I did get a chance to see Joel P West soundcheck and heard some of his set and all I could think was, where have I been? A local musician with incredible songwriting skills and music that reminded me in many ways of Bright Eyes and Colin Meloy. As we listened to the soundcheck the bar staff seemed to stop dead in their tracks to take in the band, too. I got the chance to talk to Joel and Kenny on the patio, and they gave me a CD that has been on heavy rotation for me ever since. He also talked to me about his current project, where anyone can submit art, poetry, writing or anything else in exchange for his last album download. You can read all about the Dust Jacket Project here. And while you're at it, check out the band's amazing Daytrotter session here. Joel and I also found out that we share a birthday, so there was an instant bond there, though I am much, much older.
After the show, Federico and Natalia hung out among the crowd and signed posters and CDs for everyone, and he was kind enough to hook me up with a CD and shirt as well. Working merch is always fun for me, but it's that much better when the musicians are cool and easy to work for. No telling when Federico will tour back through San Diego, but don't miss him if he does.