Twitter informs me that the recording artist David Byrne turns 69 today. Most people discover Byrne as the front man for the new-wave band Talking Heads. I knew those tunes in my childhood from the ambient sonic environment. But, I got into his solo work when he released the album Feelings. I went backwards and forwards from there. I’ve practically worn out my DVDs of Jonathan Demme’s concert film Stop Making Sense, which found Talking Heads at a time when they had radically expanded their live-performance band. Similarly, another concert 2004 DVD featuring David Byrne at the Union Chapel.
I have sometimes worried that Byrne’s experiments with what was then called “world music” are going to come under criticism for cultural appropriation — when in fact they were joyful attempts in personally exploring championing the music of other cultures and nations in front of a huge American audience. I used to inflict his music on my friends. And I do remember a delightful CNBC segment where he appeared to talk about his somewhat parodic Powerpoint Art project right after Richard Perle talked about invading several Middle Eastern nations.
Anyway, here are two utterly delightful videos from different parts of his career.
“Slippery People” from Stop Making Sense:
And “Nothing But Flowers” from his 2004 released concert in Union Chapel:
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