Entries tagged with: David Byrne
David not worrying about his phone @ BAM (more by Chris La Putt)
David Byrne thinks Google is evil. He expresses this opinion, after having problems with one of his Android devices, in a post -- he's too even-keeled to write anything you'd call a rant -- on his website titled "Google is Evil":
Poking around, it seems that the latest version of Android (KitKat) disables certain kinds of uses on these storage cards that I had purchased; Google (who helped develop the Android operating system, and later bought it) seems to have intentionally crippled my devices. It cost me money for those cards, but more importantly, I use them as a creative tool. Phones especially get filled up with apps and other stuff, but if I can store my pictures, music and voice memos on an SD card, I can worry less about memory issues...Read the whole thing over at David Byrne's place.
...Other forums suggest Google is "forcing" us to store stuff in the Cloud, presumably where they can get at all our data and then market it to advertisers.
It's a weird feeling to have an invisible corporate hand reach into your gizmo, without asking really, and cripple it.
Wish I could do the same--reach in there and cripple their search algorithm--because, maybe on a whim, I determined I wanted it to work differently.
photos by Chris La Putt; by Bill Pearis
David Byrne / the Lidaju Sisters & Alexis Taylor / finale with Dev Hynes, street dancers
The music of Nigerian musician William Onyeabor was celebrated over the weekend with the two-night "Atomic Bomb" concerts at BAM. Part of this year's Red Bull Music Academy, it featured David Byrne, Blood Orange's Dev Hynes, Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor, the Rapture's Luke Jenner and Nigerian singers the Lidaju Sisters singing Onyeabor's songs, backed by a tight band (who knew how to hang loose) led by Sinkane's Ahmed Gallab. (The band also included Money Mark, LCD Soundsystem drummer Pat Mahoney and more.) Saturday night's show, at least, was a fun, joyous time with as much dancing in the aisles as would be allowed.
Perhaps a tip of the hat to Onyeabor's current born-again Christian status, the night opened with street preacher Rufus Cannon wheeling his portable speaker down the center aisle, shouting testament to God and Jesus on his way to the stage, and at the end of the show a variety of street performers were brought on stage as well, giving the evening a distinctive NYC flair. The music was great, hitting most of the highlights of last year's Who is William Onyeabor? compilation, and the Lidaju Sisters performed a couple of their own songs mid-set. Both Taylor and Byrne were onstage most of the evening as part of the band when they weren't singing.
I do wish the keyboards -- which is what makes Onyeabor's music so distinctive -- had been a little louder in the mix. "Good Name," which on record has an almost Kraftwerk vibe to it, was overtaken by the horn section (which included sax great Joshua Redman). But the crowd and everyone onstage seemed to be having a genuine blast with Onyeabor's music.
The Atomic Bomb Band -- which played The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon ahead of the BAM concerts -- head to the West Coast this week for shows in LA and San Francisco. More pics from Saturday's performance below...
by Bill Pearis
The monthlong 2014 Red Bull Music Academy starts this week here in New York City, and one of the most anticipated events is "Atomic Bomb! The Music Of William Onyeabor" tribute that happens at BAM on Friday and Saturday (5/2 & 5/3). It features singers David Byrne, Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip), Kele Okereke (Bloc Party), Dev Hynes (Blood Orange), Joshua Redman, Luke Jenner (the Rapture) and more paying tribute to the music of the Nigerian funk singer and synthesizer pioneer, and features a backing band including Sinkane, Money Mark and onetime LCD drummer Pat Mahoney. Tickets are still available to both nights.
If you were on the fence, wondering what to expect or both, David Byrne and the band dropped by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday (4/29) to perform "Fantastic Man," one of the more winning tracks from last year's essential Who is William Onyeabor? compilation. By the looks of it, this is going to be -- like the Gene Clark 'No Other' tribute -- a straight-up, "let's do it like he woulda" kind of thing. Which is good news I think and bodes well for this weekend's shows. You can watch the Tonight Show performance (and compare and contrast with the Onyeabor original) below...
