Entries tagged with: Merrill Garbus
photos by Ryan Muir
'Habeas Corpus' / Anderson / Souleyman / Garbus @ Park Ave. Armory 10/2/2015
You can't miss the no-joke political import of Anderson's collaboration with onetime Guantánamo prisoner Mohammed el Gharani. As he is barred from entering the US, Anderson's use of "telepresence" to stream his image live into an Upper East Side venue serves a refreshingly clear conceptual purpose.Laurie Anderson's Habeas Corpus happened at NYC's Park Avenue Armory over the weekend. As mentioned in The Guardian review quoted above, the day portion of the installation was a collaboration with former Guantánamo Bay prisoner Mohammed el Gharani whose image was projected in real time against a giant throne while sound design by Anderson, including guitar drones by her late husband Lou Reed, filled the large hall. On the Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings there was a "dance party" featuring tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus, guitarist Shahzad Ismaily, and Anderson herself (who performed "O Superman"). They wrapped up with a set by Omar Souleyman that, according to the Guardian, had some people confused:
"Habeas corpus," we're told at the hall's entryway, means "you shall have the body". If a modern western government can't make good on this rule-of-law pillar, Anderson and Gharani will use digital technology to give us the next best thing.
Lit principally by a very slowly rotating disco ball, the vast interior of the Armory contains a larger-than-life sculpture of a throne and a seated occupant. (In a thoughtful essay published ahead of the exhibit, Anderson confirmed that viewers aren't wrong to think of the Lincoln Memorial.) Gharani's live image, shot from an undisclosed location in west Africa, is then projected on to the stage for the majority of each day's exhibition schedule.- [The Guardian]
Accustomed to being a party starter, Souleyman's inclusion so utterly baffled a large (and seated) portion of the crowd that the cool, typically unflappable singer had to work visibly to get the crowd dancing. The printed program for Habeas Corpus explicitly advertises that the evening concerts are supposed to be "dance parties" -thereby helping justify the use of the disco ball - but the somnolent nature of the first half of Friday's concert didn't do much to prepare an audience that hadn't read up in advance.Did you check out Habeas Corpus over the weekend? We've got pics from the first day (10/2) and lots more are below...
Laurie and her dog Lolabelle
We knew Laurie Anderson's new work, "Habeas Corpus," would be making its U.S. premiere at the Park Avenue Armory from October 2 - 4, and now we have more details. Part of it is a "site-specific environment that uses telepresence to examine memory, monuments, and prohibited space." The installation is open to the public during the day noon - 7 PM, and is $15 general public and free to Armory members. Each night, there will a celebratory performance and dance party with Omar Souleyman, including a new sonic composition created by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs with Anderson. Tickets are on sale now.
Currently at Park Avenue Armory is Tree of Codes, the ballet created by choreographer Wayne McGregor, visual artist Olafur Eliasson with music by Jamie xx. Tree of Codes runs from September 14-21 and tickets to Thursday (9/17), Friday (9/18) and the Saturday matinee (9/19, 2 PM) are still available.
In other Laurie Anderson news, her new film Heart of the Dog, about her own rat terrier, Lolabelle, will play at NYC's Film Forum from October 21 - November 3. Tickets are on sale and here's the description:
Lolabelle was Laurie Anderson's beloved rat terrier. "Hello, little bonehead. I'll love you forever," is how she greets the puppy in the movie's hilarious first scene in which she gives birth to her dog. Dreams, memories, and stories of childhood trauma and loss form a kind of emotional wallpaper against which Anderson foregrounds her story. The musician/composer/poet/philosopher creates a humorous, deeply moving meditation on the relationship of woman and dog, and in the process comments with wit and prescience on the changes in post-9/11 America. Rat terriers are bred to protect borders, but Lolabelle not only engages in the kind of surveillance the filmmaker notes proliferating everywhere, but also plays experimental piano and paints. "Every love story is a ghost story," Anderson quotes David Foster Wallace, as she illuminates the Buddhist concept of the afterlife (the bardo). HEART OF A DOG employs an original, hypnotic visual language that embraces animation, home movies, and loop-like images, complemented by Anderson's signature music.Anderson's Heart of a Dog will also air on HBO in 2016.
"Highlights of amazing @tibethouseus concert: Ira Glass dancing, Jim James singing, & Patti Smith & Phillip Glass performing a Ginsberg poem." - Ann Napolitano
Jim James and Ariel Pink (via Force Field)
The 23rd Annual Tibet House Benefit Concert went down at Carnegie Hall last night (2/21) with Jim James, Merrill Garbus (aka tUnE-yArDs), Ariel Pink, Patti Smith, Rahzel, Tenzin Choegyal, Jesse Smith, and artistic director Philip Glass, with backing from Scorchio Quartet, dancing from This American Life's Ira Glass, and an opening Monk chant.
