Before there was Take Offs And Landings, there was Rilo Kiley, the self-titled and self-released 1999 collection of demo songs that was occasionally known as The Initial Friend EP and almost always out-of-print and unavailable online. Until now, that is. Today, Rilo Kiley have announced that they’re reissuing Rilo Kiley and calling it their debut album. It’ll be available on a limited edition vinyl and on streaming services on 10/2. It includes early classics like “Glendora” and “Frug,” a song that was included on the soundtrack for the underrated ’90s film Desert Blue.
Comedian Dave Foley of Kids In The Hall and NewsRadio was in the audience for Rilo Kiley’s first show and went on to fund the recording of Rilo Kiley. In a new statement, Foley reflects on seeing them for the first time:
January 1998, I was a young man, young compared to now, hanging out in L.A’s alt. rock club scene. One night in particular, I found myself at Spaceland, at the bar drinking when a band started playing. They were good, so good that I stopped fighting for the attention of the bartender and turned to see who it was. On stage was a very young, delightfully unpretentious group named Rilo Kiley. Between songs they were charming, smart and funny. During songs they were brilliant. After the set I introduced myself and learned that this was their first public performance. I was astonished. They invited me back to their rehearsal space for Thai food and to hear some songs they didn’t have room for in the set. Dreamily, I filled my belly with noodles and my head with one great song after another. I was in a full on, pop music fan swoon. Having decided to force myself into their lives, I suggested (insisted) that I should fund a demo recording. They relented. I also tried to talk them into changing the band’s name. They were unrelenting. A lot of years have passed. I remain proud to know Rilo Kiley and grateful that I had the opportunity and ability to be of some help
Revisit the “Frug” video below.
The Rilo Kiley reissue is out 10/2 via Pierre de Reeder’s own Little Record Company label.