Tune-Yards…Tune-Awesome!

3

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!

Advertisements

Red Hot Chili Peppers live 06/07/2012

2

I was 15 years old, spread out on my bed watching the small TV set that sat on my bedside table. MTV was on. This, of course, was back when MTV actually still played music. Sometime during a commercial break, an ad came on for a Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers tour. I immediately ran into the living room to announce to my mom what I wanted for my 16th birthday – tickets to that show! I remember this moment with more clarity than I remember what I had for lunch yesterday.

At the time I was a big fan of Foo Fighters (and I still am), but just a casual fan of the Chili Peppers. I knew their radio hits, and that was it. To prepare for the show, which was still a couple of months away, I borrowed my friend’s Californication CD and recorded it onto a cassette tape (I suddenly feel like I’m aging myself by saying that….) Suddenly, I couldn’t get enough Red Hot Chili Peppers in my life.

By the time the concert came, I was a rabid fan of the Chili Peppers. My bedroom was decorated in their paraphernalia. I even had real dried red hot chili peppers hanging from the ceiling. My seats at the concert were nose-bleed… if memory serves me correct I was around 5 rows from the very top. Needless to say I couldn’t see shit. But I could hear it, and I could feel it. I just remember thinking to myself, “My God, that thumping in my belly is coming from Flea!” I was in a new world. My step-dad, who took me, said he kept looking at me and I was just smiling the whole time from ear to ear, and I don’t doubt it.

Luckily, their Californication tour was a big one! Five or six months later, they played another show within a 3 hours radius of me. When you live in small-town Kentucky that’s how you have to go to concerts, anything within 3 hours is game. Knoxville, Louisville, Lexington, Cincinnati, Columbus if the band warrants it…It didn’t’ matter to me, I was 16 and had a chance to see my Chili Peppers again! That time, I actually got seats where I could SEE them. I don’t do drugs, never have and never will, but I can say with certainty that on that night I was high on the Red Hot Chili Peppers!

Fast forward to when I was around 23 or so, nervously sitting in a tattoo shop getting the Chili Pepper’s asterisk logo tattooed onto my body for all of time. I think I’ve painted the picture of how big a fan I am of these guys.

Last night when they came on stage I cried.

The view from my far-off seat

I’m in the middle of a huge almost sold-out arena and a rock concert is blaring in front of me, and I’m crying. I haven’t seen them live since that second show from the Californication tour when I was 16. When they ran on stage last night I just kept thinking, that’s them! They are really there, and I am really here. These crazy men that I’ve formed some sort of insane emotional bond to are in front of me. Life has changed so dramatically from that afternoon when I was 15 years old and saw that tour commercial on MTV (I’m now 28 for anyone who’s counting).

I tried to explain it to my husband last night, why I cried when they first hit the stage. I don’t know if I ever explained it to him in a way that made sense, and I don’t know if I could explain it to you either. I mean, I love some bands out there, Muse for one that I’m almost as rabid about as I am the peppers…but there is just something about the chili peppers that means so much to me.

They define what I was as a 15 and 16-year-old – a weird shy quiet little girl from the coal country of Kentucky. They were with me when I was 19 and living with a stranger in the dorm rooms. They held my hand as I nervously asked a strange man to stab needles into my flesh until their symbol was a part of me. They gave me a nod of approval when I made my decision to transfer colleges to study film. They hugged me when my granny died. I wanted them to be there with me at my wedding, but the church wasn’t a fan of secular music…but it’s OK, they were there in spirit! They make me smile when I’m happy, they make me feel better when I’m sad. I don’t know if everyone out there has that ONE band. THE band. THE ONE that no matter what just sits on a level in your heart above all the others. If you do, I trust you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, you’re my husband…an old curmudgeon! (I love you Woo! :D)

They were perfect last night. My seats were crappy (and I ordered them on a radio pre-sell!)  But it didn’t matter. They were there in front of me, and that thump that I felt in my belly was coming from Flea. That is all that matters.

My best friend, 8-year-old sister Becca and I tried to stalk the band when the show was over. I saw Anthony’s bus drive by. People pointed at one and said it was Chad, but I didn’t see him. Josh’s bus went by as well, but I didn’t see him either. There was one bus left and we kept hope that Flea was in there…and that he’d come out and at least wave to the 7 people that were insane enough to be standing outside an arena at 1 in the morning for a chance to just glance him, but there was no such luck. Oh well, we tried and it was fun to dream!

Here’s hoping it’s not another 12 years before I get to see them again.

Tune-Yards Lovin’

0

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!