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Music, All Shook Down Merrill Garbus Is the Spiritual Heiress to David Byrne

Merrill Garbus Is the Spiritual Heiress to David Byrne

This past Sunday, on what was possibly the hottest day in the history of the chilly canyon known as Stern Grove, Merrill Garbus, the creative force behind tUnE-yArDs, took over the summertime festival in a muu-muu that made her…
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Music, Hear This Sylvan Esso: Show Preview

Sylvan Esso: Show Preview

Before Oakland's tUnE-yArDs takes the stage at the Fillmore this Friday, Sylvan Esso will do its part to remind audiences that plenty of pop music in 2014 is interesting: subtle, smart, and infused with artistic sensibility. In Sylvan Esso songs,…
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News, Feature Puppet Maestros: How Oakland's tUnE-yArDs  Conquers the  World, One Bag of Rice at a Time

Puppet Maestros: How Oakland's tUnE-yArDs Conquers the World, One Bag of Rice at a Time

Barely post-slumber — definitely pre-caffeine — and nearing the exact midpoint between two seven-hour band rehearsals, Merrill Garbus appears both irreparably frazzled and warily content. It's 7:45 on a Thursday morning in mid-April, and Garbus, the 35-year-old creative epicenter of…
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Music, All Shook Down Listen: tUnE-yArDs Goes Funky "Wooh-Ha!" on "Water Fountain"

Listen: tUnE-yArDs Goes Funky "Wooh-Ha!" on "Water Fountain"

"No water in the water fountain / No phone in the phone booth." Sound like a city near you? That's the refrain in "Water Fountain," the first single from Nikki Nack, the upcoming third album from Oakland's tUnE-yArDs. And it…
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Music, Sizzle & Fizzle Sizzle and Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music

Sizzle and Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music

Sizzle • Techno was born in America, but it's only recently that we're taking to it with the fervor of Europeans. Italian duo Voices from the Lake gave Monarch a taste of the good stuff on Saturday, using tons of…
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Music, Lyrics Born and Lateef Return as Latyrx, Right on Time

Lyrics Born and Lateef Return as Latyrx, Right on Time

So Jurassic Five has reunited, Deltron 3030 just put out a new album, El-P and Killer Mike have made three of the best rap records of the last two years, Death Grips smolders controversially in the national consciousness, and Kanye…
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Music, Sizzle & Fizzle Sizzle & Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music

Sizzle & Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music

Sizzle • Noise Pop 2013 offered great sets by Thao Nugyen, Toro y Moi, and the Ty Segall project Fuzz, among many others. The festival ended with a surprise show Sunday night by instrumental electronic act Tycho at 1772 Market,…
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Music, Hear This Naytronix: Show Preview

Naytronix: Show Preview

Oakland's tUnE-yArDs have become a critical favorite and an international sensation, but the group's bassist (and band leader Merrill Garbus' boyfriend) Nate Brenner isn't stopping there. In addition to Beep, his avant-jazz outfit, Brenner leads Naytronix, which describes itself as…
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Music, Sizzle & Fizzle Sizzle & Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music

Sizzle & Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music

Sizzle • Talk about a crowd-pleaser: Bruce Springsteen played for three and a half hours in San Jose — and even went surfing through throngs of elated fans. Weinberg and the E Street Band played so hard we worried for…
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Film, Rep Showtimes

Arthouse Movie Listings April 18-24, 2012

Artists' Television Access. Duets: works by artists in private duets with Dara Greenwald: Works paying homage to Dara Greenwald. Wed., April 18, 8 p.m. $6. Conversations with the Mirror": Short film and video work from artists including Carl Elsaesser, Ron…
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Music, All Shook Down tUnE-yArDs' New "My Country" Video: Merrill Garbus and the Kids Rock Out

tUnE-yArDs' New "My Country" Video: Merrill Garbus and the Kids Rock Out

If tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus wasn't touring the country with her pretty-darn-successful band, she would make the raddest third-grade teacher ever. In the new video for "My Country" -- the third single off of last year's mega-lauded w h o…
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Music, Coachella in Your Backyard: Nine Good Local Shows That Aren't Sold Out

Coachella in Your Backyard: Nine Good Local Shows That Aren't Sold Out

Who needs Coachella? If you live in the Bay Area, most of the best of this sprawling three-day music festival — which spans two consecutive weekends — comes to you. Call it "the Coachella effect," or "Fauxchella" — or just…
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Music, Hear This Switchboard Festival: Show Preview

Switchboard Festival: Show Preview

There are two kinds of music: classical, or "art music," and pop music. And they're fundamentally different and separate. Right? Wrong. For five years, San Francisco's Switchboard Festival has been blurring the lines between the supposedly distinct worlds of art…
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Music, One Last Spin: A Look Back at the Year in Bay Area Music

One Last Spin: A Look Back at the Year in Bay Area Music

A lot happened in Bay Area music in 2011 — and not all of it had to do with a female rapper from Oakland called Kreayshawn. Remember KUSF getting shut down? Or the battle to save the Eagle Tavern? And…
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Music, All Shook Down tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus on Her Creative Philosophy, Finding Inspiration in the Bay, and the Wisdom of Steve Jobs

tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus on Her Creative Philosophy, Finding Inspiration in the Bay, and the Wisdom of Steve Jobs

By CHLOE ROTH In 2009, tUnE-yArDs frontwoman Merrill Garbus was lured from Montreal to Oakland by "Love and fear of illegal immigrant status in Canada." Lucky for us. "I started sadly playing a ukulele that my mom had given…
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Music, All Shook Down Get Random with tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus in the New "Gangsta" Video

Get Random with tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus in the New "Gangsta" Video

Those of you hoping for a repeat of the "Bizness" video's ultracute crispness may be disappointed -- tUnE-yArDs' new "Gangsta" video is a black-and-white bricolage of Garbusian whimsy. Captured, we're guessing, on tour with Merrill, Nate, and the Bay…
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Music, Sizzle & Fizzle Sizzle & Fizzle: Outside Lands Edition

Sizzle & Fizzle: Outside Lands Edition

Sizzle Sunday's biggest surprise was Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler guesting on a version of the Band standard "The Weight" with soul legend Mavis Staples. The crowd went nuts, and for good reason: It was one of the coolest torch-passing…
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Music, All Shook Down Beastie Boys' Ad-Rock Gives tUnE-yArDs' "Gangsta" the Boom-Bap Treatment

Beastie Boys' Ad-Rock Gives tUnE-yArDs' "Gangsta" the Boom-Bap Treatment

So Beastie Boys mastermind Ad-Rock put his own spin on the excellent "Gangsta" by Oakland's own tUnE-yArDs. In case you missed the band's big-deal set this weekend at Outside Lands, the original version of "Gangsta" already gets crowds moving…
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Music, Hear This Thao and Mirah: Show Preview

Thao and Mirah: Show Preview

It wasn't entirely obvious that pairing the considerable talents of Bay Area singer-songwriters Thao Nguyen and Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn would lead to something special. But Thao and Mirah — the album they made after playing and writing together on…
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Music, The Subversive Beauty of tUnE-yArDs

The Subversive Beauty of tUnE-yArDs

The name of Merrill Garbus' musical project is tUnE-yArDs. It is not Tune-Yards. Garbus herself is lenient about this distinction, but the wacky lettering hints importantly at the ambitions of the Oakland artist's work: tUnE-yArDs leaps out from the order…
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