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Emily Yates, Eventual Ukulele Superstar / Press

“Since returning from Iraq, Yates moved to Oakland, CA and joined the local chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Her music is saturated with themes of her time in the army and various social and political messages. ... Her sense of humor comes through in songs like 'Good Ol' Passive Aggressive,' a direct song about indirect anger, and her signature song 'Try Not to Be a D**k,' which gives advice like 'cover your mouth when you sneeze,' and 'stay out of the fast lane if you are driving slow.'”

"There’s no denying Yates’ piercing wit and unflinching commitment to telling the truth as she sees it. From “I Don’t Want to Have a Baby,” to “Shut Yer Face,” to “Foreign Policy Folk Song,” you don’t have to wonder what she’s thinking. She performed two songs at the Nat Keefe Concert Carnival, which played to a capacity holiday season crowd. She was accompanied by her husband on “A Northern California Love Song,” him on banjo and her on a banjo strung to mimic a ukulele. Then she was joined by about a dozen musicians and backup singers — “a combined, like, hundreds of years of experience,” she said — for her signature tune, “Try Not to Be a Dick.” Long before she finished, the crowd of about 100 was on its feet and singing along."

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