Entries tagged with: David Byrne
words by Kelly Pratt; photos by Bryan Murray
Kelly Pratt of Bright Moments and many other musical projects has been on tour with David Byrne and St. Vincent, and chronicling it on BrooklynVegan. If you're just joining us, also check out part 1, part 2 , Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. Part 6 begins here...
San Diego through Vancouver and beyond
After the Dallas show we all pile on the bus for the long trek to San Diego. Fortunately we don't have to tackle it all in one drive so we stop in El Paso for the day off. Jon N and I end up taking a long bike ride, including a shady trek through an arroyo, to go see Looper. The film turns out to be quite entertaining, despite its numerous violations of the grandfather paradox.
The following morning we wake up in San Diego at Humphrey's Half Moon, a fancy resort on Shelter Island. We have the day off again, so most of us bike to Mission Beach to enjoy the food and drink on the boardwalk. We meet up at a bar with two friends of John A and while everyone else heads to the beach, I stay behind to hear about the profession of one of them: horseshoe crab blood salesperson. She explains that the blood is vital to the pharmaceutical industry as a testing agent to ensure their products are free of bacterial infection. The crabs "donate" their blood, then are placed back in the ocean where their blood volume returns to normal within a week. With the price tag of $15,000 per quart the blood is quite valuable, and some of us make a silent pledge to change careers at the end of the tour.
The following night's show takes place in the outdoor courtyard of the hotel. Susanne, the lighting designer, sets up her rig directly on the balcony of my room. We are situated right next to the marina and during the show several dozen people pilot their boats into a little recess where they can hear (but not really see) what is coming from the stage. During our set David addresses them as "the boat refugees" and thanks them for coming.
The next few shows are a bit of a blur, primarily because we are playing every night. While there may not be as many opportunities for extra-curricular activities it feels nice to get into a bit of a groove. If anyone knows what tour momentum is about, it would have to be The Melvins. On the road at the same time as us, they are currently attempting to break a world record of "51 shows in 51 states in 51 days". They have a fascinating (and funny) account of it here. Reading of Trevor Dunn's encounter with a rowdy fan during an improvised bass solo reminds me of a recurring joke from our tour. Early on Brian Wolfe told us of his theory of free jazz. According to him you can boil almost the entirety of the history of the music down into two factions: "scratch 'n sniff" and "pet store on fire". Both types can be present within a single composition, or even simultaneously, but one must be present at all times. It is a joke of course, but close enough to the truth.
At 5700, the Greek Theatre is the largest venue of our tour and one we have been looking forward to since the beginning of rehearsals. It is a stunning amphitheater and has housed many legendary concerts including Neil Diamond's "Hot August Nights". Everyone is a bit nervous, but nerves quickly dissipate as concentration is vital to this show. Afterwards we have our largest group of guests yet, including Jason D's parents. One lovely thing about this coast to coast tour is that many members' parents are able to see the show, including mine. We also get to meet our second O'Hara of the tour, Catherine (Mary Margaret came in Toronto).
Somehow I've managed to visit a different dim sum establishment nearly every time I've come to San Francisco. So upon arrival I decide to bike on my own to Hong Kong Lounge, one that comes highly recommended. The food is delicious, but I'm reminded of why no one goes to a dim sum restaurant by themselves. Cycling the hills of San Francisco with a belly full of dumplings isn't exactly easy, and I barely make it back for soundcheck. The first few weeks of the tour we picked up a ritual we have been performing every night, and it follows us here. The last song we play every night is The Talking Heads' "Road to Nowhere". The choreography is a loose follow the leader with the horns ending in a straight horizontal line behind David and Annie. As we leave the stage for the final time the line breaks in two and we depart on opposite sides, playing an improvised reprise of sorts. Once we are firmly backstage we continue playing, but the song morphs into a television theme song, typically one that takes place in the city we are currently in. Some previous numbers have included Dallas, Mr. Belvedere, and Laverne and Shirley. Tonight's version, of course, is Full House.
After a week in California we take off for the Pacific Northwest, and the home stretch of this leg of the tour. On most of the days off DB has been giving talks to support his new book "How Music Works", and we all attend one of these the evening after the Portland show. For this particular talk David is joined by Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia.
The format consists of David flashing an image onto a movie screen, followed by the two of them talking about what that image means to them. As a result the majority of the talk is concentrated around the importance of the visual side of a musical performance, be it fashion, lights, or movement. It is quite fascinating and something most musicians should spend more time thinking about. After Vancouver some of us take the bus back to Portland, while the rest of us head back to NY for a few days rest. Next up Colbert, and Australia in the New Year!
'Til next time,
Watch Kelly, the rest of the band and David Byrne & St. Vincent on Colbert tonight (11/1).
UPDATE: Colbert happened. Watch the videos.
They were also supposed to play Letterman the other night, but that was cancelled due to Sandy. Speaking of, read a Sandy-related letter David Byrne sent out to his mailing list, with more pictures from their tour, below...