You can read how it all came about over at David Byrne's website. In addition to the shows happening in NYC, the Atomic Bomb Band most of the same singers/players are performing shows next week in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Dates and lineups are listed below...
Panda Bear at MHOW in 2011 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
As discussed, the Red Bull Music Academy is taking over NYC again this May, and since we last spoke, lineups have been announced. Artists appearing include D'Angelo, Panda Bear, Hudson Mohawke, Tim Hecker, Napalm Death, François K, Robert Henke, The Haxan Cloak, Gunplay, Wolf Eyes, Regis, Optimo, Daedelus, Autre Ne Veut, Bastard Noise, The Thing, Yoshiko Ohara, Dam-Funk, and Gunplay. Events go down in various NYC venues from May 1-31.
RBMA will also host the previously-mentioned 'Atomic Bomb! The Music Of William Onyeabor' tribute which will feature David Byrne, Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip), Kele Okereke (Bloc Party), Luke Jenner (formerly of The Rapture), Pat Mahoney (ex-LCD Soundsystem), Joshua Redman and The Lijadu Sisters, Money Mark and Sinkane.
Tickets are on sale now for individual shows. Schedule and more details below...
When many of us think of the song "Respect," we think of Aretha Franklin. Many people are shocked to learn that Aretha never made a penny from all the radio broadcasts of her performance of R-E-S-P-E-C-T (this is because she wasn't the composer.) It's true--many musicians receive little compensation or struggle to pay bills despite having widely-aired recordings...If you support artists' pay for radio play, you will probably want to sign this petition for the I Respect Music initiative. There will be a concert/rally for the cause at Le Poisson Rouge on February 25 featuring appearances by David Byrne, Janita, John McCrea, Mike Mills, Marc Ribot, and more. It is a FREE show but you do need to RSVP by sending an email to email@example.com. More info here.
...With its denial of a Performance Royalty to artists, the U.S. stands with a short list of countries that includes: Iran, North Korea, China, Vietnam, and Rwanda. Most other countries in the world pay out at least small amounts to performers for the use of their performances of songs on radio--a use that makes up the content of their broadcasts. To clarify, songwriters and publishers of songs do get paid a little bit, but there is nothing allotted for the folks who record and sing the versions of songs that we hear all the time and whose recordings are used to sell advertising on commercial radio.
- David Byrne
In related news, still no word on tickets for the Byrne's Here Lies Love which is set to return to the Public Theatre at the end of March.
The full text of Byrne's letter about I Respect Music is below....
When Here Lies Love ended it's sold-out Public Theatre run last summer, co-creator David Byrne said they were looking for a new place to stage the musical. Byrne sent out a missive today with good news, and an old venue:
Here Lies Love is back! Or rather, it will be back up and running in late March (previews), with Opening Night slated for March 31st... and the run is open-ended!Great news! No word on tickets yet, but Byrne also mentioned that there would a cast recording album coming out on Nonesuch. "It doesn't sound like any cast album you've ever heard, with seven new songs since the last iteration of this project," Byrne writes. The physical release will be two CDs with a 52-page booklet. Release date is TBA but that's the cover art above.
We're back at the LuEsther, the atmospheric 3rd floor space at The Public Theater that was the former Astor Library. There will be improvements --- better visuals all around and drinks after!
Byrne recently staged a version of Here's Lies Love at Terminal 5 to benefit relief efforts for the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.
photos by Greg Cristman
2013 has come and gone but we still have a couple year-end posts to go. Greg Cristman shot a whole lot for us last year -- everything from metal to synthpop and all points in between -- and he picked his 25 favorites from '13 which are in this post.
"Recorded live at CBGB's in New York City on July 30, 1976. Talking Heads (still a trio at that time) and Television both played two sets that night - this recording is from the second Talking Heads set. This track was never released in any form." Listen below...