As these shows usually go, the participating musicians all collaborated with each other on stage throughout the show. Some highlights include Ariel Pink being joined by Philip Glass at one point and then Merrill Garbus at another, Patti Smith reading Allen Ginsberg's "Wichita Vortex Sutra" as Philip Glass played backing piano, and the concert's final song, which saw everyone but Pink coming on stage for Patti Smith's "People Have the Power."
If you were there, did you see Uma Thurman in the audience? She was there with her father, Robert, a Buddhist writer who is President of TIbet House US, and who, along with Philip Glass, gave an introductory speech at the concert.
The full setlist and a couple shots of Jim James' set below...
by Andrew Sacher
DOWNLOAD: Roomful of Teeth - "Quizassa" (written by Merrill Garbus) (MP3)
Roomful of Teeth (photo by Nicholas Whitman)
Roomful of Teeth played an Ecstatic Summer show with Merrill Garbus (aka the brains behind tUnE-yArDs) to perform some compositions that Merrill had written for the group along with some tUnE-yArDs songs as well. Some of those compositions will appear on the new self-titled Roomful of Teeth album, which is due out October 30 via New Amsterdam Records. One of those songs, "Quizassa," can be downloaded above, and it's instantly noticeable that Merrill had something to do with it. The album also features songs composed by William Brittelle, Caleb Burnhans, Rinde Eckert, Judd Greenstein, Caroline Shaw, and Sarah Kirkland Snider. The album tracklist and cover art are below.
Roomful of Teeth will also play a free show in NYC on Thursday (10/4) at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. The show starts at 10:30. They'll be performing material from their album and also the NY premieres of new works by Missy Mazzoli.
Album info is below.
photos by Godlis
Merrill Garbus at World Financial Garden - 6/30/12
tUnE-yArDs mastermind Merrill Garbus teamed up with Roomful of Teeth, William Britelle and Judd Greenstein & The Yehudim on June 30 to kick off the indie/classical Ecstatic Summer concert series, which is part of the River to River festival and happens this summer at the World Financial Center. Merrill played both solo and with vocal group Roomful of Teeth, who also performed Merrill and William Britelle compositions at the show. Merrill's set included tUnE-yArDs songs including a new one called "Not Dead Yet." The Yehudim, who count Olga Bell as a member, opened the show (and that's why Olga couldn't be in Montauk with her new band Dirty Projectors that night. Olga has since played Music Hall and Prospect Park with the Projectors who she is now on tour with). Here are some pictures from the Ecstatic show.
The series of free shows continues this Saturday (7/14) with Oneohtrix Point Never, David Lang, and A Far Cry Orchestra. As mentioned, "The third show is on August 25 and will feature Brooklyn disco orchestra Escort collaborating with the equally large Darcy James Argue's Secret Society."
In other tUnE-yArDs news, bassist Nate Brenner also has a solo project called Naytronix, under which he will release his debut LP, Dirty Glow, on October 9 via Plug Research. That LP will be supported with a TBA fall tour, which includes MusicFestNW. The cover art, tracklist, and a video for the appropriately named track, "Robotic," are below, along with more pictures from the Ecstatic Summer show.
photos by David Andrako
Two days after Nick Zammuto played the ongoing Ecstatic Music Festival, eight piece vocal group Roomful of Teeth collaborated with Glasser on 2/25 at Merkin Concert Hall. The full setlist, which you can see below, included works by Merrill Garbus (aka tUnE-yArDs), Sarah Kirkland Snyder, Caroline Shaw, Rinde Eckert, Judd Greenstein and Cameron Mesirow (Glasser). You can listen to the whole show at WQXR. More pictures and the setlist below...
photos by Chris La Putt
""Occupying the original occupier" tUnE-yArDs in Columbus Circle." - Bill Bragin
Merrill Garbus in Columbus Circle - 2/9/2012
As tUnE-YarDs' show at Lincoln Center's Allen Room, part of the American Songbook series (which Bill Callahan played one night earlier), was coming to an end last night, the tweets started pouring in: "@brooklynvegan tUnEyArDs will be playing Columbus Circle within the hour. Get there!", "@brooklynvegan can u spread word that Tuneyards doing free show out by Lincoln Center fountain", "@brooklynvegan tune yards are playing in Columbus circle NOT lincoln center fountain", and "@brooklynvegan She said it was NOT a show. A gathering." Whatever it was, it included video cameras, and you can see what it looked like along with pictures from the actual show and the setlist from the show, below...
photos by Chris La Putt, words by Andrew Sacher
"Fireworks at the pier!!!! Wtf!!! And a full moon. Amazing!!!" - Austra
Hudson River Rocks kicked off their 2011 season in a big way last night (7/14) with tUnE-yArDs and Austra. Due to long lines down the West Side Highway, organizers, who tell us last night's crowd reached 4600 people, delayed the start of the free show so as many people as possible could get inside before Austra started.
