from the album insert to the original vinyl edition of Talking Heads’ Remain in Light (1980)
Talking Heads — “Take Me to the River.”
Hold me, squeeze me, love me, tease me
Till I can’t, till I can’t, till I can’t take no more of it
Take me to the water, drop me in the river
Push me in the water, drop me in the river
Washing me down, washing me down
Happy 60th to the weirdo who made one of the greatest bands in the history of Western civilization possible.
The Clash — “Complete Control.”
All over the news spread fast
They’re dirty, they’re filthy
They ain’t gonna last!
This is Joe Public speaking
I’m controlled in the body, controlled in the mind
I’m gonna be out of commission for the next few days writing on Algerian terrorists for my senior research. I’ll leave you with one of my theme songs for the project in the meantime (here are the other two).
What you’re looking at is Walter catnip, or possibly Walter quaaludes. The picture with Byrne as preacher from “Once in a Lifetime” is deservedly iconic (in addition to being my desktop picture forever) but man am I glad I found the one of him with the lamp.
Sarah made the mistake of saying that she wasn’t really familiar with Talking Heads, so I made this playlist. There are about a million other great songs I could’ve put on there, but I think that this gives a pretty good idea of the Talking Heads formula: David Byrne’s neurotic dynamism and stream of consciousness lyrics supported by the tightest imaginable backing band.
A POTENTIALLY EDUTAINING ACTIVITY TO DO WHILE LISTENING TO THIS: write down each really memorable line you come across. The basic idea of David Byrne’s songwriting is to delve into his subconscious for really striking lines, the same way you would come up with a melody. For most songs, the result isn’t really internally coherent stories, but rather a series of great moments tied together by a general theme or mood. It also helps if you don’t overthink the lyrics; they tend to mean exactly what they say.
P.S. Making playlists is one of my favorite things in the world to do, and I’m always happy to do artist introductions like these or just the usual mixtapes.
Life During Wartime original handwritten lyrics scan by David Byrne Journal on Flickr. (via meatlydelights)
Talking Heads - This must be the place (Naive Melody) [live - 1984]
- I wonder if David Byrne made Tina Weymouth wear those bizarre forearm sleeves so that he’d always be the second-weirdest thing on stage.
- I used to think that the song on the studio version was deeply sad—the sound of settling, to quote another band—which is still a defensible interpretation. Having said that, the little routine that Byrne does with the lamp at the end of this video is just beautifully joyous and makes me feel like “wrong” doesn’t begin to describe my wrongness.
Book of Samurai
“Tranquilize your mind every morning, and imagine the moment when you may be torn and mangled by arrows, guns, lances, and swords,...
I was able to slip past everything with a pink polo,”
That was from a place of love.
I knew I was going to make it this far;
I knew that this was...