Tag Archives: David Byrne

A Good Way to Start 2009

My favorite scene from David Byrne’s “True Stories“:


Favorites: Trompe le Monde



I know I’m putting myself in the minority by picking this over “Doolittle” or “Surfer Rosa” (totally ace albums, to be sure…and probably “better”), but for some reason this has always been my favorite Pixies record.  Some say they were running out of ideas, but to me it sounds like they went out in top form.  “Alec Eiffel” is one of the most thrilling songs in their impressive canon.  I’m sure I’ve listened to this song hundreds of times and I never get tired of it.  Frank Black/Black Francis sounds absolutely bonkers on 99% of the album, as if he’s receiving schizophrenic transmissions from all those UFOs he is so fascinated with.  Seriously, his weirdness was beginning to reach Roky Erickson levels of nuttiness, where before he was maybe just on par with David Byrne (haha).  “UMass” is one of the greatest sardonic songs about “intellectual” college students ever recorded (“We’re not just kids/to say the least/We got ideas/to us that’s dear/like Capitalist/like Communist/like lots of things/you’ve heard about/and redneckers/they get us pissed/and stupid stuff/it makes us shout…”).  Their fantastic cover of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Head On” seems tailor made for the Pixies’ noisy melodicism.  “Letter to Memphis” has some of the catchiest guitar riffs Joey Santiago ever played, as well as one hell of a vocal melody.  Damn the band if they didn’t follow this up with the arguable highlight of the album: “Bird Dream Of The Olympus Mons”, a subtle pop song that ascends heavenwards (or to Mars, I guess).  Fool the world.

Brian Eno and David Byrne – My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

Between the recording of Talking Head’sFear of Music” (1979) and “Remain in Light” (1980), Brian Eno and David Byrne worked on the sonic collage that would become “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” (a title lifted from Amos Tutuola) (1981). The album’s imprint can be felt today in everything from the melting pot sound-world of M.I.A. to the tape recorder ghosts trapped in The Books. The hallucinatory samples, disembodied voices hovering above and peeking through the funk, were sequenced using analogue recording equipment, making the seamlessness of the final product all the more incredible.

The track posted today features the haunting call of a Lebanese mountain singer over an eternal psychedelic groove that is equally indebted to Funkadelic and Fela Kuti, but one trapped in an aural mist that is distinct to Brian Eno. The Lebanese sample, sung by Dunya Yunis, was lifted from the six-LP box set “Music in the World of Islam”.


Brian Eno + David Byrne – Regiment From: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (Reissued by Nonesuch, 2006)



I was escorted before her on this day and stood before her as if I had been dissolved into vapour or no more alive and also dreaming of her terrible, dreadful, ugly, dirty appearance without sleeping.–Amos Tutuola My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, p.100 (First Published in 1954 By Faber and Faber Limited, new and revised edition 1978)