DV presents Robyn at South Side Music Hall

Diamond Rings and Natalia Kills open. Click on the poster for show and ticket information.

—  Rich Lopez

Sarah, upside down

Buzz surrounds local musician Sarah Jaffe, but she’s ready to move on

RICH LOPEZ | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Going from playing smaller clubs like Dan’s Silverleaf and Club Dada, to selling out the Granada Theater last year, Sarah Jaffe’s star is on the rise. She gets a primo gig Saturday when she headlines at the Wyly Theatre in support of her 2010 full-length debut, Suburban Nature. After garnering attention for Nature locally and nationally (from the Dallas Observer to NPR), Jaffe wasn’t just a girl with a guitar — she unlocked yearning and pain with wisdom beyond her 25 years. Jaffe captures the poetry of life and love and sets it to music … even if she doesn’t mean to.

“I’ve never been a strategic writer and I’m thankful for that,” she says. “It comes out sporadically. There are those moment in life when I slow down and it’s just me being human and being alive and the writing is totally cathartic.”

Despite her ardent folk music and Joni-Mitchell-and-the-like upbringing (thank her parents), her musical affinity lies elsewhere.

“I love electronic music and I love making it. I’m obsessed with Robyn. I have this secret dream to be a choreographer because I legitimately love dancing. It makes me happy,” she gushes.

With big-time hype and attention, Jaffe is a contradiction to the ramping buzz about her work. She sounds like she wants a sensible perspective despite her self-proclaimed pessimism.

“I feel so lucky at this point. When people talk about you, it’s strange with even a small amount of success,” she says. “But there’s always some negativity. It’s a huge honor for people to recognize my work but I question myself. I’ve always been a cynic, but I guess I have a shitload to learn.”

Jaffe’s “small amount of success” has already been on the receiving end of the “is she or isn’t she” curiosity. She received accidental lesbian attention when AfterEllen.com included her in a travel destination piece on Dallas and, she surmises, the writer mistook her for Erase Errata’s Sara Jaffe. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise — it expanded her audience base.

“I do have a large lesbian following and it’s great anywhere it comes from,” she says. “Any sort of relating that anybody can get out of music is a wonderful thing.”

She’s learned quickly it comes with the territory, but it’s awkward for her nonetheless.

“It’s weird there’s this curiosity. Sexuality is gray for me but people are gonna talk about those things,” she says. “I’ve loved men and I’ve loved women but it’s more like I relate to a human connection. None of that matters to me.”

Jaffe’s just glad to get any person to her show as well as clean her slate. Despite the success of Nature, she’s ready to move on.

“I plan on an EP release this spring. They are all demos but I think there’s a charm in it,” she says. “I’m so proud of Suburban Nature, but the songs are like six or seven years old. And I’m chomping at the bit.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 11, 2011.

—  John Wright

Concert Notice: South Side Music Hall announces Robyn coming to town in February

The peeps at Gilley’s Music Complex scored a sweet show for their mid-size venue, the South Side Music Hall. They just announced that pop singer Robyn will perform at SSMH Feb. 18. So glad it’s in this room because it’s big enough to be a fab dance party, but not too big that you couldn’t see her up close. OK, if you’re in the waaay back, then it’s a bit far.

If you’ve been paying attention to Robyn, she’s finishing a trilogy of releases over the year with today’s release of Body Talk Pt. 3 or the kinda culminating full-length Body Talk. She released Body Talk Pt. 1 back in June and followed with  Pt. 2 in September. The first yielded the smash hit “Dancing On My Own,” which I’d dare to say is dance/pop at some of its smartest. The rest of the EP follows suit, especially after the bold opener “Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do.”  The entire album was an impressive display of writing and music that’s been a Euro-alternative to American pop princesses over the years from Britney to Beyonce to Gaga.

Tickets are $22 in advance and $25 at the door and go on sale Friday.

—  Rich Lopez