July 23, 2012
tUnE-yArDs‘ versatile, experimental, undeniably catchy music has always done a good job reflecting a number of influences and themes. From Merril Garbus’s vocal acrobatics to the soul-busting, percussive nature of her band, tUnE-yArDs’ music has proven to be as impossible to pin down as it is enjoyable.
You can get some sense of what moves Ms. Merrill thanks to a 28-minute mix she put together for Africa In Your Earbuds, featuring a number of “vintage finds from East Africa.” As she explains, to Okay Africa:
No doubt, I have a limited knowledge of African music, because, well, that’s an entire continent and thousands of years of music, and a girl from Connecticut only has so many hours in a day. So for this mix I delved into my old favorites, artists who have influenced what I do now, as well as some things I’ve been introduced to fairly recently.
Music from Tanzania, whether the traditional Wagogo music of The Zawose Family or the Muziki wa dansi (dance music) tunes of the 80s, has really been an inspiration to me. As has Johnny Clegg and Savuka, one of the first mixed-race bands out of South Africa. I grew up on this “Moliva” track. And then a couple dance tunes that I can’t stop listening to, one from a few years ago out of Nigeria by 9Ice. NICE! And then an ndombolo track from Koffi Olomide, which was what everybody was listening to when I was in Kenya in 2000.
July 9, 2012
Breakout Bay Area natives tUnE-yArDs have seen huge successes in the last year. Playing sold out festivals and to packed audiences at the Fox, their unique sound and music certainly draws a crowd. But their bass player, Nate Brenner (who also plays in Beep! and is known for his ‘genre bending’ style) recently peeled off on his own to debut a wild electro solo project Naytronix. Naytronix sounds a little like tUnE-yArDs dipped in The Police, James Blake, Charles Mingus, Stomp, and some electro band from the future we haven’t heard yet but we know to be provocative. Weird, creative, sounds that make you want to get up and dance, or at the very lease play drums on the desk at your office.
The Naytronix EP is a four track party in a playlist and it’s streaming now on Soundcloud (see below). As if that wasn’t enough to love, Naytronix recently covered the Princess of Pop Music, Janet Jackson’s hit “What Have You Done For Me Lately,” and it comes as no surprise that his talents making and mixing music do the track a great justice. Enjoy.
May 8, 2012
Here’s our latest month-in-review mix collecting some our favorite new (or new to us) songs recently posted on the website. So much good stuff came our way in April that we’ve actually got a two-part mix of blog songs this time. As always, we’ve included links below to download each of these songs individually.
April 27, 2012
Earlier this week, tUnE-yArDs providing live accompaniment to a series of Buster Keaton short films as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival. Here’s a brief clip of “Gangsta” and Buster Keaton from that show — pretty great stuff.
April 12, 2012
Adding to the already-long list of reasons to love tUnE-yArDs, here’s the band’s new video for “My Country” (directed by Mimi Cave, who was also responsible for this clip for “Bizness”). The kids in the video come from Brightworks and the SF Rock Project, and the band has also launched a Kickstarter project to get an instrument lending library started for the Rock Project.
February 23, 2012
As part of this year’s San Francisco International Film Festival, Merill Garbus and the rest of tUnE-yArDs will be providing live soundtracks to a handful of short films starring Buster Keaton. Oakland-based guitarist Ava Mendoza, who was recently named one of Guitar World‘s “10 Female Guitarists You Should Know”, will also be joining the tUnE-yArDs crew.
If somehow the films are still the main attraction for you, here’s the list of shorts: One Week (1920), Good Night, Nurse! (1918), The Haunted House (1921), and The Cook (1918). It all goes down April 23 at the Castro Theater. Find more info and buy tickets here.
Here’s the video to the tUnE-yArDs track “Bizness” to get you in the mood:
January 6, 2012
Merrill Garbus and crew can now be considered familiar with the late-night television performance scene, after appearing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon back in August and, as of last night, conquering the stage at Jimmy Kimmel Live. Watch tUnE-yArDs perform “Bizness” and “You Yes Now” on Jimmy Kimmel Live after the jump: [More...]
December 30, 2011
Some years are great for shows – like 2008. Some are great years for albums, like 2009. But this was a great year for both, from the start. In the order I remembered them:
Family Crest – My Living Room; 9/11
Duh. Can you believe this alterna-dad cream dream supreme? A stalwart and happy-go-lucky nonet of classically trained musicians show up at my house to play their lovely, life-affirming chamber pop on the anniversary of 9/11 and my teenage son sits in on clarinet? You just had to be there. But then we would have run out of pasta much sooner.
Deerhoof – Great American Music Hall; February 1
They’re just the best, in an age when it has become pointless to talk about the best. You know it’s a good show when legend Fred Frith shows up to sub for the first opener. Deerhoof primed and dimed their uniquely cereberal, detached shredding and just blew it out every pore. Great pix from Charlie Homo.
Tune-yards – Rickshaw Stop; August l5
When Merril Garbus takes the stage, it’s chills, thrills, more chills and a house full of sweaty, jumping converts. This was actually Vetiver’s show – Tunes added late. They were pretty tasty, but ultimately the latest to learn: don’t share a bill with Tune-Yards unless you like being used as a mop. [More...]