Friday, July 11, 2008

Teflon Celebs

Curious as to whether Rilo Kiley had released any more music videos off last year’s Under the Blacklight since "Moneymaker" and "Silver Lining", I hit up YouTube. After a few RickRolls (yup, sad to report they’re still out in force) I found that the sad answer is no. So I re-watched "Moneymaker" instead. That video never fails to crack me up, although I suspect that wasn’t the intention.

See, with Under the Blacklight, Rilo Kiley went from the contemplative folksy rock we knew and loved from earlier albums (Take-Offs and Landings (2001), The Execution of All Things (2002), and More Adventurous (2004)) to synthy sleazy crass and gorgeous poprock. And though the album took a while to grow on me, I think it’s since surpassed More Adventurous to become my new favorite Rilo Kiley album.

So why does the "Moneymaker" video make me giggle? Because, spliced in among shots of writhing guitarists and unsavory locations, there are shots of lead singer Jenny Lewis cavorting with real (I assume) porn stars, trying to look all badass and instead looking…. How do I explain this? Okay. So there was this girl I knew in high school. She had such a sweet, unassuming comportment and a perfect, cherubic face. But she’d do these horrible things in a really guileless manner. She borrowed one girl’s car and wrecked it, borrowed another girl’s boyfriend and gave him the gift that keeps on giving, crabs, which he passed back on to his girlfriend. Stuff like that. Stuff that would get most girls kicked in the teeth, or at least socially blacklisted. But this girl just had such a way about her…let me put it this way. The newly-crabbed girlfriend ended up letting this girl cry on her shoulder about the injustice of it all. And that’s how it always went for her. Oceans parted in her wake.

Now, I’m not saying Jenny Lewis gave anyone crabs or totaled any cars, she certainly seems like a very down to earth and normal musician (rumor has it they do exist), but even if she had, who would believe it or care? Look at her. She has a face that says “I can do no wrong” and, you know what? Judging from her career, I’d say that’s accurate. So when I see her cavorting with porn stars and trying to look disaffected, I just wanna pinch her cheeks and laugh. She can do no wrong and damn anyone who says different.

Lewis isn’t the only teflon celeb around, either. Look at Will Smith. He could be photographed standing buck naked on Wilshire Boulevard, holding a bucket of dead kittens in one hand and the half-devoured corpse of a small immigrant child in the other, and everyone would just go, “Aww dip, Will, you’re so funny! When’s your next movie coming out?”

There is, however, an inversely maligned creature roaming Hollywood, maintaining the balance in the entertainment universe. The best current example is Colin Farrell. He could single-handedly rescue a bunch of nuns from a burning convent and the tabs would still make it out like he only did so to secure the sexual gratitudes of the nuns. Poor Farrell. He’s so misunderstood in all his newly heroinhobochic glory. But it’s a small sacrifice to ensure that the sun keeps shining on Jenny Lewis.


nikki said...

hey! glad to find you on the blogosphere! it's ridiculous how important it is to have a blog these days in the publishing world, and how relatively easy it is to do! keep me posted on your job search, and you know where to go for updates on mine!

s. said...

Will do! Here's to hoping we're both happily employed by summer's end. And hey, how times change - five years ago, blogging was more likely to get you fired than anything else...