David Byrne

David Byrne

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Biography

David Byrne (born 14.5.1952)
David Byrne is an American / Scottish musician and artist, best known as the singer / songwriter in the New Wave band Talking Heads.

Childhood: David Byrne was born in Dumbarton in Scotland but moved to Canada two years later with his parents. When he was around eight years old, they moved again to Maryland. He attended Maryland Institute College of Art for one year.

He also attended Rhode Island School of design for a year. He dropped out and formed Talking Heads with fellow students Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz. They were later joined by Jerry Harrison.

Life outside of Talking Heads: David Byrne has undertaken a large number of various artistic and musical projects that have earned him both respect and critical acclaim. In 1981, he worked with the choreographer Twyla Tharp on 'The Catherine Wheel', a ballet that undertook the use of unusual lyrics and rhythms. Productions of the piece appeared on Broadway. Byrne also produced a soundscape for the Belgian dance company Ultima Vez. The piece was entitled In Spite of Wishing and Wanting.

David Byrne has contributed a large volume of work for movie soundtracks, including his collaboration with Cong Su and Ryuichi Sakamato for The Last Emperor. The soundtrack won an Oscar for Best Original Score. He also released Lead Us Not Into Temptation (music from the film Young Adam) and directed True Stories, which was a collection of short musical collages, primarily featuring Americana-style music. He was also largely responsible for the stage design and the choreography in the popular Talking Heads film, Stop Making Sense.

Byrne has worked with a number of different musicians, from a range of genres. He appeared as a guest vocalist with the band 10,000 Maniacs when they performed their MTV Unplugged concert. One of the tracks became a B-side for their 'Few and Far Between' single, though none of the tracks on which he featured were included in the resulting album.

David Byrne also collaborated with the Tejano star Diva Selena, when he wrote, produced and sang on the track 'God's Child (Baila Conmigo)', from her Dreaming of You album; the last album released before her death.

Perhaps Byrne's most notorious and influential collaboration was with Brian Eno on My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, released in 1981. The album was hailed as groundbreaking for its use of samples and was re-released in 2006, with bonus tracks. A new album by Byrne and Eno will be released in 2008.

In 2002, Byrne's vocals were featured in the track 'Lazy' by X-Press 2. The single was a number two hit in the UK and reached number one in the US Dance Charts.

Byrne runs his own record label, Luaka Bop (which releases music by Cornershop, Jim White and Os Mutantes, among others) and his own internet radio station, Radio David Byrne.

Byrne's art installations have been on display on numerous occasions; notably, in 2008, he and his band programmed the Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan so that it played music. He had previously done a similar installation in Stockholm.

Personal Life: In 1987, Byrne wed the costume designer Adelle Lutz. Three years later, they had a daughter, Malu Abeni Valentine Byrne. In 2004, the couple were divorced.



Biography by Contactmusic.com

Anna Calvi, William Onyeabor set for David Byrne's Meltdown 2015


Anna Calvi David Byrne

David Byrne has announced the first slate of acts for Meltdown Festival 2015, which he curates at the Southbank Centre in London from 17-30 August. The bill is unsurprisingly varied and eclectic and includes pioneering postpunk minimalists Young Marble Giants and singer-songwriter Anna Calvi.

David ByrneDavid Byrne has announced the likes of Anna Calvi and John Luther Adams for Meltdown Festival 2015

"Some of my choices come from the European continent - artists I have seen live or have their recordings on constant replay," Byrne said. "So in some sense, my suggestions have been a little more Euro-international than some previous Meltdowns. I'm not bragging and please let's not pull the 'world music' tag out - these are great contemporary artists from our neighbours, who, like many local artists, draw from a deep cultural well."

Continue reading: Anna Calvi, William Onyeabor set for David Byrne's Meltdown 2015

David Byrne to Curate Meltdown Festival at Southbank Centre


David Byrne

David Byrne, the British singer-songwriter and founder of Taking Heads, is to curate the 2015 Meltdown festival at the Southbank Centre though says he is still working on his "wish list" for who he invites to play the annual week-long event.

David ByrneDavid Byrne will curate Meltdown Festival in 2015

Meltdown takes places from August 17-28 and Byrne says he anticipates putting together the bill as "puzzle-solving."

Continue reading: David Byrne to Curate Meltdown Festival at Southbank Centre

Red Bull Music Academy Festival Set For Ultimate Closing Party in New York


David Byrne Panda Bear Erykah Badu Questlove Frank Ocean Common

Firstly, we recognise that reporting on a mixture of New York parties, eclectic performances and signature lectures from prominent music movers and shakers could seem, well, immaterial. Let's face it, Gotham is one long eclectic party - but the Red Bull Music Academy Festival is different. The Academy itself, which took place in New York in 2013 and will visit Tokyo this fall, is a travelling series of music performances, club nights, lectures, workshops, art installations and more founded in 1998 - it doesn't look to create "stars" (despite notable participants including Aloe Blacc, Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke and Juan Son), instead it looks to bring together music makers from around the globe. Think of it as a mobile behemoth of culture, skills and sound. 

