Tuesday, August 05, 2008

David Byrne since 1988

The new song (“Strange Overtones”) by David Byrne & Brian Eno, that I’ve decided I seriously like very, very much, has reminded me again that I’ve failed to keep up with David Byrne. I was a big Talking Heads fan, and I found their last album, Naked, to be just about their weakest (despite the fact that I really like the song “(Nothing But) Flowers”). And then I found David Byrne’s album Rei Momo to be OK, but then I kind of lost track, except for the song “Like Humans Do” that came with my computer . . .

So, coming across this new gem in “Strange Overtones,” I’ve decided to do some major David Byrne research. It’s been fun getting reacquainted. Hello, David, how’ve you been?

He will be on tour this fall and coming to Kansas City. I’ll be there for that.


So here, then, is a collection of non-Talking Heads songs that are just wonderful. My own little David Byrne Best Of album:

Dirty Old Town – Rei Momo
Marching Through the Wilderness – Rei Momo
Miss America – Feelings
Glass, Concrete, & Stone – Grown Backwards
Tiny Apocalypse – Grown Backwards
Dialogue Box – Grown Backwards
The Sound of Business – The Knee Plays
The Great Western Road – Lead Us Not Into Temptation
What a Day That Was – Live from Austin, Texas
Like Humans Do – Look Into the Eyeball
She’s Mad – Uh-Oh
A Walk in the Dark – Uh-Oh
Don’t Fence Me In – The Bachelor Soundtrack
Strange Overtones (David Byrne & Brian Eno) – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

If you’re curious, David Byrne can be found here:

David Byrne Journal

This is what he says about the new album:

“Today, a free track is available from the upcoming record that I did with Brian Eno. I’m hoping that folks will be pleasantly surprised at the direction we’ve taken and the final result. Since it’s only one song, it may give a skewed taste of the record, but many told me it’s their favorite track — I guess we’ll see.

I’m also wondering whether the web-curious will allow news of the album to spread more or less by itself. In the past, I might have undertaken all kinds of expensive marketing plans to prepare for a record release: there would be a teaser, live shows, posters, magazine ads, interviews, and advance CDs sent to writers and reviewers. We’ve done a few interviews, but that’s about it. It will be interesting to see if audiences find out about this song — and the record — without all those marketing techniques, and solely through Internet word-of-mouth.”

Anyway, here’s the website:


One of the things that’s interesting me, is that, apparently they’re going to be selling this album themselves. They have no record company. No press.

Last week, Byrne wrote a bit more about the collaboration, which sounds interesting. It really is a very good song they're giving away. It makes me hopeful for the album. But also, he wrote about the fact that there's no record company:

“Eno and I hadn’t worked together for many years, but since the Nonesuch reissue of Bush Of Ghosts in 2006, we’d kept in contact fairly regularly. In spite of a slow start, we began to collaborate, still with no plans to make a whole record (or whatever a collection of songs might be called now). After a while though, it became obvious that we were indeed making a record. As it neared completion, we decided to try releasing it ourselves — so far there is no record label involved — though various independent distributors will handle the physical CDs. Those who follow the music industry will know this idea is not entirely new; but every experiment in this area turns out a little different, as no model is right for everyone.

The artist and designer
Stefan Sagmeister is busy creating the packaging and graphics. We’ve worked together before and it always results in something new and surprising; I have no doubt it will happen again here too. Do I sound like a salesman? Am I too enthusiastic?”

Interesting stuff. More power to them.


At 8/05/2008 1:45 PM, Blogger Andrew Shields said...

Funny, I was wondering about Byrne the other day myself, with the same question: why did I not follow his solo career?

At 8/05/2008 3:12 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Did you hear the new song yet?

Maybe you'll get reconverted, as I have been.

And then you'll have a bunch of songs to buy. You could get the ones I list for 99 cents each from amazon. Or can you do that from Europe? I don't know how these things work, obviously.

At 8/06/2008 11:08 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Also, I really like Fuzzy Freaky, from Feelings, I've discovered.

At 8/09/2008 12:02 AM, Blogger Caffeine Destiny said...

civilization, it's all about knives and forks!

that's from a DB song..


At 8/10/2008 8:57 PM, Blogger Neil Kelly said...

John, at first I thought you were talking about Ewan MacColl's version of Dirty Old Town.


Frank Black does a great version too.

At 8/13/2008 5:31 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

David Byrne actaully DOES cover that other "Dirty Old Town" on YouTube (with Richard Thompson!).

I've now added a few more must-haves in the David Byrne catalogue.

Lazy (the dance-mix version)
In the Future

Which, actually make a nice little opening to a sentence:

Lazy angels in the future . . .


Knives and forks! I really do think, in a space visitor kind of way, David Byrne is a genius.

At 8/15/2008 5:52 PM, Blogger Glenn Ingersoll said...

I really like "Miss America" and have played it lots of times ... but haven't played any of the other songs on Feelings in so long I don't remember whether I disliked them or just didn't like them as much. I'll have to give it another listen. Like many of my CDs it's gathered some dust since iPod life took over.

At 10/27/2009 8:23 AM, Blogger TuttoilNiente said...

Intresting... it's not simple to find blogs speaking about Byrne.
Sorry for my english.

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