Thursday, August 6, 2009

Iconoclast: David Byrne


Ever since I was a kid, I always thought David Byrne was one of the best dressed rock stars in the business.


He takes these very simple, serious men's staples and makes them look silly, playful and creative. Here, a simple grey suit is maximized in size on his extra thin frame.

Everything he wears looks monochrome in shades of light grey, blank white and deep noir. Yet he pairs them with a clean white pair of ked-like shoes (before guys were doing it now) and the fabric choices and fits always have a flow to them.


One of my favorite pictures of him

Two of the greatest, most creative rock musicians hanging out behind the mixing board.

This is one of my favorite songs from the Talking Heads. I love the back up singers. They look great, sound amazing and look like they are having the time of their lives performing with the Talking Heads.

Apparently black folks in the 80s were really into the Talking Heads. I think the appeal is that there is so much soul, real soul music here. This is something most rock bands have difficulty getting at when they are trying to make "black music" that has been perfected by people like Miles Davies, Fela Kuti and James Brown. Some newer bands are trying to add elements of African rhythms, American funk and soul music without really getting it (are you listening Vampire Weekend?). It isn't a kitch or accent, black music has heart in each song (i.e. the rhythms, percussion, the carefully orchestrated, beautiful choruses and harmonies). David Byrne understands this and he has made some of the most soulful music ever to come out of the 80s.

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