On Friday, my last day at CMJ, I hit the jackpot and walked away with something I'll remember for years to come. The band was People Get Ready, but honestly this was more than a band -- this was the best mix of performance art and music I've seen in decades. Watching this show, called Specific Ocean, felt like seeing a a group create a live music video for each song. The buoyant, celebratory work took place at a large, black box theater space at New York Live Arts, and was full of the kind of surprises I want out of music and theater. - [NPR's Bob Boilen]NYC pop band/performance art ensemble People Get Ready is Steven Reker, former Yeasayer drummer Luke Fasano, James Rickman (ex-Lizzie Truile, ex-Slow Gherkin), and Jen Goma (A Sunny Day in Glasgow). Reker used to be in David Byrne's band and the onetime Talking Head recently plugged them in an email:
A few years ago, I toured with some wonderful musicians and dancers. Among them was Steven Reker, whose group, People Get Ready, just released their debut, full-length digital record on Brassland Records. Good group, good songs, but there's more...People Get Ready played three nights at NY Live Arts during CMJ week which was also when the band's self-titled was released (10/16). You can stream the whole thing below. If you missed those shows (like we did) you can go see them at Glasslands on Saturday (10/27) for their official record release party. As it's a tiny stage there, you're just getting the band version of PGR but you're more than welcome to dance yourself. The show also has Future of What on the line-up and tickets are still available. Flyer for the record release party and the album stream are below.
I saw an earlier iteration of the group at the Kitchen here in NY. They integrate dance, movement, performance, music and singing in a way I haven't seen before, and it's very promising. It is something I've been trying to do in recent years as well, and People Get Ready are taking it to places I haven't seen before.
Michael Bolton, who seems to have a good sense of humor about his crappy music, will star as himself in new sitcom Michael Bolton's Daughter Is Destroying My Life according to Deadline. Look for the new sitcom on ABC next year.
Speaking of the trend of having your festival two weekends in a row now, Ultra Music Festival announced they're doing it too.
Jon Carmanica at the NY Times talks about dance stars evolving to pop fame.
The same issue of the NY Times profiles Ellie Goulding who is dating pop fame dance star Skrillex (who she was hanging out with at Pianos the other night).
Adele's "Someone Like You" has topped another chart: most popular songs at funerals.
The Nick Waterhouse and Allah-Las tour hit Chicago last week. We got pictures.
Speaking of pictures, in NY we recently captured the butt shaking going on at Bowery for Nicky Da B, Flying Lotus and then SBTRKT at Terminal 5, Public Image LTD at both MHOW and Hammerstein, Menomena at Bowery (MHOW on the way), Revelation Records Anniversary Night Two (three and four on the way), and Morrissey not once, not twice, but thrice.
And oh yeah, don't forget the New York Comic Con shots.
Stream Divine Fits' appearance on NPR's World Cafe from earlier today.
Xbox's iTunes-esque new music service debuts tomorrow. Surprise: you're going to have to update your firmware to use it.
Kitty Pride, who plays CMJ this week, hates fellow redhead Tori Amos. For weird reasons.
More stuff below...
words by Kelly Pratt; photos by Bryan Murray
David, St. Vincent and the gang on stage in Houston
Nashville, Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Dallas
Arriving in Nashville, a few of us head straight to the local "meat and 3." Three sides of vegetables should not be taken as a sign that this is a diet-conscious tour. In the South, vegetables function as napkins for grease rather than repositories for vitamins.
After a long night of honky-tonking with the crew, we file in to play the historic Ryman Auditorium, which for over thirty years housed the Grand Ole Opry. Our show is great, but the horn section isn't quite ready to pack up their cases. One of the best things about touring is bumping into friends who are also on the road. By happy accident, Antibalas is also in Nashville, performing at a venue nearby our own. Several Antibalas band members played on "Love This Giant," and a few of them are in bands with other people in our party. At the end of their set, all eight of our horns join them for Fela's "Open and Close":
Next up is Austin. Jon has a biologist friend teaching at UT so we ride our bikes over to campus to hear her give a lecture on sexual selection. We learn some truly fascinating facts about animal courtship behavior, such as the seduction technique of the Australian bowerbird. In an attempt to find a mate, the male bowerbird builds a highly complex and elaborately decorated hut, which he then presents to his sweetheart as a nuptial gift. But sex isn't all romance. As if we needed further proof that bedbugs are the most disgusting animal on the planet, we learn their reproductive habits. Apparently when ready to mate, the male bedbug grows an intermittent organ that he then uses to randomly stab the female through her exoskeleton.
Learning about sexual suicide can build up quite an appetite. After the lecture, we get in a cab and head to the best restaurant of tour yet: Uchiko. Executive chef Paul Qui won season 9 of Top Chef and the food does not disappoint. The jar jar duck is one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted, Star Wars: Episode One reference notwithstanding.
