Tag: Talking Heads
TALKING HEADS will release a career-spanning DVD, Chronology, on November 21.
Beautifully put-together with classic performances and interviews, the viewer gets to see the transition from the early three-piece days (singer/songwriter/guitarist David Byrne, bassist Tina Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz in 1975) to a quartet (keyboardist/guitarist Jerry Harrison joined in 1977), on into an ensemble of multi-cultural proportions. A deluxe edition of the release will also be available that will include a 48-page hard-cover book with photographs and an essay by the late Lester Bangs, originally published as a review of Fear Of Music for the Village Voice in 1979. The essay is the complete and unexpurgated version, available here for the first time.
The early clips from The Kitchen and CBGB in New York City…the global success in the 1980s…the celebratory reunion performance of “Life During Wartime” when they were inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Fame in 2002…it’s all here. (Although they continued to record, Talking Heads stopped touring in 1983. They officially broke up eight years later.)
Bonus Features include a fascinating Byrne interview in 1978, a 35-minute 1979 documentary-styled British television show on the band and commentary from Byrne, Harrison, Frantz and Weymouth.
To purchase TALKING HEADS Chronology click here.
RIDE RISE ROAR
Eagle Rock Entertainment
9 out of 10
My introduction to the Talking Heads was in high school at a party one Friday night. Stop Making Sense had come out on VHS (you remember VCRs right? Well that was the tape that went into VCRs). And a friend was playing it at a party I was at. I was blown away by the show itself, and the music much later.
If you have never seen Stop Making Sense, then stop what you are doing (yes, that means stop reading this review right now…) and go pick up the DVD of Stop Making Sense AND get Ride Rise Roar at the same time, you’ll thank me later. It is regarded as the best concert video ever, and for good reason. Not just because of the camera work, or because of the band, but because of the production surrounding the band. The show itself, the production on stage is the star of this film, as it is about how a show is put together, how the production that goes into a show is built.
Most concerts are about the band, and about the music. This concert was about more than that. As the show progresses from song to song, more band members join in, and the light production is built around them. From just David Byrne on stage with a boom box and an acoustic guitar to a full band with full production around them. The show continues to build and build unto a mighty crescendo.
The Talking Heads are no more. David Byrne has gone on to do many various projects in and out of music and art. Always pushing the edge, always blurring the media he uses, always trying to push the audience as well as himself. Sometimes executed to perfection, sometimes the idea was better than the end result.
Enter Ride Rise Roar. A film by David Hillman Curtis that documents the course of the 2008/2009 Songs Of David Byrne & Brian Eno Tour. The Stop Making Sense film is such a stunning achievement that it is so very hard to not compare Ride Rise Roar to it. Try as I might I kept finding myself trying to not make comparisons. Making it harder still was the fact that the film opens with Once In A Lifetime. A monumental Talking Heads song from SMS also.
And other than an avent garde style of show is featured in both films the similarities truly end there. Ride Rise Roar shows the seeds of the beginning of the tour, the spawning of ideas and how to present the songs on stage. The auditions of the uncommon dancers. How they came to be hired, and why.
For me the one moment that made me back up the DVD and watch it over and over was the moment in the auditions that David describes how he gave the dancers an order to pick 4 moves, and once they found the strongest moves just begin repeating them over and over. And if they saw another dancer doing a stronger move than them, to copy them. So in time all the dancers ended up doing the same four moves. Evolution proven. Survival of the fittest. It for me was quite a stunning moment. Not sure why it resonated so much but it did.
The music throughout the film and concert are a mix of Talking Heads and David Byrne (with/without Brian Eno) solo works.
This isn’t Continue To Stop Making Sense, this is David’s baby front to back. At times the backup dancers can be a little distracting and they may take away visually from the music, but the times they actually seem to add to the music more than makes up for it. For a few songs it almost seems as if they are acting out the song in some strange interpretative dance that transcends the dance itself and the music singularly, so that artist, dancer, and musician coalesce into one being on stage and for that brief moment it works and we are transported to a special place. And then Road To Nowhere comes on, and we can’t wait until it is over so that we can enjoy the rest of the show and music.
You can pick up Ride Rise Roar right here. And you can thank me later…
On May 31 Eagle Rock Entertainment releases Ride Rise Roar, a documentary film detailing the unique creative process of David Byrne shot over the course of his `08/`09 “Songs of David Byrne & Brian Eno” tour.
Having screened at the prestigious Silverdocs, SXSW and Seattle International Film Festivals, Ride Rise Roar is called “a visceral experience” by The Hollywood Reporter while Time Out Chicago notes that “What makes this doc work—besides the fact that Byrne gives a really great show on this tour and uses dancers to liven things up a bit—is the interviews with Byrne, the various noted choreographers…and with the dancers and back-up singers. The doc looks and sounds great.”
Ride Rise Roar combines exclusive behind-the-scenes footage with onstage action from Byrne’s recent world tour. Including band audition footage, rehearsals and interviews with Byrne and the key players in his group, the film explores the inner workings of a complex and theatrical live presentation along with the creative process behind the creation of the live show. Ride Rise Roar demonstrates the eclectic artist’s idiosyncratic vision with live performance footage displaying Byrne’s trademark fusion of pop, soul, funk, world, rock and modern dance. The track list spans Byrne’s illustrious career, from his early CBGB days to his pioneering work with Brian Eno. Byrne’s performances during the tour were hailed as “brilliant” by the Boston Globe and “the most open-hearted singing of his career” by The Washington Post.
Known as the force behind Talking Heads and later as creator of the highly-regarded record-label Luaka Bop, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member David Byrne also works as a photographer, film director, author, and solo artist; he has published and exhibited visual art for more than a decade. Recent works include Playing the Building, an interactive sound installation at New York’s Battery Maritime Building and London’s Roundhouse; Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, Byrne’s first collaboration with co-writer Brian Eno since 1981’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts; Big Love: Hymnal, music from the second season of the HBO series; a series of unique bike racks installed throughout New York City in conjunction with the New York City Department of Transportation; Bicycle Diaries, a chronicle of David’s travels on his bicycle published by Viking Press and available as an audio book featuring narration and original music by Byrne; the official soundtrack from Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; Here Lies Love, a 22-song cycle about the life of Imelda Marcos in collaboration with Fatboy Slim; and a collaboration with Will Oldham for the soundtrack to the upcoming Sean Penn film This Must be the Place.
For more DAVID BYRNE click here.