Tune-Yards, James Tillman | The Vic | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Wed., Oct. 22, 8:30 p.m. 2014
Price: $28.50
I’ve been marveling over the latest Tune-Yards album, Nikki Nack (4AD), for much of the year—especially since seeing bandleader Merrill Garbus and her comrades bring its songs to DayGlo life this summer at the Pitchfork Music Festival. The music is in constant motion, juggling one idea after another: jump-rope chants, work songs, artsy funk, soul, electro-noise, Afro-pop, and more. This sort of giddy, eclectic mishmash, dripping with cleverness, usually makes me retch, but that’s because I’ve heard it done poorly so many times—I can’t get enough of Nikki Nack. Tune-Yards enhance their ingenious use of looping pedals with hocketing, harmonizing vocals and dense, playful percussion threaded through by the nimble, snaking bass of Garbus’s songwriting partner, Nate Brenner. On album opener “Find a New Way” the band is joined by bold New York vocal group Roomful of Teeth, but for the most part the microphone acrobatics come from Garbus herself, who overdubs her singing in fizzy, polyphonic layers—she quotes Busta Rhymes on the double-Dutch syncopations of “Water Fountain” and single-handedly makes like the Pointer Sisters on the electro-soul jam “Real Thing,” a meditation on American authenticity, racism, and multiculturalism. For Tune-Yards’ effervescent, high-energy live show Garbus and Brenner get help from several singer-percussionists, but there’s never any question who’s in control. —Peter Margasak
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