"We're Gonna Die" was inspired by an insight she traces to this incident, the idea that sadness brings isolation. We are most alone, most cut off from the possibility of comfort, when we are most in need of it. "It's not even like you can like rip off the mask and let it all hang out when you're in private around people who care about you," she confides, "because there's only so long you can keep dumping your pain on other people before eventually they start to get fed up. Which makes being in pain an incredibly lonely experience."Earlier this year, playwright Young Jean Lee adapted her cabaret We're Gonna Die, that she debuted in NYC at Joe's Pub in 2011 (the show the above review is from), into an album -- the debut release by her band Future Wife. The album has an impressive list of guests either performing or reading monologues, including David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Kathleen Hanna, Ad-Rock, Matmos, Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld. It was produced by Shannon Fields of Stars Like Fleas and Leverage Models. Lou Reed was a fan too, and called her "one of the most accomplished, articulate, versatile and hilarious playwrights, musicians, artists that we in America have to offer."
Also a universal one of course. The charm of "We're Gonna Die" is in how effectively (and humorously) Ms. Lee converts the exaltation that pop music can spread into a kind of collective consolation for life's unavoidable woes. Employing the same basic tools of songcraft -- catchy choruses, relatable lyrics, uplifting melodies -- she applies them not to the eternal subject of swooning romance but to darker if no less common experiences (more common experiences, probably): loneliness, unhappiness, the gut-churning 4 a.m. fears about the pointless mystery of life that all sensible souls are prey to. There is comfort, Ms. Lee suggests, in public celebration of the private misery we keep locked away for fear it will leave us too exposed. [NY Times]
She's now made a video for one of the album's tracks, "I'm Gonna Die," which makes its premiere in this post. You can watch it, along with the album's tracklist, below...
Jherek Bischoff (center) w/ Kornos Quartet in July (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Amanda Palmer/Parenthetical Girls collaborator Jherek Bischoff has announced a couple NYC shows for early 2014 with some pretty great guests. He'll be at St. Ann's Warehouse on January 8 and 9 with Contemporaneous Chamber Orchestra to perform his album Composed with David Byrne, Zola Jesus' Nika Danilova, Sondre Lerche, Deerhoof's Greg Saunier and Mirah Zeitlyn. Tickets are on sale to St. Ann's Warehouse members now, and general on-sale begins Tuesday (12/17).
Watch the video for Jherek's David Byrne collaboration from Composed, below...
David Byrne at Wellmont Theatre in June (more by Greg Cristman)
About a week ago, on November 7th, Super Typhoon Yolanda (as Typhoon Haiyan is known in the Philippines) made landfall. It was the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall on record. Ever. The full extent of damage and the death toll have yet to be assessed, but it's unimaginably catastrophic. The city of Tacloban on the island of Leyte has been almost wiped off the face of the earth. No place could have withstood this storm.David Byrne's Fatboy Slim collaboration Here Lies Love ended its Public Theater run over the summer and was looking for a new home. A permanent new home hasn't been announced yet, but David did just announce that he's doing a Here Lies Love show on November 25 at Terminal 5 to benefit the people of the Philippines affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan. Tickets are on sale now, and proceeds will benefit Doctors Without Borders.
This past spring and summer, a musical I had been working on for years called Here Lies Love ran at The Public Theater here in NY. It takes place in the Philippines, and it follows the rise and fall of Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines. The first song sung by Imelda begins with the words "When I was a young girl in Leyte." The show is about the resiliency of the Philippine people--that sentiment couldn't be more timely.
Upon hearing about this tragedy, the cast contacted me about doing a show to raise money for relief efforts. Most of our cast is Filipino, and all of us feel the same way. It's personal for all of us. We all dropped whatever we were doing and this concert version of the show will happen in one week--Monday, November 25th, 8PM, at Terminal 5 here in New York.
In related news, David Byrne collaborator St. Vincent revealed some new music and announced tour dates.
'Here Lies Love' flyer below...
I just got an email from a Chilean actress who wrote what it meant to be able to hear Lou's work during the period of dictatorship there. A breath of life, she called it. That gives you some idea of how widespread and deep his influence was.Read the rest of Byrne's statement at Rolling Stone.