In my experience, Austin audiences are usually very receptive and this time is no exception. Several people speak of the St. Vincent song "Cheerleader" as one of the show highlights, in part because of its choreography. The movements for this song are quite simple: lie supine on the floor and play. But as anyone who has ever played a brass instrument knows, it is really hard to play while lying down. Breathing is more labored, as is forcing air through a horn. Also, water tends to build up and flow back down into the mouthpiece. But the visual effect is stunning
In Dallas, I get some time by myself and take long bike ride to the Dallas Museum of Art. This museum holds quite a few works by contemporary masters, many of which I have never seen before. Of particular note are a series of early post-impressionistic Piet Mondrian landscapes juxtaposed with some of his later Neo-Plasticist works. The stylistic differences between the two are striking and provide a perfect example of an artist completely abandoning one style for another.
David, Tony, Mary-Anne
The Dallas show turns out to be the 100th David Byrne show Tony and Mary-Anne, a couple who we have seen at several stops along this tour. They have seen every incarnation of David's bands since 1978. They met when David, from the stage, spotted Tony with a homemade Talking Heads t-shirt. David invited him backstage because he liked the shirt, and Tony subsequently went on to design some t-shirts for DB. After the Dallas show we all cheers Tony and Mary-Anne and jump on the bus for San Diego.
David Byrne and St. Vincent play Santa Barbara, CA tonight (10/11) at the Arlington Theatre. The rest of their tour dates are here. More photos from Brian Murray are below.
words by Kelly Pratt; photos by Bryan Murray
David Byrne & St. Vincent @ Beacon Theater 9/25/2012 (more by Chris La Putt)
NY, Philly, Bethesda, on to Nashville
Most of the band live in NY so it's great to come back and spend nearly a week on home turf. The Beacon Theatre is an ideal place for the show, partially because of the large number of balcony seats. The audience in the balcony is able to see the choreography more fully than one would in the first few rows. One song in which this is particularly rewarding is The Forest Awakes. The idea is to move freely, lining yourself up with someone or something on the stage. Therefore the movements in this piece are improvised in a completely different way every night. Another unique aspect of the show is the massive amount of samples, programmed primarily by Daniel Mintseris and triggered and played by him and drummer Brian Wolfe. The brass provide the backbone of the band, but the samples give the songs an electronic edge that take the sound firmly out of "brass band" territory.
Williamsburg Park, 2/29/2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Williamsburg Park is our biggest show of the tour, and turns out to be our best response yet. In my experience NY crowds are among the iciest around, but this one brings the energy. Maybe it's that everyone is standing the whole time or maybe it's the cheaper ticket price bringing out more youngsters. Regardless we all have a great time, and depart NYC with a little sadness.
Our next show is in Bethesda, MD, a suburb of DC, at a large arts center. We arrive early so I make a few phone calls outside, where there are four large black SUVs in a row. I tend to pace around nervously while on the phone, and I can tell that some of the drivers of the caravan are paying attention to me. A few moments later the front door opens and a little girl walks out surrounded by two buff dudes with earpieces. It's one of the Obama daughters. The secret service escort her into the backseat of one of the vehicles and the caravan peels out. It seems like a lot of trouble for a ten-year old's ballet class. A little later we have the best laugh of the tour yet when Bryan tells us his workout routine. Having attempted running outdoors ("I tried running around Prospect Park, but that sucked!"), he now heads down to his basement and runs in place while watching The West Wing for 45 minutes. Whatever works...
Nashville next. See you soon,
David Byrne and St. Vincent play Atlanta, GA tonight (10/3) at the Cobb Energy Center. The rest of their tour dates are here.
The photos you see above are from other recent BrooklynVegan posts. An original set that accompanies this post, by Bryan Murray, can be seen below
by Bill Pearis
Robert Mitchum in 'Night of the Hunter'
Newly-crowned Polaris Music Prize winner Feist will be in NYC next week to discuss Charles Laughton's classic 1955 film Night of the Hunter which will be part of The Modern School of Film's Film:Acoustic series. The screening and discussion, hosted by Robert Milazzo, happens Wednesday, October 10 at the Mark Miller Gallery (92 Orchard) and tickets are on sale now.
Feist will not be performing, just talking about one of the greatest (and most gorgeous-looking) thrillers in American cinema, and any chance to see it -- Laughton's only film as a writer/director -- on the big screen should be taken advantage of. For those who can't make it, it's also available on a great-looking Criterion Blu-Ray and DVD. Trailer for the film is below.
Also upcoming in MSF's Film:Acoustic series will be a screening of the Jonathan Demme-directed Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense at City Winery on October 17 with a post-show discussion with the band's rhythm section, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth (aka the Tom Tom Club, who are also in the film). David Byrne (who we can't get enough of lately), no real surprise, is not involved with this event (among other reasons, he's still on tour). Tickets are still available and the trailer is below.
