Capturing Moods

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Capturing Moods
Artist Rilo Kiley
Published 2002-10-??
Composer Jenny Lewis, Blake Sennett
Genre Indie pop
Themes Adventure, Love, Nostalgia, Redemption, Self-loathing, Strong woman
Rating Rating-8.svg

Capturing Moods is an indie rock song by Rilo Kiley, first released in October 2002 as track five on the album The Execution of All Things. The song was composed by Jenny Lewis and Blake Sennett. On the album recording, Lewis sings vocals with backup vocals by Sennett, Sennett plays guitar, Pierre de Reeder plays keyboards, Jason Boesel plays drums, Lewis plays bass guitar, Rick Ricker plays french horn, Gretta Cohn plays cello, and Amy Huffman plays violin.

To me the lyrics sound like Jenny is singing about a man who wasn't willing to commit to her. She tries to build up city life in order to convince him to move to be with her, but the man is hesitant. Jenny explains that she's willing to wait for him to make up his mind, even if it means wasting her life away, and even braving the coldest winter of their time (perhaps this is the same man she was dating in Michigan, where the winter's get pretty bad?). However, the man refuses with arguments of ever-decreasing quality (can't afford then rent? sell your baseball cards!), so, finally Jenny has enough and says she also doesn't mind racing through their breakup. I've heard an interpretation that assumed the song is meant to be sarcastic, and, rather than Jenny saying she doesn't mind waiting, only to change her mind later, she's pointing out that, she's not going to waste her life waiting for this man. One other alternate interpretation I've heard is that the song is meant to be romantic and Jenny really doesn't mind wasting her life away on this person because she's just that devoted. However, I think this interpretation ignores the "last line of defense" and "racin' through our good-byes" lyrics.


I really like Jenny's vocals in this song. There is a patheticness to her voice as she explains how she's willing to wait, give up the best years of her life, and brave the coldest winter to be with someone who doesn't seem that intent on being with her. The cello at the beginning of the song helps set the mood, and I like how the guitar becomes distorted later in the song as things become more pathetic. Despite the sobering topic, the sound of the song is really quite uplifting (a typical juxtaposition with the band).


Moods don't command you
If you don't know what you're going through.
There's love for you up where the population grows.

There's friendly people in cities too,
Just ask them where they are going to.
There's life and work up where the clouds meet the snow.

And I don't mind waiting...

I'm always one step ahead of you
If you don't know what you're going through.
There's laughs and fun up where the conversation flows.

And I don't mind waitin' if it takes a long, long time.
And I don't mind bravin' the coldest winter of our time.
And I don't mind racin' through our goodbyes.

This is your last line of defense.
You could sell your baseball cards just to pay your rent, yeah.

I don't mind waitin' if it takes a long, long time.
And I don't mind wastin' the best years of our lives.
And I don't mind racin' through our goodbyes.


Album version.
Live at the Phoenix Center Theatre, Toronto, Canada on 2008-05-28.
Live in Austin, Texas on 2008-06-16.
Live at Toad's Place, Richmond, Virginia on 2008-06-08.
Live at 9:30 Club in Washington D.C.