David Byrne maintains regular communications with friends and fans through his e-mail newsletter. He informed his extended audience today that he has written and published a new book, How Music Works. It will be available on September 12, 2012.
According to David Byrne: It examines how music is affected by a multitude of contexts—financial, technical, social, and architectural. There are personal anecdotes and pictures and some pie charts, as well.
David Byrne’s command of music’s sociological dimensions coupled with his role as a purveyor makes this book an irresistible journalism choice.
All pre-orders will receive an immediate Premium DRM-free 320kbps MP3 of “Weekend In The Dust”. The entire full digital album will be delivered to you via email on September 10th, one day earlier than the release date. All physical goods will be shipped to arrive by September 11th.
CD in custom packaging, including 4 fine art inserts
Digital download of entire 12 track album
On “Weekend in the Dust”, I came up with some brass riffs and swells that sounded pretty funky to me. I then sent those to Annie and she wrote a cool vocal melody over it (later she wrote words too). We both arranged her vocal and other elements of the track a bit further—still working with horn samples temporarily. Finally, we passed this one to baritone sax monster Lenny Pickett, ex Tower Of Power and current Borneo Horns and SNL bandleader, for arranging. I’d previously worked with Lenny on a Talking Heads track (“Blind”) so I know he is really good at convoluted and funky—and that describes this track pretty well. We recorded the whole band playing it in the studio in Hoboken, which I arrived at one morning in March via bicycle and ferry. Nice!
I readily like their first track, “Who”, which you can download free from their micro-site. The sonic textures that the brass band creates is a visceral, head bopping experience.
The album is a collaboration in the truest sense of the word, with Byrne and St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) co-writing ten of the album’s twelve tracks, and each artist penning one song individually.
Tracklist 1. Who 2. Weekend in the Dust 3. Dinner For Two 4. Ice Age 5. I Am An Ape 6. The Forest Awakes 7. I Should Watch TV 8. Lazarus 9. Optimist 10. Lightning 11. The One Who Broke Your Heart (featuring The Dap-Kings and Antibalas) 12. Outside of Space & Time
Byrne and Clark will launch a 24-date fall tour on September 15 in Minneapolis. “We’ll be doing these songs and a bunch of songs that we suspect people will know, with a group that includes eight brass players, a keyboardist and a drummer,” says Byrne of the tour.
Love This Giant will be available on September 11, 2012 on 4AD under exclusive license from Byrne’s label Todo Mundo.
Beautifully put-together with classic performances and interviews, the viewer gets to see the transition from the early three-piece days (singer/songwriter/guitarist David Byrne, bassistTina Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz in 1975) to a quartet (keyboardist/guitarist Jerry Harrison joined in 1977), on into an ensemble of multi-cultural proportions. The deluxe edition of the release will include a 48-page hard-cover book with photographs and an essay by the late Lester Bangs, originally published as a review of Fear Of Music for the Village Voice in 1979. The essay is the complete and unexpurgated version, available here for the first time.
1) Mic Test (1976)
2) With Our Love (1975)
3) I’m Not In Love (1975)
4) Psycho Killer (1975)
5) Intros Montage (1976)
6) The Girls Want To Be With The Girls (1976)
7) Don’t Worry About The Government (1978)
8) Dressing room fan footage: Found A Job (1978)
9) Thank You For Sending Me An Angel (1978)
10) Warning Sign (1978)
11) Artists Only (1979)
12) Take Me To The River (1979)
13) Crosseyed And Painless (1980)
14) Animals (1980)
15) Love → Building On Fire (1982)
16) Cities (1982)
17) Burning Down The House (1983)
18) Life During Wartime (2002)
Though it may not seem it, this little project took years to pull together. I had seen much of this footage, and realized there might be an interesting video timeline of the various manifestations Talking Heads went through. But, tracking down all of the owners of these bits of footage and followed by getting the rights of the material was another matter. Some of the early clips were obviously not commercial—the sound and image can be a little rough in those—but you can see the extremely stripped down version of the band playing at CBGB in those days. These bits and pieces of footage coming together into a cohesive chronology morphed into something very different and impossible to predict.
This was very much a live band—at least until the late 80s. The initial recordings emerged out of what we played live, what worked in that context and how we refined our skills playing together. For a lot of musicians in the digital era this is not always the case. These days, the record often comes first and then how it is staged comes later. The Lester Bangs essay is also very much part of this time. Other than some very specific references, it holds up amazingly well as a passionate and idiosyncratic piece of writing. There’s a reason a lot of writers continue to hold him up as a role model (though I hope they bypass some of the substance abuse). Though his piece is in the form of a record review, it is in truth a beautiful existential rant—and I am proud to be in some way associated with it. Come to think of it, maybe many of these songs are partly something else in disguise as well?
With each iteration of Chronology, you can pretty plainly see what came before as well as a hint of what was to come—all easy to spot in retrospect, of course. There are some fashion don’ts as well as some prescient looks—but what you really get is a sense of how tight this band was. Of course, there is more footage to be found from these sources but I thought to myself, “How many versions of the same songs can one view?” I think the sampler approach gives the viewer a sense of the musical and performative changes we were going through, but without the possibly tedious repetition.
We watched the movie, Wall Street, Money Never Sleepslast night. I was entranced with the motion picture soundtrack. The movie begins with a sweeping panorama of New York City which envelops you in the temperament of the action to follow.
Oliver Stone incorporated much of the music of David Byrne and Brian Eno during the course of the film. The film has five selections from Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. I haven’t played that recording in some time and it was refreshing to see where Oliver Stone used their music as a backdrop. The city scenes engulf you in the power of New York City as the financial capital of the world.
I have come to strongly associate David Byrne’s musical art with metropolitan New York. His muse strikes just the right embellishment for a city landscape ever in motion and that never sleeps. The sonic collaboration with Brian Eno offers a striking contrast to suburbia and city life.
The soundtrack also has a couple of tracks from My Life in the Bush with Ghosts, the first genius collaboration recording between David Byrne and Brian Eno. I am thinking I will watch the film again for the interaction of David Byrne’s music with the story.
What intrigues me the most as a fellow digital technologist is that David Byrne and Brian Eno are forging ahead by further pioneering the path that was established by Thom Yorke of Radiohead with digital download and Internet commerce technology. If you haven’t read the article that David Byrne wrote for Wired Magazine about the various record industry business models and David’s interview with Thom Yorke I urge you to do so. I love what that synergistic thought has wrought with the result Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.
The new distribution model of electronic download and free album for a period of time speaks to the conviction of the methodology as well as the strength of the digital music David Byrne and Brian Eno have struck together and wish to share distributed via the web.
If you want to get a sense of what has been going on with the production of Everything That Happens Will Happen Today watch and listen to it across the page here on my VodPod Player 😉