The Public Theater's multi-million dollar renovation is almost complete. On October 4 the unveiling/rededication of the new Manhattan space happens and there will be a free block party and open house on Saturday, October 13, 12pm - 5pm. During that time, Lafayette Street in Manhattan will be closed from Astor Place to E4th St, and will welcome food trucks and live musical performances from a bevy of "popular Joe's Pub artists" and upcoming musical theater performances. Look for an early previews of Giant by Sybille Pearson and Michael John LaChiusa, Here Lies Love by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, Fun Home by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, and last year's favorite The Total Bent by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, in addition to musical performances from Jessy Carolina & The Hot Mess, Sasha Allen, banjo player Tony Trischka and M.A.K.U. SoundSystem. More info is here.
While we're at it, Joe's Pub will host its share of interesting events in the coming weeks. Tickets are still available for the previously discussed Jason Collett appearance (here) and all of Henry Rollins' appearances (here). Singles and the attached alike can look forward to Never Sleep Alone (10/5, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2, tickets) a mock "sex therapy session" (read the NY Times review).
Other shows: Anne Hathaway "and friends" will perform songs from Cabaret on October 24 (tickets); Willie Nile, who played the final show at Kenny's Castaways, plays the space on October 26 (tickets); and DeLeon, not to be confused with Sri-Lankan MC DeLon, plays the space on November 16 (tickets).
David Byrne & St. Vincent @ Williamsburg Park
David Byrne and St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) played their third of three NYC shows on their tour together in support of their collaborative album, Love This Giant, at Williamsburg Park last night (9/29). The setlist didn't change much from the Beacon Theatre shows (or the rest of the tour), kicking off with Love This Giant singles, "Who" and "Weekend in The Dust;" and including Talking Heads favorites like "This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)," "Burning Down The House," and "Road To Nowhere;" St. Vincent favorites like "Cheerleader," "Cruel," "The Party," and others; plus some David Byrne solo cuts and more off of Love This Giant.
The two pop wizards were in their own distinct characters throughout the show, as they were backed by a choreographed eight-piece horn section. (Who, not to mention, added great layers to the newly-worked out versions of Talking Heads/David Byrne/St Vincent songs.) David and Annie were both in admiration of each other during the songs from their respective projects, and though it was David who had the hits and got the crowd going most wild, Annie brought her own flare as well with physical guitar freakouts worked into all of her songs. They also had a shared moment as they "fought" with their hands over a theremin.
Have you been keeping up with Kelly Pratt's (aka main member of Bright Moments and co-musical director/member of David Byrne & St. Vincent's horn section) tour diary of his time on the road with David and Annie?
More pictures, videos, and the setlist from last night's show are below...
We already posted lots of posts today. Here's some more, and some reminders too...
Speaking of the new venue, Lady Gaga's MSG (2/22) & Barclays Center (3/6) shows sold out today, so she added one more at each venue. The new dates are 2/23 @ MSG and 3/7 @ Barclays. Both go on sale Friday, October 5th at 10am.
Other NYC shows that went on sale today include JEFF the Brotherhood, Field Report, Diamond Rings, Anais Mitchell, Kelly Hogan, Callers and Petty Fest.
And regarding that Staten Island politician talking shit about her, Lady Gaga thanked him.
As mentioned, Soundgarden is releasing a new album, their first in 15 years, on 11/13. Now you can hear the first song which is streaming at the bottom of this post.
In other bands who were good in the '90s Barclays Center news and, Smashing Pumpkins warmed up for their arena tour with an intimate, two-and-a-half-hour show at Stubb's in Austin last night. The tour hits the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Halloween.
Apple knows its maps app sucks.
Trevor Dunn, who is currently on tour as a member of Melvins Lite, took to his tour diary to comment on Green Day frontman BIlie Joe Armstrong's recent freakout: "That guy's main problem is that he doesn't realize that he is Justin Bieber."
Do you love the blown-out, pixelated artork on MIA albums? You may want to buy here coffee table book then.
On a somewhat similar publishing tip, Diplo "and photographer Shane McCauley are launching the zine series Blow Your Head. Each volume will explore a different country and musical genre.
Tour diaries are hot these days. (Have you read ours with Kelly Pratt whose touring with David Byrne and St. Vincent)? Diamond Rings and Stars writing about their adventures on the road for The Huffington Post. Those adventures included a show at Webster Hall this week.
Winter is coming for everyone, it seems. Neko Case tweeted today: "Dude. I'm just gonna admit to being balls-deep in Game of Thrones on CD."
While on the subject of rock star confessions, a recent quote from Pete Townshend: "What I remember of the size of Mick Jagger's penis - I remember it as being huge and extremely tasty."
If you need more, maybe you'd like to read some Phil Collins erotic fan fiction?
Speaking of St. Vincent, today is Annie Clark's 30th birthday. Happy Birthday, Annie! We always liked this picture of her, by Chris La Putt, from her days as a member of the Polyphonic Spree:
It's also Les Claypool of Primus' birthday, who turn 49. Catch Primus on tour this fall.
Not that surprising, but awesome -Austin just became the first Texas city to endorse marriage equality.
