the joy formidable

divisidero (bokeh edition)

It's weird to think I'm at an age where it's normal to have had a friend for more than a decade. Liz and I were probably 13 or so when we met-- and here we are now, almost ten years later, going to concerts in the city together. It's pretty cool.

Seeing The Joy Formidable on Monday was unlike many concerts I've been to in the past two years: We showed up early but we didn't stand in line-- we ate dinner (Chelsey and Norris know this is unusual for me). When the doors opened, we went to go get coffee. We missed the first act and when we arrived, I wasn't allowed to take a single photo with my camera.

At first it was a "kill me now" kind of feeling. Concert photography was the first kind of photography I'd ever been interested in. Capturing musical performance in photo-form is an indescribable feeling to me. And there I was, holding my camera but unable to take a single photo. (Some bouncer named Wayne took my battery and memory card from me.)

I suppose I should thank Wayne, though. This is one of the few concerts I've been (almost*) completely unplugged at. It's different seeing things with your eyes and not through a lens. It's weightless and in-the-moment.

And The Joy Formidable gave one hell of a performance.

the joy formidable

*almost unplugged except for these terrible Instagrams.

courtney marie andrews

courtney marie andrews

A few months ago, I saw Jimmy Eat World and on stage with them was Courtney Marie Andrews. I didn't know who she was at the time, but after saying hello post-concert and looking up her music afterward, I wrote to her to see if I could catch her before she left San Francisco.

courtney at little bird
on the rocks
sutro baths

Some things to know about Courtney:

She's from Phoenix. She wrote her first song when she was 14 and began touring at 17. This past summer, she toured Europe with just two backpacks and her guitar. She recorded live performances in Cologne and the Paris Montmartre cemetery. She's her own manager and books gigs herself. Her dream tour would consist of smaller, seated venues and her friends The Pioneers of Primetime TVopening for her. She just began her 2012 American tour and is probably coming to a city near you (and if she's not, she's open to requests).

I recommended her latest album in the newest issue of The Violet (p. 23) because I think her music is truly beautiful. It's honest and delicate and poetic.

This was the first song I fell in love with but it was only a matter of time before I couldn't choose a favorite.

sara fucking bareilles

talk to the hand

Sara Bareilles is the kind of artist that can tell you what your heart is feeling before you know how to say it yourself.

During my last quarters of college, Uncharted seemed to be on repeat because I had no idea what was ahead of me. King of Anything, Machine Gun and That Guy's An Asshole all seem to be the best way to tell rude people to STFU. And Hold My Heart is what I believe my heart would sound like in music form. I went to see Sara with Norris and while we waited in line we met the sweetest, funniest new friends. It's funny how music can do that. It's so personal but so universal.

If you haven't heard any of her music, here's an a cappella version of her song Gravity. You guys, this girl is the shit.

PS - That night, she debuted her new song That Guy's An Asshole. She printed out the chorus and passed it along to the audience so we could sing along. I don't admire Sara because she cusses a lot, but rather, I admire her because she's not afraid to. Freedom with words! Delicate ears, be warned: it's perfectly cathartic.

chorus to

See more photos from the concert here.

goodbye, summer

summer beginnings
san francisco
highway 1
santa cruz

This title hardly seems fair considering the Bay Area has had some of its warmest weather all summer this week (yes, at the end of September). These holgas accumulated before I left for Europe and were left forgotten until this very evening.

Funny Face at the Stanford Theatre, an almost indiscernible double-exposure of my beloved Stevenson Coffee House, San Francisco, Highway 1 and Santa Cruz with David.

They're little things, but they mean a lot.


A little week-end summary:

I hereby declare next week, October 3rd-7th, Danish Food Week on the blog. (Or else when am I ever going to finish these travel posts?)

After seven years of waiting, I saw one of my beloved bands live for the first time.

Did I tell you I started a new internship? With a website dedicated to California food experiences?

Here's my first write-up for Epicuring. (It includes an amazing Chartreuse cocktail)!

AT&T surprised us with a $36 "activation fee" when we got new internet for our house. When I called them, they credited the amount back to us without any hassle. No link here, just a little story of kindness. Did something nice happen to you this week?

And beyond all these wonderful little things, one of my highlights of this week was meeting Courtney Marie Andrews (interview coming soon!).

I can't get this song out of my head (in the good way). Proceed with caution (but do proceed, it's so worth it).

jimmy eat world at the catalyst

jimmy eat world

I'm going to briefly interrupt my Denmark posts for a little summary of the best concert of my life. When I was a little high school sophomore, Danny gave me my first Jimmy Eat World cd. And since Futures, I haven't looked back.

sound check

After listening to them (constantly) for almost seven years now, I still hadn't seen them in concert. I'd never seen a music video, read an interview, or seen any photos of them. Ever. Everything I knew about the band I knew only from their music. I didn't have a face to place with the voice-- I didn't know any of their names.

My love for them was purely based on their music and the memories I associated with their songs.

So when Norris and I got in line early to see them this past Saturday, my heart welled up as I heard them start their sound check before the show. The Catalyst is pretty small, and the staff are really laid back so I was able to sneak a peek of the band before the show started.

Then, after the opening band finished and the guys walked on stage, my heart did all kinds of somersaults. This was seven years of built up anticipation. Sometimes, when you see or hear bands live, you realize it's not the same music you fell in love with.

Jimmy Eat World met and exceeded my expectations beyond what I could have ever imagined. The moment I heard the opening chords to "Work" and "Hear You Me" I was at a loss after realizing how much these little songs meant to me. They were excellent performers (even when someone threw a bra at Jim) and I've never felt such contentment just standing (and dancing), soaking up words and melodies. Maybe I'm biased. Maybe I'm just nostalgic. But I'd accuse Jimmy Eat World of stealing my heart if I didn't still feel it so fully in my chest.

And after the concert, I met every member of the band-- along with Courtney who did back up vocals-- introducing myself and learning their names for the first time (although it's pretty bad I didn't realize Jim's name was Jim before I met him)!

Click here to see more photos from the concert.