Posts tagged ‘music’

My Latest Musical Obsession: Sarah Jaffe

Photo by Melanie Gomez

When you catch yourself singing in the shower or humming on the bus to some song most people have never heard, then you know it’s love.

My latest musical obsession is with Sarah Jaffe, a Texas singer/songwriter with a beautiful voice and brilliant songs that have transfixed me so much that I think I’ve worn out my repeat button.

I’m not even sure how I found out about Sarah, I’m just glad I did. Recently, I caught Sarah performing during sxsw in Austin. And the key here was to hunt her down at her church show at St. David’s Historic Sanctuary. I couldn’t think of a more perfect setting. Despite inital troubles finding the door to the church (what? you can’t enter through the front??) I finally made my way inside the darkened sanctuary and settled onto a hard wooden pew.

Sarah was supported by a band of multi-instrumentalists on viola, electric guitar, bass, drums, and accordion. The band sounded wonderful and they complemented Sarah without ever overpowering her. Because really it’s Sarah’s voice that is special. It is vulnerable and strong all at the same time. At times she practically whispers, gently plucking the strings of her guitar. She draws you in, builds things up, and reaches a driving crescendo that soars to the rafters.

Her soulful melodies and lyrics were given new meaning at the sxsw church show. I’ve listened to Sarah’s music over and over again, but at the church her EP title track “Even Born Again” really gave me goosebumps.

We’re all orphans
I think our hearts just feed
and when death (dies to us?)
it becomes this deed
and I would gladly die for you
selfishly but willingly
I’m even born again

I know I’m gushing here, but I really am smitten and I expect big things from Sarah Jaffe. She spent the beginning of 2010 touring around the US and UK with Midlake. Most recently she has been opening for Norah Jones.

Her first full-length album, “Suburban Nature” is due out on Dallas’ Kirtland Records this spring (in stores May 18).

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March 26, 2010 at 5:33 am 2 comments

Let it Begin

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The music portion of South by Southwest 2009 has official begun. However, I really wouldn’t know, since I had to work today. While many attendees had fun drinking free beer and listening to tunes at some free day shows today, I was stuck writing about lasers. Oh, well.

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I was able to pick up my wristband yesterday. After scoring a primo parking spot near the convention center I found my way to Exhbit Hall 4 where they were dispensing the little pieces of plastic. When I arrived some volunteer informed me, “the system is down,” and it had been for like 30 minutes. There was a line, but I wasn’t going to waste that awesome parking spot for nothing. So I decided to wait. Before I know it, the system got back to running and the line began moving swiftly.

line to get sxsw wristbands 3/17/09

line to get sxsw wristbands 3/17/09

I must say that the wristbands are a lot more futuristic looking this year. At first glance they look more like a funky slap bracelet, than a run of the mill festival wristband. They are mustard yellow with green, black, and white holographic images. When I turn my wrist a certain way the images change. Pretty neat.

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Although I missed all the day shows today, I do plan to venture out tonight (after a quick disco nap). My plan is to take the bus downtown (parking and driving sucks this time of year) and go see a few bands. First up is the Thrift Store Cowboys. A couple of the guys in the band actually went to my high school. This is pretty amazing since there were only like 50 people in my high school. These guys are awesome and I always make a point of seeing them when they are in town. They have to be the coolest people to ever graduate from Borden County (besides me of course).

Later tonight I hope to catch The Seedy Seeds and The Decemberists.

Stay tuned for more sxsw play-by-play action.

March 18, 2009 at 11:46 pm 1 comment


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