Any long term relationship requires some common interest. The one thing my girlfriend and I really differ on is music. I like almost everything she’s subjected me to, but I can’t say the reverse is true. This is why the announcement of the release of Live at Carnegie Hall caught my attention. Finally, there’s an album for the both of us. Caetano Veloso is one of her favorites, David Byrne one of mine, and both are fans of each other which explains the collaboration. Byrne hooked Veloso up with some domestic exposure in the late 80s via his own Luaka Bop label, and Veloso covered “(Nothing But) Flowers” on his first all-English disc, 2004’s A Foreign Sound. That same year, Veloso took up a week long residence at Carnegie Hall and invited Byrne to join him one night. This recording was the result. Byrne blames the eight year delay on “[r]ecord business nonsense,” but now it’s here and ready for consumption.
It’s a story older than Rock ‘n’ Roll itself. A band makes their bones around a charismatic frontman. Maybe he writes the songs. Maybe he just sings them. In either case, he’s the face of the group, the one the people come to see. Then, something happens. Maybe the frontman dies. Maybe there’s an argument over money. Maybe his own inflated ego causes him to start a potentially ill-fated solo career. Whatever happens, the band decides they don’t need their charismatic frontman any longer, and they’ll go on without him. Sometimes, this works. After Buddy Holly died, The Crickets went on with different frontmen for years. Joy Division lost the iconic Ian Curtis, and went on with a name change to become even more popular and successful as New Order. AC/DC had more success with replacement vocalist Brian Johnson than they did with Bon Scott. Yet, for every band that goes on with their new frontman and succeeds, many more fail. These are some of their stories.
So, I had the last dream of the night, or rather the last dream that I remember of the night, since, after all, dreams tend to last much shorter than they feel like they do and all, nor do we remember all of them, but at any rate, here’s this particular one. It was at an outdoor convention for musicians. I think in this particular one, the conceit was that my band had gotten at least marginally famous (in about the Maximum I would assume that any band I was in could get famous at all even if all the cards were in order and whatnot, and that’s basically a Minor One-Hit Wonder. Not of course that I’d think that we’d ever have even a remote shot at that, but I’m just saying that if The Band Were To Get Famous, That’d Be About The Best We Could Hope For, y’know?), and was at some sort of retreat for musicians. Sort of like a company picnic, I guess. Only instead of a business, it was a bunch of musicians of the sort who were more renowned now than actually famous.
Like everyone, I tend to come up with a lot of ideas that I never get around to doing. Sometimes out of laziness, sometimes because I can’t figure out how to make it work, and sometimes, it’s just because they’re pretty stupid ideas. If anyone wants to make these stupid ideas a reality, more power to you — maybe give a hat-tip to Kittysneezes, why don’t you?
Stupid Idea: An interview series called “Wasted Opportunities”. The idea would be to interview HUGE gets, big-name artists, like, say David Bowie or Paul McCartney — people who would actually be quite a bit of a coup — and ask them nothing but stupid, irrelevant questions.
Image via Wikipedia
Dream the First
Have you ever had a nightmare about a movie you’ve never seen, or, rather before you DID see it??
Actually, I’m not sure if “nightmare” is the right term. It was more of just creepy and unsettling.
Anyway, the film in question is David Lynch‘s Eraserhead. In the dream, I was either doing or was privy to an interview with David Lynch (who, as an aside, was obviously not David Lynch, as he didn’t speak with antiquated expressions. Stuff like “oh gosh” and “aw, shucks”.). The interviewer/me, noted that he had a rubber dog with an extended jaw, sort of like the kind you’d get at Archie McPhee’s. The gummy sort of almost translucent rubber. Like the kind the Lucky Monkey is made from. I think the dog might have been one of those rubber pencil-topper things.
Hot Damn! Brian Eno and David Byrne Release Their First New Album in 27 Years!
In 1981 Ronald Reagan had just taken office, I was 10 years old going on 11, and David Byrne and Brian Eno released a joint venture album that was unlike just about anything ever released: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts [site contains album in entirety], a combination of electronic, world, and sampled sound and experimental music that was for the most part the second generation to the experimental genre — a follow up to industrial and ambient sounds from groups like Silver Apples, Can, Kraftwerk, and Einsturzende Neubauten. Although My Life in the Bush of Ghosts went largely unnoticed by mainstream audiences who were distracted by acts like REO Speedwagon, Hall & Oates, and Blondie (after they burned their brains out with cocaine), the album was important and influential — one of the first outside of the largely niche hip hop and rap market to use sampled, remixed, and found sounds.
Byrne and Eno never collaborated after that album… until now with the release of Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. The album is available for pre-order (it will not ship until November of 2008) but is available in full for your listening pleasure at David Byrne’s site.
I’m very anal about how I organize my music. It’s a simple system: Albums are organized by artist, and by date of release. If an album is by a artist with a proper name, say, David Byrne, it gets sorted under the last name. I even do this with MP3s. I am anal. This system is easily stymied by artist collaborations. Take for example this new single by David Byrne and Brian Eno. Does it go under “B”? Does it go under “E”? Or does it go under “D”? The traditional methodology is to alphebatize by the first name in the list, so… “B” then, right? Thing is, the last time David Byrne and Brian Eno collaborated on an album, the amazing My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, it was released with Eno’s name in front. With the parties the same, I’d like to keep these two things grouped, but I can’t because David Byrne is getting top billing here. What can I do?