On the way to releasing their major-label debut, Under the Blacklight (Warner Bros.), last summer, Rilo Kiley underwent a series of seismic shifts. The former indie stalwart quartet largely dropped their country-rock shtick in favor of a catalogue of vintage sounds centered in the rock-disco-new wave era of the 1980s, although also wandering back through the '70s with studied evocations of Fleetwood Mac, Linda Ronstadt, and, still further back, country thrush Bobbie Gentry (on the jailbait anthem "15"). Then, Jenny Lewis seemed to commandeer leadership of the band she once shared with ex-beau Blake Sennett. It's her vision and perspective that now dominates. And much of that is focused on the debauched underbelly of L.A. Many of Blacklight's songs revisit the Doors' L.A. woman, tarted up, struttin' her stuff, and negotiating the grotesquely splayed politics of sexuality, all while Lewis coos archly and the band tosses out craftily timeless hooks that lure the unsuspecting to the dance floor. Opening will be pop tunesmith Nik Freitas, whose sunny, understated tunes on his fourth album, Sun Down (Team Love), have earned well-deserved comparisons to vintage Pauls: McCartney and Simon. With the Spinto Band. 18+.
Thu., May 22, 5:30 p.m., 2008