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Testify - Sarah Jaffe

Submitted by RamonLP4 on July 6, 2011 – 9:30 amOne Comment

Sarah Jaffe (Photo: Chris Phelps)

Leon casino,  Denton, TX has always held a certain charm when it comes to musicians and Sarah Jaffe is no exception.  Her melodic music and rich voice have fragile human quality that lofts in the air like a feather gently falling.  With a a full length and an now a new EP,Sarah Jaffe returns  to Houston this Friday with fellow Dentonites Centro-Matic.  We caught up with her on the road for a quick round of questions in anticipation of her performance. 

FPH - You’re from Denton. Denton’s always had a pretty neat little music scene. How if at all did the scene there influence you and what are some bands or artists that you really enjoy from your hometown we should check out?

Jaffee -Denton has everything to do with where I am now. It has been a huge pivotal point in my life musically. I met a lot of my band there. For as small of a town it is, it’s full of gifted and wonderful musicians. Midlake, Robert Gomez, Centro-matic. There’s a huge list. And they’re all incredibly gracious musicians. There’s no ego in Denton. Just really good people and great music.

FPH - You’ve done two music videos (not including live performances and the like).  One is very simple while the other is quite heavily produced.  I’m curious to know what you think about the impact of videos on a song and how they can impose certain images and ideas on top of the song that can often conflict with people’s previous personal interaction with a a song.

Jaffe -I think a video can impact a song just as much as a song can impact someone on its own. Thinking about the songs that I’ve loved and the videos for them, it never changed what I thought of the song. But it did impress on me the artists perspective, and style. I think that’s incredibly important.

FPH - You have a lot lyrics that seem to deal with insecurity, heartbreak, and the like that give the songs a very fragile quality. What draws you to those themes and why do you think they resonate so well with people?

Jaffee - I think as a songwriter it’s impossible to steer clear of those themes. Those things are a giant part of life and growing up. It’s something that everyone has been through.

FPH - When you sit down to write a song how does that process go?

Jaffee - Whether I’m writing melody or lyrics first it’s always on impulse. I don’t really have a strategy. Although, at times, I do think it’s helpful to detach or isolate yourself from society for a little bit. Travelling usually causes some creativity as well.

FPH - You’ve done a lot of touring it seems and that means that you play a lot of the same songs over and over again every night. How do you approach the same song after playing it so many times where it still has emotional weight for you and also what ultimately do you want to communicate to people through those songs?

Jaffee -When you bring those songs to a crowd of people, however big or small the crowd, there’s an entirely different energy to each song all of a sudden. If I were singing these older songs to myself every night, then I’d have some serious trouble feeling emotionally attached to them..but because I know that they are new to most I have, thankfully, never felt detached from a song. I think reliving a song is apart of live performance.

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Friday June 8 Sarah Jaffe performs with Centro-Matic @ Fitzgeralds $10, all ages, Doors 8pm

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