Archive for the ‘merrill garbus’ tag
I love tUnE-yArds. Don’t get me wrong. Merrill Garbus in general is a wonderful artist and I have stood firmly by her since I saw her perform as Sister Suvi ages ago but my feeling of using kids in music videos gets to me. It’s like politicians trying to earn brownie points with voters by kissing babies: it seems fake, slimey, and exploitative. The reason why I don’t run this over with the bus myself is because the message is important; arts funding is necessary to the country. And admittedly who wouldn’t want to have painted their face and dance around and act like the wild things we were as children (and still are deep down, hopefully).
I live in a podunk town in backwater region of western Massachusetts – I don’t know why any bands worth their salt would want to tour here. Somehow, Interpol and Sphongle showed up last year along with Tegan and Sara. There being appeal to perform here is a counterintuitive fact, and only one of many contributing to the state of affairs in the Pioneer Valley. Against this dull truth, it turns out the key member of the breakout indie act tUnE-YarDs, Merrill Garbus, is from these parts. And she threw us poor soul a helluva show last Sunday, with her family and students present in audience. It was a much appreciated homecoming gift.
The venue for the concert accurately reflected the general feel place I unfortunately call home: in the biggest room of Easthampton’s dinky city hall, a space that typically serves as a day care center. The crew literally pushed the strollers and blocks and high seats against the walls. Also, due to poor ventilation, we were sweating our junk off even before Merrill took to stage. In short, the setting blew. Of note, the crew from the group that sponsors live acts around here, Flywheel, seemed slow and disorganized but managed to run the show with little pain of feedback or glitch. The space Merrill et al had to work with barely constituted a stage, though they didn’t have too much equipment in tow.
Anyway, regardless of the venue and setup, the performance was top notch and Merrill brought the same, weird energy that pervaded throughout W H O K I L L. She fucked up once or twice on her guitarwork, but it was hardly noticeable and never compromised the crazed dancing that naturally accompanies the mix between tribal and electronica sound. She also managed to bring herself to a deep, almost animalistic state, conveyed best by contorted facial expressions. I liked her flamingo dress-like getup and her overuse of make up fit the thematic bill. [Editor's note: Sorry for not taking original pics of the concert - next time!]
As for her support – two saxophonists, someone on drums and a technician to help with the looping – I have no complaints and only praise. The show ran about an hour and 15 minutes and they played the majority of her songs. My favorite delivery was “Gangtas” since she took the octaves to amazingly levels and since the rest of the audience were clearly enjoying themselves. $10 well spent, would see again.
Tune Yards – Fiya by The Wounded Jukebox
Tune-Yards – Bizness by snipelondon