Ate The Sandwich plays Vaudeville Mews with
Brendan McKnight and Eden Stokka on Wednesday,
June 13 at 6 p.m. The all-ages show is $7. |
“In person, I’m very quiet. I don’t tend to
look at people or say a lot,” said Danielle
Anderson. “(So) it’s nice to be able to get
on stage and be loud and funny and to do what
I want. And if people don’t like it, tough shit,
because I’m the one with the mic tonight, so
it’s kind of my show.”
It’s sometimes hard to reconcile the 26-year-old
Anderson with her on-stage persona, Danielle
Ate The Sandwich. But it’s impossible to divorce
them. Once Anderson was just one of the countless
appreciably-cute, glasses-wearing girls posting
ukulele covers on YouTube. That she was better
than most of the others didn’t seem to matter,
until one day when YouTube featured one of her
videos on the site’s front page and a dam broke.
“I felt sort of like a beauty queen for a day,”
she said. “It’s like, ‘I’m popular!’ I don’t
think I cried, but my hands were definitely
Fast forward a few million YouTube views, and
Anderson has quit her day job, while Danielle
Ate The Sandwich has become a full-time thing.
The income generated through her YouTube persona
has afforded Anderson the opportunity to write
and perform full-time, and with two CDs in the
can and a third releasing this week — in addition
to a touring schedule that keeps her on the
road almost a third of the year — there’s no
question that she is taking her craft seriously.
But with her YouTube roots and unconventional
stage name, fighting the label of “Internet
novelty act” is difficult. For some the stigma
will always be there, hanging over her work.
In a review last year, The Village Voice savaged
her as “…(bringing) to mind those who use humor
as a defense mechanism” and “…the twee version
of rap skits.”
For Anderson, Danielle Ate The Sandwich is something
of an obligation, a manifestation of the desire
to stay true to her original core of YouTube
fans. But the obligation is also a welcome escape.
“I definitely have a persona on stage,” she
said. “It’s what allows me to act silly.”
The quirky, empowering persona not only allows
her to connect with her established audience
in ways she might not normally be able to, but
it’s also helping to draw new fans in. And those
fans are discovering that Danielle Ate The Sandwich
also happens to be a really good songwriter.
The same Voice article that treats her sense
of humor so roughly also conceded, “(her) tracks
unraveled like especially personal songs that
are deserving of being heard and related to
on their own vulnerable merits.”
Anderson’s voice is delicate and pleasant; her
lyrics are achingly disarming and touching.
A trip through her discography unveils a young
woman who’s growing as a person and a musician.
Where her first songs are low-fi, solo affairs
— reflecting their DIY, YouTube genesis — she
added backing musicians for the release of her
second album. Her new release, “Like a King,”
was professionally recorded and arranged and
features some of Anderson’s most well-rounded
songs to date.
Through the maturation, Anderson has remained
steadfastly independent, reaching out to fans
through Kickstarter and eBay auctions to fund
her music and ultimately deciding her own path.
“I have a publicist and a manager who work with
me now,” she said. “I have some really great
people working for me, but I like being able
to consider their opinions but still say ‘I’m
going to do this.’ ” CV