Entries tagged with: David Byrne

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photos by Ryan Barkan, words by Andrew Sacher

Paul Simon

Being that I'm admittedly too young to have seen Paul Simon in his prime, I wasn't totally sure what to expect from his BV-presented Webster Hall show last night (6/6). After watching him deliver a 26 song set, which failed to show any signs of slowing down, I lost sight of all expectations I had and embraced the fact that Paul Simon was just straight up impressive. The set spanned his entire career from his days in Simon & Garfunkel through his recently released So Beautiful or So What, and also included a few covers. The songs off So Beautiful or So What resonated as strongly as his earlier material and blended right in. During the song "Rewrite" I even found myself debating over which of his albums the song was on, only to later realize it was in fact a new one. The entire set was so consistent that choosing any sort of standout is difficult, though if I had to say, When Paul and his band flowed seamlessly from Jimmy Cliff's "Vietnam" into Paul's own classic, "Mother and Child Reunion," I was pleasantly caught off guard.

The real treats, however, came during the encores. After a massive end to the initial set, Paul and band left the stage only for Paul to return with nothing more than an acoustic guitar. He provided some foreshadowing guitar which eventually built into an extremely intimate version of the Simon & Garfunkel staple "Sounds of Silence." Contrasted with a largely upbeat set, that small dose of melancholy left the audience still, silent, and possibly even more captivated. The impact that song holds almost 50 years later isn't matched by many, and Paul Simon's still-strong deliverance is matched by even less. Paul's band returned to the stage and the encore continued for three more songs including a rendition of the George Harrison-penned "Here Comes the Sun."

When the first encore finished and the stage crew scrambled to set up another mic stand, it was obvious that the band was returning for a second encore. But little did I know, the second mic was being set up for none other than David Byrne. The fellow worldbeat loving New Yorker sounds like the most appropriate guest on paper (except for maybe Art Garfunkel) and it was even more than that in real life. As mentioned, David, Paul, and band performed Talking Heads' "Road to Nowhere" and Graceland favorite "You Can Call Me Al." Byrne left the stage and Paul Simon and band played two more, appropriately including "Still Crazy After All These Years," before taking their final bows and exiting the stage after playing "Crazy Love, Vol. II".

Check out more pictures from the show below...

Continue reading "Paul Simon @ Webster Hall in pics & review"

Paul & David @ Webster Hall -- photo by Ryan Barkan
Paul Simon and David Byrne

An already excellent show was made epic when David Byrne surprised everyone by joining Paul Simon on stage at Webster Hall to perform two songs during the encore last night (6/6). First Simon and band backed David as he sang Talking Heads hit "Road to Nowhere". Then, like they did at BAM in 2008, David and Paul traded verses on Simon hit "You Can Call Me Al". A full review and set of pictures (more like the above) from the Monday night club show are coming soon. In the meantime check out some videos people posted to Youtube, below...

Continue reading "David Byrne joined Paul Simon @ Webster Hall (pic & videos)"

St. Vincent being Big Black @ Bowery (more by Amanda Hatfield)
St Vincent

St. Vincent will release 'Strange Mercy' on on 9/13, her new album for 4AD who say: "The record's 11 new tracks showcase Clark's gift for fusing the cerebral and the visceral, her melodically elegant arrangements packing hefty emotional punches. Clark reunited with producer John Congleton and recorded the album in her hometown of Dallas, TX at Elmwood Studios."

"Other musicians on the album include the Grammy Award winning Bobby Sparks on mini Moog, clavinet, Arp and Wurlitzer, Midlake's MacKenzie Smith on drums, and Daniel Hart on violin. Also contributing were Beck keyboardist and musical director Brian LeBarton, Evan Smith on woodwinds and Phil Palazzolo."

Annie Clark is also working with David Byrne on stuff. Asphalt Orchestra will perform some of it at this year's Bang on a Can Orchestra. David Byrne is also working with other people on stuff.

Check out another video of St. Vincent covering Big Black at Bowery Ballroom on 5/22, below...

Continue reading "St. Vincent announces new 4AD album 'Strange Mercy'"

David Byrne at Prospect Park in 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
David Byrne

David Byrne is releasing Ride, Rise, Roar on DVD and Blu-Ray this Tuesday (5/31) via Eagle Rock Entertainment. It's a documentary shot during his '08/'09 tour. The film, directed by David Hillman Curtis, consists of rehearsals, interviews, and live footage of the tour which included performances of Talking Heads classics in addition to material penned by Byrne and Brian Eno for their 2008 album Everything That Happens Will Happen. The film originally premiered at SXSW 2010. Watch the trailer below.

Sean Penn as Cheyenne
Cheyenne

Byrne recently teamed up with Will Oldham (who just released a single for charity) to record original music for the film This Must Be the Place, named after the Talking Heads song of the same name. The film was directed by Pablo Sorrentino and is Sorrentino's first film to be shot in English. The film stars Sean Penn as a rock musician named Cheyenne. His character fronts the band Cheyenne and the Fellows, named after Siouxsie and the Banshees, and his appearance was inspired by Robert Smith of The Cure (as you can tell in the above picture).

According to a Consequence of Sound interview with Will Oldham, David Byrne was asked to write music for a demo that Cheyenne and the Fellows would record in the movie, and the script said that the music from the demo is reminiscent of Prince Billy...

