Wednesday, December 20, 2006

"Stop Making Sense"

I rewatched the “Stop Making Sense” DVD – Talking Heads in concert – and it gave me the chance to introduce the children to the band. They enjoyed it at least in part because David Byrne has some similarities with a slightly wacky uncle they have. (The uncle was introduced to a friend by our youngest as follows: “This is my uncle. He's mad.”) Also their music is very catchy – a lot of the riffs sound like you've probably heard them before somewhere, and many of their tunes are built around only a couple of progressions. And they were really funky!

The concert is 20+ years old, and I was interested how many of the things they did in it were used in the U2 concerts I have recordings of. “Rattle and Hum” (and, for that matter, the “Vertigo” recording from Chicago) features Bono carrying a spotlight, as happens in one of the songs. A whole raft of things used in “The Fly” appear here – words projected on the screens behind the band, David Byrne running round and round the stage.

Do other bands try and do interesting things – make their concerts into shows? Should I get out more? Don't answer that.

Other notable things about “Stop Making Sense”.

  • The lighting in “What a day that was” - the band were lit with spots at ground level just in front of them, which projected huge shadows of them on the screens behind them. Really cool effect.

  • “The girls want to be with the girls” - which sounded like a (low-energy) B52's song (the B52's say about themselves that they were “The first band to glorify pop culture with an almost Warholian sense of purpose” - I like the B52's, but I'm not sure that Talking Heads weren't doing that at the same time plus quite a lot else besides.)

  • Tina Weymouth looking surprised but pleased to be there through the whole concert!

  • The whole band looking a bit like undergraduates.

  • “This must be the place” - which is a beautiful song. It must be – Tom says so!