Austin music venue Scoot Inn, a popular place to be during SXSW, has a new owner.
Kreayshawn's new album flopped.
Mumford & Sons' new album probably won't.
more stuff below...
photos by Chris La Putt
St. Vincent/David Byrne @ Beacon Theater - 9/25/12
If you've been reading this site at all in the past week or so, you know that David Byrne & St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) recently kicked off their tour together in support of their collaborative album, Love This Giant. We've already posted pics of David and Annie at POP Montreal, where David also performed at the Pop vs Jock halftime show (the tour hit Chicago last week too), and surely you've been keeping up with Kelly Pratt's tour diary of his experiences on the road with David, Annie and co. That tour finally came to NYC last night (9/25) for the first of two Beacon Theater shows, and first of three NYC shows overall this week.
Their tour continues, hitting Beacon Theater again tonight (9/26) and Williamsburg Park on Sunday (9/29). Tickets for both of those shows are still available.
At Beacon, David and Annie were backed by their eight-piece horn section (Kelly Pratt included), and in addition to playing material off of Love This Giant, they spliced in songs from their respective solo careers, and included a few Talking Heads cuts as well. One of the Talking Heads songs they played was "Burning Down the House," which you can watch a video of from last night's show, along with more pictures from the show, below.
In addition to everything else we posted, today, here's some more, and some reminders too...
It's also National Voter Registration Day, as miss Annie Clark has so kindly reminded us above. Did you register to vote yet? We also would like to know, however, what's the deal with the Tiny Tim photo in the background?
Speaking of St. Vincent, it's David Byrne / St. Vincent Week here in NYC. Their first of three area shows together happens tonight at the Beacon Theater, as Kelly Pratt pointed out in the latest edition of his tour diary.
Neil Young has started a Twitter account and will be taking your questions via it in October. Right now, though, @NeilYoung seems to handled by a marketing intern.
Paper Bag Records just released the free David Bowie tribute album, Paper Bag Records vs. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, with covers by Austra & CFCF, PS I Love You, The Luyas, Yamantaka/Sonic Titan and more. Download it for free HERE.
Speaking of Yamantaka/Sonic Titan, they performed at the Polaris Prize Gala in Toronto last night, but ended up losing to Feist.
Converge is back with "Shame In the Way" a new song from their forthcoming LP All We Love We Leave Behind. Stream that new track, coupled with an interview with vocalist Jacob Bannon in the latest Show Now Mercy at Pitchfork. Look for the LP on 10/9 via Epitaph.
Sweden's Terrible Feelings have released a new video for "Next Round's On You" from their Shadows LP. Check that out below.
Field Report visited the A.V. Club's HQ in Chicago and took on the Sufjan Stevens mainstay "Chicago" for their Undercover series. Check out the clip below.
More stuff below...
words by Kelly Pratt, new photos by Bryan Murray
Kelly Pratt @ Pop Montreal (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, on to NY
On this tour, we are exceptionally lucky to be playing some of North America's most beautiful theaters. The Chicago Theatre is perhaps my favorite. Built in the early 1920's, it was initially used primarily as a movie theater. In 1986, it was massively restored and repurposed as a music venue. I find myself thinking of a memorable collection of photographs that document a number of abandoned theaters across the US. Many of these are beautiful rooms, but because of a variety of reasons (including urban population shifts and the rise of home video in the 1980's) they were deserted and are in various states of decay today. The shows in Chicago and Toronto go very well. We are at a point now where we can perform the show without having to concentrate on every little detail, thereby allowing us to focus more on the overall musical and visual impact (and the beautiful venues we are playing in).
We arrive in Montreal the morning after Toronto to play the Eglise St-Jean-Baptiste as part of the Pop Montreal festival. The church is majestically cavernous: there are huge chandeliers and two imposing organs. I head over to the Arcade Fire studio where David has just finished rehearsing some covers for the halftime show of the their yearly charity basketball game POP vs. Jock. As I walk in Regine is practicing some jock jams on organ for the in-game entertainment.
Halftime show (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
During our sound check DB suggests that Daniel use one of the organs for the St. Vincent encore, "The Party," and also that, during that song, we put all the horns in the crowd. Luckily we have front-of-house engineer Pete Keppler on tour. He manages to make us sound great no matter what venue we are in, or what new ideas we throw into the mix. In Montreal we get what might be our best audience response yet, setting the bar very high for the rest of the tour.
The next day we all head to Boston for a day off. Most of us end up getting tickets to see Grizzly Bear at the Orpheum where we are playing the following night. [Like at Radio City] Their set draws heavily from their new album, which takes them further into psychedelic territory. The visuals are particularly breathtaking, accentuated by 12 or so hanging lanterns that rise and sink throughout the show. A few late games of pool later we head back to the hotel to rest.
Beacon Theater tonight is their first of three NYC shows on the tour. Tickets are available for tonight and tomorrow at Beacon Theater, and for the Saturday show at Williamsburg Park.
