Entries tagged with: St Vincent

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"Recording with Michael Gira and Swans was a dream come true. Proud to have been a part of an epicly great record. #johncongleton" - St. Vincent

by Andrew Sacher

Swans at Warsaw in 2013 (more by Caroline Harrison)
Swans

Swans are finally set to follow up their excellent 2012 LP The Seer with a new album, To Be Kind, on May 13 via Michael Gira's Young God label in North American and Mute worldwide. Gira points out that some of the material was developed during their 2012/13 tour, so though the full tracklist hasn't been revealed yet, it seems likely that the title track is the opening song on Swans' recent live album, Not Here / Not Now. Another song from that live album, "Bring the Sun," has been confirmed for the new LP too.

Excitingly, the album features vocals "throughout the record" from Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent (!), plus their Mute labelmate Cold Specks and cabaret singer Little Annie, who has opened for Swans before. Gira produced the album with John Congleton, who also produced the new St. Vincent album. Like The Seer, this one will be just over two hours long.

For this album Gira will be joined by Norman Westberg, Christoph Hahn, Phil Puleo, Thor Harris, and Christopher Pravdica.

The only currently announced Swans date is ATP Iceland, but Gira just announced a solo tour of Europe. All of those dates are listed, along with a live video of "To Be Kind," below...

Continue reading "Swans announce new album, 'To Be Kind,' featuring St. Vincent, Cold Specks, and Little Annie"

by Andrew Sacher

St Vincent

St. Vincent is set to release her self-titled fourth album on February 25 via Loma Vista, and after revealing its first single, "Birth In Reverse," she's now posted another track from the album, "Digital Witness." It's yet another strong example of the ambitious art pop we've come to expect from St. Vincent, and it can be streamed, along with the previous single, below.

As discussed, she's also going on a tour in support of the album which hits NYC on February 26 at Terminal 5. Tickets for that show are still available.

Streams below...

Continue reading "St. Vincent released another new song from upcoming self-titled LP, "Digital Witness" (listen)"

St VincentSt Vincent

As discussed, St. VIncent is releasing a new album and going on a tour that brings her to NYC's Terminal 5 on February 26. That album can now be pre-ordered at her website, where fan presales for all tour dates also begin today (12/11) at 10 AM. Regular on-sale stars Friday (12/13) at noon, an AmEx presale starts Thursday (12/12) at noon, via Ticketmaster.

Listen to her new single "Birth In Reverse" below...

Continue reading "St. Vincent's 2014 tour on presale, LP available for pre-order"

St. Vincent at Bonnaroo 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
St Vincent

Yesterday (12/9), St. Vincent announced her self-titled fourth album (due out 2/25 via Loma Vista), the much-anticipated followup to 2011's Strange Mercy, and revealed its excellently wacky first single, "Birth In Reverse." Now, she's announced a month and half long North American tour for 2014, which kicks off in NYC on February 26 at Terminal 5. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (12/13) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Thursday (12/12) at noon.

All dates (including NXNE) are listed, along with a stream of "Birth In Reverse," below...

Continue reading "St. Vincent announces 2014 tour, headlining Terminal 5 (dates)"

NXNE 2013 (more by David Andrako)
NXNE

NXNE is returning for its 20th year in 2014 from June 13-22 in Toronto, and the initial music lineup has just been announced. It includes St. VIncent, Juicy J, Danny Brown, Rhye, Mac DeMarco, Run the Jewels, Omar Souleyman, Speedy Ortiz, Mas Ysa, Courtney Barnett and Odonis Odonis. NXNE speakers were also announced, including Paul Rosenberg (Shady Records), Chris Kaskie (Pitchfork), Oliver El-Khatib (Ovo), Chris Taylor (Last Gang Records), and KP Swazy (DatPiff). Badges and wristbands are on sale now.

Speaking of St. Vincent, if you haven't yet, check out her new song.

Check out the full initial list of 2014 NXNE artists below...

Continue reading "NXNE 2014 initial lineup (St. VIncent, Danny Brown, Run the Jewels, Mac DeMarco, Omar Souleyman, Speedy Ortiz, more)"

St Vincent

Last month, St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) teased new music, and now she's officially announced that the followup to 2011's Strange Mercy will be a self-titled album, due out on February 25 via Republic's Loma Vista label (Cut Copy, Rhye, Ghost B.C.). She also just revealed the first single, "Birth In Reverse," which has all the freaky synths and guitars we've come to expect from St. Vincent. You can stream that song or download via a widget, along with the tracklist, below. That's the album artwork above.