"He was required to make up music for this band in addition to scoring the movie. So, he remembered that we had met [at a BBQ at Bjork's house] and wrote me, "Listen I was hired to make music that sounded like you which sounds kind of like a silly task." I replied with, "Well they hired you so why don't we make music that sounds like us" so that's what we did and we wrote four or five songs together for this fictional band."
David Byrne attended the screening at Cannes last week. Read his account of that "glamorous" trip in his journal. The movie hits theaters later this year. The trailer is below.

SuburbsSuburbs

Arcade Fire (who covered the song "This Must Be the Place" as a B-side to the "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" single) are releasing a deluxe edition of The Suburbs August 2 via Merge. The release will consist of the DVD Scenes From The Suburbs (directed by Spike Jonze), an 80-page booklet featuring stills from the film, behind the scenes photos from the film's production, and lyrics, an extended version of "Wasted Hours," and two new tracks; "Culture War" and "Speaking In Tongues" feat. David Byrne. Listen to the David Byrne collaboration below.

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Speaking of Merge Records, Merge artist East River Pipe tweeted, last night... "met David Byrne [at the Anna Calvi] show tonight! Pretty cool, huh!?!?!" Even cooler is that David Byrne was checking out Anna! Maybe Brian Eno suggested he check her out. We have pictures from the Bowery Ballroom show coming soon.

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David Byrne is also featured on Red Hot Organization's Red Hot + Rio 2, the sequel to 1996's Red Hot + Rio (which Byrne was also featured on). As we previously mentioned, the compilation brings Brazilian musicians and contemporary indie artists together to record a modern tribute to the late '60s Brazilian Tropicalia movement. Other artists on the compilation include Beirut, Devendra Banhart, of Montreal, Javelin, Beck, and more. The album will be released June 28 in partnership with Entertainment One Music.

Videos and songs and stuff below..

Continue reading "David Byrne wrote songs w/ Will Oldham (for 'This Must Be the Place') & Arcade Fire (for 'Suburbs' deluxe edition) & stuff"

Asphalt Orchestra outside Lincoln Center in 2010 (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
Asphalt Orchestra

Sunday June 19
Bang on a Can Marathon

Presented by Bang on A Can and Arts World Financial Center

Bang on a Can returns with its incomparable 12-hour super-mix of genre-defying music featuring over 150 astounding musicians and composers from throughout the world. Highlights include Philip Glass performing live with the Bang on a Can All-Stars; music by Bryce Dessner of The National; sonic downtown legend Glenn Branca; the outerplanetary Sun Ra Arkestra; the Asphalt Orchestra playing music by David Byrne/Annie Clark, Yoko Ono, and Frank Zappa; the intrepid Signal in a blistering string orchestra work by Julia Wolfe plus New York premieres by Richard Ayers, Fausto Romitelli, Poul Ruders, Toby Twining and much more! 12pm-12am. World Financial Center Winter Garden, 220 Vesey Street.

For more on what this 12-hour free show is like, check out our pictures from 2010.

Meanwhile catch Bang on a Can performing Steve Reich at Carnegie Hall on April 30th.

In July Bang on a Can head to MASS MoCA for 20 days. Details below...

Continue reading "Bang on a Can Marathon initial 2011 lineup announced, Summer Festival at MASS MoCA too "

I sincerely apologize to David Byrne...
sorry David Byrne

"Singer/songwriter David Byrne and Index Music Inc. have resolved their lawsuit against former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Charlie Crist for United States Senate, The Stevens and Schriefer Group, Ltd., and Red October Productions, Inc. The lawsuit arose from a web campaign video made by Stevens and Schriefer Group Ltd. And Red October Productions, Inc., which Charlie Crist used in his primary campaign for United States Senate, that incorporated portions of the song Road to Nowhere, a song written by Mr. Byrne and recorded by Mr. Byrne and his band Talking Heads. The lawsuit, filed on May 24, 2010 in the United States District Court in Tampa, alleged that this use of Road to Nowhere required licenses which were not obtained. The financial terms of the settlement are confidential.

Former Florida Governor Charlie Christ, Charlie Crist for United States Senate, The Stevens and Schriefer Group Ltd., and Red October Productions, Inc. apologize that a portion of David Byrne's song and the recording of Road to Nowhere was used without permission. Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Charlie Crist for United States Senate, The Stevens and Schriefer Group Ltd., and Red October Productions, Inc. do not support or condone any actions taken by anyone involved in the 2010 election campaign for United States Senate that were inconsistent with artists' rights of the various legal protections afforded to intellectual property.

Governor Crist has filmed a video apology..."

...which is pretty funny and you can watch it below...

Continue reading "Florida Governor apologizes to David Byrne (on YouTube)"

Yo La Tengo, David Byrne, Fred Armisen (photo by antonieta molina)
David Byrne and YLT

"Yo La Tengo squeezed more than a drop of good will from a sugarcube last night at Maxwell's in Hoboken. The band performed a last-minute Japan Benefit Concert to a packed room of sweaty record store clerks--all the proceeds went to Peace Winds Japan, a Tokyo-based non-profit organization helping those displaced by the recent disaster. But in typical Yo La Tengo fashion, they weren't alone: SNL star Fred Armisen sat in on drums for the entire show, Glenn Mercer of The Feelies joined them for four songs, and legendary bike enthusiast David Byrne dropped by in grandfatherly overalls for a handful of tunes as well during the invigorating, nearly-three hour show" [Gothamist]
Speaking of the Feelies, they have a new album and some shows coming up.

