We were supposed to leave for NZ at the end of October, but stayed through the 3rd so we could catch Malian singer Rokia Traoré and her sweet, super tight band at the SF Jazz Fest. Seemed like an appropriate bookend to our San Francisco existence, since that’s where Scott and I spent our first date, too…
As soon as they started playing Amour:
…I was immediately reminded of this Khruangbin song:
As is frequently the case, the studio versions of both pale in comparison to the energy and complexity of the live performances
; we caught Khruangbin at our last show at the Independent with Peter on the Autumn Equinox, and Laura Lee told a funny story about the origins of the song, about a calf they met on tour that was “Still Alive” when they passed through the next year, despite their fears of a more sinister potential end for the beast. (The venue, the date, and the company of that show were also all of particular significance in the arc of our relationship, and I seriously miss that place, and the always-game Peter!)
But I really want to do her justice, so here’s a little taste of Rokia Traoré that I believe far better captures what I witnessed of her bright, beautiful spirit.
The way she acknowledged everyone that contributed to the space we shared that night (her band, the audience, and everyone behind the scenes at the Jazz Center) made a lasting impression, so much so that I’ve insisted that we add credits at the end of my podcasts at work. That’s the highest form of honoring that I know: to change the way I show up in the world based upon the way someone has moved me.