Continue reading "St Vincent announces new self-titled album (stream a track)"

by Bill Pearis

IMAGE

Chicago indie rock band Veruca Salt caused quite a sensation with their 1994 debut single "Seether" and subsequent full-length, American Thighs. The band suffered from an overproduced second album and co-frontperson Nina Gordon left the band shortly after. Louise Post carried on with Veruca Salt (with varying backing members) up through most of the '00s, releasing IV in 2006.

After calling it quits, the original line-up (Gordon, Post, Jim Shapiro, and Steve Lack) announced in March of this year via Facebook that they were reforming -- "for now let's just say this: hatchets buried, axes exhumed" -- and working on new material. The band are currently recording a new album with Brad Wood, who produced American Thighs (and Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville, among other '90s indie rock LPs).

Louise and Nina's first live, public performance together in 15 years will happen in Los Angeles on December 18 as part of Second City's 2013 24-Hour Improv & Music Benefit. Their performance happens at 10 AM CST (11 AM EST) and, like the rest of the benefit, will be broadcast live online.

The event, while Chicago-based, has performances happening from all over the country from December 17 at 6 PM CST to December 17 at 6 PM CST, including St. Vincent performing at 6:30 PM CST from somewhere in Brooklyn. Other performers playing the benefit include Bob Mould, Jeff Tweedy (who also plays a related benefit in Chicago in January), Fred Armisen and more. The full schedule for the Second City's 2013 24-Hour Improv & Music Benefit is listed, along with a few classic Veruca Salt clips, below...

Continue reading "Veruca Salt reform w/ original line-up, working on new LP, playing streaming benefit show (line-up also includes St. Vincent, Jeff Tweedy, Fred Armisen & more)"

St Vincent

St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark), who spent most of last year and this year on her David Byrne collaboration, is finally looking like she's set to release the followup to 2011's excellent Strange Mercy. She just announced a European tour, and in the video for the announcement, there's a 30-second clip of new music. Check out the video and list of tour dates below.

Annie also teamed up with Pearl Jam and Sleater-Kinney/Wild Flag/Portlandia's Carrie Brownstein in Dallas over the weekend (11/15) to cover Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World." Check out a video of that (via Stereogum) below.

Neil himself will be in NYC soon for four nights at Carnegie Hall.

Videos and list of dates below...

Continue reading "St. Vincent shares clip of new music, tour dates, covered Neil Young w/ Pearl Jam & Carrie Brownstein (video)"

The National at Barclays Center in June (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The National

St. Vincent is the latest artist to review a record on Michael Azerrad's website The Talkhouse. Her target? The new Arcade Fire:

Google search #1: Madonna "Like a Virgin" bass sound.
(The bass sound on "We Exist" vaguely reminded me of Madonna's 1984 classic Like a Virgin.)
Result: Sequential Circuits Prophet 5
(Unconfirmed and will likely need to follow Nile Rodgers on Twitter and hope he @replies to my query directly.)

Unsatisfied, I contacted Jeremy Gara (Arcade Fire drummer) and asked what they'd used for the bass. Turns out it was NOT a Prophet but a Korg MS-20 -- the vintage kind, not a new one or Reason, nerds! He even sent me a picture of the exact one! I was glad to have one pressing matter settled, but I continued down a Madonna rabbit hole and downloaded The Immaculate Collection. No "Oh Father"?????? Grievous oversight, Sire Records.

Related search: Is Seymour Stein still alive?
Result: Yes.

"FLASHBULB EYES" IS SUPER SICK AND DUBBY! KING TUBBY?! KING DUBBY?! AM I THE ONLY NON-STONED PERSON TO EVER MAKE THAT PUN?

Google search #2: Very-tall-men-fronted rock*^ bands
(Related: Glenn Danzig height)
*Co-fronted! No disrespect, Regine!
^Catch-all term for music in 2013 featuring at least one guitar
Results: Turns out Bryan Ferry isn't even that tall: 6'1". Some people just seem tall. Also Joey Ramone. (Apple autocorrected this to "ram one" -- usually so puritanical, Apple! Loosening your tie or was that a Joel Osteen-esque slip-up?)

Okay, so maybe "review" is a stretch in this case, but whatever St. Vincent wrote about the album and/or her Google searches is quite a read.

In other St. Vincent news, she is part of the recently-released Boardwalk Empire soundtrack, which also features Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Rufus Wainwright, Patti Smith, and Matt Berninger of The National (among others), and can be streamed HERE.

