Long after his new-wave fusion band's heyday in the 1980's, former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne is still an astonishingly relevant cultural figure. His spastic dancing on Stop Making Sense is still hailed as some of the greatest concert film footage this side of Martin Scorsese, and even beyond his solo albums, the one-time RISD student is also an enthusiastic blogger and DJ and recently converted a New York City warehouse into a giant interactive instrument.
Last year, thirty years after they first collaborated on More Songs About Buildings And Food, Byrne again joined up with legendary British producer Brian Eno for Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, which blended Byrne's folk and pop vocals with Eno's acclaimed electronic backdrops, working remotely via audio files ping-ponged over the internet.
These harmonic foundations of some of these songs are often like those of traditional folk songs, country songs or gospel before some of those styles got harmonically sophisticated. Brian’s chord structures were like nothing I would have chosen by myself, so I was pushed in a new direction, challenged. This, of course, was good- as the challenge wasn’t so much technical as emotional- a challenge to write simple but not corny, basic but heartfelt. The results, in many cases, were uplifting, hopeful and positive- even though there were lyrics about cars exploding, war and similarly dark scenarios.
Fittingly, once it was finally finished, it was also released online for direct sales and downloads, much to the delight of his various blog-buddies. The same goes for the accompanying live EP released just before this tour, proceeds from which will benefit Amnesty International.
Also, be sure to stop by The Box afterward for an after-party hosted by Adam Smith. The first 50 folks to
show up buy a drink will get a custom, almost-certainly-unauthorized Byrne T-shirt printed by local artist Thomas Deane!