I had myself a nice long 4-day weekend, book-ended by two face meltingly awesome concerts. “Meltingly” isn’t a word…but, you know, if President Harding can make up words like “normalcy”, I can make up words like “meltingly”!

I saw my cousin Merrill, aka Tune-Yards, perform Sunday night in a sold out show! It was…well…face meltingly awesome!

Someone yelled, “That dress is hot!” I have to agree, I loved the dress!

I’ve seen Tune-Yards three times now. I can say with certainty that watching her on stage is never a bore. Her music is interesting. Some folks think it’s strange and I have to admit the first time I listened I thought, “What is this? I don’t know but I need to listen again…and again…and again…and again…”  I read a review online once, and I’m sorry I can’t remember where, but the reviewer said something like listen to Tune-Yards a second, and a third, and a fourth time and it will start to sound like music that comes on the radio – like there is nothing strange about it at all.

She loops her voice and drum tracks and plays them over herself live and creates…MAGIC!

Nate – Merrill’s boyfriend and bass player! He has soft hands!

The crowd was enthusiastic – and cram packed since the show was sold out. It was also easy to hear people talk in there, and at one point Merrill asked who had traveled the farthest to see the show. For a minute or so people yelled out their hometowns. Right when it got quiet my uncle yelled out the name of her mom (and my grandpa’s) hometown – and she heard that, because he was loud! She replied “Yeah, I’ve got some family there. I guess that’s where I get my big mouth. Or I should say, my spirit. Thank you cousins!” And our group (especially me) went wild! It was cool.

My mom, Me, my cousin GT, my sister Becca and…drum roll please…the awesome Merrill!!!!

Back in October I went to a corn maze, and there was a guy there selling kettle corn. I have a Tune-Yards bag that I carry around with me like a purse, and the kettle corn guy yelled, “You do not have a Tune-Yards bag!” So I went over to him and we talked for a few minutes about Tune-Yards (of course I had to beam with pride that she’s my cousin to him!!) Well, last night we were standing in the crowd waiting for the show to start when this guy pecks me on the shoulder, “Excuse me, are you related to Merrill?”

I’m thinking in my head, well she’s my first cousin once removed (she’s my mom’s first cousin), we all have the same nose in this family but I don’t think Merrill and I particularly look like each other. I said yes, and asked how he knew that. It was the kettle corn guy! We were in a completely different state from the corn maze and standing right next to each other at this concert. Small and crazy world!

My baby sister Becca got to meet Merrill for the first time, she was over the moon excited. Also, my friend’s son is a zombie. Watch your brains around him!

Merrill’s voice is incredible. She can scream, she can whisper, she can sing high and low and in between and no matter what it sounds good. Oh have I mentioned that Time Magazine and Rolling Stone included her album w h o k i l l in the top albums of 2011? So epic.

She recently killed it at the Bonnaroo festival, and will kill it at Lollapalooza. My words will never be able to do her justice, but if you ever get a chance to see her live I say do so! It’s not like anything you’ve ever seen.

Here’s a video of her doing the song “Powa” from w h o k i l l at the Coachella festival this past April. This is one of my favorite songs. I love at the end there’s almost a choir of voices, and it’s all the loops she recorded of herself at the beginning of the song. She’s just too awesome for me to put into words.

She’s been on Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon, she’s been in Spin, Time, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, etc…. I can’t be more blown away by how awesome she is. And she told me last night I was the #1 Tune-Yards fan! You always hear people say they are a band’s number 1 fan….well I got confirmation straight from the band’s mouth last night so take that world!


Tune-Yards Lovin’


What’s that you say? I have a super awesome amazing cousin, Merrill? The leader of this kick-ass band Tune-Yards.

Well, I can’t agree with you more! Thank you for pointing it out.

Oh, you heard Tune-Yards is playing Bonnaroo, which is being headlined by the likes of Radiohead and Red Hot Chili Peppers? That is like the most exciting thing I’ve ever heard!

Oh wait? You mean Tune-Yards is also playing at Lollapalooza this year – also headlined by the Red Hot Chili Peppers? You’ve got to be pulling my leg!

Oh, you’re not? Give me a moment while I pick my jaw off the floor.

My cousin, can I be your groupie?

WOW this is so amazing! Not only is she playing two huge U.S. festivals this summer, but her current U.S. tour (and previous U.S. tour) is selling out at some of the venues.

Tune-Yards released a new video for “My Country”? Oh, I must watch that immediately!


Ah, much better!