Lovers Lane
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Not your typography

| May 5, 2011 | 0 Comments

You might notice a stubbornness in your IE, an inflexibility when it comes to how we present a band or artist’s name in print. We don’t bother with specific punctuation, unconventional capitalizing, or extraneous mother-effing ümläüts.

Merrill Garbus‘ decision to muck with how she typesets Tune-Yards is her deal. She can do with her brand’s logo whatever she likes when she’s the one scripting it. Not here. Blame organic, local hip-hoppers Abstract Giants if you must. Go whine to Motley Crue and Motorhead. Speak in exclamation points to Panic At The Disco and Godspeed You Black Emperor. It’s a free country; this is a private business.

We’re more accommodating when it comes to album titles, because those are published works. We reverted to rigidity with M.I.A.’s Maya, but we’ll play ball with w h o k i l l (4AD), because it’s a better record. (Oddly, TY’s “Gangsta” is a fine foil for M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes.”) If Garbus has a vocal soulmate, it’s Cee-Lo Green, with whom she shares a sandpapery rasp that can turn to velvet on a whim. And though w h o k i l l crests and dives on some quirky vocal turns, what really engages is how economical yet widescreen her minimalist junk orchestra can get. Brave enough to rely on a fuzzy, stuttering beat and nylon guitar (“Wooly Wolly Gong”), comfortably Stereolab (“Riotriot”), plugging junked Tribe Called Quest machines back into the wall (“Es-so”). Though just when you feel overwhelmed by the architecture, she slips in a line like, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing,” and make you smile for a whole other reason. (Wednesday@Lincoln Hall with Buke & Gass and Prussia.)

Luke Temple sort of unfairly worked two solo projects simultaneously, and while his namesake career didn’t meet his demands, Here We Go Magic has. Having graduated from the bedroom to a band-in-studio approach for last year’s Pigeons (Secretly Canadian), his spring tour will knock the calendar back a notch to focus on the space between those two records. Officially, The January EP rounds up tracks that didn’t make fly with Pigeons, but they thread a rope between Temple’s more ambitious, ethereal side and the indie-pop nuggets that endeared him to festival crowds. (Tuesday@Schubas with Aroara.)

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Featured, Stage Buzz, Weekly

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