All posts tagged: David Byrne

human-highway

10 Movies…Directed By Rock and Pop Stars (To Prepare You for Rob Zombie’s ‘The Lords of Salem’)

Lots of musicians decide they are famous and attractive enough to act, but it takes a special kind of hubris to take a break from making music to direct a movie. Sometimes it works out, as with the fruitful horror filmmaking career of Rob Zombie, whose The Lords of Salem comes out this week. Here are some others who gave it a shot. The Education of Charlie Banks The guy who got an Oscar nomination for The Social Network was once directed by Fred Durst, the guy who wrote the line “gimme somethin’ to break / how ‘bout your fuckin’ face.” But he does know what it’s like to be a violent thug, so there’s that. Yentl Streisand has one of the greatest voices ever, and she’s a good actress, too. And then there’s this literal vanity project, in which the 41-year-old Streisand directs her own performance as a teenager, who disguises herself as a boy to attend a yeshiva. Falling From Grace Ol’ John Cougar made himself up a movie-film real good like, with …

Camper Van Beethoven - Jason Thrasher

The Popdose Interview: David Lowery

Hearing the stories behind how the new Camper Van Beethoven album came together, we’re not surprised to find out that God is a CVB fan. And as you listen to La Costa Perdita, the new Camper album which landed in stores on January 22nd via the fine folks at 429 Records, it’s a safe bet that He has a permanent spot on the guest list whenever the band comes to town. David Lowery and the members of Camper Van Beethoven were set to play a show at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur in June of 2011 when rain — an unusual visitor for that particular time of the season — forced the band to postpone. With the unexpected opening on their schedule, the band decided to seize the opportunity to launch into the writing process for what would become their first album of new Camper material since New Roman Times in 2004. The moments of collaboration were fruitful, birthing enough material for an album and then some. There’s a distinctive Northern California tint …

The Very Guest Of… David Byrne

The world doesn’t need another greatest hits album — we’ve already got three goddamn Essential REO Speedwagon collections, and enough bargain-basement repackaged crap to fill truck stop carousels from coast to coast. That’s why, instead of an artist’s very best, we’re bringing you their very guest tracks: Five killer cameo appearances on other artists’ albums. This week, it’s erstwhile Talking Head and passionate bicyclist David Byrne! N.A.S.A. – The People Tree (from The Spirit of Apollo) On an album full of “wait, what?” collaborations, this track stands out: Chali 2na (ex-Jurassic 5) and Gift of Gab (Blackalicious) trade rapid-fire, brain-burrowing verses over a brass-laced number about the story of creation, while Byrne sings with the loopy grace of an angel on the hook. “Tasty little human beings / Grow them on my People Tree / I will eat them, one by one / There’s enough for everyone.” More like this, please.

Bottom Feeders: The Rock End of the ’80s, Part 7

So, I took at least an inital recommendation last week to listen to some Blue Oyster Cult and spun the record the vast majority said to listen to – Mirrors.  The whole first half of the album is pretty awesome – I think my favorite being “The Great Sun Jester”.  And while I understand that this isn’t quite reminiscent of their overall sound, it probably was a perfect start for me and my tastes in music.  There’s another artist below that I don’t know much about but to be honest, I’m looking forward to the recommendations a lot less than with BOC. So lets finish up the letter B today as we listen to more songs that hit it big on the Billboard rock charts but failed to cross over to the Hot 100. Box of Frogs “Back Where I Started” 1984, #14 (download) Box of Frogs was a group formed by three members of the Yardbirds, Chris Dreja, Paul Samwell-Smith and Jim McCarty. The vocalist was John Fiddler formerly of the British Lions. “Back Where …

CD Review: David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, “Here Lies Love”

Over the past few years, David Byrne has made his best music as a guest performer on other artists’ tracks, due in part to his increasingly Zelig-like ability to insert himself into collaborations whose utter awesomeness exists in inverse proportion to the amount of sense they make on paper. For example, here’s Dave singing the hook on N.A.S.A.’s superb “The People Tree,” featuring Chali 2na and Gift of Gab: The People Tree (feat. David B… And then there’s the insanely addictive “Toe Jam,” from Fatboy Slim’s BPA project: Toe Jam (feat. David Byrne & D… It only stands to reason, then, that a full-length collaboration between Byrne and Fatboy would be crazy awesome, especially if it’s a two-disc song cycle about Imelda Marcos that features guest vocals from a cast of characters including Sharon Jones, Sia, Nellie McKay, Tori Amos, Steve Earle, Cyndi Lauper, and Kate Pierson. Right?

