Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tune Yards live, Wonder Ballroom, Portland, November 21, 2011

Threesomes are the new twosomes.

One-by-one they came. Two by two, three by three.

Some were fags or dykes. Others, merely bi or straight.

All of them came to see Tune Yards, or, more precisely, tUnE-yArDs, the art project/indie music vehicle for performance artist Merrill Garbus and friends.

Her website is here: http://tune-yards.com/

She is a white (American) girl who does (mostly) African-style music, using drums, vocal, and ukelele loops (some pre-recorded, some made live), which she then plays against live, building layer upon layer, leading to the inevitable crescendo of cacophony and rhythm.

At the Wonder Ballroom in Portland last night, she played with a bass player and two sax guys and the result was stunning.

A word about the crowd. "Can I borrow your facepaint?" was a question I had never heard asked before at a show but I heard it a couple of times last night. These motherfuckers came prepared.

When Merrill asked who had seen them before and who was there for the first time, the crowd was about evenly split. But the number of people sporting stripes of war paint on their faces, ready for battle, showed that this crowd was full of fanatics of the girl and her music.

That Merrill would become an instant icon for indie women everywhere is a no brainer (or a bird brainer, as the case may be), even more so for young women and queer women.

It sure was nice to see all those dykes there, rockin' out. I haven't seen so many dykes at a show since.... uh, Wild Flag (feat Carrie Brownstein) two weeks ago.

And the threesomes. Uh... saw several groups of 3 hanging out, hugging, kissing, dancing together. Thus, my opening line "threesomes are the new twosomes". Hey, three heads are better than two and MUCH better than one...

Oh, the concert. Opener Pat Jordache, a former Merrill collaborator, put on a great show.

(to be continued, still tired from last night...)

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