Austra's rhythm section started the night with some eerie atmospheres. They were soon joined by Katie Stelmanis and backup singers Sari and Romy Lightman and conjured up album opener "Darken Her Horse." Katie is a huge presence on stage, and with such powerful vocals, she had no trouble projecting this presence across the pier's extensive length. The set felt too short, but it was no less enjoyable. They took on Feel It Break single "Lose It" early on in the set and though it seems like one of the album's more straightforward tracks, it actually showed the band at one of their highest points. The vocal interplay between Katie and the Lightman twins adventured into realms visited by few other synth pop groups. Sari and Romy were as charismatic as Katie but in a more subtle way that suited the performance perfectly. Austra's dark dancey songs sounded amazing outside on the Hudson River, but I couldn't help to think how great they would fit a small poorly lit club like Bowery Ballroom, where you can catch them on August 6 as part of their tour with Cold Cave.
After a short break, tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus came on stage by herself and introduced her set by looping howls and shrieks. Like Katie Stelmanis, Merrill had absolutely no problem letting her presence be known throughout the entire Pier 54. She was soon joined by a bassist and two sax players to tear apart the recently released LP w h o k i l l and put the entire thing back together right in front of the audience. Merrill continued to loop her vocals, which ranged from bird chirps to bear growls and included everything in between. She added layered percussion which could recall polyrhythmic afrobeat, Latin clave rhythms, or hip hop beats at any given moment. As the songs would start to take on a bit of structure, Merrill would throw in these whacked-out chord progressions on her ukulele. She was accompanied by strong basslines and avant-sax lines that channelled the likes of Eric Dolphy and Ornette Coleman. The fact that they were able to pull all of this off and somehow still sound really accessible is just beyond comprehension. And the crowd definitely reciprocated. It was probably the best crowd that I've seen at a show this summer and Merrill was obviously grateful for that. She expressed how amazed she was at the number of people who showed up and recalled an early experience playing NYC at Pianos where five people came to see her previous band Sister Suvi. She also pointed out the (almost) full moon which, in a weird way, was kinda fascinating to see while listening to tUnE-yArDs.
After the incredible set ended and the crowd was thanked multiple times, Merrill and co. exited the stage to return shortly for a one-song encore. As someone who isn't the biggest fan of encores, this one was pretty hard to deny. They played the awesome album closer "Killa" and with about 45 seconds left in the song, fireworks erupted over the Hudson River behind the stage.
More pictures and videos from the show below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Frisicano
The "Our Band Could Be Your Life" tribute Sunday night at Bowery Ballroom ran more than four hours with 14 bands playing the music of 13 bands (plus a special encore act that covered Nirvana). Set changes were kept short, and bands generally played about 10-15 minutes (between one and four songs). Unannounced guests included Tim Harrington and Lee Ranaldo singing the Minutemen, Craig Finn playing the role of Minneapolis cop, and Dan Deacon's multimedia barrage and three-piece band. More highlights, lots of pictures, and a bunch of videos (UPDATE: NPR has audio of the show) are below...
Kyle Thomas, Ruth Garbus & Chris Weisman
Happy Birthday is Kyle Thomas (aka King Tuff), Chris Weisman, and Ruth Garbus. They formed in November 2008 to play one show at the punk-space "Tinderbox"(RIP), in their hometown Brattleboro, Vermont. Kyle needed a band to play his new pop songs because he was too scared to play by himself. They enjoyed playing with each other so much that they decided to keep doing it. They have now played a total of 5 shows. Kyle sings and plays lead guitar. The songs are mostly his, but the band arranges and finishes them together. He is also a painter and drawer and loves top 40, shoes, texting, comic books, etc. Ruth Garbus plays drums and sings. She also makes her own music and art. Chris Weisman plays "inverted-tuning" guitar, bass, and sings. He makes 4-track songs, enjoys reading and writing, and is a guitar teacher.Happy Birthday's Sub Pop signing was announced in September, but so far the label hasn't released any of the tracks from the album's worth of songs the band recorded for them (due to be released March 16th, 2010). The record's tracklist is below.
-[Sub Pop in September]
The band was signed only a few months after their first non-Brattleboro, VT show, which happened in Winooski, VT in July. A video from that gig is below. Since then, the group made what we think was their NYC debut at Silent Barn on October 21st (during CMJ) and opened two nights for Devendra Banhart in Burlington and Boston in November.
Happy Birthday are scheduled to visit NYC again on December 12th for a show at Death By Audio with Yellow Fever (their debut album release show) and Vivian Girls
Happy Birthday is a supergroup of sorts. In addition to their individual solo projects, Ruth and Kyle are both in Feathers, Kyle (aka King Tuff) is also in Witch, and Chris plays as a duo with Greg Davis.
Chris Weisman (who is not in Feathers or Witch) has a brother named Kurt Weisman who is also in Feathers (who are signed to Devendra Banhart's label Gnomonsong) and Witch (who feature J Mascis as a member).
Ruth (Happy Birthday) just signed to Sub Pop. Merrill recently signed to 4AD. That's a family full of talent with a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Catch both sisters performing solo on the same NYC bill for the first time at the Stone two days before Christmas.
Happy Birthday album tracklist and a live video of the group (possibly the only way to hear them via the Internet at the moment), below...