Your bandmate Jenny Lewis was born in Las Vegas and lived here until she was three ... does she have friends or family here that you guys visit when you play here?
I don’t think she still has friends or family there. Her parents were in a Vegas lounge act entitled Love’s Way, but I don’t think she had roots there. I actually have family there—my sister lives in Vegas and has two children, but the only time we’ve played there [opening for Coldplay in 2005] I didn’t really get to see them. It was a bit hectic. And this time I think we have a show the next day so we probably won’t have much time again. But that’s okay ... Vegas makes me feel overwhelmed and terrified. It’s a little much for me: the people, the desperation, the sleepiness, the pawn shops, the sound of the roulette wheel. That’s sad to me.
Has anything of significance changed for the band since signing with Warner Bros. for latest album Under the Blacklight?
They’ve interfered a lot less in the studio and let us really have our way, which is interesting to me. Maybe the major labels assume that indies are like that so they want to be as pleasant to deal with as indies, and in the end, because they’re trying to act so carefully, they end up being much more reasonable and enjoyable to deal with than other labels we’ve been on.
A Minnesota judge just ordered an alleged music file-sharer to pay $222,000 in damages for violating the copyright on 24 songs. Do you have a strong opinion about file-sharing and how it might affect your band’s fortunes?
Two hundred thousand dollars for 24 songs? That’s bullshit. That seems really lame to me. Modern technology has changed things, and that’s all right. My favorite new band—Grand Ole Party—I wouldn’t have heard about if it weren’t for the Internet. So you take the good with the bad. Records are still sold, but just not as many, which, in the end, changes the industry, I’m told. And selling records does help you to make a living, but it’s not our primary focus.
With The Bird and the Bee, Grand Ole Party. October 13, 8 p.m., $17. The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, 693-5066.
Long before forming Rilo Kiley or appearing in 1998’s Pleasantville, Las Vegas-born Jenny Lewis was the child actress all the boys loved and the girls wanted to be (seriously, we had a club).
The Golden Girls, 1987 (Daisy) In the episode entitled “Old Friends,” Blanche accidentally gives away Rose’s teddy bear, Fernando, to charity. Sunshine Cadet Daisy promptly holds Fernando hostage at (water)gunpoint when she realizes the bear’s emotional value.
Jenny’s highlight moment: Blanche: “I’m going to call the School for Bad Girls, and they will come and pick you up, and put you in a sack, and take you away, and you will never eat ice cream or play jump rope again!” Daisy: “Get real, Grandma!”
Troop Beverly Hills, 1989 (Hannah Nefler) Robin “It’s khaki wishes and cookie dreams!” Leach makes a cameo appearance in this modern classic about a spoiled Wilderness Girls troop, their ditzy leader and the group’s self-affirming journeys through both the woods and the wilds of Rodeo Drive.
Jenny’s highlight moment: Hannah harnesses her mad balance-beamin’ skillz to cross a treacherous ravine via strategically placed log.
The Wizard, 1989 (Haley) A tough-talking Reno kid who wears work boots with floral overall-shorts, Haley hitchhikes through various desert towns with Fred Savage and his mute, younger half-brother/Nintendo prodigy before winning $50,000 at Universal Studios’ “Video Armageddon.”
Jenny’s highlight moment: Points at bad guy in casino arcade, screams, “That man touched my breast!” (He, in fact, had not.)