Thursday, December 1, 2016

Talking Heads live - Cities with Adrian Belew on guitar

A gift! For Christmas! (Because you've all been so kind. No one has complained about all of the politics. Thank you; I'm sorry.) Talking Heads from this period, combined with Adrian Belew, reminds me of a Stephen Wright joke I heard long ago. "I made instant coffee in a microwave," he said, "I almost went back in time." Many, most, musicians work within some kind of framework. I love Earl King (see below), and it doesn't bother me in the least that he was part of a tradition. After all, almost no one in music breaks entirely new ground. And no, I'm not adding a list here, as much as I am fond of lists. Just consider . . . When Talking Heads hit the market in, what was it? 1976? After a couple of years of obscurity (weren't they on the Live at CBGB's album?). No one knew how to describe Talking Heads music. I loved their music myself, but I remember marveling at their lack of obvious influences. It was like they had grown up on a deserted island with access to human history but no musical references and had then discovered instruments at some point. The music press at the time was dumbfounded; they had no idea what to say about Talking Heads. And then to add Adrian Belew to that miasma of futuristic technicolor mist? Adrian "Mr. Wait, What Did He Just Do?" Belew. Why, it was almost enough to loosen one's attachment to the very space/time continuum itself!

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