And speaking of The National songs on soundtracks, after contributing a song to Game of Thrones last year, they now appear on the upcoming Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack along with Patti Smith, Antony, The Weeknd, and more. The soundtrack will be out on November 19 via Lionsgate/Republic and you can stream The National's contribution, "Lean," now, below...

Continue reading "The National release new song for Hunger Games soundtrack (listen); St. Vincent reviews new Arcade Fire (read)"

Shearwater

Fellow Travelers wasn't supposed to be a full-length record, so I'm a little surprised to admit that it's my favorite Shearwater album so far. Somehow it slipped under the door.

It was meant to be a small thing, maybe a home-recorded EP, to release between Animal Joy and the next full-length (for which we're in the studio right now). But it took on a life of its own. Re-imagining and renovating songs by the bands we've toured with was like leafing through a scrapbook, and brought back the highs and lows of a decade of touring, from dives in Oklahoma and squats in Slovenia to the Fillmore West, the Bataclan, and the MGM Grand (ask me about that one sometime).

-Jonathan Meiburg

The new Shearwater album, Fellow Travelers, is out November 26 on Sub Pop. It's an album of covers by bands Shearwater have shared the stage with, such as Wye Oak, Folk Implosion, Sharon Van Etten (a song they wrote together for Record Store Day), Coldplay, St. Vincent, Clinic and more. Additionally, many of those artists collaborated on these recordings, though not on their own songs. You can stream Shearwater's take on Xiu Xiu's "I Luv the Valley Oh!" below.

No word on any tour dates yet. But for more on the album, you can read the rest of frontman Jonathan Meiburg's notes on the album -- and check out the tracklist -- below.

Continue reading "Shearwater ready collaborative/covers LP with help from Wye Oak, Sharon Van Etten, Clinic & more (stream a track)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Tom Petty / Kendrick Lamar / Tame Impala @ Bonnaroo 6/16/2013
Bonnaroo 2013, Day 4
Bonnaroo 2013, Day 4
Bonnaroo 2013, Day 4

Bonnaroo 2013 wrapped up on Sunday (6/16) with main stage action from Tom Petty, David Byrne & St. Vincent, The National (who played NXNE just two days before), Tame Impala, Kendrick Lamar and more. Pictures from their sets -- and others -- are below.

On the smaller stages, Bonnaroo crowds were treated to Royal Thunder, White Lung, and famed mustache enthusiast John Oates. The Comedy Theatre had Bob Saget working with Jared Logan and The Improvised Shakespeare Company, and in the Cinema Tent had Mistaken For Strangers, the documentary about National singer Matt Berninger and his brother, Tom (who directed the film).

Pics from Day 1 are HERE, Day 2 are HERE and Day 3 are HERE. More photos from Sunday are below.

Continue reading "Bonnaroo 2013 day 4 in pics: Tom Petty, Kendrick Lamar, Tame Impala, David Byrne & St. Vincent, The National ++ more"

photos by Greg Cristman

David Byrne & St. Vincent @ Wellmont Theatre - 6/12/13
David Byrne and St Vincent

David Byrne & St. Vincent just kicked off another tour in support their 2012 collaborative album, Love This Giant, in the NYC-area at Wellmont Theatre on Wednesday (6/12). Like they did on their last tour, they played much of Love This Giant in addition to St. Vincent material ("Northern Lights," "Marrow," "Cruel," etc) and David Byrne/Talking Heads ("Burning Down the House," "Road to Nowhere," "This Must Be the Place," etc. Pictures, videos, and the setlist from that show are in this post.

David Byrne & St. Vincent will continue touring and make their way back to the NYC-area for another show here on June 29 at the Capitol Theatre. Tickets for that show are still available.

More pictures, videos and the setlist from Wellmont Theatre below...

Continue reading "David Byrne & St. Vincent played Wellmont Theatre (pics, videos, setlist)"

David Byrne & St. Vincent @ Williamsburg Park, 2012 (more by Chris La Putt)
David Byrne

As mentioned, David Byrne and Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) are continuing to tour for last year's Love This Giant album. With those dates -- including one (no longer two) at Wellmont Theatre on June 12 (tickets) and one at Capitol Theatre on June 29 (tickets) -- coming up, David shares some news:

I did a record with St. Vincent (Annie Clark) last year and then we did a tour of North America and Australia that was like nothing I've ever done before--drums, keys and Annie and I supported by 8 choreographed brass players. We did the new material, but also a lot of recognizable songs, arranged for that group. The sound is incredible, and it's a bit of a visual spectacle as well. We were pretty excited at how it turned out. The critical and audience response was great too! Touring a group that size with a fairly complex show is a big financial gulp, so it has taken us a while to collect enough offers in North America and Europa, but now they are in and we kick off in a few weeks.

