Wednesday, November 4, 2009

An Interview with Tune-Yards at The Chopin Theatre, Chicago (10/15/09)

The Tune Yards album Bird Brains is an interesting collage of digital audio recording and samples that make for a great exploration of what is sonically possible on an album.

Therefore I was very interested to see how this collection of sound snippets and samples would play out when performed live. I was fortunate to film an interview with Merrill before the show.

She said that she didn't want to just have a DAT machine playing, and instead used relay pedals and used grunts, drumsticks hitting mic stands and anything else that was handy to lay a percussive ground-floor. She built the rest of the musical building up with her vocals and also the ukulele, which takes on a more prominent roll live than on the album. Any questions about how this would all shake out were answered immediately as Merrill created a sound that was different from the album, but actually shined the focus on her songwriting and her amazing unique vocal style.

The Chopin Theatre was a great place to see a show. The sound was really good and owner Lela and the people that worked there were very nice and accommodating for my interview of Merrill as well as throughout the show. Check out their upcoming line-up.

Thanks to Catherine at Beggars for all of the help.

Also thanks to my friend Steve Juras shot the interview on his video camera as well as took the pictures that show up on this blog. Check his wide range of artistic endeavors at


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