And here’s the low-budget puppet theatre version. All I can say after watching this is: I’ve worked with smaller budgets.
Archive for the ‘Byrne, David’ Category
Who doesn’t love that great Talking Heads song about babies, “Stay Up Late”? Especially when it’s played on accordion and tuba.
I just found out about a great new music podcast, Sound Opinions, in which two very knowledgeable taste-makers bring a lot of insight to an hour-long discussion about music. Their range is wide and their taste is informed. On the most recent show, they discuss music with economist Paul Krugman, who notes that given the dire state of the world economy he needs music more than ever. Other discussions cover the music of Bob Dylan, R.E.M., Neil Young, and others.
Here’s a link to the page about their recent show with Brian Eno. Eno, it should be noted, is not in the studio with them — they’re in the U.S., and he’s speaking with them from England — but these guys are so natural, so comfortable, that it sounds like they’re all sitting together talking over tea. In this particular interview, Eno is given just credit as an early pioneer of important musical trends (new wave; sampling; spoken word over music; ambient music; using the synthesizer as an instrument; and many more), and is asked smart questions about how he chooses collaborators (David Bowie; David Byrne with or without Talking Heads; Robert Fripp; Devo; Bryan Ferry with or without Roxy Music; as well as a couple of bands I don’t care about, such as U2 and Coldplay). The interview is played against the backdrop of music they discuss, from Eno’s vast repertoire, in such a way that every bit creates a new and better understanding of connections and influences across his 40-year career. (In the process, teaching me something new about “America is Waiting,” a song of his with David Byrne that I’ve been listening to with great appreciation for 30 years.) If you’re at all interested in music — and musical trends — of the past 40 years, I highly recommend this interview.
Thirteen years ago, David Byrne’s performance on the show Sessions at West 54th Street proved definitively how much he didn’t need the other people from Talking Heads. This video of “Making Flippy Floppy” serves as Exhibit A. The band is electrifying: I think the backup singer is terrific, in energy, look, enthusiasm, and vocal colors, and the keyboardist brings several good new textures to the song, but then, every member sounds great. On a personal note, I have to say that David Byrne’s dance moves here speak directly to my soul. I encourage you to watch the entire video — including the final minute where he explains to host Chris Douridas his thinking behind the choice of those clothes. To this day, David Byrne is always thinking.
In which David Byrne talks about his love for music, and his opinion that lyrics are overrated.
As someone who has been listening to Byrne’s lyrics for more than 30 years, I agree with him that it’s often the sound of lyrics (his lyrics, anyway), that’s more important than the meaning. That’s because the songs he’s done both with and without Talking Heads have been largely connotational rather than denotional — they connote a certain mood or situation, most often: a rootless anxiety. (Or, sometimes, a quirky sort of hope.) This displacement from his surroundings puts him squarely in the tradition of postmodern artists where, of course, meaning is less important than immediate impact. Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf and William Burroughs and Donald Barthelme were usually more interested in transmitting a feeling than telling a story. And that sounds like a close approximation of what David Byrne does in his songs.
Thanks to Paul Crist for alerting me to this video.
Or, more appropriately, more songs made by buildings, as David Byrne’s new musical experiment allows you to “play” the Roundhouse in London.
Thanks to Paul Crist for making me aware of this.