A picture of the Maxwell's setlist and a few videos below...

Continue reading "David Byrne, Glenn Mercer & Fred Armisen played w/ Yo La Tengo at their Japan Benefit @ Maxwell's"

Daft Punk

"In the land of free-form radio (aka WFMU), he's known for Kenny G's Hour of Pain. On the Internet he's the mastermind behind the treasured online behemoth, UbuWeb. Join us for a very special evening in which Kenneth Goldsmith curates personal favorites from his website and visually spins them into spontaneous freeform gold. Local bands Growing (Vice Records) and Blues Control (Siltbreeze) will add a touch of controlled chaos to the already unpredictable mix. After the show there will be a mandatory DJ de-brief in the gallery."
That WFMU-related Growing/Blues Control event takes place, tonight, August 16th, at the Walter Reade Theater. It will cost you to get in, and is 21+. More info at the link (doors at 8:15). They say there's also an afterparty with a DJ set by Marty Mcsorley and free drinks right after the show.

Kind of in competition with that is another WFMU-related event happening tonight over at Solar One...

Join DJ Trent as he freaks out to his two favorite movies:

1) David Byrne's TRUE STORIES, starring John Goodman and Byrne, with music by Talking Heads, exploring the changing world of central Texas in 1986
and
2) Daft Punk's INTERSTELLA 5555: THE 5TORY OF THE 5ECRET 5TAR 5YSTEM, an insane anime adventure into the year 5555 set to Daft Punk's "Discovery," possibly the best album ever made.

Since both movies are set to music (but avoid the awful cliches associated with, you know, musicals) it will also be a dance party with $2 Brooklyn Beer all night long. If you can't make it in person, join the fun from home with live audio/video broadcasts at 91.1fm and wfmu.org.

A video of Blues Control soundchecking earlier today, below...

Continue reading "WFMU hosting Growing & Blues Control, and David Byrne/Daft Punk movies (TONIGHT)"

photos by Benjamin Lozovsky, words by Andrew Frisicano

Asphalt Orchestra

Before the headlining Neu! & Hermeto Pascoal shows, Asphalt Orchestra marched across Lincoln Center's network of plazas to perform a half-hour set of music, ending in Damrosch Park. Earlier that week the group debuted a new piece by David Byrne and Annie Clark (St. Vincent) titled "Two Ships," and they included that song in their set Friday night.

More pictures and a video of that tune is below....

Continue reading "Asphalt Orchestra played a David Byrne/Annie Clark song (and others) @ Lincoln Center Out of Doors (pics, video) "

words by Andrew Frisicano, some photos by Jonathan Bayer & Yvonne Rodriguez

"Once you've reached Madison Square Garden, you've reached the peak. You're the success story of the day, so one relaxes. There's no where to go, there's no higher, there's only the abyss waiting. So live free, for one night only." -Terry Gilliam on the Unstaged Pre-show video q

a win Win situation (by Jonathan Bayer)
Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire looked perfectly at home on the stage of Madison Square Garden Thursday night, the second show in their two-night run. At this one, the audience exceeded the nearly-full stadium, with an at-home crowd watching a live stream directed by Terry Gilliam broadcast over YouTube (the live channel has something like 600,000 views currently, though not sure that number means anything).

That bodes well for the band, who are still waiting on the first-week sales numbers for their possible #1, The Suburbs, which came out on Tuesday (and has been on sale digitally for $3.99 at Amazon). At the show, the new record's songs weren't totally unfamiliar. One, "The Sprawl II," even made the encore, and spurred a roar of recognition from the girls in front of me, who informed our cozy section of the song's title (with a peace sign for the two) and described its arc (slow at first, but then really awesome) as it started up. A faulty drum machine forced the band to restart the tune a minute in, allowing a reflective pause for the victory lap in progress.

The band was clearly reveling in the moments of the show. Win Butler sailed into the crowd multiple times, occasionally with his guitar still attached. In one impressive maneuver, the frontman walked along the seated section's railing like a balance beam, before jumping into the general admission pit, tangles of mic cord trailing behind him (a play from the Matt Berninger handbook). The band frequently rotated instruments, with pianos, keys, two drums kits, violins and an array of percussion all playing a part.

The second night's songs were close but not identical to night one's (and both differed from their Boston show a few nights ago). As before, their debut LP, Funeral, provided ripe stadium-level material for the set, filling a little less than half of it. The order changed, but only one new song was swapped outright: "Empty Room" replacing "Half Light II."

For me, the stadium aspect of MSG was kind of a strange novelty. From the distant seats, the experience of watching a band while reclining, huge soda and personal pizza/popcorn/whatever in hand, is in some ways closer to a YouTube stream than a crowded, sweaty live concert. Still, the in-person event had its rewards for those that weren't up front - the band's backdrop for the evening depicted an abandoned bridge overpass, with an rectangular block of lights similar to a football stadium. In front of that was a video screen, mostly likely meant to be a billboard, which projected forms and images for each song. Antiquated ghosts lit up "No Cars Go" and what I can only hope is the video for "The Suburbs" depicted a gang of kids riding bikes in Reservoir Dogs-style slo-mo through an eerie neighborhood development.

