Origin: Arbutus, Maryland
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David Byrne is a Scottish-American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, artist, writer, actor, and filmmaker. He is the founding member, principal songwriter, lead singer and guitarist for the American New Wave band Talking Heads. Byrne is an Academy Award, Grammy and Golden Globe winner and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
A true Renaissance man who for more than four decades has carved out a career by zagging when others were zigging. Byrne’s voracious creative appetite has seen him release albums, score movies, plays and TV shows, found a record label, start an online radio station, compose an operetta, exhibit artworks, write books about music and cycling, publish volumes of photographs and sketches, design bike racks, turn a ferry terminal into a musical instrument, and play himself on the “Simpsons.”
Like Brian Eno, a friend and collaborator for more than 40 years, Byrne has parlayed rock celebrity into a life so eventful that it makes merely performing in a band look parochial.
A child prodigy, Byrne exhibited a strong interest in music learning to play harmonica at age five and playing guitar, accordion and violin before high school. While attending the Rhode Island School of Design he met fellow Talking Heads alumnus Chris Frantz. Shortly thereafter they moved to New York and were joined by bassist Tina Weymouth and later multi-instrumentalist Jerry Harrison to form the Talking Heads in 1975.
More dance groove than their new wave contemporaries with Byrne writing and singing clever, ironic and angst-ridden lyrics. Talking Head s released eight acclaimed studio and two live albums along with Jonathan Demme’s concert film “Stop Making Sense,” which immortalized Byrne as a palsied white man dancing trapped in a preposterously big suit.
The band disbanded in 1991 and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where they reunited to play some of their most iconic songs including “Psycho Killer” and “Burning Down the House.”
American Utopia is Byrne’s first solo album in fourteen years and is his most sonically and texturally fresh record in years. Already garnering Emmy nomination whispers the highly acclaimed album is Byrne’s first top ten album with critics describing it “as a muscular return to form.”
American Utopia takes day to day life’s vignettes magnifying and laying them out for us to rethink how we see the world. In “Gasoline and Dirty Sheets” Byrne examines the proliferation of advertising, fast food and crazy consumption as seen through the eyes of a refugee. The album’s closing song “Here” sums up much of what Byrne conveys as he sings about how the brain processes the world. One of the album’s real gems is “Everybody’s Coming to My House,” Byrne’s sharpest satire of the suburban dream since “Once in a Lifetime.”
Sacramento’s K-ZAP 93.3 FM is playing, “Everybody’s Coming to My House”, “Gasoline and Dirty Sheets”, and “Here” from American Utopia. All part of 50 years of rock, blues and more, 24-7 on our station’s stream at K-ZAP.ORG/LISTEN/
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (with Brian Eno) (1981)
Rei Momo (1989)
David Byrne (1994)
Look into the Eyeball (2001)
Grown Backwards (2004)
Everything That Happens Will Happen Today (with Brian Eno) (2008)
Here Lies Love (with Norman Cook) (2010)
Love This Giant (with St. Vincent) (2012)
American Utopia (2018)