Danielle Ate The Sandwich

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Danielle Ate the Sandwich uses lo-fi, hi-tech means to truly connect with fan base

:: Danielle Ate The Sandwich ::
:: Film on the Rocks Raising  Arizona with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals ::
:: Red Rocks  Amphitheatre :: July 6 ::
:: Twist and Shout :: July 7 ::
::  Walnut Room :: July 9 ::
:: Everyday Joes :: July 10 ::

By Brian F. Johnson

Sometimes things that initially seem simple can be so wonderfully deep and layered that with a humble modesty a genius is revealed that might have easily been glossed over at first glance.

Such is the case with Danielle Ate The Sandwich, the Loveland, Colo.-based singer/songwriter/ukulele player, who since 2006 has been redefining the way the region looks at quirky, fun, acoustic music.

She has a shoot-from-the-hip attitude, but unlike many who try that, Ms. Sandwich actually hits the target with the precision of someone who planned the shot for months.

“I actually feel unintelligent in most situations,” said Sandwich — whose real name is Danielle Anderson — during a recent interview with The Marquee. “I’m not gonna say I’m stupid at what I do, but in the general sense of the universe I think the majority of me is not smart. But I do think I’m smart about what I do, and I think I’m smart on accident. I just kind of do the things I do and it just ended up working out for me really well.”

Really well, indeed. Anderson released her second album Things People Do in 2009, to rave reviews. She was awarded the prestigious Best Singer/Songwriter Award from Westword that same year. Far and above those accomplishments though, is Anderson’s absolutely astounding web presence. She has more than 21,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel and her frequent (48 as of press time), low-fi, homemade videos are fast approaching the three-million views mark.

Late in December of 2008, one of those videos, “Conversations with Dead People,” was picked as a featured video on YouTube and it marked a game changer for the girl, who had been working as a seamstress. “Conveniently, I was just really starting to hate it — not the job itself, but the nine to five being grown up thing. Then one day I got like 50 of these email notifications that people had commented on my video and I thought for a second that YouTube was malfunctioning. And then I finally got an email from somebody that I knew who said they saw the video, and I realized what was going on,” she said.

Now, almost two years and three million views later, Anderson uses YouTube as a significant part of her business model. “If those numbers stop climbing I’ll feel like a failure and not because I actually am. You know, I could have a career outside of YouTube. But for me, from a business  standpoint, it’s so awesome, ’cause I have millions of views and all of the subscribers. So it’s like I have 20,000 people who will hopefully watch my next video, so I can advertise my shows and advertise my album and advertise my stupid eBay auctions,” said Anderson.

That’s right. She said “eBay auctions.” In one of the most impressive funding strategies (maybe ever), Anderson has started taking some of the household items that appear in her videos and auctioning them on eBay to help pay for her new CD. “Well, I’m known for having weird shit in my apartment,” she explained. “Just at any given moment I have a bunch of crap. But it got to the point where people would say, ‘I want to request a song, but I don’t know the name of it. It’s the one with the whatever in it.” Those pieces of ‘whatever’ netted Anderson some serious cash when she, on a whim, put them on e-Bay. She got $80 for a Magnum P.I. breakfast tray that was in her video “Rich Girl,” $31 for a basketball clock that was in her “One Year Later” video and the coup de gras, from her videos “Bribes” and “Gone” and from her Westword cover story photo, she got $202 for her plastic space helmet.

Anderson effortlessly makes personal connections with her fans in this very impersonal day and age, and she does so with very impersonal mediums like the internet. “I’m not exactly sure how I got it to work because everything I do is so low quality, and it’s not low quality on purpose. I’m trying, but it’s like a clumsy presentation because it’s just me with what I have,” she said.

Well, her crazy funding scheme worked because this month, at a Film on the Rocks show, Anderson will officially unveil her third album, Two Bedroom Apartment, which is anything but a clumsy presentation. Recorded at Macy Sound Studios and engineered by Grammy Award winner John Macy, the album features a new twist for Anderson — accompaniment by other musicians. That, coupled with a pro recording, takes Anderson’s light songs and adds layers and a dimension to them not found on her previous work (or her YouTube videos) and, not-coincidentally, makes the album another simple layer that slowly reveals the hidden genius of Danielle Ate The Sandwich.

:: Danielle Ate The Sandwich ::

:: Film on the Rocks Raising Arizona with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals ::

:: Red Rocks Amphitheatre :: July 6 ::

:: Twist and Shout :: July 7 ::

:: Walnut Room :: July 9 ::

:: Everyday Joes :: July 10 ::

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• Death Cab For Cutie

• Jake Shimabukuro

• Simon and Garfunkel

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1 Comment

  1. DATS is awesome. I saw her live in Chicago and her stage presence made the crowded coffee shop seem like a quiet party in her livingroom. Buy her albums if you haven’t already.

    Also, the plural of medium is media.

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