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Worth the hype: tUnE-yArDs @ Sala Rossa

Posted by Margot / May 14, 2011

tUnE-yArDs Sala Rossa Montreal music Suoni PopoloWhat do you get when you mix some home-grown talent, comically miniature guitars, and war paint (not the band, but actual paint)? With a consistent energy ramp-up as the night progressed, tUnE-yArDs and friends played to a sold out crowd at MP's favourite red room on Friday the 13th. Superstitions aside, nothing went bad. In fact, it was quite good.

The night started off with the familiar voice of Pat Jorache; the group is known to a lot of Montrealers because of pure numbers and basic around-Montreal popularity (based on an informal survey of the crowd using snowball sampling, margin of error 47%). Unfortunately I only caught the tail-end of the set, but I will definitely not be late next time. Between some unique voices and original lines, I'd say they should be on your general radar. Check out this interview from our friends over at Maisonneuve.

Next up was a set by Buke and Gass, a Brooklyn-based duo that made some loud and interesting noises, and a fair bit of music in between. The crowd seemed a bit antsy and not too into the music, but the two played on and got the crowd moving around. I don't like to classify music, but I might venture to label this stuff with a big ol' question mark - but the good kind, that has you asking, "What was that and where can I hear more of it?" Like a fine wine, appreciates with age and multiple listenings.

And then shortly before midnight, tUnE-yArDs took to the stage led by frontwoman Merrill Garbus alternately on various percussive instruments, a loop pedal, and a ukulele. Things started out with a few minutes of chilling looped vocals, and then she was joined by Nate Brenner on bass and a couple of saxophonists (wearing something remarkably similar to a Star Trek - Voyager? Deep Space Nine? - uniform). I think one of the things that makes this music so much fun is that it's something you don't hear anywhere else. Sure, everybody and their grandmother is using loop pedals these days, but there's something to the performativity of this music that makes it a spectacle in of itself - and that's not even giving credit to the lively and infectious (again, in the good way) songs they play.

Even though they're based in sunny California now, Garbus was vocal about her love for Montreal, having lived here for a number of years. She said that she owed "a lot to the people in this room," in particular the people she used to make music with. tUnE-yArDs' sophomore album, w h o k i l l, came out this spring, and is currently being toured around Canada, the States, and some lucky European cities.

The primal aspect of the music might have been complimented by the face paint and unique/flowery costume (boa or just feather sleeves?). Completely self-aware of this, you can even participate in the trend; post a picture of your painted face on their site, and be entered to win an awesome boom box (sidebar question: when did the term "ghetto blaster" become offensive?)

For our readers in Boston and Washington D.C. (I know there are at least two of you), make sure to check them out this week in your city. And check out this CBC coverage for a good video (MP's camera equipment stops working at midnight).

Photo taken from the band's myspace page.



Franciele / February 4, 2015 at 04:22 am
Just popped over here to see what Blogtoberfest is all about and was blown away by all the coluor on your blog! Your work is so vibrant and delicious! I'm going through my black, white and grey phase, so this was just a woah! moment. Thanks for brightening my day, and leading me to Society 6 where I have oohed and aahed over artworks for the last half an hour! xx
Kanchipuram sarees / June 6, 2018 at 11:02 pm
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golu dolls / June 6, 2018 at 11:02 pm
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