Mix Six: “America”

DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE The theme of America in popular music has run the gamut of idealized notions of a land where one can pursue one’s dreams, to a kind of nightmare where those dreams are crushed. Even before the economy was in the toilet, the sense that life in America was more than the shining beacon of liberty that Neil Diamond sang about on The Jazz Singer soundtrack.  Instead, what we have here are songs of longing, love, loss, betrayal … you know, the stuff of life.  Instead of diving head long into the morass of song analysis in the intro, I’ll add my two cents in drips and drabs below… “America,” Yes (Download) There’s something about Yes giving this tune a kind of pop proggy treatment that makes this rendition of “America” one that strips away all the melancholy of the original and reveals a song that’s a soaring journey through parts of the New World – with just a tad too much psychedelic guitar in the middle. “Miss America,” David Byrne …

Bootleg City: Bruce Springsteen & the Max Weinberg 7 in Asbury Park, Christmas ’03

Six years ago I was fed up with the state of affairs in Bootleg City, but determined to do something about it. A small group of Bootleg City school board members — David Byrne, Bob Marley, and myself — were tired of being constantly undermined by Mayor Cass, who we felt had a personal agenda. Additionally, a young whippersnapper named Matthew Boles had recently joined the board, and he quickly aligned himself with the mayor in a not-so-subtle move to advance his political career, without any concern for who he might be stepping on as he made his way up the government ladder. (You might be shocked to hear this about Boles, but over the past six years I’ve come to learn that this is merely everyday behavior for him. It seems that you can never truly trust someone who’s a fan of the Little River Band.) On a quiet December afternoon, Byrne gave me a call to let me know that he had tickets to see a special Bruce Springsteen holiday concert in neighboring …

Bootleg City: Yes in Edmonton, September ’84

Wow! People are really fired up about this Tuesday’s election in Bootleg City! As mayor, it warms my heart to see such civic pride and faith in democracy. Don’t forget to vote, everyone. Remember, we’re all in this together. Everyone except the mayoral candidates whose asses I’m totally going to kick on November 3, that is. On that note, here’s my final attack ad of the campaign season: Last summer Matt Wardlaw was quoted as saying, “Taco Bell and I have a relationship that dates back to an infamous church youth group trip in the late ’80s.” So what else is Matt Wardlaw not telling us that he already did tell us but not without it being taken out of context? For starters, just last week Mr. Wardlaw told Mayor Robert Cass, “Not if you were the last immigrant grocer on Earth!” But why does Mr. Wardlaw hate immigrant grocers? And does he plan to molest them the way he molested 14 innocent Mexican-American tacos in 20 minutes back when Republicans were still in the White …

Bootleg City: Bad Company in Orlando, May ’99

The mayoral election is only 11 days away, and if the endless online chatter here in Bootleg City is any indication, voter turnout is sure to break all kinds of records! Keep in mind, of course, that if you break any and all kinds of vinyl records within the city limits, you’ll be shot on sight by Lindsey Buckingham. I’m sorry, but I can’t control that animal. With four candidates vying to be this city’s next mayor — and each one of us drawing roughly 25 percent of the vote in the latest tracking polls — I had no choice but to create negative attack ads (as opposed to positive attack ads, which usually feature footage of me engaging in surprise tickle fights). They’ll begin airing next week, but because I like you so much and know you’ll vote for me simply because you need all the friends you can get (we’ll discuss your wardrobe later), I’d like to offer you a verbal preview of each ad. First up, the most inspirational opponent of the …

Bootleg City: Motörhead in Sweden, November ’00

I believe the children are our future. I also believe my future in politics would’ve been cut tragically short on November 3 if Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson hadn’t returned all the children of Bootleg City to their parents in one piece yesterday. He was angry that he’d traveled all the way here from England to receive a 35,000-year-old flute, which, due to a clerical error of some sort, turned out to be only 35,000 seconds old. Unlike the children of Bootleg City, the flute was returned in several pieces, but only after being met with strong resistance from my skull. I’m relieved, of course, that the children are back safe and sound — as is my official hagiographer, who was still working off his hangover a couple hours ago — but I can’t help but be disappointed in Mr. Anderson’s timing. Sorry to nitpick, but if you’re going to steal a town’s entire tween-and-under population in an election year, it makes more sense to return them the day after Halloween, right? That way there …

