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Volume 68, Issue 60, Monday, November 18, 2002

Arts & Entertainment

Rilo Kiley impresses fans live

By Cara Sarelli
The Daily Cougar

Indie fans packed Mary Jane's for a rare event Saturday night the dazzling appearances of Rilo Kiley, Rainer Maria and Chasmatic.

Chasmatic did a nice job of warming up the crowd with its post-grunge sound, a hybrid of styles from Modest Mouse and Weezer's green album.

The local act plans to play more Houston shows soon in support of its album Kicker Wisdom. 

Led by singer/songwriter Jenny Lewis, Rilo Kiley treated Saturday's crowd at Mary Jane's with songs from its latest release, The Execution of All Things.
Photo courtesy of Girlie Action

Rilo Kiley stunned the audience next, with songs mostly from its October-release and Saddle Creek Records-debut album The Execution of All Things.

The band opened up with "My Slumbering Heart," and by the end of the energetic, pop-pumped number, anyone in the crowd who didn't know singer/songwriter Jenny Lewis' name wanted to.

But it seemed a large portion of listeners present were already huge fans.

"I'm in love with Jenny Lewis," 17-year-old Anna Schatte, a student at Windfern High School said. "Seriously, I've been in love with her since I saw The Wizard," the front-row fan said.

Lewis starred in 1989 kid-hits The Wizard (with Fred Savage and Christian Slater) and Troop Beverly Hills (with Shelly Long) and guest starred on many 80s sitcoms, including Mr. Belvedere and Growing Pains. 

The band continued with "Capturing Moods," "The Execution of All Things" and "The Good that Won't Come Out." Lewis charmed with her beautiful voice, smile and stage presence.

Then singer, guitarist and songwriter Blake Sennett shined during "Small Figures in a Vast Expanse" off the band's debut album Take Offs and Landings, released in 2001 on Barsuk Records. 

Sennet rocked out so Clapton-esque toward the end of the number that he broke some strings and had to borrow Lewis' vintage '81 strat for the rest of the set.

Rainer Maria stormed the stage last, charged with emo-pop-punk optimism reminiscent of Coheed and Cambria, Jimmy Eat World and Weezer.

Driving with precision from each song to the next, Rainer Maria presented favorites from its 2001-release and third album A Better Version of Me, including "Artificial Light," "Thought I Was" and "The Contents of Lincoln's Pockets."

The band, named after late 19th/early 20th century Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke, also presented a few new tunes from its up-and-coming Long Knives Drawn, which will be released Jan. 21, 2003. 

Rainer Maria fans in need of new music before then should be glad to pick up the band's new three-song EP Ears Ring, which hits stores Nov. 19.

The audience scrunched tightly together, its members smiling big with hands in the air during Rainer Maria's set.

All three bands' clear enthusiasm for playing and love for the audience made the show one of Houston's best ever. 

"We love Houston," bassist and vocalist Caithlin De Marrais said after playing her first couple of tunes. 

The crowd cheered in appreciation.

Each band had something distinctly different from the others to offer the fans, and they worked together to create a solid, memorable show. For more information on the bands, go to, and

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