New video: “Hey! Mr. President!”

emilyyatesmusic : March 23, 2017 10:34 pm : News, Videos

What can I say? He just inspires me.

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Upcoming shows in Colorado and California!

emilyyatesmusic : March 15, 2017 1:30 pm : News

Looking forward to these shows – click on the image for more info!

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Talking politics n propaganda on This Damn World podcast

emilyyatesmusic : January 2, 2017 7:26 pm : Audio, News

Click the image/text or copy & paste the link below to hear me talk and sing my opinions on This Damn World, a San Francisco-based podcast with one of my favorite mottos: Be Fuckin Better.

this damn world podcast 108

This Damn World Episode #108 – Try Not To Be A Dick

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“I’d Rather Be High (Than An Asshole)” – The Official Music Video!

emilyyatesmusic : November 7, 2016 5:00 am : News, Videos

IT’S HERE! Ever since I released Folk In Your Face, I’ve been wanting to make a video for “I’d Rather Be High (Than An Asshole)” and now here it finally is – directed by Jamie DeWolf, featuring some of my favorite Bay Area performers! I wrote this song because not only did marijuana help me quit smoking cigarettes after I got out of the military, it also helped me deal with PTSD and generally be less of an asshole. Video & track credits below. Get the song here!

Two years ago today, I was standing trial in Philadelphia, having being violently arrested and jailed by some adorable-looking park rangers near the Liberty Bell the summer before. I’d been waiting in the 90º shade to play my song “I’d Rather Be High (Than An Asshole)” at a marijuana legalization demonstration later in the afternoon. The rangers had aggressively taken me down after refusing to tell me the reason they were clearing the park, and I later found out it was because they were using that area to process the herb they’d seized from demonstrators. The deep irony of the arrest – that I’d been prevented from playing this song due to the rangers being assholes about a marijuana demonstration – inspired me to release this video today, on the second anniversary of my conviction. And hey, Californians will be voting tomorrow on cannabis legalization! WHAT A COINCIDENCE.

Shot by
Jamie DeWolf and Gabriel Hurley

Edited by
Adam Parmalee

Assistant Director
Sara Shea

Supporting Cast

Angry Commuter Man
Patrick Ohslund

Weed Fairies
Kaila Love
Laika Fox

Sexy Cops
Jesi Ringofire
Wonder Dave
Police Brutality Victim
Duke Bossman

Emalee McNally
Scott Kimball
Carrie Jean Miller
Brenna Miller
Jaron Smith

Jamie DeWolf

Song Credits

Lyrics & Music by Emily Yates

Ukulele/lead vocals
Emily Yates
Jordan Feinstein
Erik Yates
Backup vocals
Melody Walker & Erik Yates

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On the road in August & September!

emilyyatesmusic : August 8, 2016 1:49 am : News, On tour

Tell your friends! All show details are here.

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“Drugs Are Bad” in the Tiny Desk Contest!

emilyyatesmusic : February 2, 2016 6:50 am : News, Videos

I decided to enter NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest again this year with a new tune called “Drugs Are Bad”  – let’s call it an ode to the double standard. If it brightens your day even a smidgen, feel free to brighten mine by taking a second to Like/share/comment on the YouTube. Thanks!

Copy/paste/click if the video doesn’t show up:

Videography by Sheldon Edward Steere

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New Official Holiday song & video: “Please Don’t F With Me (This Xmas)”

emilyyatesmusic : December 8, 2015 9:00 am : News, Videos

"We made a video!"
“We made a video!”

Buy the song here and watch the video below! Keep on scrolling for lyrics and other info. Happy f’ing holidays, fellow weirdos!

I don’t need a lot for Xmas
There is just one thing I want
I just want one single day when
People wouldn’t be such ¢unts
We don’t have to be a saint
Just stay off each other’s taint
And make the world less cruel
Just this Xmas, don’t be a tool …

Please don’t f@¢k with me this Xmas
I promise not to f@¢k with you
Peace on earth and brotherhood are well and good it’s true,
But let’s not sh*t ourselves – that’s more than most of us can do
So just please don’t f@¢k with me this Xmas

Please don’t f@¢k with me this Xmas
You’ve got the other 364
If you’ve got an issue, here’s a tissue, there’s the door
But don’t start sh*t today, that’s what New Year’s Eve is for
Oh just please don’t f@¢k with me this Xmas

Can’t be nice the whole year through
But for just one day, I won’t bother you
I’m not asking for world peace
Just for one damn day when you won’t f@¢k with me

Please don’t f@¢k with me this Xmas
I promise not to f@¢k with you
Peace on earth and brotherhood are well and good it’s true,
But let’s not sh*t ourselves – that’s more than most of us can do
So just please don’t f@¢k with me
I said don’t f@¢k with me
I wish you wouldn’t f@¢k with me
Motherf@¢ker, I said don’t f@¢k with me
Oh please don’t f@¢k with me this Xmas
Released December 8, 2015
Emily Yates: vocals, ukulele, hand claps, jingle balls
Erik Yates: bass, hand claps

Video/audio produced/engineered by E. & E. Yates (Tiny Kitchen Records)
Videography by Sheldon Steere
Video editing by Emily Yates

Featuring Emily Yates, Erik Yates, Sheldon Steere, Jennifer, Caleb, Emalee, Jason, Jean, and a hula-hooping snowman

Special thanks to the Church of Chill, to Jamie DeWolf and the amazing people of Tourettes Without Regrets for putting me on stage and giving me the idea to make this video!