Blu-ray Review: Talking Heads, “Stop Making Sense”

Mention Jonathan Demme’s 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense (Palm Pictures), and a lot of people are likely to respond with a two-word summary — big suit. While David Byrne’s oversized suit is an effective and enduring image, he doesn’t don it until late in the show, and he doesn’t have it on for very long. Byrne accurately predicted that the big suit would make his head look small, but it’s a sideshow. The important matter is that Stop Making Sense is one of the finest concert films ever made, a nearly perfect blend of musical innovation, passionate performance, and cinematic brilliance. It begins with an empty stage. Enter David Byrne with his acoustic guitar and boom box. Byrne treats us to a solo version of “Psycho Killer” that has all the dementia and danger you want out of that particular song. While Byrne is playing, Tina Weymouth’s bass riser is rolled on, followed by Weymouth herself, joining Byrne for “Heaven.” So it continues until all the core members of Talking Heads, including drummer Chris …

Bootleg City: Jethro Tull, 11/25/87

As election day approaches, it’s important for a political candidate like myself to line up celebrity endorsements. One of my opponents, David Byrne, has the support of famous people-slash-political activists like Jane Fonda and Danny Glover, while another opponent, Bob Marley, has lined up a bunch of dead celebrity endorsements, including Robert Palmer, Nina Simone, Mickey Rooney, and John Lennon, who would’ve turned 69 today. How am I supposed to compete with— … My sources have just informed me that Mr. Rooney is still alive. I’m sure they’re wrong, but I don’t want to embarrass them, so I’ll check Wikipedia after I get home. So far the only endorsement I’ve gotten is from Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson, who made the trip to Bootleg City only after I convinced him that I’d gotten my hands on the world’s oldest instrument, a 35,000-year-old flute discovered by archaeologists in Germany last year. Once he arrived, I explained that my e-mail contained a few extra zeros, not to mention a gratuitous three and five. Mr. Anderson wasn’t thrilled …

Bootleg City: The Mayoral Race Is Heating Up!

It’s hard not to get paranoid when you’re an elected official. First there was the August catnapping that turned out not to be a catnapping. (Cats who take naps don’t make me paranoid, hence the use of the compound word. Nevertheless, they’re always watching. Don’t forget that.) But then came September’s disastrous outdoor screening of The Wizard of Oz and those particularly potent poppies planted purposely in front of the screen. You could chalk that one up to garden-variety stupidity on my part since I’m the one who ordered the poppies, but let the records and tapes and whatnot show that I’ve never tried to hide that stupidity from my constituents, nor have I ever been smart enough to know where to hide it in the first place. But what if the poppies were switched out by one of my opponents in the upcoming mayoral race to make me look bad?

The Friday Mixtape: 9/25/09

Feel that tension building in your neck, that stress in the spinal cord that feels just like a piece of rope with the twine extra-wrapped? Feel that chafe of fraying fibers, rest to snap inside there? Let it go, man. Just let it go. You’ll feel all the better for it. Candlebox – 10000 Horses from Happy Pills (1998) David Bowie – It Aint Easy from The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust (1972) Dead Sea Effect – Battlefield I-5 North Commute from Those Of Us About To Die Salute You (2008) Great Buildings – Heartbreak from Apart from the Crowd (1981) Michael Knott – Cool from Fluid (1995) Pete Townshend – White City Fighting from White City (1985) Sepultura – Roots Bloody Roots from Roots (1996) Spy Glass Blue – Ignorant Side from Shadows (1997) Starflyer 59 – Your Company from Leave Here a Stranger (2001) Talking Heads – The Lady Dont Mind from Little Creatures (1985) Truck – Coffee In Church from 4X4X4 (2003) Undercover – The Eyes Of Love from Balance of …