And the people: a view-obstructing beer vendor trolling the aisles, a group of teens trying to find someone to buy them beer, an energetic (chemically-enhanced?) man pirouetting around the stadium's perimeter, and thousands of fists raised in unison for the group rite of "Wake Up" (the latter being inspiring or frightening, depending).

and there was confetti...
Arcade Fire

Owen Pallett started out the night to a minimally filled stadium. "I'm so happy to be playing here for the 200 of you," he joked. Then responding to a heckler, "No, I'm not taking it off, I just got this. Sorry." The empty hall added a nice element of reverb for the people who were there, amplifying the work of Owen's orchestra-in-a-box loop pedal.

Similarly, Spoon sounded great, with help from a horn section and drums borrowed from Phil Collins (both on only a few songs). The band jammed through a taut set with favorites like "Jonathan Fisk" and "I Summon You" taking their place along the new Transference batch. For "No One Gets Me But You," the Roots' Owen Biddle joined to make a two-piece bass section (as he did on Fallon).

Some videos from the show's "Unstaged" live stream are already online. Fan videos too (including a nice close-up of Win in the crowd). The set list, some more picturs from night two (night one are HERE), and those videos are below...

Continue reading "Arcade Fire played MSG again (night 2 setlist, videos, pics) "

by Andrew Frisicano

St. Vincent @ Pitchfork Fest in Chicago (more by Kate Gardiner)
St. Vincent

David Byrne and Annie Clark are collaborating on music for a future Housing Works benefit. There's no date set for that, but Asphalt Orchestra will be debuting a version of one of the songs they've been working on...

A few months ago we had [Here Lies Love arranger] Tony Finno arrange the horns, and we performed one of the songs -- tentatively titled "Who" -- at the end of Annie's show at the Rose Room at Lincoln Center. Now, having been approached by the Bang On a Can spinoff Asphalt Orchestra, with the help of [Asphalt saxist/producer] Ken Thomson we've adapted another song called either "Two Ships" or "The Movie" for their group. This will be an instrumental version and we'll do a vocal version later. [David Byrne]
Asphalt will perform that song on Wednesday, August 4th, at the first of five free shows the avant-marching band is doing around the Lincoln Center as part of LC's Out of Doors Festival. Locations and times for the band are below.

In addition to that piece, they'll be debuting a commission by Yoko Ono; other songs in the group's repertoire include commissions by Tyondai Braxton of Battles and Stew & Heid Rodewald of Passing Strange and BAM Next Wave 2010. The 12-piece will release a seven-track CD of its material on August 3rd through Canatloupe Music. That includes a blisteringly dissonant song by Swedish metal band Meshuggah and an intricately-arranged version of Bjork's "Hyper-Ballad." There are a few more typical "ra-ra" maching band songs on the album too (Zappa in particular is already quite melodic and pompy), but the band focuses on getting unusual sounds out of the limited instrumentation. Live, they move in unique coordinated patterns, so the experience is individualized to the space and where you stand.

As an aside, this Saturday at Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival is going to be particularly amazing, with the "Detroit Breakdown" lineup of Mitch Ryder, ? and the Mysterians, The Gories, Death and more.

St. Vincent has her own free show this weekend, at the Central Park SummerStage Sunday (8/1) afternoon, with openers Tune-Yards and Basia Bulat.

A video of Asphalt Orchestra doing that Meshuggah song on WNYC, and their schedule, plus a video of Annie doing a nylon-string version of "Actor Out of Work," are below...

Continue reading "David Byrne & Annie Clark collaborating for Housing Works, Asphalt Orchestra playing a song (and some shows) "

photos by Kurt Christensen

this1

"Let's get one thing straight: Crowded House isn't a one-hit wonder. Sure, the Australian band is known by '80s music fans for its 1987 hit "Don't Dream It's Over" (and maybe the subsequent "Something So Strong"), but songwriter Neil Finn has actually guided different incarnations of the band through six full-length albums and earned critical acclaim for his solo albums and side projects." [NPR]
You saw the setlist and the video from Wednesday night's show at Bowery Ballroom where David Byrne joined Crowded House and family (Sharon Finn and Liam Finn are both on the tour with Neil). Now here are the pics, along with video from the band's appearance on Jimmy Fallon (they really made the most of their trip here that included three shows at Bowery, and includes one at Wellmont Theatre tonight), below....

Continue reading "Crowded House played Fallon (video) & Bowery w/ David Byrne, Liam Finn, Sharon Finn & Lawrence Arabia (pics) "

photos by Andrew St Clair

Bowery

Crowded House completed their three-night run at Bowery Ballroom in NYC last night (7/21). It was also at the third show that David Byrne came out for the encore to join the band on two Talking Heads covers. We actually have pictures from that show too, but the pictures in this post are from the 2nd night, July 20th. Stay tuned for the ones from night three.

If you missed the show, there's one more NYC-area chance when Crowded House plays Wellmont Theater in NJ on Friday.

More of the night two pictures, video of the David Byrne part from last night, and all three setlists (including which songs Neil Finn's wife Sharon son Liam played on), below...

Continue reading "Crowded House played 3 nights @ Bowery Ballroom (night 2 pics, all 3 setlists, video of last night's guest: David Byrne)"

interview by Billy Jones, top photo by Michael Lavine

Sitek

TV on the Radio guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and producer David Andrew Sitek has announced his new project Maximum Balloon. Not surprisingly, the TVOTR / Yeah Yeah Yeahs / Liars / Dragons of Zynth / Holly Miranda / Scarlett Johansson producer worked with a host of guest artists on the project, which will see the light of day in the form of a self-titled album on August 24th via DGC/Interscope Records.

