Front Row

tUnE-yArDs, Live In Concert: SXSW 2011

On stage, tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus often performs with only a microphone, some drums, a ukulele and a loop pedal. Remarkably, her limited resources add up to a big, full-blooded, unpredictable sound that often transcends genre altogether. For any other performer, all that jumpy upper-and-lower-case typography might seem cloying, but for tUnE-yArDs, (whose forthcoming album is titled w h o k i l l, punctuated just like that), it reads like a mission statement.

Given her history of turning her own battery of strange sounds into anthems of wiry eccentricity, it's no surprise that — when taking the stage at NPR Music's SXSW day party at The Parish in Austin, Texas — Garbus makes the most of an uncharacteristically large supporting cast in these live versions of songs like "Bizness." A bassist and two saxophonists back up her flights of eccentric fancy here, and they help flesh out tUnE-yArDs' continent-spanning rhythms and flourishes to disarming, often riveting effect.

Band Personnel
  • Merrill Garbus - Drums, Loops, Vocals, etc.
  • Nate Brenner - Bass, Drums
  • Matt Nelson - Tenor Sax
  • Kasey Knudsen - Alto Sax
  • Eli Crews - Sound
[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

Lydia Ainsworth performs "Afterglow" in the Optic Obscura installation during SXSW. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

All Songs Considered

Escape The Noise: Watch 9 Lullabies From Austin

Lydia Ainsworth, Phoebe Bridgers, L.A. Salami, Valerie June, Let's Eat Grandma and others sing us quiet songs on hotel beds and in art installations during SXSW.

Fear not a high kick. PWR BTTM perform during NPR Music's annual SXSW showcase at Stubb's in Austin, Texas. Adam Kissick for NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR/NPR

SXSW Music Festival

PWR BTTM Unleashes The Glitter At SXSW 2017

PWR BTTM, once two and now four members strong, brought glitter, humor and bombast to the stage at Stubb's this year.

Frank Turner performs on Mountain Stage this week. Amos Perrine/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Amos Perrine/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Frank Turner On Mountain Stage

The hardcore troubadour makes his Mountain Stage debut, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va.

Frank Turner On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/520243747/520247277" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top