Since being laid off from my day job last year, my life has been almost strictly new chapters. Unemployment. Food Stamps. Booking shows at Columbia City Theater. Doing PR for Columbia City Theater. Trying to find a way to make money off Sound on the Sound while remaining true to our ideals and intentions (still haven’t figured that one out yet). Writing band bios and in the past doing PR for Youth Rescue Mission, Slack Fest and the High Dive. Cobbling together a living doing what I love and trying not to be consumed by what came next, when rent would be paid and trying to feel confident in the fact that with this uncertain time, something better would come to me. Something I would love and could do, not just for a paycheck, but for a living.
And I think I might have found it.
Today I’m pleased to share that I’m joining Lightness Management as a management associate. Lightness is Sarah Jurado and the clients she represents: Damien Jurado, Dolorean and Viva Voce. Sarah will be teaching me everything she knows about managing and tour-mom’ing bands and I’ll be learning if I like this side of the music industry, all the while supporting musicians whose careers I already feel personally invested in. Lightness was formed “with the idea that one can remain an enthusiastic music fan while working within the industry.” And if I’m going to be “within the industry,” that’s the only way I want to do it.
Because of the conflict of interest in writing about clients, I won’t be covering Damien, Dolorean or Viva Voce here on Sound on the Sound, except to maybe tell you I’m listening to them a lot in monthly round ups, because I don’t imagine that changing. Other writers on the site, if inspired by these artists output, will continue to cover them. I tell you these things because I think you come to Sound on the Sound because you trust us as fellow enthusiastic fans and because you know what you’re getting here is what we love and nothing else.
I couldn’t be more excited to be working with Sarah and Lightness. When I first started writing Sound on the Sound I said it was “living a little part of the big dream.” I never knew what that big dream was. I’m still not sure I do, but I feel like I’m living more and more of it every day and I see Lightness being a huge part of that.
Last Friday Damien Jurado played a rare Seattle show to a packed house at the Sunset Tavern. That evening Damien treated the audience to new and old favorites alike, from Caught in the Trees, his forthcoming Secretly Canadian album Saint Bartlett, and three new songs that he has (or will be) featuring on his myspace in his new song a week challenge.
Listen to “Arkansas” the first single off of Saint Bartlett courtesy of Secretly Canadian
I recorded my favorite of Damien’s newest new songs, “You For A While” and am so pleased to share the first video of the track here with you. After leaving the sold-out Sunset, I realized there were some long forgotten and never uploaded videos of Damien from last fall’s “Show Me Your Tiffs” opening party of two of my favorite tracks from the brilliant Caught in the Trees: “Sheets” and “Everything Trying.” “Everything Trying” even features a little cameo of Damien’s wife, local photographer extraordinaire Sarah Jurado, helping him remember the first few words to the song. It was one of my favorite musical moments of last year and I’m so glad I caught it on camera.
Damien will be releasing a new song on his myspace tomorrow, the sold-out Sunset got a preview of it last Friday and I promise that you’ll be wanting to stop by his myspace for a listen. If you weren’t able to make last Friday’s show (or if you’re like me and you saw Damien last Friday and then again on Sunday and still can’t get enough), you can see catch him with brother Drake, this Friday as they celebrate the record release of their side-project, Hoquiam.
Damien and Sarah Jurado ::: photo by Abbey Simmons
I am ashamed to admit as a local music lover that I had completely missed (one might even say avoided) Damien Jurado until this year. Or at least I thought I had. Unbeknownst to me I had actually been singing along to a Damien’s song “Gillian Was a Horse” on KEXP in the car for the better part of year and loving it. Thing is, for reasons also not known to me, I thought it was a Spoon song. In fact, it was my very favorite Spoon song.
My case of mistaken identity was exposed this fall when I sheepishly told Josh I didn’t think I would know a Damien Juardo song if I heard one. “Of course you would,” he said as he went to my iTunes. On came the familiar strums of Gillian Was a Horse. I start humming along immediately. “I love this song. This is a Damien Jurado song?” I ask with embarrassment and reddening realization. We listened to Caught In The Trees probably three times that night and I’ve done the same many days since. My embarrassment that I would mistake Damien’s dangerously confessional songs for the light-heartedness of Spoon has grown with every listen. So has my fondness for the album. Caught In The Trees isn’t from 2009, but it’s definitely one of my favorite albums of the year. There are few finer soundtracks for gray rainy mornings, your headphones, and a strong pot of coffee.
I got to see Damien for the first time this Fall where I snapped this photo of him on stage, with his equally gifted wife Sarah looking on lovingly. It captures a moment that seems intensely intimate, just like Damien’s songs do. The photo conveys what the music is and what it makes me feel. For me, that’s the ultimate goal for any concert photo I take. And that’s why this isn’t just one of my favorite photos of 2009, it’s one of my favorite photos ever.