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!
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!
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.
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!
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!