Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

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

Posted By on Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 10:54 AM


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 k i l l -- Garbus recruits an army of shorties to stand in as her musicians, signature face-paint stripe and all. (In real life, the children came from S.F. K-12 school Brightworks and the San Francisco Rock Project. tUnE-yArDs has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help the latter build a library of instruments.)

The Oakland-based figurehead herself doesn't even appear until about a minute into the video, instead having the kids lip-synch and play the instruments through the song. (And the girl who portrays Garbus is Madeline O'Kennon, who also played her in the "Bizness" video.) This is a subtly brilliant move: Focusing on the children makes the song's message of political uncertainty and skepticism seem all the more emotional and urgent. The image of the mass of children scowling straight into the camera underscores the idea that they're largely the ones who'll have to reckon with whatever this country becomes.

But that makes this Mimi Cave-directed video sound all serious, which it isn't totally. By the end, Garbus is goofing around with her younger double, and the clip closes with an image of freedom. It's a very good music video; watch it after the jump.

tUnE-yArDS performs with St. Vincent April 24 at the Fox Oakland, and there are still a few tickets left.

Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Ian S. Port @iPORT, and like us at

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

About The Author

Ian S. Port


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"