Live Music: David Byrne @ Prospect Park Bandshell in Brooklyn, 6/8/09

An overwhelming 27,000 people showed up to see David Byrne play a free show at the Prospect Park Bandshell in Brooklyn on Monday night. The show was the opening of the 2009 Celebrate Brooklyn concert series. Celebration was easily the theme of the night, whether you were celebrating the fact that it didn’t rain, the fact that you managed to actually get inside the bandshell (many were detoured by the long, snake-like line, which purportedly began just before 11am), or the fact that you were seeing a legendary performer for free (or the cost of your donation). The show’s focus was Byrne’s work with Eno, covering the Talking Heads’ three pivotal, mid-career albums, and their two collab LPs, 1981’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, and last year’s Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, with the latter release unsurprisingly taking the most focus. (Which explains the absence of hits like “Psycho Killer,” “And She Was,” and “Road To Nowhere.”) Still, Byrne brought out some of the bigger Talking Heads players, all of which got …

New Music: Dirty Projectors, “The Stillness Is the Move”

The album art for Bitte Orca, the Dirty Projectors’ upcoming fifth album, shows band members Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian, their faces painted over in connecting red and blue circles. It harks back to the cover of Slaves’ Graves & Ballads, the band’s 2004 release, which some consider to be their strongest to date. But it also seems to hint at the enhanced prominence of the band’s female members, who joined the Dave Longstreth founded and fronted group around late 2006, early 2007. Longstreth, oft portrayed as the eccentric genius type, has been the driving force of the Dirty Projectors — but is notedly absent, vocally, on Bitte Orca‘s first single, “The Stillness Is the Move.” Coffman and Deradoorian handle all the vocal duties, stretching their voices in similar ways to Longstreth, though they steer clear of the screeching, wailing, almost painful emoting that he would push. Putting the ladies in the spotlight has a softening quality, furthering the Dirty Projectors’ gradual movement away from heavy bass and drum tracks, which they became rather known …

Popdose Flashback: “Lyle Lovett and His Large Band”

By 1989, Lyle Lovett had already been kicking around for a couple of years. He cut a unique figure from the start, a Texan Eraserhead with a knife-slash mouth, and there was a buzz about his songwriting chops based on tunes like “God Will” and “Pontiac” — perfectly-crafted little gems, both gorgeous and unflinching. But there was, in his earlier records, a sense that Lyle was still a work in progress. His persona shifted variously to the traditionalist and ironist camps. With Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, from its ruthlessly literal title on down, he gets definitive by getting ambiguous. It’s a neat trick. “Here I Am” (download) stakes out Lovett’s unique territory. A stomping, shouting blues vamp is continually interrupted by a series of surreal, goofy asides. It’s pure vaudeville, of course — extending from a tradition that traces back to “The Arkansas Traveler” and the minstrel show — but rendered with such deadpan earnestness that it creates its own interzone of doubt and indeterminacy: Is he serious? Is he kidding? Maybe both, …

Dw. Dunphy On… Everything That Happens, and a Little After That

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to see David Byrne live in concert. It was purported to be a celebration of the work he did with Brian Eno, famed producer and musical renegade, encompassing Eno’s production on classic Talking Heads albums as well as their collaborations like My Life In The Bush of Ghosts and a new, currently digital-only release Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. The show was composed of Byrne, a backing band, a trio of backup singers and a trio of interpretive dancers, and while that sounds like a bad, pretentious idea the whole thing came off very entertaining and ended up being a fine night of live music. Another big plus was the lack of squirrels in the road. Come on, if you go to see bands with an extensive and memorable back-catalog you know about the squirrels. A pace is building, the classics are rolling out and the audience is having a grand old time, then suddenly the performer announces, “We’d like to play something from our new …

David Byrne @ Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco

What a difference 30 years makes. Back in 1978, the Talking Heads were playing clubs that barely had functioning toilets and drew small crowds to hear their progressively styled poly rhythms.  Flash forward to 2008, and the Talking Heads are no more, but David Byrne is, and the music he created with his band and producer Brian Eno has gone uptown.  Byrne played at the swanky Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco to a sold-out crowd on Monday, and it was clear the moment he took the stage that he was expecting the audience to be a bit more sedate. However, the crowd was in no mood to politely sit in their seats — they gave Byrne a standing ovation at the outset, and then began to crowd the outer edges of the hall to dance feverishly for the next two hours. The opening song, “Strange Overtones,” was a mid-tempo number from his new collaboration with Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, and it got some heads nodding and bodies swaying in their …