The photos you see above are from other recent BrooklynVegan posts. An original set that accompanies this post, by Bryan Murray, can be seen below...
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
Win Butler schooling on the bball court
POP Montreal continued on Saturday (9/22) and BV photographer Dominick Mastrangelo was on the scene and got shots of The Sadies, "Shut Up and Eat Your Ballads" (Leif Vollebek and friends Michael Feuerstack, Laurel Sprengelmeyer of Little Scream, and Brad Barr covering Tom Waits), and Rags to Radio. He also stopped by the Pop vs. Jock basketball game which saw members of Arcade Fire and The Strokes playing basketball with other celebrities like actor Martin Starr (Freaks & Geeks, Party Down), pro basketball player Luke Bonner, and more.
David Byrne, who played a POP Montreal show with St. Vincent a day earlier (9/21) (they start their NYC-run of three shows tonight), performed at the game's halftime show. During his set, he was joined by Arcade Fire's Win and Will Butler and The Strokes' Nikolai Fraiture to perform covers of ? and the Mysterians' "96 Tears" and KC and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way (I Like It)." You can watch a video of the latter below.
More pictures from Friday (9/21) are HERE. Pics from Sunday (9/23) are coming soon and more from Saturday are below.
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
St. Vincent / Julia Holter
When it came down to it, [Annie] Clark's voice was the star. Though [David] Byrne, a shock of white, was the one the thousands came to worship - and it's hard to deny the unadulterated joy hearing of "This Must Be the Place" and "Burning Down the House" in such a pristine setting - it was Clark who made the deepest impact. Free of reverbed guitar heroics and floating above a cloud of brass, her rendition of "The Party" during the evening's second encore was a revelation. Drawing from the gigantic church's natural resonance (not to mention its massive pipe organ), the song began with the brass band walked down the aisles as Clark appeared onstage alone, spinning a macabre rhapsody till its eventual sonic denouement.POP Montreal returned to Montreal for its tenth annual year this past week with countless artists across multiple venues in the city. Like CMJ and SXSW, there are so many good options at POP Montreal -- newcomers and old favorites alike -- that it's impossible to catch everyone. While we were there on Friday (9/21), we caught David Byrne & St. Vincent (who are on a tour which hits NYC three times this week -- have you checked out Kelly Pratt's tour diary with David and Annie?), French electronic artist Bertrand Burgalat (who plans to make his way to NYC for CMJ), Julia Holter, Solar Year, and recent Sub Pop-signees METZ (who have also been on the road a lot, and will be back in NYC for CMJ and again on their November tour).
Closer "Road to Nowhere" wasn't too shabby either. [National Post]
POP Montreal pictures from Saturday (9/22) and Sunday (9/23) are coming soon. More pics from Friday are below.
by Kelly Pratt with photos by Bryan Murray
Kelly Pratt is currently on tour with St. Vincent and David Byrne, acting as co-musical director as well as one of their many band members. Since last week he's been chronocling that tour right here on BrooklynVegan. Welcome to the second installment, written last night...
End of rehearsals, Minneapolis, Milwaukee.
We finish our rehearsals at the beautiful Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey. Two full days of running the set as many times as possible takes a toll on the brass players' lips, but tightens up the choreography and transitions between songs considerably. Annie-B Parson is the choreographer for the show with Lizzie Dement assisting. She's worked with David in the past, and her next next project is with Baryshnikov--needless to say, she has some brilliant ideas that really expand the kind of performance we are used to. This is also the first time we have played the show with lighting design, which adds another level of difficulty.
The following morning the band heads to JFK for a flight to Minneapolis where we will have a much-needed day of rest. We travel on Sun Country Air. Ever heard of it? Me neither. The trip gets interesting when Ira Glass takes the seat next to me. He is on the way to Minneapolis to do a Q&A for the premiere of his and Mike Birbiglia's new film "Sleepwalk With Me". Always the workaholic, he interviews the guy sitting next to him who (after some deduction skills and Googling) I determine to be the inventor of the KneeDefender. He invites Jon and me to the premiere of his film that evening. The movie is great and we discover that Ira is as good at talking in person as he is on the air. The theater serves bourbon, a novelty for us (in the theater, not on its own).
The first show of the tour goes better than expected. It may sound obvious, but performing in front of a live audience adds an extra level of energy and intensity. It's like we finally realize the show, in its full potential, for the first time. Afterwards, a few of us go across the street to a bar where we meet some folks from Dero, the company that manufactures the bicycle racks David designs. One of the best aspects of this tour so far has been the focus on cycling. Nearly everyone in the band bought a folding Tern bicycle before we left. There are even a couple extras for the crew. This is the first time that I have toured with a bicycle and I will never leave home without one again. It's so nice to slip away from the tour for an hour or two for a long ride. It has also allowed me to see more of the city than the few blocks near the venue. Both Minneapolis and Milwaukee are great cities for cycling with long bike paths and beautiful views.
