Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 78
Tues. April 16, 2013
“Let Me Back In”
Los Angeles has been lusting after a new theme song. During the heyday of Showtime in the 1980’s Lakerland, Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” was king but since then there have been many contenders for the official song of Los Angeles. Do you remember the City of Angels most infamous punk band X and their song “Los Angeles?” What about former Pixies front-man Frank Black’s own ode to L.A. with “Los Angeles?” There’s also R.E.M.’s ode to glory days of Hollywood with “Electrolite.” One of my personal favorites is The Raveonettes who croon their “Ode to L.A.” with Ronnie Spector. Who can forget The Decembrists ‘Los Angeles, I’m Yours? ” All very important odes to our fair city but there was still no winner until Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis came to the rescue.
For years, I had this radio recording of Jenny Lewis and Rilo Kiley singing this rare song called “I Love L.A.” It was a short, sweet, catchy and memorable, all perfect ingredient for the perfect pop song. I couldn’t believe that j that was the best kept song secret, it needed to be heard. Finally Rilo Kiley have heeded our collective yearning because “I Love L.A.” has finally been released, re-titled “Let Me Back In” this year in the B-Side/Rarities collection Rkives.
Not as intimate as my radio recording but it’s a vast improvement. Jenny adds a handclap refrain that’s so childlike capturing the naïve innocence of Los Angeles that we long to recapture, Rilo Kiley brings it to life in this renewed version now called “Let Me Back In “Jenny Lewis explained why she finally decided to release “Let Me Back In” when she said, “I just tend to think in my life you can never shut the door on anything: an ex-lover, a band mate, a song — there are so many songs that I didn’t want to play for so many years but then they kind of come back around and they become relevant again.”
Los Angeles has always been a relevant part of Jenny Lewis life. Every artist has convoluted emotions about their birth place and Lewis has penned the ultimate ode to the city she calls home. “I love Los Angeles and I’ve become frustrated with it, but it’s my home. I love the little communities within the Hollywood hustle and bustle. It takes a real adventurer to find a comfortable place in L.A.”
When asked about her songwriting process by LA Weekly, Jenny Lewis explained, “I tend to write about what I know. Even if I’m writing about a character, I’m still writing about things that I observe and how they relate back to me. Rilo Kiley is putting together this B-sides collection. We’ve been listening and sorting through all these songs from 1998 and just the tone of what I was writing back then was so sad, so dark. And I don’t necessarily feel like that all the time anymore. I’m trying to write about all of the emotions. I’ve gotten my heart broken, and fallen in love, and moved out of my shitty rent-controlled apartment, and lost my father, and tried to rebuild my relationship with my mother. All of these things have definitely popped up in my songs, and I want to write something that’s real that people can feel.”
My favorite Jenny Lewis song has finally been released. “Let Me Back In” needs to be the theme song of our City of Angels. It’s time to retire Randy Newman’s classic and bring a post modern day classic that expresses how we really feel about Los Angeles. The Good, the Bad we love it all, and everything in between; even with all the exhaust, the traffic, signal—all you have to do is press play and you’ll admit it—you love it when L.A. “Let’s you back in.”