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...

Stories in High Fidelity

Alan Lightman

Alan Light

Alan Lightman

Alan Lightman

Alan Lightman

Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy

David Byrne

David Byrne

David Byrne

David Byrne

David Byrne

David Byrne

David Byrne

Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins

soundcheck
Nicole Atkins

I Look at You by Balthrop, Alabama