About this event
Could there be a band with a bigger breakout in 2011 than tUnE-yArDs? Bandleader Merril Garbus' methods are madness. Equipped with drums, ukulele and electronics, Garbus often establishes a song’s theme with a beat, plus a melody, plus a vocal track that she records live and loops. She then takes those musical motifs and layers them, adding her own accompaniment while backed by a powerful band. The results are mind-bending, fun and frenzied songs, satisfying even as they threaten to careen out of control.
It’s no surprise, then, that for her live performance at SFIFF 55 she’s decided to provide scores for short films starring Buster Keaton by reinventing some previous work and collaborating with local wunderkind guitarist Ava Mendoza.
Like Garbus, Keaton (as both actor and director) often uses a few basic props—a house askew, a slippery floor, a piece of trash—in absurd and incredibly nuanced ways, often escalating into a cacophonous riot. For this night, Garbus and Mendoza will be joined by the entire tUnE-yArDs crew.
The band accompanies the films One Week (1920), Good Night, Nurse! (1918), The Haunted House (1921) and—with Fatty Arbuckle—The Cook (1918).