By

XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of The Week: “Water Fountain” by tUnE-yArDs

Photo by Holly Andres
Photo by Holly Andres

This week’s Gotta Hear Song Of The Week is “Water Fountain” by tUnE-yArDs from her forthcoming album, Nikki Nack, out on May 6th. Since 2009, Merrill Garbus has performed as tUnE-yArDs. In 2011 she released her critically acclaimed w h o k i l l and in the Fall of 2012 she began studying Haitian dance and drumming. A trip to Haiti furthered her exploration of non-Western musical discovery which informed the making of her new album. The first single from the record, “Water Fountains,” is one of her most celebratory songs yet; she turns a Bo Diddley beat – and a nod to “I Want Candy” by Bow Wow Wow – inside out with funky, playful, highly energetic, percussive grooves and a schoolyard chant guaranteed to be the soundtrack to double dutch tournaments, three-on-threes in the paint, and dance floor explosions. Listen to it below. tUnE-yArDs play Union Transfer on Sunday, June 15th.

By

tUnE-yArDs premieres her peppy new song, “Water Fountain”

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

tUnE-yArDs has shared their first single, “Water Fountain” from her forthcoming album, Nikki Nack, out on May 6th. Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs has made one of her most celebratory songs yet; she turns a Bo Diddley beat – and a nod to “I Want Candy” by Bow Wow Wow – inside out with funky, playful, highly energetic, percussive grooves and a schoolyard chant guaranteed to be the soundtrack to double dutch tournaments, three-on-threes in the paint, and dance floor explosions. tUnE-yArDs play Union Transfer on Sunday, June 15th.

By

Photo recap: Day One, Roots Picnic

All Roots Picnic photos by Eric Ashleigh. More photos from the gallery can be viewed here.

By

Listen: tUnE-yArDs and Questlove (playing Roots Picnic this weekend) team up to cover Fela Kuti


tUnE-yArDs and Questlove of the legendary Roots crew have teamed up with Angelique Kidjo and Akua Naru on a cover of Fela Kuti’s “Lady” from (RED) Hot + FELA. Listen to the song below, and go here to purchase the song. All proceeds from the song benefit the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. tUnE-yArDs performs tomorrow at the Roots Picnic. According to the Join Red blog:

(RED) Hot + FELA, pays homage to the music and spirit of Fela Kuti and will be the first collaboration between (RED) and the Red Hot Organization, creators of a long running line of musically original compilations that benefit AIDS organizations, ranging from 1990’s Red Hot + Blue (which featured U2 on Cole Porter’s “Night And Day”) to 2009’s Dark Was The Night produced by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National.

By

Roots Picnic lineup announced; two days on June 2nd and 3rd at Festival Pier

The Roots picnic is being held on Saturday and Sunday, June 2nd and 3rd at Festival Pier. According to an announcement at Okayplayer the lineup includes: The Roots, Kid Cudi, De La Soul (backed by the Roots), Wale, Diplo, Major Lazer, St. Vincent, tune-yards, Shabazz Palaces, OCD: Moosh & Twist, Danny Brown, The Hood Internet, Chill Moody, Flosstradamus, Stretch Armstrong, Star Slinger, Mr. MFN Exquire, Kids These Days, DJ Diamond Kuts. Also in the mix is James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem who will be doing a special DJ set. There is a special pre-sale today from 10 am to 10 pm. Go here for tickets and more information. General public tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 am.

By

Listen to tUnE-yArDs’ interview and performance on XPN2

tune-yardsMerrill Garbus started tUnE-yArDs as an experiment in looping her voice and ukulele on a home recorder. Now tUnE-yArDs is a full fledged band, featuring bassist Nate Brenner. Merrill and Nate recently brought the sounds of tUnE-yArDs’ celebrated new album, w h o k i l l, to the XPN2 studios. Now you can stream the session whenever you like! With the help of a pair of saxophone players (cultivated from the Oakland jazz scene), tUnE-yArDs’ blending of folk, pop and R&B is as vibrant as ever. In the session, we’ll hear the band play a selection of songs from w h o k i l l, including XPN2 favorite “Gangsta.” XPN2′s Eric Schuman talks to Merrill about her global influences and the various roles she’s taken on throughout her career. Stream our session with tUnE-yArDs anytime with the XPN Media Player. Be sure to tune in for a brand new Studio Session every Friday at 3pm on XPN2!

