In 2001, what happens when you shoot a video that involves crashing planes for a song that includes lines like “sometimes planes they smash up in the sky”? Right, 9/11 happens and the Morgan J. Freeman-directed vid gets shelved. We don’t know that for sure, but “Wires And Waves,” from Rilo Kiley’s equally airplane-themed Take Offs And Landings, was shot in the Mojave Desert that same year, and seems like the imagery (the band drawing pics of planes with flames coming out the side, stock footage of planes taking off, the kids playing with a toy airplane, Jenny singing into a security cam, a paper airplane, etc.) would’ve come on like bad taste or an omen if it made to the airwaves. Six plus years later — it’s great fun. It remains a good song, but the real treat is getting a look at the younger, scruffier Jenny & Co. before they lost the plot with Under The Blacklight. Jenny’s hair is shorter, her pants longer, but she still has that knowing smile and charismatic, slightly off-kilter dramatic flair. Blake looks less creepy, but remains just as short. Most importantly of all: First Kiley drummer Dave Rock proves himself a progenitor of the hipster mustache.

Totally cute, but could they have been any heavier handed with the distance/travel metaphor? If anything, hopefully this taught them to be subtler when approaching a theme … Oh, wait.

Comments (12)
  1. Subtlety is a must.

  2. rye bread  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2007 0

    Ah, I love this. Reminds me of the sweet sweet late nineties, when being into “alternative music” was about dressing weird and having a shaggy haircut and goofy ass naive videos. Ah well, back to calling James Murphy a buttknocker on Brooklynvegan!

  3. kevin  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2007 0

    i love this album! what happened, rilo kiley?

  4. Argham  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2007 +1

    I’m vaguely annoyed at all the vocal people insulting Rilo Kiley due to Under The Blacklight. I won’t comment on its quality, but clearly a large number of people liked it since it made No. 26 on this site’s albums of the year.

    Regardless of that, it’s hardly the end of Rilo Kiley. More Adventurous was, in my opinion, their best album yet and that was their third, so it’s not as though they are a one-album band. Hell, Jenny Lewis released an amazing album just last year. Basically, even if UTB wasn’t to your tastes, just don’t be so loud about it and wait for the next one.

  5. I think Under the Blacklight gets a bad rap. One of the things I like about bands like Rilo Kiley or Tegan and Sara is the fact that they are refreshingly poppy.

    There’s some clunkers on UTB, but there’s some good really good tracks too.

  6. ariel  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2007 0

    Their best album was The Execution of All Things. I miss the real Rilo Kiley.

  7. is it me, or is jenny channeling the cranberries?

  8. keaton  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2007 0

    its sad to look back on this. back when rilo kiley just made some good alternative rock. i guess you can’t really go back now after being in every magazine on the known planet

    and is it just me or does jenny lewis look ten times better in this video then she does now. though she’s still a fox

  9. JZ  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2007 0

    Yeah, good ol’ Rilo. “Pictures of Success” off this same album is their best song ever, in my humble opinion.

  10. RZ  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2007 0

    Take Offs and Landings came out when I was 16. I was obsessed with that album. After hearing Under The Blacklight for the first time, I took down their poster from my dorm apartment wall.

  11. buster  |   Posted on Dec 18th, 2007 0

    blake should go back to this haircut.

  12. Very cool video. I’m a long time fan and have never seen this one. It does have an early 90s feel.

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