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Pen Tip Rips – 2: tUnE-yArDs

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by Sleevie Nicks

See also other posts about tUnE-yArDs here and here.

5 Responses to Pen Tip Rips – 2: tUnE-yArDs

  1. Lucy Cage April 26, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Ha! Harsh. Funny, but harsh.

    Especially the “when the 4AD logo meant something”: it’s been a long, long time since Pixies’n’Muses and even longer since Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance did their ethereal thang. And even then, 4AD always had its misfits and peculiarities. But after so many years of not a lot, 4AD’s current roster is looking pretty sweet and very suddenly and surprisingly of the moment.

    (Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Atlas Sound, Blonde Redhead, Bon Iver, Broken Records, Camera Obscura, Deerhunter, Efterklang, Gang Gang Dance, Iron and Wine, Scott Walker, Serena-Maneesh, St. Vincent, Stornoway, The Big Pink, The Mountain Goats, The National, Tindersticks, Tune-Yards, Twin Shadow.)

    I’m not quoting that in full as whole-hearted approval of all those acts, btw. And nor is there necessarily a 4AD ‘brand’ that made 4AD an adjective back in the day, although I’d be up for hearing someone making a case for that. But the label has made a remarkable and unexpected recovery.

    As for the “watered-down” black music… hmm. I’d hear that of bloody Vampire Weekend, but not this. One man’s watered-down is another man’s inspired allusion. If Merrill Garbus had merely pilfered and not undone, embroidered, recast, defamiliarised and re-presented as something entirely alien to what else is passing (and being celebrated) as new music in 2011 – specifically and ironically the respewings of the 80s 4AD roster – then you might have a point. As it is, she sounds like nothing much else. Maybe the earliest Throwing Muses crossed with Micachu, raw and vulnerable and weird and as unscene-y as fuck.

    Tsk, you’re only stirring the shit because she’s getting across-the-board good reviews! Which is worth doing – mass approval should always be viewed suspiciously – but I reckon tUnE-yArDs are the bizness.

  2. Nate M April 27, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Yeah, I’m with Lucy on this one, especially the black music pilfering bit.

    Also, the charges of trust fundage are getting kinda stale.

    As for “ruining” the 4AD “legacy”, her first album came out on 4AD, but I guess not as many people cared about that one.
    I’d be pretty psyched if Technotronic and C&C Music Factory came back into vogue! Is that dope enough? Indeed.

  3. Ken Double April 28, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Oh now come on.

    I can understand grouching about Pains of Being Pure at Heart – even though I actually like ’em myself – but we’re into denunciations and show trials now. tUnE yArDs is ideologically unsound?

    I’ll take “trust fund” to mean her parents haven’t the decency to be broke, “ripping off black music” to mean she can actually sing and “time was a 4AD logo meant something” to mean they haven’t gone bankrupt.

  4. Ken Double April 28, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Sorry, “watering down black music”. Mustn’t misquote.

  5. hannah golightly July 20, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Where are you getting your information about trust funds from? Certainly not from my piece on Tune-Yards. She lived off the contents of a bin for f’s sake! Born with a silver spoon in her mouth? Are you out of your mind?

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