"...Then Aku (Dragons of Zynth) called and said he was in town and asked what I was up to and I said, "Making a song that you have to come and fix!" So he came by the studio and he laid the vocals down. We pretty much started Maximum Balloon on that day."
Other guest artists on the album will include Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone from TVOTR, Karen O from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Yukimi Nagano from Little Dragon, Holly Miranda, Theophilus London and more. David Byrne is rumored. Aku from Dragons of Zynth is featured on "Tiger," the first track to be released off the album. "Tiger" will be available on iTunes and all digital partners on June 15th, but you can also hear it in a video below, or today at www.MaximumBalloon.com. In addition to "Tiger", Maximum Balloon will be regularly releasing a series of digital singles in the weeks leading up to the release of the album.

Billy Jones of new musical project New Moods, who last conducted an interview for this site in 2006, called up Dave on Friday to discuss the making of Maximum Balloon, barbershop quartets, Cyndi Lauper, the future of TVOTR and more. Their chat starts here....

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Billy: Hey Dave, Can you hear me?

Dave: Yeah...

Billy: I rigged this to be on the speakerphone of my Blackberry to be recording through GarageBand, a slightly complicated setup...

Dave: Awesome, put me through The Crystalizer...

Billy: I actually have you through Long Panning Ping Pong Delay right now...

Dave: I can't wait for Soundtoys to come out with an iPhone app.

continued below....

Continue reading "an interview w/ Dave Sitek of Maximum Balloon (the TVOTR guitarist/producer's new project w/ many guest vocalists)"

photos by Tim Griffin

David Byrne Benefit at Capitale
David Byrne Benefit at Capitale

The Kitchen Spring Gala Benefit

Honoring
David Byrne

Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Capitale 130 Bowery at Grand Street, New York City

6:00 pm COCKTAILS AND HORS D'OEUVRES
7:30 pm DINNER AND PERFORMANCES
by Dirty Projectors, Doveman, Nico Muhly, and St. Vincent

9:30 to Midnight AFTER-PARTY with open bar, desserts, and dancing with DJ Scott Campbell & Leo Fitzpatrick and a live music performance by Chief
Hosted by The Smile and The Journal

Wednesday night's $500-a-ticket Gala event (the afterparty was cheaper) at Capitale didn't include any surprises (no on-stage collaborations or surprise guests), but it did include performances by Dirty Projectors, Doveman, Nico Muhly, and St. Vincent as advertised, and raise a lot of money for non-profit venue The Kitchen (whose upcoming events include two talent shows curated by Robert Melee).

The honoree, David Byrne, rode his bike to and from the party. More pictures from the event (though none of Chief who play two more NYC shows in June), below...

Continue reading "Dirty Projectors, St Vincent, Doveman & Nico Muhly helped honor David Byrne @ the Kitchen Gala @ Capitale (pics)"

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Chief - Night & Day (MP3)

Dirty Projectors & David Byrne @ Bowery in Nov '09
Dirty Projectors & David Byrne

The MoMA Party in the Garden benefit with Karen O and Nick Zinner is tonight (5/25), and the Anthology Film Archives benefit with Lou Reed, Sonic Youth and Kenneth Anger's band Technicolor Skull was the week before (5/19).

Tomorrow (Wednesday, May 26th), there's the spring benefit for the Kitchen, a nonprofit performance and music space in Chelsea, that will honor David Byrne. The event, which includes dinner, drinks, etc. at Capitale (130 Bowery), will also feature performances by Dirty Projectors, Doveman, Nico Muhly, and St. Vincent. Tickets for that would have run you $500 a piece, if they weren't already sold out. Byrne isn't listed as playing at the event, though he has performed with both Dirty Projectors and St. Vincent in the past.

You can still nab a ticket ($75) to the somewhat less-exciting after-party with DJ Scott Campbell and music from California county-tinged folk-pop band Chief.

While in town, Chief, who just signed to Domino Records (and who live back in California now that they've graduated from NYU) are also playing a show at Mercury Lounge on June 2nd with She Keeps Bees and Caveman. Tickets are on sale. They'll also be at Union Pool on June 5th...

"California 4-piece Chief, comprised of early 20-somethings Evan Koga, brothers Danny and Michael Fujikawa and Mike Moonves, will release their stunning debut album Modern Rituals on August 17, 2010. The newest signing to Domino Records, Chief has already garnered a fervent following in NYC and LA as well as early radio support from KEXP, BBC Radio 6 Music and Zane Lowe's influential Radio 1 show. The band will set out on a run of select U.S. tour dates that begins this Friday, May 28th, but first they are proud to offer their lead single "Night & Day" as a free download" [Domino Records]
Grab "Night & Day" above. All dates below.

Dirty Projectors' other upcoming shows include a headlining gig at Terminal 5 on September 11th which Owen Pallett is now opening. All dates below.

St. Vincent has a headlining show coming up at Summerstage and she'll sing with Ben Gibbard at the June 8th Simon & Garfunkel-themed Summerstage benefit. You can also catch her playing DJ at Brooklyn Bowl tonight (5/25).

Speaking of David Byrne, he's been busy as usual. He's suing Florida governor Charlie Crist. And his Here Lies Love project came out in April. (Eerily, that record, about Philippine first lady and political figure Imelda Marcos, corresponded with the political success of Imelda and the Marcos family in a May election.)

