Saturday, May 14, 2022

The Name of This Post Is David Byrne 70

It's time for the Saturday night special rejoinder to that pistol of an Ian Dury concert, this time celebrating an indisputable icon of the music and art of our lifetimes.

We were discussing on social media the other day, who is the most Avant Garde rockstar? The figure who sold the most records with the most out-there possible output?

Lots of names were bandied about. British eccentrics like Peter "dressed as a flower" Gabriel and his pal Kate Bush were mentioned. Creativity-hungry freaks like Zappa and his high school buddy Captain Van Vliet too. And of course game changing, chameleonic wizards like David Bowie are in the conversation.

There are as many answers to the question as maybe there are people, but the basic concept is "who among these put the most challenging, unusual and far-reaching ideas in front of the most masses of people for the longest period of time?"

Today's 70th birthday boy, we concluded, is the winner of that particular sweepstakes.

Since 1977 he's been at the uninterrupted forefront of such things, and you can trace a consistent arc from his first appearance in the culture 45 years ago, as part of the crop of world-changing artists to come from the Downtown NYC/CBGBs scene, to his current smash-hit Broadway musical.

There have been globe-shifting stops along the way. Such as My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, a record that will astonish people centuries from now and which possibly did more to usher in the modern era of music than any other you could name of the last 50 years.

He's had his own, genre-boundary-pushing label for several decades now. And of course we can state the obvious: the band he masterminded -- and which people still revere as almost no other -- is probably the most out-there, unapologetically weird Rock group ever to rule the charts in a several-sizes-too-big suit.

So yeah: add it all up with Talking Heads and his own adventures, and you come out with the pinnacle level of sophistication Americans, in particular, can handle in their pop music.

To mark the occasion of his milestone birthday today, I have snazzed up a woefully undercirculated show from when he first went out on his own for his first proper solo tour.

This one happened 30 years ago in the historic Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, and as an added attraction features The Meters' bassist George Porter, Jr. holding down the bottom.

David Byrne
Saenger Theatre
New Orleans, Louisiana USA

01 Well
02 Buck Naked
03 Nothing But Flowers
04 Sax & Violins
05 Tiny Town
06 Girls On My Mind
07 Mr. Jones
08 Loco de Amor
09 Something Ain’t Right
10 Life During Wartime
11 Women vs. Men
12 Somebody
13 Hanging Upside Down
14 Take Me to the River
15 Monkey Man 
16 Lie to Me
17 Now I'm Your Mom
18 She's Mad
19 Blind
20 Burning Down the House
21 Make Believe Mambo
22 Sympathy for the Devil
23 And She Was
24 Psycho Killer

Total time: 1:57:11
disc break goes after Track 14

David Byrne - guitar, vocals & percussion
George Porter, Jr. - bass & vocals
Jonathan Best - keyboards & vocals
Ángel Fernández - trumpet & vocals
Ite Jerez - trumpet
Steve Sacks - saxophone
Lewis Kahn - violin
Oscar Salas - drums
Bobby Allende - percussion
Héctor Rosado - percussion

master DAT from the desk
remastered, repaired & retracked with encore applause trimmed by EN, May 2022
769 MB FLAC/May 2022 archive link

This show came to me in a pretty sorry state, with the low end almost non-existent, but I used some Sound Forge magic and brought it to a state much more befitting its ferocious intensity.

All in all, an appropriate tribute in line with the caliber of the artist we're talking about, born under punches once in a life during wartime 70 years ago this day and still sending pushed envelopes via his own uniquely special delivery.--J.

this must be the place

1 comment:

  1. hey Paul Nolan! my email is

    thx so much for your help on this!