solo David Byrne - S/D

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did he need the rest of the heads to make good music?

the Catherine Wheel tells me no.

i also listened briefly to some album of his on ECM (forget the title right now) that was interesting to say the least.

JasonD (JasonD), Thursday, 21 November 2002 19:41 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

only familiar with the newest album. i remember hearing "Like Humans Do" on the local alternative rock station and thinking that Byrne had wussed out. I wasn't really into Talking Heads (with the exception of "Once In A Lifetime of course"), but i remember thinking, he probably took off the white coat and strapped on a dashiki(sic) to record this album. i threw it under "world" music for the longest time, until i picked it back up at the beginning of this year and started hearing new things. so, longwindedly, I'd say search Look into the Eyeball.

Brock K. (Brock K.), Thursday, 21 November 2002 20:23 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I really like David Byrne's solo stuff. I think Feelings may be my favorite, it's got some great songs on it, and Morcheeba did work on a couple numbers such as "Fuzzy Freaky"...they compliment each other quite well. I think the song "Finite" is one of my favorite songs ever, it's very pretty and friendly. the instrumentation is great, just accordion & upright bass & voice.

I also really like the one with the brown/black cover (I think it may be self-titled) with songs like "Lillies of the Valley", "Back in the Box", and "Buck Naked". I had it for years before I realized that it has one of my favorite keyboardists on it...Mr. John Medeski.

Also, he did an orchestral score for a Robert Wilson play called "The Forest" that is totally gorgeous and pretty heavy...not heavy like "chugga-chugga bark bark woof woof METAL!!"-type "heavy", but emotionally "heavy".

To be honest, I think all his solo stuff is quite worth listening to.

nickalicious, Thursday, 21 November 2002 20:38 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, either of the last two would be a great place to start. Other than Uh Oh there's nothing you really need to stay away from.

Adam A. (Keiko), Thursday, 21 November 2002 20:40 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

four years pass...
The Catherine Wheel is really, really excellent. Why is there not more talk about this? At parts, it's like a slower, weirder mutant of Remain in Light, and it has some nice Eno (and Jerry Harrison and Adrian Belew) parts spattered all around.

Z S, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 01:06 (eleven years ago) Permalink

My favorite solo Byrne. "Big Blue Plymouth" can sit comfortably beside his Heads stuff. The ambient stuff on the first third -- spooky bongos, clavinets, distorted rhythm guitar -- is very fine.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 01:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"Big Blue Plymouth (Eyes Wide Open)" is particularly great. It has one of Byrne's best vocal deliveries, Talking Heads or otherwise. It's got this weird acid-fried Holly thing happening. and that's not even to mention the music, which on the chorus is this drunken cluster of soft voices bending from note to note.

Xpost - damn, beat me to it!

Z S, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 01:17 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I forgot about those bent harmonies, Z S. thanks!

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 01:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink

It's a shame Music for the Knee Plays (the ECM one) is out of print — it was never issued on CD, in fact. Lovely horn arrangement of "Theodora is Dozing," which is on the old Nonesuch Explorer album Music of Bulgaria. Spoken word over horns, when not instrumental; quirky of course, but somehow having some greater resonance.

I've always felt Rei Momo was underrated. Apparently it was criticized upon release for appropriating Latin American styles and Byrne's voice not going with that or some such thing — cultural imperialism, etc. But I didn't really have a lot of knowledge of Latin music before I heard it, so it's always made sense to me.

eatandoph, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 01:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink


chaki, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 01:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"She's Mad" is WEIRD. It's like Talking Heads for the verse and Rei Momo for the chorus.

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 03:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

wow. a) i don't remember starting this thread b) i've been around this fucking place for like 4-5 years. get me out of here.

jaxon, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 05:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Music for the Knee Plays (the ECM one) is pretty great. sorta like a third-wave take on New Orleans brass bands.

what other projects has he been involved in? off the top of my head i can only think about his track with Fripp which kicks ass.

jaxon, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 05:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"She's Mad" is WEIRD. It's like Talking Heads for the verse and Rei Momo for the chorus.


chaki, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 09:27 (eleven years ago) Permalink

what other projects has he been involved in?

Well there's the Oscar winning soundtrack to The Last Emperor with Ryuichi Sakamoto. Haven't seen the movie, can't remember having heard the OST. I'm sure others have though...

And last year he was involved in a project with Norman Cook - some sort of opera about Imelda Marcos if I remember correctly.

I love his last record quite a bit - the tour that came after it was phenomenal.

willem, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 09:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I still listen to Rei Momo, but not very fond of the albums after it. I think Rei Momo is a much more consistent Naked, although the best songs on Naked are better than anything on Rei Momo.

Vinnie, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 13:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Man I love the drama of "Cool Water"..

willem, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 14:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Rei Momo is pretty great. Uh Oh wasn't so great and had a terrible cover to boot. the ones after that kind of run together; the one with the black and white cover had a good song on it.

i could have sworn I saw something about th knee plays being reissued recently, but maybe not.

akm, Wednesday, 18 April 2007 17:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

seven years pass...

what other projects has he been involved in? off the top of my head i can only think about his track with Fripp which kicks ass.

