Sunday, March 30, 2008

Jose Gonzalez & Mia Doi Todd 3.24.08

I haven't really had the opportunity to sit and write over the past week, and to be completely honest, I kinda lost my desire to write even when the opportunity presented itself. It's nothing permanent, just a little bored of myself, if that makes sense. But I did get to see some fantastic shows last week, so the least I can do is post about them.

Monday I was still coming off of being sick over the weekend, and I wish I'd called in sick to work because my day didn't really get better. By the end of the day, I was wiped out, but I had Jose Gonzalez to look forward to. I decided to invite Daye as my plus one, mostly because he always puts me in a good place and he can also tolerate my grumpy days with a smile and a reality check.

The listing for the show said 6:30, but when we got there they had pushed it back about an hour, so we chilled outside till doors opened. I had a "photo pass" but there was no actual pass, or security, for that matter, so we were lucky we were still able to find some seats up front. We realized however, that the seats were probably left open because the lighting was really bright and pointed directly in our faces. We decided to endure anyway, though I was worried I wouldn't be able to work out photos with my camera. I'd never been to the Women's Club, but the stage reminded me a lot of my elementary school auditorium, complete with plastic folding chairs. When we arrived there weren't too many people outside, so I guess the late start was a good thing because the room eventually filled up, so much so that people were bringing in some of the patio furniture from the outside to provide more space.

Fortunately, when Mia Doi Todd came out her chair was directly between us and the light, so it actually resulted in some okay photos considering how big the stage was and how far they were, even from us in the front row.

I didn't know anything about Mia other than a friend telling me just before the show that she sounded like Joni Mitchell. A lot of singers get the Joni Mitchell comparison, but this was the most dead on deserving "sounds like", which at times is a pure compliment, but as Joni Mitchell is for me, sometimes drones on for a little too long. All in all, however, I thought she gave a great performance. Although, she had a song that she said was called "Esperar es caro" and said that meant "To wait is to care." Unless I misunderstood her pronunciation of the title, I believe that actually means "To wait is expensive" which changes the whole meaning.

There was a brief intermission while the stage was rearranged, so I introduced myself to a couple people up front and center, and said I'd be taking a couple pics for the first few songs and they were cool and said I wouldn't be in the way. I thought I'd be a little less familiar with Jose's material, but I forgot how much I listened to Veneer and In Our Nature in the past.

Jose's stage demeanor, like his music, is quiet, unassuming, very steady. He opened by explaining, "My parents are from Argentina. I am from Sweden. And now I'm in San Diego." He played a long beauiful set, at times alone, and at times backed by a percussionist and apparently his girlfriend. She was really the only unnecessary part of the set, sometimes clinking a cowbell, sometimes adding in hand claps, and sometimes with inaudible backing vocals. I'll come back to that. The other percussionist was awesome, by the way. He played bongos and sang some as well, but Daye and I really loved the way he stomped on an empty guitar case for a bass drum sound.

He covered some new material, but my standout moments were "Hearbeats", "Lovestain", and "Cycling Trivialities". He played a long set, I counted somewhere around 16 songs, though I didn't keep an official setlist. For the encore, his girlfriend came back out and tried playing an instrument...a melodica?...not sure what it's called, but basically she didn't know how to play it, he had to slow down the song he was playing for her to get the part, and the audience clapped and laughed like it was the cutest thing. Daye and I were annoyed. Keep your girlfriend off the stage if she can't perform. Seriously. But for one small complaint, the show was awesome. For the last song, everyone came out, including Mia and her percussionist and sealed a nearly flawless night.

My mood had certainly changed, too, which for me, reiterated the transformative power of music and the escapism it can provide. The show ended a little after 10, and Daye and I were starving. We drove around checking to see if Mandarin House was open, then Dao Son, then drove by a couple other places, finally trying Brian's, but even they were closing up, so we drove up to Studio Diner. I can't believe it wasn't the first place to come to mind because it kicks ass. We shared the mac n cheese, Daye had a club and I had the sliders. It was a great night of music capped off with a great cheap dinner with a great friend.


Daye619 said...

Thx for taking me to the show Rosey.

johanna said...

Hej Dip,
She is Jose's partner but even more she's is the lead vocalist and song writer of Little Dragon, Yukimi Nagano. Check out the music and maybe you will keep you ignorant comments to yourself. In Europe, we know who she is.

Rosemary Bystrak said...

I am familiar with Little Dragon. It doesn't erase the fact that when she played with Jose, she sucked. Let me remind you that you are posting YOUR ignorant comments on MY blog, so you can just suck a fat one.