Juana Molina @ Yoshi's, SF 8.13.08

I can't remember the last time that I was glued into an artist's performance for more than twenty straight minutes. Tonight at Yoshi's, I barely recall the last thirty minutes of Juana Molina's performance.

After dealing with some weak table service and adjusting to this new venue, once I settled in and turned to the artist, I experienced complete tunnel vision. Pardon the cliche(s), but all the worries of the day were swept away and I was experiencing something beyond just music. Oh, it may sound odd, but during one stunning song, I kept seeing the ocean. During another, I saw hills and fields. The music coming from this one woman and some looped recordings wrapped around me and I couldn't poke through. And boy was it an amazing feeling.

I usually experience this maybe once a year, if I'm lucky. I've covered the most memorable shows in previous blogs, and tonight's performance doesn't stand with the best of them all, but it certainly was special. I can't recall a better show this year. Juana Molina. Who knew? What a beautiful voice. What elegant delivery and presence. And most importantly, what a nice step away from today's weight.