There's a new book on Byrne & Talking Heads called Song and Circumstance: The Work of David Byrne from Talking Heads to the Present, which sports a cover photo by BV photographer Chris La Putt (taken at Byrne's Radio City show in 2009). Congrats Chris!

David Byrne's own book, Bicycle Diaries, came out last year. Videos of David's lecture on bikes, scenes from his 2009 "Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno" tour, and all Chief & DP dates are below...

Continue reading "Kitchen Gala honoring David Byrne, show includes St Vincent, Dirty Projectors & Chief (now on Domino) - MP3, tour dates "

Talking HeadsTalking Heads

David Byrne is suing the governor of Florida, alleging that he used the Talking Heads' 1985 single "Road to Nowhere" without permission or proper licenses.

Byrne is seeking $1 million in damages from Gov. Charlie Crist, who's also Florida's former Attorney General, and his senatorial campaign for use of the song earlier this year in a website and YouTube ad attacking his then-Republican primary opponent, Marco Rubio. Crist has since changed his campaign and is running as an independent candidate. [Billboard]

Check out a recent interview with Byrne, in Guernica Magazine.

Sleigh Bells & M.I.A. (I think) @ Coco66 on 5/7 (actually 5/8) (Seva Granik)

As if the hype wasn't through the roof enough, M.I.A. helped popularize the act her label co-signed (is that the right term?) a little bit more this evening by joining Sleigh Bells on stage at the end of their show at Coco66. The show's promoter Seva Granik writes, "MIA closes Sleigh Bells' set on "Ring Ring." Crowd go nut. Ima get another drank."

In unrelated news, David Byrne was seen checking out Local Natives cover a Talking Heads song at Bowery Ballroom earlier the same night, and Emily Haines joined Broken Social Scene for three songs at Webster Hall. More on those later.

For prettier pictures of Sleigh Bells, check out the set from their show at Webster Hall earlier in the week. Sleigh Bells play another NYC show on May 11th. M.I.A. and Sleigh Bells officially share a bill this summer on Governors Island.

photos by Bao Nguyen

"Sorry I did fall asleep cause I was resting from such an amazing show! I'm wide awake now!" - Bao

Atoms for Peace
Atoms for Peace
Atoms for Peace

"The line in front of Roseland Ballroom stretched around the corner of 52nd Street and up Broadway but moved along quickly. The band's ticketless method to limit scalping seemed to work without too many headaches. Flying Lotus was on the wheels when I walked in spinning chilled-out techno but it's tough to build a groove when the sound system is popping and cracking like a blown speaker, what a shame. Sound improved toward the end of his set and he closed with 'Idioteque'.

Atoms for Peace took the stage as a 6-piece with Thom Yorke at piano and a guest horn player center stage (he would depart after 2 songs). They opened with 'The Eraser' and two things became immediately clear: 1) the sound was now perfect and 2) Flea would add some SoCal funk/punk to the set. With blue hair and a white tee (the rest of the band was in black), he was immediately wiggling/dancing across the stage laying it on thick. The set was comprised mostly of songs from The Eraser but included some Radiohead and some new songs as well." [Blackraptor]

As promised, here are the pictures from last night's show at Roseland Ballroom (and some from the after-show party in the mezzanine). They continue below...

Continue reading "Thom Yorke, Flea & band were Atoms for Peace @ Roseland Ballroom (pics from the show & afterparty) "

photos by Bao Nguyen

Nicole Atkins

'Stories in High Fidelity' held an event at Bowery Ballroom on February 3rd featuring stories from David Byrne Alan Light, Dan Kennedy and Jason Gordon, and music from Nicole Atkins. The big question of the night was whether Byrne, who features Nicole Atkins on a track on his new album, would get up and sing with her during the musical part of the evening. The answer is 'yes'. David sang harmonies on Nicole's song "Neptune City". Less than a week earlier (he gets around!), David joined St. Vincent on stage at another NYC show. St Vincent also appears on David's new album. Nicole reports on Bowery Ballroom:

It was an absolute blast. Lots of really funny storytellers including NY Times writer Alan Light (whos touching story about his 6 year olds Beatlemania actually made me excited about my hopeful futuristic children), novelist Dan Kennedy (who did a hilarious interpretation of what a group prayer by Bon Jovi might sounds like before they go onstage!), Jason Gordon (who read a book report he did in 5th grade about the Doors "No One Here Gets Out Alive") and David Bryne who did an amazing lecture about how musicians make music for specific venues, ie, rap is made for car speakers, midtempo U2 music is for stadiums, etc. Actually made me have more of an understanding for East coast vs West Coast hip hop. If you ever get a chance to listen to David Byrne lecture, do it! Its eye and ear opening and extremely funny in his way. After the speakers, I played a small acoustic set solo and was accompanied by cartoonist Michael Arthur who drew cartoons of my songs while i sang them. He has a great band called Balthrop Alabama that ya'll should check out. Actually they are playing one of the nights I host at Bowery Electric on March 5th. Come see them!

For my last song I played "Neptune City," and was joined by David Byrne on vocals and guitar. It was like a dream as he's always been one of my favorite artists and now here he was up onstage singing and playing my song with me. yip! I loved the way his guitar playing made a somber song such as that sound, i dunno, tropical! Byrne brought the warmth.

David Byrne is talking again at TED on February 11th ("Register for the TED2010 Associates feed to watch TED2010 at home").

Balthrop Alabama can be seen even sooner than March. They play Joe's Pub on Valentine's Day. They'll be joined that time by The Bandana Splits (with Dawn Landes). Video promo made by Michael Arthur below.

