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Smoke detector

January 16, 2008

Rilo Kiley“Smoke Detector”

In honor of the last post, here is, perhaps, a song to celebrate some of these very sentiments. Of parading and strutting (and then promising yourself that you will never, ever, ever wear those shoes to work again because by its end you are essentially too worried about showing your grimace to be feeling confident and beautiful), and knowing that a little effort goes a long way when you have the proper attitude to back it up.

I listened to this while walking to work in those new shoes, before the pain had sunk its terrible claws deep in my skin. Loving the way heels made me stand up straighter, taller, and smile a little brighter. Loving the feeling that in the style-deprived San Diego, I am finally confident enough to be wearing a relatively dressy outfit on a casual day for no other reason than the fact that I like it, and it makes me happy. Loving that the bounce in my step matched with the bounce in the song. Loving that I could pretend to be the same girl Jenny Lewis sung about, the one who was a danger to the smoke detector.

It’s not the best song from Under the Blacklight, and not my favorite. It lacks the groovy pop sensibilities of “Breakin’ Up” or country tinged yet oh so good “Fifteen,” it certainly doesn’t resemble Rilo Kiley’s old work. I never even really liked Rilo Kiley, up until I saw them live and begin to realize, little by little, how easy to love and replay some of their songs were. And as far as songs to pretend I’m on the runway to, or songs I want to be dancing to on the street, it doesn’t have the hip jerk and sway of Spoon’s “Don’t You Evah” or the sexy glamor of a Goldfrapp song. But for some reason, the subtle yet sweet, suggestive but innocent lyrics and the catchy pop melody seemed far more fitting than anything else.

Part of it probably is just Jenny Lewis, and her pretty indie rock-girl-next-door appeal, and part of it may just be my inexplicable sudden obsession with certain random songs, but as I met every stranger’s eye with a smile (something I try to do at all times) and realized that my fashion sense was something to celebrate, not to be afraid of, it was perfect. And sometimes, that’s all that you can ask of a song.

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