Brandi Carlile and Tune-Yards

It was about 3 a.m. that I learned of the existence of Brandi Carlile.

I hadn’t yet heard her segment on The Howard Stern Show. I knew it had aired because many Stern “fans” in my social media stream were bitching about it. Bitchy group, Stern fans. So I was having some trouble getting to sleepyland, and often when this happens, I put on the Stern show. They were playing the last half of her appearance in the studio. I was disappointed not to get to hear the entire segment, but I did get to hear Carlile and her “twins” perform her song “The Joke.”

This is a tremendous performer, and she has written a truly touching song. Her story of how she came to pen the song was even moreso: She met a son of her friend’s, and he was at that age, about 13, where he just didn’t feel comfortable in his own skin, and she noticed he had a habit of tugging on his big white t-shirt, as if he was hiding in it. And she felt herself wanting to call him to offer reassurances about life and how it would improve.

She wrote a song instead.

Here’s NPR’s take on it, and it includes a live performance of “The Joke.” But, hey, a warning: Don’t listen to it if you’re not feeling like having your chin and lip quiver a little.

Then, if you’re like me, you’ll wash that down with a little Tune-Yards.

What do you mean, who? I haven’t gushed all over you yet about Merrill Garbus and Nate Brenner?

The article referenced (in the Financial Times, of all places) immediately compares Tune-Yards to Talking Heads, which is an apt comparison.

But. To really dig the Yard-Tunes, you must see the live performance. It’s really something. Got an hour 20 to kill?

How about a half hour?

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