体育投注平台Earlier in the summer, Jenny Lewis, the singer and songwriter, performed her new song “Wasted Youth” on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” She and her band wore a matching getup of white Nikes and Mets-blue sweatpants and sweatshirts, chests adorned with an image of a skull smoking a joint. The look said stoner slumber party meets cult of Heaven’s Gate. So did the song, maybe. The next afternoon, Lewis was still in her blue sweats, drinking natural wine and picking at a plate of cooked carrots at Café Mogador, in the East Village. “I’m proudly wearing my own merchandise,” she said. She had reddish bangs and serious eyelashes.
Mogador had been her food go-to when, a few years ago, she’d lived in a nearby apartment that belonged to Annie Clark, who records as St. Vincent体育投注平台. (“They have the world’s crunchiest salad,” Lewis said a few times, with a giggle that suggested it was an old inside joke.) She had fled Los Angeles, her lifelong home, to get away from some “post-breakup vibes,” and had found rejuvenation in the company of her friend Tennessee Thomas, who had a little shop, on First Avenue, called the Deep End Club. “I went there every day,” Lewis said. “It was a space for young women to come hang. Make friendship bracelets, register to vote, whatever.” She and Thomas and another friend formed a one-off low-fi band that they named Nice as Fuck. They wrote an album in the shop. “I was channelling whatever you’re channelling when you’re turning forty and in a new city and out in the world for the first time,” she said.
Her latest record, “On the Line,” which features guest work by Beck, Don Was, Jim Keltner, Ryan Adams体育投注平台, and Ringo Starr (who showed up in the studio one day), channels, among other things, the recent death of her mother, from whom she’d been estranged for twenty years. Liver cancer, hepatitis C. Her mother had been a longtime heroin addict. Her father was never around. The two met at an audition in Las Vegas and, in the seventies, formed a lounge act called Love’s Way.
“Harmonica, drum machine, bass guitar,” Lewis said. “They lived in hotels, paid in cash. They were doing live covers of the songs of the day. Sonny & Cher, the Carpenters. Family bands, man! That shit is bananas. I come from a family band. My dad was a virtuoso harmonica player. He could play Brahms on a chromatic harmonica. His story is interesting, in a ‘Big Fish’ kind of way. I don’t really know what’s true, but, in a way now, it doesn’t matter. According to my grandmother, there was a program at the end of the Second World War where you could basically check your kids into an orphanage and join the workforce, so my father lived in an orphanage in Philadelphia while my grandmother worked. She was a Busby Berkeley dancer. My grandfather was a Golden Gloves boxer who got into vaudeville. He had an act with Bert Lahr, and when Bert Lahr blew up my grandfather was very bitter about it. Supposedly. He ended up working in the crime world and going to jail, I don’t know where. Never met him, don’t even know his name. So my father was in this orphanage, and there was a famous harmonica school there. He wound up going on the road as a little guy, a harmonica prodigy. He never drove a car, didn’t have a bank account, sort of lived in his own twilight. For a while, he was in a prison in central California. Just something silly. Fraud or something. A lot of my family has gone to prison or jail. My mom was at Linwood when Lindsay Lohan was in there.”
Lewis grew up in the Valley, amid the turmoil of her mother’s addictions. When she was three, she began acting. Ads, then TV shows, then film. At ten, she played Lucille Ball’s granddaughter in thirteen episodes of “Life with Lucy.” “We were on welfare, and it pulled us out of poverty,” she said. “It was too much money, it turned out.”
Her music career, anyway, has been just modest enough to be survivable. “Any other trajectory, and I would have spiralled out on drugs. The access体育投注平台. I never got invited to an orgy. In my entire life, not one goddam orgy invitation. And that says something about me.”
体育投注平台“Does everyone else get invited to orgies?” she was asked.
“They must, because orgies happen.”
Lewis doggie-bagged her food and headed for another favorite haunt, Flower Power Herbs & Roots. At the counter, she asked for a potion she’d got there before, called Come to Me Oil. The cashier said they were out: “The owner makes it on an astrological timetable. It’s an amplifier, a manifestation aid.”
体育投注平台“I think I manifested Ringo with the Come to Me Oil,” Lewis said. “I wore it with romantic intentions, but those got crossed with the Ringo intentions.” ♦