Any Bay Area music-lover watching "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" Monday night must have lept from the couch when Oakland's own tUnE-YarDs took the stage, front and center.
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tUnE-yArDs, the experimental project of Oakland-based drummer, vocalist and ukulele player, Merrill Garbus, was relatively unheard of earlier this year. But this week, with the Roots on backup and her boyfriend Nate Brenner on bass, Garbus rocked the crowd at Late Night, a platform that's been known to launch promising no-name bands (like LA's Odd Future) into stardom.
Garbus's success is recent, but is only picking up speed. Back in March, she opened up to East Bay Express with her story, from living out of a car and struggling as a puppeteer to playing at Mama Buzz Cafe to signing with 4AD records, home to Bon Iver, St. Vincent, Iron and Wine and Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti. "I was on food stamps," she told the Express. "I would come home to Connecticut weeping -- if I could afford the gas."
Garbus's story may be a predictable one, but her music is anything but. Pounding on drums and wailing into the microphone with wide eyes, bare feet and that signature gravely voice, the performance on Late Night was truly, authentically Garbus.
Watch her perform her hit "Gangsta" on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon below: