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tUnE-yArDs On World Cafe | November 23, 2011

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Merrill Garbus, the woman behind tUnE-yArDs, began as a solo act, and her talent practically explodes out of every performance. She commands any space, especially from behind a set-up of a tom and snare drum, a ukulele, and her bare feet atop the loop pedals from which she builds her compositions. Every sound that Garbus weaves into her songs is so deliberately placed that "experimental" seems too nonchalant a word.

From a background that includes work as a puppeteer, Garbus began performing under the moniker tUnE-yArDs in 2006, incorporating sounds from field recordings, ukulele and, most prominently, her strong, dynamic voice. On a hand-held recorder, she recorded all the parts for her debut album, the folk- and world-music-inspired BiRd-BrAiNs. But for her second album, w h o k i l l, Garbus went into a recording studio with bassist and right-hand man Nate Brenner in tow, along with a hearty horn section that adds funk and primal energy to some of her most raggedly emotional songs.

w h o k i l l explores themes of sexuality, femininity, class and violence, with Garbus' witty lyrics alternately delivered in animalistic bursts, tender coos and yodels. Hear her perform four songs from one of the year's most powerful albums on today's World Cafe.(link)

Playlist

Hour 1

(( )) for interlude music

Talking Heads "Slippery People" Speaking in Tongues
Wilco "Dawned on Me" The Whole Love
Matthew Sweet "Walk Out" 100% Fun
Beck "Que Onda Guerro" Guerro

((Tune-Yards "Gangsta" Recorded Live for the World Cafe}))

Tune-Yards "You Yes You" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Tune-Yards "Gangsta" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Tune-Yards "Doorstep" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Tune-Yards "My Country" Recorded Live for the World Cafe

((Little Dragon "Turn Left" Little Dragon))

Santogold "L.E.S. Artistes" Creator/L.E.S. Artistes
Foster the People "Helena Beat" Torches

((Josh Ritter "Mind's Eye" The Historical Conquests Of Josh Ritter))

Hour 2

Death Cab for Cutie "You're a Tourist" Codes and Keys
Craig Finn "Honolulu Blues" Clear Hearts & Minds
Neil Young "Don't Cry No Tears" Zuma
Deer Tick "Miss K."  Divine Providence
Shawn Mullins "Shimmer" Soul's Core
Feist "The Circle Married the Line" Metals

((Atlantic-Pacific "One Of One" Meet Your New Love))

Blind Pilot "Keep You Right" We Are The Tide
Old 97's "Every Night is Friday Night (Without You)" Grand Theatre Vol. 1
Fats Domino "My Girl Josephine" They Call Me The Fat Man
The Blasters "Marie Marie" Collection
Tom Waits "Bad As Me" Bad As Me  

((Stornoway "Boats And Trains" Beachcomber's Windowsill))

Grace Woodroofe "Quicksand" Always Want
Josh Rouse "It's the Nighttime" Nashville
Katheleen Edwards "Change the Sheets" Voyageur
Kings of Leon "Back Down South" Come Around Sundown