More pictures from the seated Bowery Ballroom event, below...

Continue reading "Nicole Atkins & David Byrne played Bowery Ballroom (pics) w/ Michael Arthur of Balthrop Alabama (who play Joe's soon) "

David Byrne

Eclectic rocker Neil Young, who has made no secret of his disdain for the Grammys, finally won a coveted trophy on Sunday for the first time in a career spanning almost 50 years.

Fittingly, the Canadian singer/songwriter was honored for a long-delayed boxed set collecting more than 120 tracks from his early days.

"Neil Young Archives Vol. 1 (1963-1972)" won the Grammy for best art direction on a boxed or special limited-edition package. Young, 64, shared the award with fellow art directors Gary Burden and Jenice Heo.

"Thanks a lot, everybody," Young said as he accepted his statuette.

He also competed for best solo rock vocal Grammy but lost to Bruce Springsteen, whose career total rose to 20.

On Friday he was honored by the music industry at its annual MusiCares charity fundraiser in recognition of his annual concerts for the Bridge School for disabled children.

The 10-disc "Archives" boxed set has been in the works for years, with Young frequently delaying its release so that technology could catch up with his vision. It boasts studio and live tracks, demos, outtakes and other rarities, as well as videos and the first digital release of his directing debut, "Journey Through the Past."

Fans have the choice of three configurations: CD, DVD and Blu-ray -- the most expensive at more than $200. [Reuters]

Kings of Leon won three. MGMT won none. Loudon Wainwright, Steve Earle, Levon Helm, Steve Martin (bluegrass), and Michael J Fox all won Grammys. Phoenix won for best Alternative Music Album. David Byrne & Brian Eno's CD won for 'Recording Package'. Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Les Paul and Michael Jackson were honored. Stephen Colbert won in the comedy category which came later in the show than his iPad bit. Video of that with the full list of winners below...

Continue reading "full list of 2010 Grammy Award Winners (Phoenix, Stephen Colbert, Kings of Leon, David Byrne, Leonard Cohen & more) "

photos by Chris La Putt

"St Vincent brought out David freaking Byrne!!" - Kari

St. Vincent
St. Vincent

For the second week in a row, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) performed together at a NYC show. Last week it was the Haiti benefit. Last night it was St Vincent's headlining show at Lincoln Center's Allen Room. Last week included a bunch of covers. Last night included the Twilight song. Shara Worden, saxophonist Colin Stetson and a member of Megafaun were surprise guests last week. David Byrne, Budos Band horns, and a member of The National (and Justin) were surprise guests last night.

St Vincent appears on David Byrne's new album, as does Nicole Atkins who shares a bill with David at Bowery Ballroom on February 3rd. Bon Iver and St Vincent are both playing MusicNOW fest in March. The National just announced a new album and a tour that includes Radio City Music Hall, and the Big Ears Festival that St. Vincent is also playing.

St. Vincent heads out on tour with Wildbirds & Peacedrums on February 3rd. More pictures and the setlist from the Allen Room, below...

Continue reading "St. Vincent (and David Byrne, Justin Vernon, Bryce Dessner & more) played Lincoln Center's Allen Room - pics & setlist"

DOWNLOAD: David Byrne And Fatboy Slim - Please Don't (feat Santigold) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Basia Bulat - Go On (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: My Brightest Diamond - Inside A Boy (Son Lux Remix) (MP3)

My Brightest Diamond @ Dark Was the Night last May (more by Natasha Ryan)
My Brightest Diamond

Although Shara Worden hasn't performed as My Brightest Diamond in New York over the last year, she has been far from idle. She collaborated with David Byrne on his upcoming release, Here Lies Love, worked with Clogs on Lady Walton's Garden, due out in March, played the role of the Queen on The Decemberists' newest album, The Hazards of Love, and toured with them and found time to perform with Laurie Anderson, Bon Iver, The National and St. Vincent as well. My Brightest Diamond also contributed their version of Nina Simone's renowned classic "Feelin' Good" to the celebrated compilation Dark Was The Night. [PR]
In addition to being her first NYC in more than year, My Brightest Diamond's Bowery show on January 22nd is a CD release party for her new limited-edition remix album Shark Remixes. According to her website, "Shara had so much fun on the short European tour this last December that she, together with drummer Brian Wolfe and bassist Nathan Lithgow, decided to keep the glow alive by playing in New York and adding Butoh dancing and clowns for fun." The record, which comes out on Asthmatic Kitty on January 26th, collects four "remix EPs" put together by remixers Alfred Brown, DM Stith, Son Lux and Roberto Carlos Lange of songs from MBD's 2008 album A Thousand Shark's Teeth. Album art and tracklist are below.

Opening the show is Canadian singer and guitarist/autoharp player Basia Bulat, whose album Heart of My Own also comes out January 26th, on Rough Trade/Secret City. A track from that album, "Go On", is a free download above. Her other tour dates and the song "Gold Rush" off the new record are below. Tickets to the January 22nd Bowery show are still on sale. We also have a pair to give away. Details are below.

You can also catch Basia Bulat on Thursday, January 21st, at Professor Thom's on 219 2nd Ave (between 13th & 14th). It's her record release party and she'll be performing an "intimate live performance" at 8pm. $1.00 beers at 7pm (while they last).

