Calling Your Attention To… David Byrne

This is the first in another series of regular writing devices I’m trying. This will be individuals or projects that require more space than would be appropriate for my Items Of Interest posts.

Many may only know David Byrne from his time as front man for The Talking Heads. And, if that is where your musical knowledge of his music stops then you are missing out on some of his best work. For instance, his latest work, a collaboration with St. Vincent called Love This Giant, is likely one of the best albums he has ever produced. It’s eclectic, funky, imaginative, and likely far ahead of it’s time. But, why stop there? His discography includes eight solo albums and dozens of collaborations and scores.

But there is so much more to David Byrne than his music. His books are all excellent (especially How Music Works). His art installations push the idea of creative intersections forward. And, his blog… So, so good. Especially his recent travel journal style entries he’s been posting while on tour. He is an avid bicyclist and is fascinated about cities and community and history in ways that are relevant and important. I mean, whom else could make such a beautiful and compelling case for Des Moines, IA being one of the best places to live in America? Only Mr. Byrne I suspect.

The thing is, that David Byrne is into so much and his creative output so prolific that I could catalog and review his work far longer than your patience or my current energy level allows. So let me leave you with one of the best kept musical secrets on the internet — David Byrne Radio. Every month, he curates a fantastic selection of eclectic music , usually around a central theme, and plays it on his streaming internet radio station. I have found tons and tons of music I would not have heard of otherwise this way. His tastes are diverse and span the globe. The current playlist is Cold Weather Songs in Summer, Part II which is exactly and not at all what you expect at once.

So, do yourself a favor and make David Byrne a person whose work you always follow as he has long been one of mine.

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