Yes! I just heard Fripp's "Under Heavy Manners" with Byrne's crazy vocals and it made me wonder what other guest vocal appearances he made that are worth hearing.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 22 July 2014 20:22 (four years ago) Permalink

he hasn't updated his live journal blog since January

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 22 July 2014 21:35 (four years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

The Catherine Wheel is so excellent. It's like a more ethereal Remain in Light.

Austin, Thursday, 5 May 2016 21:03 (two years ago) Permalink

Agreed! After ignoring it for years I gave it a spin recently and was smitten. But I feel the CD with the incidental music obscures the excellence of the LP version. Less is more.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 5 May 2016 23:22 (two years ago) Permalink

Found a cheap vinyl copy of this a few weeks ago and it is indeed great!

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Thursday, 5 May 2016 23:54 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Byrne did an AMA on reddit, new album on the way (quotes taken from his anwers here):

I'm making tour plans (and a new record) for next year

early next year

Brian helped me a LOT on a record I'm finishing up now.

willem, Friday, 12 May 2017 07:43 (one year ago) Permalink

...that Brian being Eno

willem, Friday, 12 May 2017 07:43 (one year ago) Permalink

There's a collab with Oneothrix Point Never on there, too

On Some Faraday Beach (Le Bateau Ivre), Friday, 12 May 2017 22:51 (one year ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

kolakube (Ross), Saturday, 3 February 2018 04:57 (ten months ago) Permalink

So many David Byrne threads. Reasons to be Cheerful talk also mentioned on another one

David Byrne

curmudgeon, Saturday, 3 February 2018 15:44 (ten months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

This is good! And pretty strange!

Davey D, Thursday, 1 March 2018 18:22 (nine months ago) Permalink

it's pretty safe and way too slickly produced! but his voice is comforting.

kurt schwitterz, Friday, 2 March 2018 22:59 (nine months ago) Permalink

it's good but it's all a bit samey isn't it? these songs don't really stand out from each other.

akm, Sunday, 4 March 2018 00:48 (nine months ago) Permalink

Live show is pretty fun, just got back from seeing it.

cwkiii, Monday, 5 March 2018 03:37 (nine months ago) Permalink

yeah just saw some little video clips, really excited for this.

akm, Monday, 5 March 2018 14:57 (nine months ago) Permalink

He heard some drum tracks created by the British producer Brian Eno, .....Then he played it for Mattis With, a producer and musician who also is an executive at Young Turks, the taste-making British label whose artists include the xx, Sampha and FKA twigs. Mr. With, 28, is a Norwegian living in London. ...

It takes no small amount of chutzpah for a 28-year-old to say that Brian Eno’s tracks aren’t good enough, but that’s what Mr. With gently did. “I thought they were maybe a starting point rather than a finished record,” he explained in an email. He proposed that Mr. Byrne revamp the tracks, using a new set of young collaborators.

Mr. With enlisted his pal Rodaidh McDonald, who produced the record with Mr. Byrne and Patrick Dillett. A 36-year-old Scotsman who’s worked with the xx, King Krule and Adele, and fell in love with Talking Heads while he was in art college, Mr. McDonald set up a kind of audition process, sending the songs electronically to different musicians, and instructing them to keep the structure, tempo and key, but “send me back a reimagined version of the song.” Then he and Mr. Byrne evaluated the competing tracks, decided which they liked best, deleted existing music they no longer loved (including, often, Mr. Eno’s), and sent the songs back to the collaborators who’d done the best job, with directions for further refinements.

“It felt like we were collaging the record back together,” Mr. McDonald said.

curmudgeon, Friday, 9 March 2018 05:49 (nine months ago) Permalink

Sometimes it works, but the 1980 expanded Talking Heads collaborative in the studio and live process worked better

curmudgeon, Friday, 9 March 2018 05:52 (nine months ago) Permalink

I really love "gasoline and dark sheets" and "it's not dark up here" is also nice. Both are quite danceable and the electronics work. There is a lightness of being about them. The other 3 or 4 songs i listened to were superfluous.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Friday, 9 March 2018 21:55 (nine months ago) Permalink

Everything That Happens Will Happen Today > My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts

PaulTMA, Friday, 9 March 2018 22:06 (nine months ago) Permalink

wtf that is crazy talk

akm, Friday, 9 March 2018 22:53 (nine months ago) Permalink

pretty radically different albums, not even sure they're comparable

tylerw, Friday, 9 March 2018 23:04 (nine months ago) Permalink

My life in the bush of ghosts is by far the most interesting album david byrne or the talking heads have ever released.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Friday, 9 March 2018 23:05 (nine months ago) Permalink

Everything That Happens Will Happen Today > My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts

Tempted to agree, one of the most open-hearted, joyful, full-sounding records in my collection (no slight on Ghosts, apples to oranges and maybe I like oranges more)

Davey D, Saturday, 10 March 2018 00:34 (nine months ago) Permalink

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