June 24, 2011

Sarah Jaffe



Even Born AgainI saw Sarah Jaffe in concert last night, the video above I shot along with two others. I embedded Even Born Again because it is the most indicative of the three to what you should expect with most of her music. It is the title track of her 2008 EP, which was recently reissued digitally and on CD. I was thrilled to pick up a vinyl copy of the EP, because (1) I had never heard the EP and had considered buying it on Amazon, (2) had no clue it even existed on vinyl, and can find no mention of the vinyl anywhere online, and (3) it is a limited edition dated 2009 and hand-numbered 251/500. The vinyl itself is a gorgeous earth-tones marble swirl.

Suburban NatureI became aware of Sarah Jaffe last spring with the released of her debut LP, Suburban Nature. I ranked it my #10 album of 2010. She blew away my expectations of what her concert would be like, as I assumed she would play solo with an acoustic guitar. Her studio tracks are relatively mellow, but live she rocked, partially due to a full backing band. She had a keyboardist, bassist, and drummer, all of whom also sang background vocals. I was surprised to see Jaffe switch instruments; first for the bass (as you will see in this video I filmed) and then for drums! (as you can see in this video I shot). I found an interview today from about six months ago about how last year she bought a bass and drum set with the intention of incorporating them into her live show.

Not only did the show rock more than I expected, it was much more quirky. The song she played drums on was a Harry Nilsson cover, Me and My Arrow. And then a couple of the newer songs she played were far more up-tempo and experimental than what she has released thus far. A Sucker for Your Marketing will be on an upcoming EP, set to release in August. (...Arrow and ...Marketing are the two other videos I shot.) Jaffe worked her own merch table and I was able to talk to her after the show. She said they are working on the finishing touches of the artwork for the new EP and then will have a release date.

Sarah was gracious, humble, and funny. She was able to perform for about 40 minutes as the opener for Centro-Matic. She played her most well-known song, Clementine, and here is a terrific live video of that song from earlier this year: Paste at SXSW: [Video] Sarah Jaffe :: Featured Videos

Lastly, I had not been the Earl since 1999, when I saw Luxury there. The venue leaves a lot to be desired. Number one, it is almost impossible to identify from the street. Secondly, after you find it, when you walk in, you assume you are in the wrong place because all you see is a restaurant. After you make your way to the back you will find yourself in a small, smoky room with poor lighting and poor sound. The Gum Creek Killers opened. I had never heard of them, they were good musicians but not my style. The crowd was surprisingly small, but did grow a little by the time Jaffe started. It was apparent that most of the people there were huge Centro-Matic fans. I had never even heard of the band until a month ago when I was researching this show. They have been around for over 15 years and have more than one release per year during that time. I was curious but only stayed for the first song as it was already 11:15 p.m.

Watch some other excellent Sarah Jaffe videos on Kirtland Records' Vimeo page.

Reactions: