Last night, to celebrate my recent birthday, Victoria and I headed out first to Bar La Grassa for a birthday dinner and then to see the Dirty Projectors perform at First Avenue.
If you’ve never been to Bar La Grassa, go. The food is incredible, the space is really cool and did I mention the food is amazing? All of their pastas can be ordered either in small plates appropriate for sharing or as a large single serving if you don’t want people eating your gnocchi. I wouldn’t blame you – the gnocchi is the best dish I’ve had on their menu and is delightfully different. Another dish I’d recommend is the fusilli with lamb meatballs, although I’m sure you can’t go wrong with any of it.
We enjoyed every last bite (and cleaned every plate) before we made our way over to First Avenue. Because Victoria’s foot is in a large boot (aircast) I dropped her off at the entrance before parking the car in a nearby “ramp” (Minnesota for “parking garage”). I brought my X-Pro 1 with me, hoping to get some shots of the show to use for this post. However, when I finally made my way to the entrance, I was told no cameras were allowed inside without a photo pass. So, much to my chagrin I returned to the car to lock my camera away before making my way back inside.
As a result, the following are the only pictures I managed to take during the show. Using Victoria’s iPhone, we had a little photo shoot, hoping to get a nice shot of the two of us.
Using the “reverse camera” feature so we could frame the shot correctly, this was our first attempt.
After realizing the flash is only on the other side, I turned the camera around, made my best guess at the composition and took this shot.
Ok, I look crazy, it’s a little too close and V has her eyes closed. Let’s try that again.
This funny face didn’t turn out as well as I would have hoped. It just looks like I have a dirty mustache, and Victoria’s eyes are still closed. So we tried again – this time I would have a nice smile, not a dirty ‘stache.
“Damnit, I think I blinked again,” Victoria warned me. Sure enough, she did.
I like my smile, and I was pleased that we were both in the frame, but V just needed to keep her eyes open. “Please, PLEASE don’t blink,” I begged, “Is it really that hard to keep your eyes open?”
“Yes, that flash is awful. It’s SO bright I just can’t look at it, but I’ll try.” Well, I guess she did try. Her new strategy, it seems, was to keep her eyes open by looking away from the camera. It worked in the sense that she was able to keep her eyes open, but it still wasn’t the shot I was hoping for.
“Ok, could you please please PLEASE keep your eyes open AND look at the camera?” I begged. She did her best, but she just couldn’t keep from squinting.
I figured we’d give it one last shot and see what I’d get. I moved the camera as far aways as my arm would allow, hoping that the flash wouldn’t seem quite as bright from farther away. Alas, Victoria still couldn’t keep from squinting.
At that point, I just stopped trying.
I wish I’d had my camera with me to document it, but I can say the show was fabulous. Dave and Amber both gave incredible vocal performances, and it was fascinating to see first hand how they create some of the unique sounds you hear on their records. They played a ton of tracks from their amazing new album “Swing Lo Magellan” as well as some of their older tracks. If you like the Dirty Projectors, it is definitely worth the beans to check them out on the road.