If it wasn’t for the fact that he’s older than my mother, I’d think David Byrne was my long lost brother. There are some strange commonalities like our possibly unhealthy obsession with all things Brazilian (he loves a type of traditional type of Brazilian music called Forro) and with city biking (he has designed bike racks in NYC). Byrne brings a full-size foldable bike with him and tour and even biked to his interview when he was on The Hour with George Stroumboloupolous.
Byrne, for those unaware, was the headman for the new-wave rock group Talking Heads (and don’t say “The Talking Heads”, they dedicated an album title to clear this up) and it’s with that group the he penned a song that, since the inception of the ipod, has consistently topped the number of listens on mine: This Must be the Place. The song’s subtitle, Naive Melody, betrays the song’s simplicity in relying on a couple simple guitar and keyboard riffs that persist throughout the song but the song’s other elements–including luscious backup singers (in the live version) and various kinds of synthesizers–easily round out the songs making you feel like all that exists is you and this song. Here’s the live version from what I think is the best live concert of all time Stop Making Sense:
This song and Byrne’s dance with the lamp are only the tip of the iceberg of his quirky creativity. For a bigger dose, here’s Byrne interviewing himself in support of Stop Making Sense:
And if you still haven’t had enough Byrne you should check out True Stories, a feature film he wrote with Beth Henley and Stephen Tobolowsky and starring Byrne and John Goodman. Here’s a sample of some of the music Talking Heads wrote for the film: