To celebrate the 10th anniversary of her debut album Rabbit Fur Coat, Jenny Lewis preformed three nights at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles last night. M. Ward warmed up the concrete cathedral as fans of all ages filed into the pews. The high wood backs and short wooden armrests divide each pew into individual seats without much wiggle room. Clearly most services held here demand sitting up straight, keeping to yourself, and facing forward. How fitting then, after M. Ward disappeared and the lights lowered after the intermission — (Where is that singing coming from?) down the aisle from behind the congregation, holding a candle each, Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins in-tow sang “Run Devil Run.” You could have heard a hypocritical priest slipping a crumpled dollar bill in his robes.
An album with themes of faith that speaks to prayer and the devil performed in a church? I’m in. Listening to the album for the first time ever under these circumstances? Yup. Instead of soaking in the album beforehand so I could sing along, I chose to resist, chose to be baptized this time, this time in a rabbit fur coat. With stained glass Jesus illuminated high above the alter, I worshiped this goddess of swag folk as she sang, “I’m not betting on the afterlife.”
When I came out to my catholic parents, they embraced me with open arms.
When I told my catholic parents I wasn’t sure I believed in god, it challenged our relationship.
When I experienced Rabbit Fur Coat in a church, the interaction between the music and the setting stunned me into silent reflection. This album is about much more than faith in something high above. It’s about faith in oneself and the faith we put in others. I’m betting on my relationships with family and friends. I believe in the inter- and intrapersonal work. I believe if we show reverence in community, we can save each other.