From New Buffalo to Sally Seltmann 

If you don’t recognize her name, Sally Seltmann forgives you. For the past several years, the quirky Aussie artist has been writing and performing under the unusual alias of New Buffalo. Her most successful song — the Grammy-nominated “1 2 3 4” — was a hit for someone else, Canadian alt-popster Feist. That could change with “Heart That’s Pounding,” Seltmann’s new solo set issued under her own name. She plays at the Rickshaw Stop on Monday.

So you’re serious about this — no more New Buffalo? Yes. I’ve just decided to go by my real name now. And with New Buffalo, I was always trying to explain to people that it was a solo project and not a band. And besides, it seems like everyone now has a name that references some animal, so I thought just go with my real name as something different.

Why did you choose New Buffalo initially? I really liked the way “buffalo” sounded, and I loved that Neneh Cherry song “Buffalo Stance” and that film “Buffalo 66.” So I thought that I’d made up something that didn’t exist, but it’s actually a town in Michigan. So of course, I visited the town and had cheesy photos taken in front of the police cars and stuff like that.
You recently became a mom, right? Yeah! I have a 1½-year-old daughter named Judy. And she’s changed things in quite a few different ways. For one, you have less time, so you get really efficient with your time; now it’s like, “OK, I’ve got three hours of alone time!” And I’ll just churn out a song. And secondly, it’s meant that we tour as a family. My husband (Darren Seltmann of The Avalanches) plays drums in my band now, and Judy comes on tour with us.

How crazy have those “1 2 3 4” royalty checks been? Pretty crazy. And it feels weird to be getting paid a lot of money when I’m just the songwriter, and Feist was the one touring all over, working so hard promoting it. But it helped to make me feel like I am a real songwriter, instead of always feeling unnoticed.


Sally Seltmann

The Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., San Francisco
When: 7 p.m. Monday
Tickets: $10 to $12
Contact: (415) 861-2011;

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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