No surprise I was a big fan, and his music, with and without the Velvets, was a big influence on myself and Talking Heads. He came to see us at CBGB numerous times, and I remember three of us going to visit him at his Upper East Side (!) apartment after one of our very early gigs there.
Lou was talking a mile a minute and going through tubs of Haagen-Dazs ice cream while he suggested some variations and adjustments we might make to some of our songs. He began to play our song "Tentative Decisions" (a very Lou song title, no?) but he played it way slower than we were doing it. He was showing us how the song might be as a ballad -- which made it more melancholic and elegaic than our bouncy version. It suddenly was of a piece with "Candy Says," "Some Kind of Love" or "Pale Blue Eyes." Of course we were in awe -- here was one of our heroes playing one of our little songs. But by then it was the wee hours of the morning, dawn was coming, and we were all pretty spaced out -- and we three probably had day jobs to get to at that point.
If Fela Kuti was a child of James Brown, fellow Nigerian William Onyeabor is something like the next-generation musical offspring of Parliament-Funkadelic. His songs are extended call-and-response disco-funk jams driven by the space-age sound of synthesizers and drum machines -- very new tools when Onyeabor was recording in the late '70s and '80s, especially in Africa. After years of existing mainly as secret grail passed between electronic music DJs and other crate diggers, Onyeabor's handful of studio LPs have been licensed and boiled down to a killer compilation by Luaka Bop, the tastemaking world music label started by David Byrne.The above text is quoted from NPR, where you can head now for a full album stream of Who Is William Onyeabor?, the compilation of Nigerian cult-funk singer William Onyeabor's music which comes out on David Byrne's Luaka Bop label next week (10/29). The Guardian also just did a feature video on him, and mentioned that Four Tet, Caribou, and Damon Albarn are all fans.
So who IS William Onyeabor? Part of the album's conceit is that even the compilers don't fully know. The liner notes, by veteran British journalist Vivien Goldman, note that Onyeabor is a crowned chief in his hometown village of Enugu, Eastern Nigeria, where he lives in "a hidden palace in the woods" and is a booster of the local Christian music scene. But he essentially left his own music career in the '80s, in the wake of the recordings collected here, presumably when he became a born-again Christian.
Luaka Bop will be teaming up with OkayAfrica to celebrate with the release with some parties worldwide, including one in Brooklyn happening on Saturday (10/26) at Buka Nigerian Restaurant (945 Fulton St), plus an afterparty down the block at Doris (1088 Fulton St). There will be DJ sets from Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Lizzi Bougatsos (Gang Gang Dance), and Tim Koh (Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti). RSVP for all parties is open now. The full list of parties and the flyer are below.
All William Onyeabor party dates are listed, along with trailer videos for the album and parties, plus the flyer, below...
David Byrne @ Wellmont Theatre in June (more by Greg Cristman)
The city is a body and a mind--a physical structure as well as a repository of ideas and information. Knowledge and creativity are resources. If the physical (and financial) parts are functional, then the flow of ideas, creativity and information are facilitated. The city is a fountain that never stops: it generates its energy from the human interactions that take place in it. Unfortunately, we're getting to a point where many of New York's citizens have been excluded from this equation for too long. The physical part of our city--the body--has been improved immeasurably. I'm a huge supporter of the bike lanes and the bike-share program, the new public plazas, the waterfront parks and the functional public transportation system. But the cultural part of the city--the mind--has been usurped by the top 1 percent...Like most of us who live in NYC, David Byrne has a bit of a love-hate relationship with the city, which he muses on in a new editorial written for Creative Time Reports' Summit Series -- read the whole thing either at The Guardian or Creative Time.
...This real estate situation - a topic New Yorkers love to complain about over dinner - doesn't help the future health of the city. If young, emerging talent of all types can't find a foothold in this city, then it will be a city closer to Hong Kong or Abu Dhabi than to the rich fertile place it has historically been. Those places might have museums, but they don't have culture. Ugh. If New York goes there - more than it already has - I'm leaving.
still from 'Reflektor 9/9/9'
Yesterday, we posted that Arcade Fire would be premiering a new single on September 9 at 9 PM from their upcoming album (due out 10/29 via Merge). The band have just updated their website with another cryptic video titled "Reflektor 9/9/9." Watch it below.
