By Xeni Jardin at 10:05 am Sat, May 14, 2011
The musician, artist, author, urban explorer, avid cyclist, and righteously cool human being turns 59 today. Happy birthday, David Byrne! Website, blog, Amazon, iTunes, YouTube.
(Photo: Clayton James Cubitt)
Two obscure works to hear, the soundtracks to The Knee Plays and to Twyla Tharp’s Catherine Wheel.
Could anyone tell me if David Byrne owns a bike?
You’re joking, right?
David Byrne: Bicycle Diaries
When I saw the headline I drilled down into my MP3 collection and started playing A Million Miles.
@Irksome: Yeah, the Music for the Knee Plays is awesome stuff. I literally wore out my audio cassette copy.
In ’99 I made a mix disk that used a few of the pieces. While reviewing the tracks I’d picked out, I had one of those wonderful cognitive dissonance moments: The song “Theodora is Dozing” is based on the “Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices” track “Polegnala E Todora”.
Anecdote 1: I saw The Bulgarian State Radio and Television Women’s Choir at Somerville (MA) Theater back when their albums (yes, albums… I sympathize with Mr Crummett @ #7) came out; we were a particularly blue-collar crowd. They had played at Lincoln Center the night before and seemed a bit taken aback by our rather boisterous response; lots of foot-stomping and cheering. They giggled a lot. It was like hearing angels sing.
Anecdote 2: My Bosnian girlfriend tells me she decided she loved me when I played said albums for her. Many of the songs are the ones she grew up with and which they played and sang during the war. Once in a while, I do life just right.
Woot! Site about the Knee Plays, with a page about the album with some online tracks:
In the future, everybody but the wealthy will be very healthy.
In the future, everybody but the wealthy will be very filthy.
When we discover the fountain of youth, this guy should be given the first drink. We need David Byrne for another 59 years.
Best Wishes to David! Here’s a fun clip –
I saw him do this live at The 9:30 Club in DC – best show ever.
He’s 59? That makes me…oh my God, I’m OLD!
To celebrate David Byrne’s birthday, I am bicycling to the Institute of Contemporary Art to watch an experimental theater piece.
(I was going to do that even before I knew it was his birthday, but it seems appropriate.)
“there is water at the bottom of the ocean”… Love it- I STILL love it!
me too, every single time :)
I’m with Irksome and Stephan – Knee Plays and Catherine Wheel are among my favorites (and Bush Of Ghosts, of course), and A Million Miles is one of his most signature anthems ever. I’m so glad to occupy space-time that overlaps his, the man has just brought so much creativity and insight into the world. How I would like to have him come over for dinner…
David Byrne and his cohorts have been a joy and inspiration to me since Talking Head 77. I can’t imagine what life would have been like without that music.
This aint no disco.
Happy Birthday, David Byrne. You , along with Tina Weymouth, are one of my favorite doids. Tailwinds!!!!
59th! once in a life time.
Ha! Happy Belated to David Byrne :-)
I had an interesting interaction (or non interaction) with him at a Nine Inch Nails show in 2005 (apparently the day after his birthday). I finagled my way into a VIP area and there was only one other person there. I sat next to him, and we exchanged pleasantries and random small talk but I had to play it off as though I really belonged there so I didn’t pay him any mind. A couple months later my friend tells me that David Byrne wrote about me in his journal. I checked the journal and his parting thought about the show was his impression of me. It was about the coolest write up I’ve ever gotten and I gotta say he had me totally had me pegged.
David Byrne’s Journal: 5.15.05: Nine Inch Nails
Perhaps for a birthday present to himself, he could apply for U.S. citizenship, and start participating in the American political process instead of whining about it.
Happy Birthday, anyway.
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