Next we go to Chicago for a day off. It's Carter's birthday, so we may have to get him a white wine spritzer or two.
To bed, for we rise at 9:30 for 10(ish),
David Byrne & St. Vincent, Kelly Pratt & band play the Chicago Theater tonight (9/18) before continuing on their tour which includes three NYC shows. Check out some more photos from their rehearsals in NJ, a video from Minneapolis, and all tour dates, below...
by Kelly Pratt with photos by Bryan Murray
Kelly Pratt is no stranger to the pages of BrooklynVegan. From being a member of Beirut to playing in Arcade Fire to performing at LCD Soundsystem's final show to his own projects Team B and now Bright Moments, we've written about stuff Kelly Pratt does a lot. Now we're going to let him write a bit. This time about his latest project, which as previously mentioned, is being co-musical director and a band member on the St. Vincent and David Byrne tour that begins this week in support of the pair's new album "Love the Giant" which is out now via 4AD and streaming on Spotify and at NPR. Look for a new post by Kelly right here on BrooklynVegan each week, starting now...
David Byrne/St. Vincent North America tour Fall 2012 - rehearsal
The Band:New York, September 11
David Byrne - vocals/guitar
Annie Clark - vocals/guitar
Daniel Mintseris - keyboards/co-musical director
Brian Wolfe - drums
Kelly Pratt - trumpet/flugelhorn/French horn/flute/co-musical director
Carter Yasutake - trumpet/flugelhorn
Rachel Drehman - French horn
Jason Disu - trombone
Dave Nelson - trombone
John Altieri - tuba
Bryan Murray - saxophones/clarinet
Jon Natchez - saxophones/flute/clarinet/flugelhorn
We've been in rehearsal for the last three weeks on an extremely intensive schedule: 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. The first week is primarily focused on drum programming and rhythm section coordination. With week 2 all the rest of us join in. As one can imagine, putting together a full set of music for twelve people can be a bit of a daunting task! Fortunately we have an experienced, talented, and motivated group of people involved.
By the beginning of the third week we are running the set with a pretty high degree of success. Then the choreography starts. I have six years of marching band experience (strictly "don't ask, don't tell" information), but most of the rest of the horns have never moved and played at the same time. Learning to play a brass instrument while walking around a stage is a bit like patting your head and rubbing your stomach. But way harder. Finally Sunday we manage to run the set with choreography. It's going to be pretty impressive.
Monday we play Jimmy Fallon, definitely the most welcoming and my personal favorite of the late night programs. It's our first public performance, and goes pretty well. Right before we play we all get a moment to warm up our horns. Carter starts playing Chuck Mangione's "Feels So Good" as he tends to do 70% of the time he puts the horn to his face. Jimmy Fallon comes over and beamingly declares "I love that song!"
The next two days we head out to New Jersey for full production rehearsals at the Wellmont Theatre. After that we hit the road, first stop Minneapolis!
Watch the Fallon videos HERE. All tour dates, more pictures from rehearsal, and the official video for "Who". below...
David Byrne & St. Vincent's collaborative album, Love This Giant, is out next week (9/11) but you can hear the whole thing now as it's streaming via NPR. Annie and David have also just made a video for album track "Who" that involves a hit-and-run meet-cute. You watch it below.
The duo's NYC shows are coming up too: September 25 and 26 at Beacon Theater and September 29 at Williamsburg Park. Tickets are still available for all three shows.
Tour dates and video are below.
As mentioned, David Byrne and St. Vincent are making an album together this year called Love This Giant (due out 9/11 via 4AD/Todo Mundo) and will be touring in support of it this September and October. Before that tour kicks off, the two musicians will team up for a performance on Late Night with JImmy Fallon, which airs on September 10, one day before their album is released.
Their tour hits NYC on September 25 and 26 at Beacon Theatre and Spetember 29 at Williamsburg Park. Tickets to all three shows are still available. A list of all dates on the tour and streams of two album tracks, "Who" and "Weekend in the Dust," at the bottom of this post.
In related news, David Byrne has a new book, How Music Works, and he'll be doing some book readings/discussions in various cities, including one in NYC on December 5 at the New York Public Library. Tickets for that event go on sale Friday, September 7 at noon. More details can be found at NYPL's website.
A list of all dates and song streams below.
by Bill Pearis
Win Butler at 'POP vs Jock' 2011
I remember as a kid, the Jaycees chapter in my hometown put on a "donkey basketball" game at the Junior High gymnasium and local "celebrites" (politicians, radio DJs, probably teachers) played. Donkeys are stubborn, as you know, and these non-atheletes fell off their animals pretty much every time they threw or caught the ball, and most times in between. It was HILARIOUS. And it went to a good cause.
While there are (thankfully) no donkeys involved, folks attending this year's Pop Montreal fest (Sept. 19 - 22) can see a bunch of fairly famous indie rock types (plus a couple ringers) wheeze down the court for "POP vs Jock : Charity Basketball Game" which happens on September 22 at McGill University Sports Centre.
