I was/am a Talking Heads fan (more about them when we get to T) so when David Byrne branched out with solo work I was excited & happy with these first couple of releases. My Life In The Bush of Ghosts w/ Brain Eno & The Catherine Wheel. I’ve heard & had some of his subsequent work but it hasn’t stuck to me so I haven’t kept it. It was solid but unremarkable.
Ghosts is a studio masterpiece that paved the way for the sampling riot that took over many groups. Layers of music, conversations, sermons manipulated to create fresh (& still sounding fresh today) moments – I can’t call these songs because they aren’t – densely sonic impressionistic suites that play off one another but also stand alone.
I had a cassette of Wheel & never felt I had the whole thing. This is also experimental, electronica ripples through out but there are actual songs on this. Some of them are very Talking Heads in style – from the Fear of Music period – lyrically & performance wise.
I have seen parts of the Twyla Tharp production this was composed for – it’s full of her ‘not really falling down’ choreography – a elegant commentary on family & consumerism. Two very accomplished recordings & both great starters if you aren’t familiar with Byrne outside of the Talking Heads.
‘What did you mean by that?’
‘By what Dad?’
‘By you know what I mean.’
‘If I knew what you meant, I wouldn’t ask. Would I Dad?
‘Now you are just trying to be clever Pete.’
‘Don’t say it. I know Dad. Clever isn’t a foundation it’s just a flash in the pan.’
‘Well! At least you do listen to me sometimes. If only you’d practice what I preach you’d be better for it.’ He smiled smugly.
‘Practice what I preach’ I parroted. ‘Now if that isn’t just plain clever I don’t know what is.’
‘What did you mean by that?’
‘I mean, you remind me not to be clever by being clever yourself. Doesn’t that contradict your intention?’
‘And just what was my intention?’ His fingers tapped the dining-room table.
‘Your intention, as usual, was to make me feel in the wrong and you in the right.’ I crossed my arms and leaned back in my chair.
Silence. It must have lasted five minutes.
‘Would one of you bring in the turkey?’ Mom came into the dining room with a platter of steaming vegetables.
Neither of us moved. Dad’s fingers once again began to tap on the table. She glanced at him before she put the platter on the table.
‘Help yourselves while I get the rest,’ she went back into the kitchen.
‘Mustn’t disappoint her.’ I pushed the platter towards my Dad.
‘No, son, you go first. Really. I’m not very hungry.’
I pulled the platter to my plate and scooped off some of the corn and spinach.
‘That’s right. I’m the growing boy, aren’t I?’
November 18, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9
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