Quips and summaries from experiencing and appreciating music in a city that is as foreign and familiar as they come - New York. So here is to music anywhere and everywhere. Starting from concert one on week one after the move in 2009.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

David Byrne in Virginal White, in Public, with Interpretive Dancers

... this is how I spent my favorite Monday of 2009. On June 8th, David Byrne and Company (dance and music) played a free concert to kick off Celebrate Brooklyn, a summer concert series in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. He had everyone onstage wear white, play white instruments, and not only keep good rhythm but demonstrate rhythm via dancing. 3 dancers ran on and off the stage performing interpretive dance/ballet/acrobatics; at one point they danced while sitting on office chairs and David participated in the choreography. They were David's New Age sprites.
Image of David <span class=
Mr. Byrne is currently on a year-long world tour performing the music he has created with Brian Eno throughout his career along with a few Talking Heads favorites like Once in a Lifetime (my favorite song in 8th grade) and Burning Down the House - phew because I am pretty sure 67% of the people would have said the show was only fair if he had not played that gem. Side note - does anyone really know the words to that song, really?
David greeted the very diverse, very Brooklyn crowd by saying, "I'll be your waiter tonight. My name is Dave and here are the specials." He then launched into Strange Overtones, one of my favorite songs from their recent album and tour title 'Everything that Happens will Happen Today.'
I read up on David Byrne and had no idea the versatility of this artist: Obviously the creative force of the Talking Heads; he directed and starred in the cult movie True Stories; partnered with Twyla Tharp for a Broadway show called The Catherine Wheel; he won an Oscar for best composition in the The Last Emperor and has been featured on multiple soundtracks; he is the founder of Luaka Bop which is a world music record label; he launched an internet radio station called Radio David Byrne; he is also a visual artist with several installations both to his name and anonymously, including designing bike racks in 2008 in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
AND he manages a web site where he frequently posts personal comments http://www.davidbyrne.com/. Permission to feel like a lazy schmuck granted.
Go see David Byrne because he is the coolest and most versatile 57 year old guy on the planet. He can still sing, dance, and entertain, and you will be surprised by how many of the songs you will know even if you don't think you know his Brian Eno collaborative work because it runs consistently through his career. So buckle up for a good summer ride. I am jealous of you Coloradans that have the luxury of seeing him at Red Rocks on June 20th.
My final note is a personal comment that David Byrne posted on his web site in July 2007. I think it sums up the current situation/dying of the traditional music business. My thoughts exactly:
"There was another piece in the Times today about yet another 20 percent drop in CD sales. (Are they running the same news piece every 4 months?) Jeez guys, the writing's on the wall. How long do the record execs think they'll have those offices and nice parking spaces? (Well, more than half of all record A&R and other execs are gone already, so there should be plenty of parking space). They, the big 4 or 5, should give the catalogues back to the artists or their heirs as a gesture before they close the office doors, as they sure don't know how to sell music anymore. (I have Talking Heads stuff on the shelf that I can't get Warner to release.) The "industry" had a nice 50-year ride, but it's time to move on. Luckily, music remains more or less unaffected — there is a lot of great music out there. A new model will emerge that includes rather than sues its own customers, that realizes that music is not a product in the sense of being a thing — it's closer to fashion, in that for music fans it tells them and their friends who they are, what they feel passionately about and to some extent what makes life fun and interesting. It's about a sense of community — a song ties a whole invisible disparate community together. It's not about selling the (often) shattered plastic case CDs used to come in." - David Byrne
Thanks to lala.com for bring the factual goods to the table this time around.

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