This place was built for moving out :: VOTD

The Execution of All Things (live) :: Rilo Kiley
at Maryjanes in Houston on 11/16/02

The Execution of All Things is the title track of Los Angeles-based indie rock band Rilo Kiley’s second album. It was released as a single on September 22, 2003 via Saddle Creek.Rilo Kiley’s cover of The Velvet Underground’s After Hours appears as a b-side, as does a original track Emotional (Until Crickets Guide You Back).

Rolling Stone called the song “a checklist of modern destruction“, praising Lewis’ “girlish, ethereal voice that makes the band’s brutal vision all the more startling“.

The Execution Of All Things serves as a mission statement. In it, Lewis describes severing ties with her native California and relocating to Omaha, home of the band’s then label, Saddle Creek Records, to “work and exploit the booming music scene.” The singer’s exploitation comment is largely tongue in cheek; Omaha, after all, provided the group with a new environment full of like-minded musicians who valued artistic integrity over wealth, a far cry from the materialism and pretension so often associated with the Golden State.

At the outset of the track, Jenny, in her role as group general, assembles her troops, who adopt a take-no-prisoners approach and proceed to metaphorically execute all that lie in their path. “Let’s start with the bears and the air and mountains, rivers, and streams,” Lewis directs. “Then we’ll murder what matters to you and move on to your neighbors and kids.” This woman means business.

By track’s end, the narrative finds the singer facing off with a former flame. “It’s just you and me,” she intones in a manner that is at once hauntingly beautiful and terrifying.

Album version

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