Shara Worden and Nicole Atkins are two of the many collaborators on David Byrne's Here Lies Love project with Fatboy Slim. The song "Please Don't," featuring Santigold, is above. Byrne will be one of the speakers at "Stories in High Fidelity: An evening of storytelling" at Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday, February 3rd. Also on hang will be Alan Light, Dan Kennedy and Jason Gordon, and music from Nicole Atkins. Tickets are on sale.

David Byrne has been speaking publicly a lot lately.Most recently at the Bell House on January 11th.

My Brightest Diamond's other upcoming shows include a performance with Clogs in Minneapolis on February 19th and 20th and Big Ears Festival, happening March 26-28 in Knoxville, TN.

All of the above-mentioned tour dates, ticket contest, and more info are below...

Continue reading "Basia Bulat, Nicole Atkins, My Brightest Diamond & David Byrne - upcoming shows (dates) & new music (MP3s) "

David Byrne w/ Dirty Projectors @ Bowery Ballroom
David Byrne

I have, after many years, finished the Here Lies Love CD project - at least this iteration of it. It will come out [February 23rd] on Nonesuch. It's a collaboration with Fatboy Slim, an upbeat series of songs sung each one by a different singer. The songs are about Imelda Marcos and Estrella Cumpas, the woman who raised her. The package includes 2 CDs (22 songs), a DVD with videos of 6 of those songs, and a 100-page book that explains it all. Singers include Florence Welch (of Florence + The Machine), Sia, Santigold, Nellie McKay, Sharon Jones, St. Vincent, Róisín Murphy and many more (even me on 1 and 1/2)... I am pretty excited about this, but who knows, it might just make people crazy.

We'll see. There will be more concrete news, with links and music, in early January.

In the meantime, I have decided to rebrand myself, inspired by Philip Morris changing their name to Altria, Blackwater to Xe, and the train I'm riding on right now that calls itself Acela - none of which mean anything, but they are cleverly evocative. When I decide on the magic word, you'll be the first to know.

-David Byrne

What should David Bryne's new name be? The full tracklist for the new record, which also features vocal turns by Steve Earle and Allison Moorer (who both just played NYC on Friday), Cyndi Lauper, Tori Amos and Martha Wainwright, is below.

Here Lies Love premiered in March 2006 Australia, and Byrne brought the song cycle to Carnegie Hall as part of the venue's Perspectives Series in February 2007. As a stage show, the songs fit into a four act narrative, laid out in detail on Byrne's website. Those at either performance got a first look at the then-in-progress work...

Here Lies Love takes the form of a series of fairly traditional pop songs (verse-chorus-verse) played in a variety of styles (disco, rock, funk, latin, ballad) by Byrne and a small group of colleagues. Augmenting the core of guitar, bass and drums, is a percussionist and a keyboard player. The vocals are shared by Dana Diaz-Tutaan (Imelda), Ganda Suthivarakom (Estrella), and Byrne, who represents the 'voice' of other key players in Imelda's life. The stage itself is unadorned, although behind the band a small screen plays news clips and home movies of Imelda's life.

As already mentioned, the songs themselves are simple pop tunes, leaning heavily on the disco and dance genres, and could fit neatly onto any number of Byrne's solo albums. They are tuneful enough, and skillfully played, but I wonder about the connection of the music to Imelda's life. Would it have been possible to blend some traditional Filipino sounds and flavours into the music of Here Lies Love (although, admittedly, Imelda was a fan of Western dance music)? [Tidy Boy]

David Byrne will appear at a free, unticketed (first come, first served) event at the Bell House on Monday, January 11th. He presents "a short video/audio lecture called 'Creation in Reverse,' speaking to the ways that venue and context shape artistic creation, followed by a Q&A."

More Here Lies Love info and a video on the performance are below...

Continue reading "David Byrne rebranding, releasing an album w/ Fatboy Slim & lots of guests, giving a free lecture in Brooklyn "

Beast @ CMJ 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
Beast

Lady Gaga was nominated five times. Considering her rocket to fame over the last year, many were expecting more for her. But at least the contests are going to be really interesting: Beyoncé, [Taylor] Swift and Lady Gaga are going head to head in three of the most important categories: album, record and song of the year. Will one of them sweep, or will the lady vote be split?

One of the usual complaints about the Grammys is that it over-rewards older, established, familiar acts at the expense of newer, fresher ones. MGMT, the Brooklyn synth-rock duo, was nominated for best new artist, a big coup although not unexpected. But some of the shoulda-been names that have been circulated and Tweeted: Grizzly Bear, another acclaimed Brooklyn group; Regina Spektor, a young New York songwriter who started in the underground and has found some mainstream popularity; Diane Birch, a young soul-style singer, just the revivalist type the Grammys usually adore; and the Decemberists, an alt-folk-rock band from Portland, Ore., that released an ambitious concept album this year. [NY Times]

Neko Case, Imogen Heap, Phoenix, Silversun Pickups, David Byrne, Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs are some of the other familiar names in the list of Grammy nominees this year. As Ben Sisario in the NY Times alludes, the nominations are a complete joke and predictable... but fun to look at anyway. Nobody expects Animal Collective to get picked, despite their soon-to-be status of being one of the highly rated artists of the year (and decade maybe).

One surprise (for me anyway) came this year in the video category. Montreal's Beast were nominated for "Mr. Hurricane". That video with a list of some of the other nominees, below...

Continue reading "Beast's 'Mr. Hurricane' video & other 2009 Grammy nominees "