One of our business folks had the idea that we might offer a taste of what we're up to--to those who might have missed the tour or the record or maybe thought it was some weird arty collaborative project. So we put together a downloadable EP to give folks that taste. The EP has one song that didn't make it on the record (a waltz featuring some lovely glass harmonica), a couple of energized remixes of some of the album tunes and two live tracks of the sort of more familiar material we do in the set.

That new EP is free to download via an email widget below.

Meanwhile David's musical Here Lies Love has extended its run through July 28 and there are still tickets available.

Love This Giant dates are listed, along with the widget for the free EP, below.

Continue reading "David Byrne & St. Vincent release free EP in advance of tour"

DB & SV (more by Tim Griffin)
DB

OH NO:

"DUE TO A SCHEDULING CONFLICT, THE JUNE 11th DAVID BYRNE & ST. VINCENT SHOW AT THE WELLMONT THEATRE HAS BEEN CANCELLED. REFUNDS AVAILABLE AT POINT OF PURCHASE. TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR JUNE 12th."
Meanwhile "Here Lies Love" at the Public Theater has been extended and is going strong. More DB/SV tour dates, including the Capitol Theater, are HERE.

Doveman
Doveman

Doveman (aka Thomas Bartlett) has some upcoming shows this spring, including two of his Burgundy Stain Sessions in NYC. The first of those happens at BAM on April 27 as part of the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival, whose lineup was recently expanded. Tickets for the day Doveman plays and 3-day passes for the festival are still available.

His next session takes place at Le Poisson Rouge on June 7. Guests for this one include Paul Noonan (of Bell X1) and Trixie Whitley. It's likely that more will be announced too. Tickets for the LPR show are on sale now.

In addition to appearing at the Dessner-curated Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival, Doveman will also contribute to The National's new album, Trouble Will Find Me, along with Sufjan Stevens and Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry, both of whom, like Doveman, contributed to High Violet. It also features St. VIncent, Sharon Van Etten (whose most recent album, Tramp, was produced by Aaron Dessner), and Nona Marie of Dark Dark Dark (via Gothamist). Have you heard The National's new single from that album?

Doveman is also appearing in NYC even sooner as a special guest with past collaborator Martha Wainwright at her City Winery show on April 17. Tickets for that show are on sale now. Martha has other upcoming dates posted at her website.

UPDATE: Thomas will also be at LPR in May to assist his bandmate Sam Amidon whose forthcoming Nonesuch debut he co-produced.

In more related news, Trixie Whitley, who appears at Doveman's LPR show, will also play NYC area dates on April 26 at Glasslands and May 11 at Maxwell's. Tickets for the Glasslands show and the Maxwell's show are on sale now.

All Doveman dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Doveman doing more Burgundy Stain Sessions, appearing on The National's new album, and more"

Weird Al and Bonarroo phone bank (including Mike Birbiglia and Eugene Mirman...
bonnaroo

With help from Eugene Mirman, Chris Gethard, Mike Birbiglia, Portugal. The Man and more, Weird Al just began announcing the 2013 Bonnaroo line-up on the Bonnaroo YouTube page which happens June 13 - 16 in Manchester, TN. Weird Al just announced Pretty Lights, Wilco, A$AP Rocky, and The xx, and over the next hour, more artists will be announced. We'll update this post as more announcements come.

Other artists playing include Passion Pit, Kendrick Lamar, David Byrne and St. Vincent, Jim James, Big K.R.I.T., Billy Idol, Grizzly Bear, Japandroids, Foals, Wild Nothing, Deap Vally, Killer Mike, Lord Huron, Divine Fits, Nas, Beach House, The Gaslight Anthem, Local Natives, Dirty Projectors, Baroness, The National, The Vaccines, Holy Ghost, Death Grips, R. Kelly, Alt-J, Purity Ring, Cat Power, Wu-Tang Clan, Bjork, Tame Impala, Animal Collective, The Tallest Man on Earth, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Paul McCartney, Earl Sweatshirt, Four Tet, Father John Misty, Swans, A-Trak, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Cults, AraabMuzik, DIIV, Charli XCX, Matthew E. White, Frank Turner, JEFF the Brotherhood, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Calexico, Two Gallants, and more.

Tickets for the festival go on sale Saturday (2/23) at noon EST.