By

Weekend Concert Picks: Screaming Females at The Barbary, Uh Huh Her at TLA, tUne-YarDs at Union Transfer

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7
Punk trio Screaming Females is celebrating its emerging adulthood by reissuing its first two albums in a very grown-up vinyl format. The band has come a long way since its self-released debut, Baby Teeth, was written and recorded in drummer (and then-high schooler) Michael Abbate’s attic six years ago. Like many angsty New Jersey teens, the members of Screaming Females started performing in their friends’ basements; unlike most New Jersey teens, however, the band gradually went from touring Jersey to touring nationally with bigger punk acts such as Against Me! and Ted Leo. Though much of the band’s popularity is credited to the members’ dedication to the group, just as much success can be credited to their simple formula in creating skin-and-bone punk-rock songs. Disregarding the extraneous bells and whistles of highly-produced music, Screaming Females offers a more no-nonsense sound, resting largely on heavy yet simple chord progressions and vocalist Marissa Paternoster’s unforgiving tone when belting out the group’s tunes. Screaming Females performs with Underground Railroad To Candyland and Dry Feet at 6:30 p.m. at The Barbary; tickets to the all-ages show are $10. —Marielle Mondon

Also Playing: The Deli’s 3rd Anniversary show with Dangerous Ponies + Orbit To Leslie, The Homophones at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., 21+, $10); Kuf Knotz + Alien Architect, The Authentic at Milkboy Philly (9:30 p.m., 21+, $8–$10); The Besnard Lakes + Malajube at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $10–$12); Robert Randolph and the Family Band with Tauk at the TLA (7 p.m., $40.00/includes service charge).

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8
Uh Huh Her’s show at the TLA marks the low-fi electro-pop duo’s first stop of the Keep A Breast Tour. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Uh Huh Her is undergoing a month-long, 21-stop tour that will raise money for the Keep A Breast Foundation, a non-profit project targeted toward educating young people about breast cancer. In addition to breast cancer awareness, though, the band has its sophomore album, Nocturnes, to promote. The album, which drops on Tuesday, is the band’s follow-up to 2008’s Common Reaction and the first new release after being dropped from its label. (The album will be released via the band’s own label, Plaid Records.) Despite these changes, the album’s lead single, “Another Case,” still rests on Uh Huh Her’s signature airy, moaned vocals and heavy use of synthesizer to create a subtle, seductive sound. Uh Huh Her performs with Fences at 8 p.m. at TLA; tickets to the all-ages show are $25. —Marielle Mondon

Also Playing: James Blake + Chairlift at The Trocadero (9 p.m., all ages, $21–$23); Skrillex + 12th Planet, Foreign Beggars, Nadastrom at Electric Factory (7:30 p.m, all ages, SOLD OUT); The Lemonheads + The Shining Twins, New York Rivals at North Star Bar (9 p.m., 21+, $20–$25)

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9
Merrill Garbus’s musical project tUne-YarDs seems to exist purely to contradict: contradict expectations, contradict convention and, at times, to contradict itself. Garbus’s voice, which is capable of swinging between a soothing, cooing purr and a growling, leaping roar, is at once ferociously vulnerable, fiercely disarming. The 32-year-old New-England native first gained attention for her 2009 self-produced debut album “BiRd-BrAiNs,” which she recorded on a hand-held digital recorder and mixed using the software Audacity. It was rereleased later that year by 4AD records, who signed Garbus, identifying in her lo-fi, freak-folk first release creative genius. On Garbus’ second album (out this year on 4AD), “w h o k i l l,” she applies her superhuman sound masterfully, and her songs have a certain urgency, a raw, emotional energy to them. Hear them for yourself when she performs with Pat Jordache and Les Blondettes this weekend. tUne-YarDs performs with Pat Jordache and Les Blondettes at 8 p.m. at Union Transfer; tickets to the all-ages show are $15. —Naomi Shavin

Also Playing: Ladytron + VHS Or Beta at TLA (7 p.m., all ages, $19)