David Byrne and Brian Eno in a new collaboration, how cool is that. When I was in college I fell into a crowd of hyper-cool musical aficionados who one night, under the influence of some musical-appreciation substance, spun for me three licorice pizzas under a memorably full moon that shaped my tastes forever: Robert Fripp’s Exposure, Peter Gabriel’s first solo album, and Brian Eno’s Before and After Science. David Byrne was already one of my musical polestars. At some point, I was staring at the album notes for Eno’s album and listening to a voice I found familiar, when the title of the cut, “King’s Lead Hat” anagrammed spontaneously before my eyes to “Talking Heads.” Ever since that night, I’ve been hooked on everything that constellation of artists have done. Eno and Byrne’s collaboration on My Life in the Bush of Ghosts — with its exploration of the crossovers between musical and religious ecstasy — was a way-out wonder.
On these live shows I decided to use the connection of Brian Eno– as a collaborator, producer or musician– as the thread that links some material from the past with a group of songs done last year. Most of the time music listeners are blissfully unaware of the contributions of a record producer, and sometimes even of which musicians who play on a record as well…so the Eno linking device might not be as self evident as I imagine. However, the device also allowed me to include a fair number of songs in the live set that people are somewhat familiar with, which wasn’t exactly accidental.
Now, when I hop over to Peter Gabriel’s website, to remember which of his self-titled albums I listened to that night, and what have we here… He’s releasing an album in January of covers called “Scratch my back” which will include the utterly fantastic Talking Heads cut “Listening Wind” — a song I first learned to appreciate while driving across the Nevada desert in Saul Bloom’s beat-up Econoline Van, scouting nuclear weapons test facilities.
Fripp’s Exposure and Gabriel’s first album contained a track in comon: “Here Comes the Flood” — a truly prescient piece of artistry. On Exposure, the song opens with a simple Frippetronics guitar line and a voice over from J.G. Bennet:
From the scientist’s study it seems likely that we should soon begin to have a discreet change in the earth’s climate so people will not be able to live where they have, and the oceans will rise, and many cities will be flooded, like London, and Calcutta, and so on. These things, they say, will happen, according to scientific theories, in about forty years at the most, but maybe even quicker.
It was recorded in 1979.
Downloads of some of the songs on Everything That Happens will Happen Today benefit Amnesty International.