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The “Try Not To Be A Dick” official music video is finally here!

emilyyatesmusic : October 26, 2015 10:16 pm : News, Videos

It only took four years after writing the song, but the official “Try Not To Be A Dick” music video has finally come to be! While I was on tour this summer, some friends in Philly generously offered to help me make my first for-realsies music video, and the results are yours to judge. Watch it, share it, Like it, play it for a few choice people in your office … and pat yourself on the back in advance, for trying not to be a dick.

Written & Produced by Emily Yates
Camera & Editing by Liam McGlynn
Directed by Emily Yates & N.A. Poe

Featuring N.A. Poe, Jordan Damiani, Corey Cohen, Steve Duffy, Adam Flicker, Kevin Gallagher, Andrew Gellar, Tony & Jo, random irate Philly drivers, and Ulysses, Ked, Sarah and the staff at Classics Unisex salon on S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA.

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Help launch the official “Try Not To Be A Dick” music video!

emilyyatesmusic : October 19, 2015 8:40 pm : Audio, News, Videos

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Listen: KPFA radio, 8/14/15 (w/Country Joe McDonald)

emilyyatesmusic : August 16, 2015 10:52 am : Audio, News

I had the opportunity to have a conversation and fun singalong on KPFA-Berkeley’s “Living Room” program with Kris Welch and Country Joe McDonald, as a promo piece for the Berkeley Protest Festival. Our segment begins at 27:47 if you don’t have time to listen to the whole broadcast, but I hope you do. (Here’s a link to the segment on

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[catlist name=press date=yes excerpt=yes thumbnail=yes]

“Emily Yates writes and sings songs that will make you laugh because they’re witty and are based in a subject matter of unspeakable truths. You’ll think it’s funny when she recommends you ‘try not to be a dick’ or confesses she’d ‘rather be high than an asshole,’ but you’ll realize she’s right. Underneath the dark, dirty humor might be the advice you’ve been seeking to help you be a happier human.”
Paul Hoffman, Greensky Bluegrass

“There are patriots, and there are artists—in the best of countries, they coexist. Emily Yates is *the* musical intersection of patriotic devotion, satiric comedy, and a light hearted approach to reformation of Americana Culture. Try not to be a dick, and you’ll experience the difference too!”
– Colin Huff, formerly of Gipsy Moon

“Emily certainly knows how to make an impression. Even at first listen in a crowded bar, a song like ‘Northern California Love Song’ can become a sing-along by the third chorus. Though there are a lot of words to get down, it feels like they have somehow been in your heart all along.”
– Joe Hickey, Hangover Brigade

“When Emily takes the stage you feel like she is channeling Woody Guthrie. She’s a natural and belongs right there, carrying on Woody’s spirit, writing songs about subjects that matter!”
– Maggie Forti, singer-songwriter


“Only Ms. Yates can make me shout out loud at a stoplight on a Tuesday morning, ‘Oh my fucking GOD, Emily!'”
– Karen P.

“Emily Yates’ modern and original take on American folk is both humorous and refreshing. Even if you don’t have the gall to be as honest as she is, at the very least you can live vicariously through her song by song on each of her albums.”
– Zollie G.

“Emily Yates is the full manifestation of lovely humor, wit, thoughtfulness, fun, and intelligence in topical and memorable songwriting. (Maybe a bit too memorable, with her songs getting stuck in my head.)”
– Patrick G.

“I just like how Emily exploded like the right kind of bomb – without hurting anybody, and yet shamelessly blasting. I hope she continues to blow up.”
– Teresa Rogerson, stand-up comic


The California Report, Dec. 28, 2012

Women’s Magazine, March 3, 2014

Living Room, Aug. 14, 2015



East Bay Times, Jan. 14, 2013, Aug. 16, 2013


Emily Yates spent the first part of her adult life as an Army public affairs minion, writing heartwarming news stories about the Iraq War to help build fellow soldiers’ morale, and destroy her own. Shortly after her release from the military in 2008, she moved to Oakland, CA, where she learned to play the ukulele, and decided to merge her dual passions for writing and music. Quickly realizing that this would be the best way to get her many opinions out to the world, she set to work writing dozens of ditties and playing them for unsuspecting strangers, who luckily were delighted. In 2012 she recorded her first album, I’ve Got Your Folk Songs Right Here, a fun romp through myriad ideas ranging from human decency to sexual expression to foreign policy. She released her second album, Folk In Your Face, in May 2014, and now travels all over the country spreading joy and disillusionment, alternately, with her songs and stories.

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In the few years since her initial performances, Yates has recorded three full-length albums, one entirely comprised of original songs for children (released under a pseudonym). She’s supported and performed with members of Americana bands (including Hot Buttered Rum, Railroad Earth, Fruition, Leftover Salmon and others) and rock bands (New Monsoon, Grant Farm, Good Gravy, Scott Pemberton Trio), as well as with other singer-songwriters and stand-up comedians. She’s toured America and performs regularly in the Bay Area and all over the west coast. Although she’s still in the beginning stages of “Eventual Ukulele Superstardom,” she is sure that soon she will be able to drop the “Eventual” and just move on to total world domination. Especially since she now also plays the tenor banjo – everyone knows how effective a communication tool banjos can be.