Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Stop Making Sense

As the Talking Heads soundtrack plays in my head as I read my way through David Byrne's excellent Bicycle Diaries, I am inspired to listen to some of his solo material that I've probably not played for several years. The first challenge was that much of it is on vinyl, and some has unfortunately been lost, so I've embarked on a rediscovery fest and downloaded a much extended version of the first solo album I heard, Knee Plays. I remember exactly where I was when I first heard this - in a second hand record shop in the market in Swansea. I don't remember the name of the shop and I have no idea if the shop is still there (I hope so) but as a student it provided me with some great music that the normal chain stores of the day simply didn't stock.

I also seem to have some holes in my David Byrne back catalogue where releases came out which completely passed me by. Having been a massive fan of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, I was aware of his recent collaboration with Brian Eno but was somewhat nervous in that I didn't believe it could ever better their first one. I finally took the plunge yesterday and downloaded Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. Very pleased to say that my fears were not realised, and although it's nothing at all like Bush of Ghosts, it is still nevertheless a fantastic album ... and it also made me realise that I had in fact already heard some of these tracks when I saw him play live in Oxford a few years ago ... think I'll have to put that one down to old age.

So what next? Probably time to reacquaint myself with Songs From the Catherine Wheel.


Monday, 26 December 2011

Ooh, look what Santa brought me

Well, I'm going to give this particular blog one more chance and see if I can keep the postings a bit more frequent that every 6 months. I have loads of things I'd like to share here, but work and my other blogs seem to take up most of my time. So, I'll start my pre-New Year's resolution with a short post about one of my Christmas Presents, Bicycle Dairies by David Byrne. Being a cyclist and a huge Talking Heads fan, my wife quite rightly felt she'd scored two points in one go here. I've only read the America chapter so far, where we are entertained with short diary entries of bike rides through lesser known parts of well known US cities. The images of their abandonment, dereliction and rebirth come flooding in to my mind as I read each new entry. Also, in my mind I have subconsciously mixed a Talking Heads soundtrack to accompany my reading. Every time the book says "river", "highway", or "restaurants and bars" I find myself reading the words as they are sung in one of the songs.

The descriptions in the book also bring back some childhood memories of growing up on the very outskirts of London and are inspiring me to pay another return visit to some of these places to see what has become of them. Watch this space for a blog post on that subject in (hopefully) the not too distant future.

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