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Swedish indie pop night at Bimbo's

Last Sunday night, I went to Bimbo's for the first time. It's quite a classy venue. All the bands were from Sweden. I was wondering what the deal was with this Swedish invasion of the last few years until Dan X pointed me to an New York Times article about how Scandinavian governments are subsidizing their popular music with funding for recording and tours. Wacky. (I'm not saying these particular bands were, btw.)

Anyway, the first act was Anna Ternheim [MySpace], a singer-songwriter type. She was quite good! Here she is:

Anna Ternheim @ Bimbo's in San Francisco

Presumably she didn't have enough money to bring a whole band with her, and, well, you know how some bands use a drum machine or a synthesizer with recordings? Her backup band was her iPod. :)

I took that last shot with my trusty Fujifilm F30 compact camera. A security guy tapped me on my shoulder, and I was ready to put my camera away, but instead he said, "We're fine with you taking pictures, but no flash, okay?" I was like, "Sure!" I had noticed someone else using flash, so I guess they were bugging everyone with a camera. But see, then I thought, sweet! They're officially letting people take pictures! I had just just bought a Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens, and I wasn't sure when I'd get a good chance to try it out. I immediately ran out to my car to get my DSLR. :) These next few pictures are all from my shiny new lens.

Next up was Lykke Li [MySpace], and she was an awesome indie pop singer. Easily my favorite of the evening:

Lykke Li with megaphone

She went from sorta slower songs to danceable songs, always just a little odd but less weird than, say, Björk (whose personality she reminded me of a little), and with sort of a mysterious sexiness through aloofness appeal. :P I like her guitarist's pose in the background of the above shot. Here's a her guitarist in focus:

Lykke Li's guitarist

The quality difference between these and the F30 shot isn't as obvious at this size (a testament to the low light ability of the F30), but click on the guitarist to zoom in, and see the detail on the hair, then zoom in on the first shot to compare. (The one of Lykke Li has a bit of motion blur.)

The headliner was El Perro del Mar, another indie pop band, though more mellow than Lykke Li. Here's the lead singer:

El Perro del Mar @ Bimbo's in San Francisco

I like how the backlight on her hair makes it glow. They had an incense stick on stage that acted as sort of a poor man's smoke effects. It worked pretty well in the lighting:

El Perro del Mar's keyboardist

I only thought that shot was okay at first, but my friends all seem to like that one the most. It oddly reminds me of a radio telescope and moon shot I took a while back.

There are a few shots I didn't post here; see the full set here, or watch the full-screen slide show.

I love the new lens. It's so perfect for concerts, at least! I'm totally gonna want to find more concerts that allow photography now. :) And I look forward to trying it out at my friends' weddings this summer.

Comments (3)

I can't let a reference to Bimbo's pass me by without mentioning that my grandfather bartended there back in the mid-40s, right when my grandparents moved from La La land to Ess Eff.

That's awesome! You crazy multi-generationer you! :)

these are pretty sweet! i've got lens envy now.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 24, 2008.

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