Sunday, October 11, 2009

David Byrne: Nothing but Flowers

I had already made today's choice when I heard Steve Coogan choose this as one of his Desert Island Discs.

Talking Heads have always seemed to me the musical equivalent of American independent cinema: urban, intellectual, versed in Continental philosophy.

Coogan saw the band as a reminder that it is as silly to stereotype Americans as anyone else. That is a good moral, but I was interested to discover that David Byrne, Talking Heads' lead singer and presiding genius, was born in Dumbarton. His family emigrated from Scotland to Canada when he was two, and moved to the United States a few years after that.

This song is a Ballardian lament for the lost pleasures of consumerism, written for a future environmentalist's paradise.

How seriously is it meant? How much do we really want a future of wind turbines and tofu?

I don't know, but it is a good song. This version was performed by Byrne last year at Union Chapel, an arts venue in Islington.


Duncan Borrowman said...

The man is a genius.

Duncan Borrowman said...

Should throw in this link