In related news, you may remember that back in 2010 Peter Gabriel released a covers album, Scratch My Back, which featured him covering tracks by Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Lou Reed, David Byrne, Paul Simon, and more. He's now set to release its sequel, And I'll Scratch Yours, where those artists return the favor by covering Peter Gabriel songs. The album will be out on September 23 via Real World. Check out the tracklist below.
Tame Impala at Terminal 5 in February (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
We know these kinds of listicles get published all the time, and that everyone will always find ways to argue them, but this one is kind of interesting. Rolling Stone published their '50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now' list, where they asked a panel of writers, industry figures, and artists, "who rules the road in 2013?" It's got much of the stuff you'd think Rolling Stone would have on this kind of list (like insisting The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen are still better live than basically anyone else in 2013), but there's still some surprises, like the inclusion of Tame Impala amongst mainly rock/pop stars.
Check out the full list below...
The Public Theater is deep into a search for a new home for its hit musical "Here Lies Love," which closes there on Sunday, with executives ordering up design options for an array of theater spaces and negotiating with Broadway and downtown theater producers about re-mounting the show in the near future.The NY Times article mentions that Here Lies Love's producers are considering more traditional theatre spaces, but would have to be reconfigured to give it the nightclub feel the show currently has at the Public Theater.
Oskar Eustis, artistic director of the Public, said in an interview on Tuesday that he hoped to announce plans in the next month for "Here Lies Love," a disco-infused rendering of the life of Imelda Marcos created by the musicians David Byrne and Fatboy Slim and director Alex Timbers,
Mr. Eustis said the show's set designer, David Korins, and the New York architect Mitchell Kurtz, who has worked on Public projects before, have developed designs for four different space configurations that might fit "Here Lies Love," which is now playing in an open rectangular hall that has been tricked out to feel like a Studio 54-style club. - [NY Times]
As mentioned above, David Byrne & Fatboy Slim's musical, Here Lies Love -- which got a two-month extension -- ends its very successful run on Sunday (7/28) and all remaining performances are sold out.
Jherek Bischoff w/ Amanda Palmer at T5 on NYE (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Amanda Palmer/Parenthetical Girls collaborator Jherek Bischoff released a guest-filled solo album, Composed, back in 2012, and one of its tracks, "Eyes," which features David Byrne was recently given video treatment. You can check out the new clip for the song below.
As previously discussed, Jherek will be taking part in this summer's Lincoln Center Out of Doors season, during which he and Dan Deacon will join the Kronos Quartet on July 28 for a performance at Damrosch Park Bandshell. Jherek and Dan will both be making world premieres of new pieces, and Kronos Quartet will also be performing works by Amon Tobin, Bryce Dessner, and more. Also at that show, the Asphalt Orchestra will make the world premiere of their performance of The Pixies' Surfer Rosa. That show is totally free and begins at 6:30 PM.
A few days later, he'll play his own NYC show at Le Poisson Rouge on July 31 with Jen Goma (of People Get Ready) and Contemporaneous Ensemble. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
All dates are listed, along with the new video, below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Tom Petty / Kendrick Lamar / Tame Impala @ Bonnaroo 6/16/2013
Bonnaroo 2013 wrapped up on Sunday (6/16) with main stage action from Tom Petty, David Byrne & St. Vincent, The National (who played NXNE just two days before), Tame Impala, Kendrick Lamar and more. Pictures from their sets -- and others -- are below.