There's also now a video of Daniel Tosh announcing the initial lineup, which you can watch, along with the current list of announced names, below...

Continue reading "Bonnaroo 2013 lineup announcement underway"

St. Vincent @ Chicago's Vic Theatre in May (more by James Richards IV)
23

Annie Clark may not have released a St. Vincent record this year, but she did tour quite a bit in support of 2011's Strange Mercy. The one record Annie DID welcome this year was a collaboration with David Byrne, titled Love This Giant. She also toured a bunch in support of that album (maybe you saw our multi-part "On the Road with David Byrne & St. Vincent" series?). Today, the final day of 2012, Annie has offered up an "End of Year Summation" via her blog.

Read it all below...

Continue reading "St. Vincent reflects on 2012"

Frank Ocean at Angel Orensanz, Sept 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
Frank OCean

BBC Music has announced their Top 25 records of 2012. Like lists from MOJO, Q, and Uncut, it's got familiar names like Frank Ocean, Baroness, Swans and Grizzly Bear... but if you're expecting a UK indie act to top their list, you might be surprised at the Beeb's #1 choice. Check out the entire list below.

Continue reading "BBC Music's Top 25 albums of 2012"

M83 @ Central Park Summerstage, 8/8/2012
music

Photographer Amanda Hatfield has taken a lot of pictures for BrooklynVegan in 2012, and though we realize the year isn't over yet, we asked her if she would list her favorite shots from the past year. This list may need to be updated in January, but meanwhile check out the rest of what she chose (with links to the full sets above each picture), below...

Continue reading "Amanda Hatfield's 11 favorite Live Music Photos of 2012 ---------(that she took) "

Leonard Cohen

UK music magazine Uncut put out their list of the top 75 albums of 2012. The top ten leans pretty heavy on long-running '60s/'70s survivors who put out new albums this year, but plenty of the list-topping regulars from newer acts are on there too, along with a few interesting surprises (Sun Araw, M Geddes Gengras & the Congos!). You can check out the full list below.

Continue reading "Uncut's Top 75 Albums of 2012"

Alabama Shakes at Central Park Summerstage in June (more by Chris La Putt)
Alabama Shakes

One of the biggest success stories of 2012 was blues rockers Alabama Shakes, who quickly escalated from selling out relatively small shows to much larger ones in a matter of months. They're already showing up on multiple year-end lists, and are sure to end up on more, but we reached out to them to see what their year-end list is.

Alabama Shakes' Best LPs of 2012 list includes some associates like Fly Golden Eagle, who they took on tour with them, and Jack White, who took the Shakes on tour with him. It also includes another supporter of theirs, Patterson Hood, who also took them on tour, and Deer Tick/Los Lobos side project Diamond Rugs, who they played with at Central Park.

Some other great albums are on there too. You can check out the whole list and a performance and interview video of the band filmed in Chicago. below...

Continue reading "Alabama Shakes' Top 10 Albums of 2012"

Q MagQ Mag

Q Magazine put out their Top 50 albums of 2012 list, choosing to do so in no particular order this year, making it more a pile than a list. Check out Q's picks in alphabetical order below.

Continue reading "Q Magazine's Top 50 Albums of 2012"

NME

Long-running UK music weekly NME has just published their Year-End issue and have named Tame Impala's Lonerism as album of the year, with Grimes, Frank Ocean, Crystal Castles and Alt-J rounding out the Top 5. Tame Impala offshoot Pond comes in at #7. Check out the entire Top 50 list below.

As mentioned before, Tame Impala just announced a 2013 tour, and will play Terminal 5 in NYC on February 19. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (11/30) at noon.

NME's Top 50 LPs of 2012 are listed below.

Continue reading "NME Top 50 Albums of 2012; Tame Impala 'Lonerism' gets #1"

words by Kelly Pratt; photos by Bryan Murray

David Byrne
David Byrne

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.

David Byrne

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,
Kelly

--

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...

Continue reading "On the Road with David Byrne & St. Vincent who didn't play Letterman, but play Colbert tonight (the final installment)"

words by Kelly Pratt; photos by Bryan Murray

If you're just joining us, also check out part 1part 2 , Part 3 and Part 4. Part 5 begins here...

David, St. Vincent and the gang on stage in Houston
David Byrne

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":

Antibalas
Antibalas

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.

supine playing
David Byrne

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
David Byrne, 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.

Stay Classy,
Kelly

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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.

Continue reading "On the Road with David Byrne & St. Vincent (part 5)"