secret garden video series February 24, 2009

tUnE-yArDs plays at the Secret Garden

A few days after I saw tUnE-yArDs open for Beirut at Music Hall of Williamsburg, I went to film the amazing woman behind it, Merrill Garbus, in Bed-Stuy, where she was staying at a friend’s apartment for a short visit. She asked me if I had specific requests, and though I said she could play anything she wanted, she ended up picking three of my favorites, “Little Tiger”, “News”,  and “Hatari”, and one new song, “Harold”. We tried the first performance out on the stoop, but it was amazingly noisy–multiple airplanes, spontaneous banging, and one “just yell it out and somebody will hear it” conversation. So we headed back inside, walking around in the apartment and singing in the bathtub, talking about the band’s young history, promising future, make-up tradition, and so on

tune yards

“Little Tiger”, “News” and “Hatari” are available on BiRd-BrAiNs, which she recorded almost like a collage over two and a half years, and is getting a proper release in vinyl and digital formats from Marriage Records on March 10.

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  • Adam:

    Great video, amazing music, but you posted the worst part of the entire 20-minute video for a mini-clip! I almost quit listening after the second plane came, then the 3rd made me slit my wrists. I’m dying as I type this. Hatari should’ve been the chosen one.

  • sarahana:

    aw, man. you know i was dying by the 3rd plane too as i was filming it, but then i grew to kinda like all the noise while i was editing. in any case, i let other websites pick a song for the mini-clip, though, and they seemed to pick “little tiger” a lot :)

    but thanks for making it through to the last song! maybe you were bleeding to death and couldn’t hit the close button, but still, glad you made it to the end.

  • Dave:

    Stupendous! Many thanks for creating and posting this. I am quite fond of the planes, myself…

  • Dr. Fritz Rotwang:

    I somewhat randomly discovered tUnE-yArDs about 3 days ago, and I am enthralled and blown away. The “Hatari” clip from this shoot was what I encountered, and I went from perplexed to fascinated to impressed to totally stunned over the course of the song. I immediately got her album and have watched everything else I can find online. WOW! What an original artist.

    Personally, I LOVE the airplane and car sounds in the first song. They get louder and softer almost as though it was intentional. And she performs with unwavering conviction, unfazed. It adds a palpable sense of place and of reality to a powerful song.

  • Bora Yoon:

    Holy crap, Merrill. You floor me. you make me understand the wire of music is a conduit tapped in — what perfectly incidental sound design in the 1st video, and the dusk’s dark periwinkle light. good fucking job. sing on. sing on. sing on. Xx

  • Paul:

    I find it extemely funny how I sometimes come across new music. As a ex-Brit Pat I often listen to online Gilles Peterson’s World Wide weekly show on Radio One during which Mos Def interview was being played. In between words of wisdom from Mr. Def “Hatari” was played which sounded so much like a song by “Goldwater” (I’m a member of) that I was instantly intrigued”What the F… was that?” (But in an amazingly good way). I later found out this lass well known in my new home backyard of Brooklyn. Now I’m off to Other Music store to cop the CD. Loving this lass!

  • John Praw:

    The video is great. Is there any way to get the mp3 link fixed? I can’t get it to load.


  • Aqua: Love TEEN. Man they can sing. Cool. Different.
  • Suraj Joshee: Sarahana, Loved the video. You captured the simple raw essence of the music and band really really...
  • Kevination: I love infectious songs.
  • Jipes: Another great post, I love the voice of this artist. Every time I come here I’m surprised which is...
  • Jipes: Not at all, I’m really sorry if my comment seems odd but compare to people like Tallest Man on Earth,...