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Africa + Andrews Sisters + Busted Caps Lock Key = tUnE-yArDs

Wow – this is just great. In case you haven’t heard of this band, tUnE-yArDs is essentially the nom de rock of Merrill Garbus, who originated this killer, original project in her proverbial bedroom.
The unusual instrumentation (floor tom, duct-taped ukulele, multiple looping pedals) and obvious African influences in her music are garnering the most attention, but I’m most impressed with her voice – sinuous and blow-the-doors-off powerful at the same time. Check it out:

I like the way she combines African vocal phrasing with a touch of ’40s-era crooning, as well as a very musical (as opposed to gimmicky) command of live looping: this video is a bit of a clinic in how to use looping to subtly enhance a performance, rather than reduce that performance to a technical exercise.
Her latest record, Whokill, is also highly recommended. And she’s from Oakland, people.

Like it? What do you think?

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How A Hit Happens: Blondie / Heart of Glass

If you’re one of those music fans who hears a favorite song and says to yourself, “Damn, what a great song…how did they do that?”, you’re really going to dig this video on the making of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”.
Even if you don’t like the song too much (it’s not one of my favorites), the producers/narrators do a really good job of delivering an accessible lay explanation of what took the track from promising demo to chart munching classic hit status.
Cool video? Too geeky? Drop a comment and let me know!