On the smaller stages, Bonnaroo crowds were treated to Royal Thunder, White Lung, and famed mustache enthusiast John Oates. The Comedy Theatre had Bob Saget working with Jared Logan and The Improvised Shakespeare Company, and in the Cinema Tent had Mistaken For Strangers, the documentary about National singer Matt Berninger and his brother, Tom (who directed the film).
photos by Greg Cristman
David Byrne & St. Vincent @ Wellmont Theatre - 6/12/13
David Byrne & St. Vincent just kicked off another tour in support their 2012 collaborative album, Love This Giant, in the NYC-area at Wellmont Theatre on Wednesday (6/12). Like they did on their last tour, they played much of Love This Giant in addition to St. Vincent material ("Northern Lights," "Marrow," "Cruel," etc) and David Byrne/Talking Heads ("Burning Down the House," "Road to Nowhere," "This Must Be the Place," etc. Pictures, videos, and the setlist from that show are in this post.
More pictures, videos and the setlist from Wellmont Theatre below...
David Byrne & St. Vincent @ Williamsburg Park, 2012 (more by Chris La Putt)
As mentioned, David Byrne and Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) are continuing to tour for last year's Love This Giant album. With those dates -- including one (no longer two) at Wellmont Theatre on June 12 (tickets) and one at Capitol Theatre on June 29 (tickets) -- coming up, David shares some news:
I did a record with St. Vincent (Annie Clark) last year and then we did a tour of North America and Australia that was like nothing I've ever done before--drums, keys and Annie and I supported by 8 choreographed brass players. We did the new material, but also a lot of recognizable songs, arranged for that group. The sound is incredible, and it's a bit of a visual spectacle as well. We were pretty excited at how it turned out. The critical and audience response was great too! Touring a group that size with a fairly complex show is a big financial gulp, so it has taken us a while to collect enough offers in North America and Europa, but now they are in and we kick off in a few weeks.That new EP is free to download via an email widget below.
One of our business folks had the idea that we might offer a taste of what we're up to--to those who might have missed the tour or the record or maybe thought it was some weird arty collaborative project. So we put together a downloadable EP to give folks that taste. The EP has one song that didn't make it on the record (a waltz featuring some lovely glass harmonica), a couple of energized remixes of some of the album tunes and two live tracks of the sort of more familiar material we do in the set.
Love This Giant dates are listed, along with the widget for the free EP, below.
DB & SV (more by Tim Griffin)
"DUE TO A SCHEDULING CONFLICT, THE JUNE 11th DAVID BYRNE & ST. VINCENT SHOW AT THE WELLMONT THEATRE HAS BEEN CANCELLED. REFUNDS AVAILABLE AT POINT OF PURCHASE. TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR JUNE 12th."Meanwhile "Here Lies Love" at the Public Theater has been extended and is going strong. More DB/SV tour dates, including the Capitol Theater, are HERE.
David Byrne & St. Vincent @ Williamsburg Park, 2012 (more by Chris La Putt)
St. Vincent and I did a North American tour last fall--with 8 brass players and choreography by Annie B Parson. We had a great time. The response was pretty good too--you can see reviews here. NPR even shot some video, which you can see here. We do songs from our record, Love this Giant, but also some fairly well-known stuff from our respective catalogues. It's an expensive show for us to mount, but I have to say there is nothing else out there like it.David Byrne & St. Vincent's 2013 tour kicks off with two shows at The Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ on June 11 and 12. They'll also play The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY on June 29. As David mentioned, presale tickets will be available on Tuesday (2/26) at 10 AM with the regular on-sale happening Friday (3/1) at noon.
We will be going back out in North America in June and July. We're making some tickets available to purchase a few days early at LoveThisGiant.com ahead of the general public--starting tomorrow 2/26 at 10AM through Thursday 2/28 at 5PM. Hopefully this will save you a few dollars on all the extra charges we live music fans are often saddled with. There will always be fees, but we're trying.
A list of all tour dates, plus the NPR video mentioned above, below...
As mentioned a while back, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's musical, Here Lies Love, about onetime Phillipines First Lady and notorious shoe-lover Imelda Marcos, is part of The Public Theatre's 2013 season, playing April 2 - May 5, 2013. To get tickets, you have to have a Joe's Pub account (it's free to sign up) and some shows are sold out (and they don't make it easy to tell which ones are, you have to click around) but there are still tickets available. You can also just call the box office at 212-967-7555.
A video of Byrne talking about Here Lies Love below...