Talking Heads | Psycho Killer

10 11 2010

This tune is an all-time great. Not only are the song and lyrics amazing, but the various versions that exist make it legendary. As I said, the song as it appears in it’s original studio form is great but this acoustic guitar/drum machine version from The Talking Head’s 1984 concert film-meets-performance art piece, Stop Making Sense, is truly amazing. David Byrne, walks out on to an empty stage. Empty. As in, they haven’t even set up the backdrop or any of the band’s gear yet.  He drops a boombox at his feet and presses play to cue the drum track. Within seconds, Byrne begins to play those classic chords and then he rips into the verse. As he continues, the stage crew begins to build the set around him for the rest of the show. There is even an 80’s style drum break that comes at the end. Couple that with his moves and you got a real winner.  Check it out below.

And if you haven’t seen the whole film, make sure you seek it out immediately. It may very well be the best “concert” film of EVER!

Sneak Peek: MGMT | Flash Delirium

10 03 2010

MGMT has “leaked” this single a month early from their forthcoming album, Congratulations… to be released in full on April 13th from Columbia. The song is “Flash Delirium” and has been met with mixed reviews thus far. I am not going to weigh in so heavily on this one as I think it may be a bit premature. My first impression is that I think it’s pretty decent. It feels like a hodge podge of different elements without straying too far from the MGMT electro-pop sound. Upon first listen, you want to hear something more like “Time To Pretend” or “Electric Feel”, which it is not. Nevertheless, the more you hear – the better, as you learn how to detach yourself from the old (now 4yrs old) material. I also think that it’s hard to have a true opinion without hearing it in the context of the entire album. I know, most pop bands are not making albums in that manner these days but I always think it is important to consider the work as a whole before commenting one way or another. Based on this little taste, its hard to say I don’t like  it as it sounds A LOT like David Bowie… which I love. Upon the 3rd or 4th listen, some of the Bowie-isms really pop. Actually, I hate to draw too close of a comparison because, let’s face it, Bowie practically invented electro pop/rock. That said, I might just say MGMT’s new stuff is a little throw-back…. in a good way.

AMENDED: Sony BMG (Columbia) has removed every single version of this song from YouTube, including the official video that was uploaded to MGMT’s own channel. I find this to be really stupid considering the amount of coverage it is gaining them. Plus, it completely contradicts the point of the intentionally leaked release. I mean, the MP3 is downloadable form the MGMT webiste!  As a side note: The visual aspect of the official video was very boring anyway… nothing like their other videos.  The album cover is below… not great but it’s a little more stimulating.

This imagery reminds me of Sonic The Hedgehog or something from the 16bit world of 90’s videogamedom.

For reference, here is some of their old stuff. It helps if you are trying to make a comparison, albeit a little unfair to do so…

BTW– I also found this old video of early MGMT doing a Talking Heads cover of “This Must Be The Place” at Wesleyan College 2003.

In a piece in SPIN Magazine, the duo says Congratulations will be a more a more “unified” experience. Check it out as soon as you can and make that call for yourself… you can pre-order here.

Run Run Away

28 01 2010

Away on “business” and found this cool B&W video of the Talking Heads doing “Psycho Killer” at CBGBs in the early 70’s. Then take a look at the one from the Stop Making Sense live film (1984). It’s the opening song. David Byrne comes out by himself with an acoustic guitar and the stage behind him is completely empty. Throughout the show the band gets larger and larger (and more electric) while the set is slowly assembled in the background. Throw in a really neat boom box and a giant suit and it’s a real winner. This movie is amazing. If you haven’t already, you really need to see the whole thing but for now here are a few good songs to sample. If you have seen it, I’m sure you want to see it again.


Stop Making Sense

Girlfriend Is Better

Life During Wartime

This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)

Burning Down The House

Here is a really cool article called “Start Making Sense” that was originally published in the LA Weekly back in 1984. It’s an interview with Director, Jonathan Demme, about making the movie and working with David Byrne.

More about the movie from Wiki.

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