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Photograph by Anna Campbell
WINK: Merrill Garbus' new album inspires a bit of ill-advised verse.


Meditation on a theme by tUnE-yArDs

By Gabe Meline

Hills need not be high

Boiling water need not be hot

Old cars require no oil and

Old flames require no drunk texts

For the new tUnE-yArDs record is out

And it is hella awesome

I have heard raccoons fall out

of trees

Heard an El Camino mangling a pole

Creaky drawbridges in Rome

Roaring sports crowds

Montana thunderstorms

A baby's first breath

But nothing like this new

tUnE-yArDs record

Which is hella awesome

She lives in Oakland, they say

Let's guess: Temescal

Used to be porn theaters

Hot dog stands, robberies

Now Eritrean restaurants and

Purple corduroys and

Yoga studios

Truth is, guess could be off

Guesses about tUnE-yArDs

Are bound to miserably fail

Any descriptions, likewise

Ginsu knives, taken to tape

Nina Simone and King Sunny Ade

James Jamerson and Lee "Scratch" Perry

Blender turned on "pulse"



Floppy sloppy bass drum, broken

Intentional chops and cuts

Every instrument, non-instrument

They say she is Merrill Garbus

I tell them to stop there

Taint not the sweet syrup of discovery with

Facts, briny facts

I am not reading about her on the internet

I am turning the record over again and again and again

You do not want to play this record

w h o k i l l

For your friends playing Words With™

Or straggling from bars pining for Bon Scott

After out on the mack

You want to lay flat on the hardwood floor

Awash in its

Fierce, rotund creativity

You want to write poetry even though

You can't because

You don't know shit about poetry

Ukulele + Drums + Loops


Human urgency for sound

Lyrics = Amazing

Lyrics = Ridiculous

It's all the same in 2011

tUnE-yArDs plays Tuesday, April 26, at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. 'w h o k i l l' is in stores this week.

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