tracks on our website.

Go to episode 131
specials

Sub Pop Records

Sub Pop Records, the label that made "grunge" a household word, is turning 20. Since its inception the small Seattle outfit has exploded internationally, giving music fans a dose of the Northwest punk sound with bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney. Now Sub Pop is home to indie phenoms The Shins and The Postal Service, as well as comedy duo Flight of the Conchords. Jim and Greg speak with Jonathan Poneman, who started the label in 1988 with former fanziner Bruce Pavitt. Poneman explains that there was so much great rock in that area at the time that they were compelled to document it. But their ambitions didn‘t stop there. Poneman discusses Pavitt’s assertion that the most vital culture happens outside the big media centers. This kind of big thinking paved the way for the breakout of regional music scenes and the idea that indie bands can be as big as major label ones.

To celebrate Sub Pop's anniversary Jim and Greg both pick their favorite tracks from the label. Greg starts with a song by The Afghan Whigs. He explains that the tradition of signing non-Northwest bands began with the Whigs. They started out as a faux-grunge band but became more distinctive when they brought in elements of soul. You can hear that in the track "Miles Iz Dead" off the album Congregation.

Jim also wanted to pick a song that showcased the diversity of Sub Pop. It's more than just a grunge label. Jim looks to Cardinal, a band that represents much of what's happening in the indie world today. The duo gave birth to orchestral pop, and one of its members, Eric Matthews, put out a terrific debut on Sub Pop in 1995 called It's Heavy In Here. Jim chooses to play that album's opener, "Fanfare."

Go to episode 137
reviews
Rabbit Fur CoatRabbit Fur Coat available on iTunes

Jenny Lewis Rabbit Fur Coat

The review this week is of the solo album from rising indie pop star Jenny Lewis. Lewis is best known for her work with the bands Rilo Kiley and The Postal Service. (Oh, and true pop culture mavens might also remember a young Lewis from '80s movies like Troop Beverly Hills and The Wizard.) Rabbit Fur Coat is Lewis's first solo effort, and initially both Jim and Greg were skeptical. How can a born-and-bred Hollywood girl make beautiful alternative country pop? The answer stems from Lewis's voice, which Jim compares to that of Dusty Springfield, and the songs' complicated, self-aware lyrics. The album, released on Team Love Records (the boutique label run by Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst) gets a "Buy It" rating from both our critics.

JimGreg
Go to episode 8