Rilo Kiley Shakes 'The Moneymaker'

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Rilo Kiley checks out darker territory on their new album, Under the Blacklight.

Los Angeles-based quintet, Rilo Kiley, has played twang-inflected indie rock and puzzled tongues with its curiously catchy name since 1998. Some band members claim the name has no meaning, while others say it was derived from dream sequences. An article in Performer magazine from 2001 reports the name honors two exiled, gay, high school football players, Ben Rilo and Stephen Kiley, who committed suicide in 1909 on the railroad tracks just outside their Midwest town.

Someone ought to make a movie about that!

Hollywood happens to provide the backdrop for Rilo Kiley’s fourth full-length album, Under the Blacklight, to be released by Warner Bros. records on August 21. Their first effort since the acclaimed More Adventurous in 2004, the 11 tracks present a musical departure that explores the seedier side of L.A. life with “the blood of Fleetwood Mac, early Heart and The Rolling Stones’ 1978 dancefloor masterpiece ‘Miss You’ pumping through its veins,” according to the band.

This week, Rilo Kiley unveiled the video for Under the Blacklight’s lead single, “The Moneymaker.” Here, stripped-down funk supplies a soundtrack for an itty bitty thump of a glimpse into the porn industry. Just don’t let the scantily clad women with frightened expressions at the outset trick you into thinking this is an American Apparel advertisement.

Get a peek inside “The Moneymaker” after the jump!

The long, 12-minute version of “The Moneymaker” video, which you can catch here, features a deluge of interviews with porn stars before the music even begins after the nine minute mark. Personalities appearing in this extended foreplay include Tommy Gunn, Faye Runaway, King James, and Starlet, who says she likes to film girl-on-girl action because “the pace is good.” Actors talk about what brought them to the business, how they approach same-sex scenarios, and what it’s like to explain their careers to significant others. Not surprisingly, most of them reveal they are single.

As for the music of “The Moneymaker,” the strutting tune finds front woman Jenny Lewis, a former child actor, in an unbearably sultry performance. Still, the body of the song sounds spare, even naked like a porn star, in comparison to more robust funk and soul originals of the 1970s. Perhaps the next single, “Breakin’ Up,” will offer more satisfaction. Rilo Kiley bills that one as a deceptively catchy and upbeat kiss off to a discarded lover.

Until then, this shorter version of “The Moneymaker” video is also available: