jeudi 19 février 2009

Byrning Down The House

David Byrne then

David Byrne now

Once in a Lifetime
Who among us has never heard of or seen what is arguably one of the best rock documentaries ever made? And no, I'm not talking about Rob Reiner's This is Spinal Tap. That was the best mock rock documentary ever made, and no one will ever top it.
The immensely talented Jonathan Demme made the Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense. He was wise and modest enough to sit back and let the camera take the viewer to the concert. It was like sitting in the front row. I went to see it at a tiny theater in the Pike Place Market, on a Sunday night. Every seat was taken. The concert - I mean the film - began and within minutes I forgot I was watching celluloid. Apparently, so did everyone else. When my eyes left the screen for a second, I realized that many of my fellow theater patrons were in the aisle dancing. They too were transported; they too were at the concert.
I was a huge Talking Heads fan at the time, so it was not surprising that I loved the movie. The album that came out of it is one of my all-time favorites. I used to listen to one track, Psycho Killer, over and over, and loved to do so while driving, singing at the top of my lungs.
Until last night, I half believed that the magic of that experience came from Jonathan Demme's camera and not from reality. That's not quite true, but still I would never have known how close Demme gets to reality had we not gone to see David Byrne last night at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.
It was standing room only and, within minutes, people were dancing with joyous abandon in the aisles. Byrne has traded in his big white suit for white trousers, shirt and suspenders, plus some groovy little white shoes. His hair, too, is now white -- but what an electrical shock of white hair it is. He looks a little like Andy Warhol or Steve Martin. In fact, he is to music what Warhol is to visual pop art and Steve Martin is to stand-up comedy. The Man.
I'll be back in a flash to talk more about the concert and give y'all a link to his website. For my friends in New York, Byrne and crew have just added a couple of dates in late February at Radio City Music Hall. Get on it! For my friends in Europe, he's headed your way this spring. Don't miss it. Don't be caught letting the days go by or you'll miss this once in a lifetime experience. And let me tell you: the world still moves on a woman's hips!