A Class Of Its Own: Red Bull Music Academy Festival's Closing Night

The newly created 'RBMA Festival ' - now taking place annually in New York City - is a legacy to the critically acclaimed Red Bull Music Academy that took place in New York in 2013. It is a month-long blowout that brings together a diverse group of the world's most creative young musicians. Since May 1st, this year's programme has blanketed the boroughs with a selection of richly curated events - and you're invited to the ultimate wrap party. But more on that soon. 

Continue reading: Red Bull Music Academy Festival Set For Ultimate Closing Party in New York

Spotify Explains Its Business Model In A Bid To Prove Its Worth To Artists


Thom Yorke David Byrne

Streaming service Spotify have decided to go transparent with their business plan in the face of mounting criticism over the way it conducts business with the artists available on the site. The company have launched Spotify Artists to hopefully reassure some doubtful musicians using the website, to explain how its business model works.

Along with the new site, Spotify are also launching a free analytics server that will allow artists to see exactly how many people have checked out their music and which songs are most popular. The new plans come in tandem with the announcement that Spotify will begin to allow artists to sell their merchandise through their Spotify accounts, with the company publishing figures on how much musicians can expect to earn as this service grows.

The new measures come following a series of harsh criticism from artists who have slammed the business ethics of the company. Earlier this year, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke described Spotify as "the last desperate fart of a dying corpse," his attack coming some time after he removed his solo and Atoms for Peace material from the server.

Continue reading: Spotify Explains Its Business Model In A Bid To Prove Its Worth To Artists

David Byrne and St Vincent perform in Glasgow

David Byrne, St Vincent and Annie Clark - David Byrne and St Vincent perform during a headlining gig at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall - Glasgow, United Kingdom - Thursday 29th August 2013

David Byrne
David Byrne, St Vincent and Annie Clark
David Byrne
David Byrne, St Vincent and Annie Clark
David Byrne, St Vincent and Annie Clark

David Byrne - Who


David Byrne teamed up with St Vincent on his 2012 album 'Love This Giant' which has become his highest charting post-Talking Heads album yet. He has unleashed a fairly bizarre black and white video for track one of the record, 'Who'.

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CitiBike Program - Press Conference

David Byrne - Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg and DOT Commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan hold a press conference for the CitiBike Program on Memorial Day - New York City, New York, United States - Monday 27th May 2013

David Byrne
David Byrne
David Byrne
David Byrne
David Byrne

The 2013 Outer Critics Circle Awards

David Byrne - The 2013 Outer Critics Circle Awards held at Sardi's restaurant - New York City, New York, United Kingdom - Thursday 23rd May 2013

58th Annual Village Voice Obie Awards

David Byrne and Cyndi Lauper - 58th Annual Village Voice Obie Awards - New York City, New York, United States - Monday 20th May 2013

David Byrne
David Byrne
David Byrne and Cyndi Lauper
David Byrne and Cyndi Lauper
David Byrne

Drama Desk Awards

David Byrne - 2013 Drama Desk Awards - Press Room - New York City, New York, United States - Sunday 19th May 2013

David Byrne
David Byrne

Reliably Unusual: David Byrne's Imelda Marcos Musical A Hit With The Critics


David Byrne Fatboy Slim Imelda Marcos

David Byrne is a man known for pushing boundaries. Be it the stretching of the outer limits of art-pop, with Talking Heads, or, indeed, prodding at the concept of comfortable suit design (remember that over-sized suit he wore… you know the one), he’s never settled for the obvious choices. His latest venture – a collaborative effort with Norman Cook / Fatboy Slim, is no different.

Here Lies Love, at the Public Theater in New York is a beguiling theatrical and musical creation, which tells the life story of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos and does so via the medium of dance music, demanding high levels of audience participation as it goes. The New York Times describes the unusual theatrical staging with a sense of awe, playing tribute to “the hardest working tech crew in town” for creating a staging in which “all the world’s a dance floor and all the men and women merely disco rats.” Theater ushers in neon pink jumpsuits “herd” the audience into place at the sets change and reconfigure and attendees are expected to keep dancing throughout. “You’ll be asked to vote for Marcos, too,” NYT advises. “And as folks tend to do when caught up in the fever of a crowd, you’ll probably find yourself smiling and nodding assent.”

Bloomberg were equally full of praise for the show, describing it as “the most engaging and provocative new musical of the season.” It looks as though Byrne has successfully pushed that envelope, once again. 