The Arcade Fire's Win (6'4") and William Butler will lead Team Pop which includes Martin Starr (Freaks & Geeks, Party Down), Nikolai Fraiture of The Strokes, actual pro basketball player Luke Bonner and others; Team Jock will be members of the McGill Redman and Concordia Stingers. Soundtracking the game will be Kid Koala, Régine Chassagne, with a halftime show featuring David Byrne & Moment Factory. They did this last year too.
Tickets are $20 (for regular folks) or $1500 for corporate donations and can be purchased here.
BAM just revealed two new bike racks today designed by David Byrne (who has designed bike racks in the past). The racks were manufactured by Dero Nike Racks, are bright blue, and are in the shapes of letters with one spelling "pink crown" and the other spelling "micro lip."
"What a thrill to be invited to design more bike racks for NYC," says Byrne. "I get to BAM fairly often, and the existing racks are often full, so it's great that there will now be more. When designing these bike racks, I wondered how I could make something that was modular, yet variable--a design that wouldn't always look the same and could vary depending on season and placement. I realized that a few very basic shapes--a semi circle, a line, and a V shape--would allow one to make a good percentage of the letters of our alphabet. With help and advice from Dero Bike Racks, we figured out how these components could be easily and quickly swapped out to spell different words. For example, the letters could spell out the productions at BAM or any random message for that matter."As mentioned, David Byrne is putting out a collaborative album with St. Vincent called Love This Giant on September 11 and will be touring in support of it. That tour hits NYC on September 25 and 26 at Beacon Theatre and Spetember 29 at Williamsburg Park. Tickets to all three shows are still available.
As mentioned last week, BAM is opening a new venue, BAM Fisher, next month during the Next Wave Festival.
by Bill Pearis
Why would one pre-order a record? Is there a reason one would do that?My first thought on reading this email David Byrne sent out this morning was, "What are the three records you have on pre-order right now?" As he mentioned, you can pre-order Love This Giant in the physical or digital format of your choice now and get a free download of "Weekend in the Dust." You can also stream the first minute or so of that song at their website too. With that and the previously-released LP-opener, "Who," we're definitely starting to get a feel for what to expect from the album.
Well, one reason is because, like me, you might forget about a record that you're really, really looking forward to. That happens to me fairly often--so I'll either pre-order or put the record in a wish list so I don't forget to buy it. I have at least three records sitting in there right now!
The second reason is that we are offering one of the songs from the album, "Weekend In The Dust", as an advance download, if you pre-order the whole record. This song is not available for immediate download elsewhere--you will only have the opportunity to get the song two months before the record comes out if you pre-order through our site.
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!
UPDATE: 4AD's YouTube page has the stream of the full song. Check it out below.
As you may already know, David Byrne and St. Vincent have an upcoming tour together coming up, which includes three NYC shows: two at Beacon Theatre on September 25 and 26 and another at Williamsburg Park on September 29. Tickets to all three shows are still available. All David Byrne & St. Vincent tour dates are listed below.
As mentioned, Kelly Pratt will be aiding St. Vincent and David Byrne on their upcoming tour, leading an eight-piece brass ensemble at venues around the country including Beacon Theater and Williamsburg Park. Before that tour, Kelly's project Bright Moments (that also has two other members going out on tour with Annie and David), who records for the Byrne-associated Luaka Bop label, will play a local show in Brooklyn on Wednesday (7/25) at Union Hall with Valley Lodge (whose members include comedian/writer Dave Hill and Walt Mink's John Kimbrough) and Good Field. Tickets for that intimate Park Slope show are on sale now.
If you can't make it to the show, you can also listen to Bright Moments live in studio on NPR's World Cafe on Thursday (7/26) at noon on WFUV. The local broadcast schedule is here.
A video of Bright Moments covering Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called" is below...
David Byrne, Jherek Bischoff, Amanda Palmer @ MHOW - 6/27/12 (via DaynaR)
Amanda Palmer week continues in NYC with a semi-private art opening/show tonight (6/28). Last night was her big, sold out show at Music Hall of Williamsburg which ended in a huge way. David Byrne, who we know has been collaborating with Amanda and friends lately, joined her and her band during the encore to perform Talking Heads song "Burning Down the House." Watch bleow...
The free Sleigh Bells & Kills shows are also on "sale" at noon.
Morrissey at Radio City, after some presales yesterday, sold out instantly this morning.
Tickets are on presale now for both recently announced The Jesus & Mary Chain shows happening at Irving Plaza. There's a "Live Nation" presale and a "Music Geeks" presale" Password? General sale begins at the same link on Friday (6/22) at 10am.
Tickets are also now on presale, both AmEx and "Internet" (password = Giant), for the two David Byrne & St. Vincent shows happening at Beacon Theater. General sale begins Friday (6/22) at noon which is also when the Brooklyn show at Williamsburg Park show goes on sale.
Morrissey tickets also went on presale today.