Continue reading: Reliably Unusual: David Byrne's Imelda Marcos Musical A Hit With The Critics

David Byrne's "Here Lies Love" Offers Fresh Take On Imelda Marcos's Familiar Story


David Byrne Fatboy Slim

David Byrne’s Here Lies Love is loud, glamorous and exposes the sins of a culture – what more could you ask for?

The musical, now playing on the stage of the New York Public theatre, focuses on the life and excesses of Imelda Marcos, the shoe-crazed wife of ex-Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos. The parallels between this character and the imfamous Eva Peron are obvious – the influential wife of a dictator role is common to both – but the tone and style of Here Lies Love make the comparison to Evita an impossible one. First released as a double-disc 2010 song cycle album conceived by David Byrne, who wrote the lyrics, collaborating with virtuoso British DJ and recording artist Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook) on the music, the show was always intended for the stage, says The Guardian's Alexis Soloski. Now it receives the production it deserves, highliting the excesses of its characters in the extremely appropriate setting of the disco era. The show describes Imelda’s rise to wealth and power from her origins as a “simple country girl” to the wife and political partner of Ferdinand Marcos. It tracks the couple’s turbulent relationship, Imelda’s crucial role in Marcos’s election and her subsequent disillusionment with the relationship.

Ruthie Ann Miles does a great job of portraying the many stages of Imelda’s life and overall, the musical offers a new, interesting and visually pleasing look at a well-known story.

Continue reading: David Byrne's "Here Lies Love" Offers Fresh Take On Imelda Marcos's Familiar Story

Bjork, Paul McCartney and R Kelly: Variegated Lineup For Tennessee's Bonnaroo Festival


Sir Paul McCartney Mumford And Sons Bjork R Kelly Wu Tang Clan The National The Lumineers David Byrne Kendrick Lamar Nas ZZ Top

The Bonnaroo festival line-up has been released and it's something to get yourself excited about. Not got a ticket? You'll definitely want to get yourself one once you see who'll be performing. 

The Bonnaroo festival info page is a veritable delight of explaining Out There and In Here. Out There is out here, where we are now, beyond the limits temporally or spatially of the festival itself, but In There, in the festival, the festival organisers want it to be a haven of positivity, safety and, above all, supreme amounts of fun. They describe it as "4 of the best days ever" and "an escape into Excitement. Music. Art. Discoveries. Trees. Fresh Air. Green Grass... Friends (Old / New). Adventure. Overwhelming happiness. Hugging a stranger by accident. Sharing and Generosity. Bonnaroovian Dancing. Hyperbolic verbiage..." and the list goes on. Sounds good, right? Well, the line-up is even better, and suitable for all genres you may find yourself remotely interested in. 

Here's the best of the list, from the headliners down to the early stars: Paul McCartney, Grammy winners Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bjork, R Kelly, Wu-Tang Clan, The National, The Lumineers, David Byrne, St Vincent, Passion Pit, The XX, Kendrick Lamar, Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective, Of Monsters and Men, Nas, ZZ Top, Beach House, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, A$AP Rocky, Tame Impala, Gaslight Anthem, Billy Idol, Foals, Local Natives, Alt-J, The Tallest Man on Earth, Earl Sweatshirt, The Vaccines, Frank Turner, Purity Ring... and once again, the list goes on. Check out the website to see the rest.

Continue reading: Bjork, Paul McCartney and R Kelly: Variegated Lineup For Tennessee's Bonnaroo Festival

This Must Be The Place Trailer


Cheyenne is a soft-spoken, retired rockstar still wearing make-up and hairspray whilst living in Dublin and has been estranged from his Jewish father for 30 years. When he discovers that his father is dying in New York, he is determined to set out to put things right with him, but his journey is delayed by Cheyenne's aversion to flying; when he finally makes his way over, he is too late to see his father alive for the final time. He learns that his father was a victim of persecution in Auschwitz during the Holocaust of World War II and that he was once made to suffer public humiliation by the Nazi officer Aloise Muller. In a last bid to make peace with his father, Cheyenne sets out to kill Muller (who is currently hiding out in the States) whilst meeting several people along the way, including members of Muller's family. When he is finally led to Muller, he finds himself confronted with a difficult decision as he listens to his story and, eventually, he manages to mark out a new chapter in his retired life.

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Ride, Rise, Roar Trailer


Whilst preparing for and performing on 'The Songs of David Byrne & Brian Eno Tour' David Byrne invited a team of film makers to accompany them on their journey of turning a set of songs into a live performance. Showing songs recorded from the tour, the film is also interspersed with insights from the man himself.

Continue: Ride, Rise, Roar Trailer

David Byrne

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