I was going to jam this into the last post, but it deserves its own.
Stop Making Sense by the Talking Heads is wonderful.
To be fair, I’m super biased, because I sweat David Byrne pretty hard. But let me continue to make an argument that you should watch it.
- Although it’s a concert film, nearly every song changes things up a bit.
- No encore.
- The second half is remarkably better than the first, even.
- The whitest kids you know + former members of Parliament Funkadelic.
- The feel is kind of creepy spooky. Roger Ebert says shades of Metropolis. Take that as you will, but there are definitely moments that make you double-take. You’re in a place where a floor lamp appears center stage and is danced with, where a crew guy walks around creating huge shadows with a big light, where words like “facelift” and “sandwich” appear on giant monitor screens. It’s half music, half Gilliam or Aronofsky movie.
- Towards the end, it introduces you to the Tom Tom Club, Tina Weymouth (bass) and Chris Frantz’s (drums) side project. And reminds you how good they are! And weird in their own way, which is the best kind of weird. I’ll link to Genius of Love here, but it has maximum impact after your mind has been blown by a dozen tracks of the Talking Heads.
- But let me just say one thing: David Byrne is the one who continues to resonate with me. He’s in his goddamn utmost rock star prime here, but his persona is not one who’s in control. (Does this not, or did this not, resonate with you when you are/were 24?) He’s confused, jittery, spastic. He’s vulnerable, supported only by a drum machine, in Psycho Killer. He’s creepy in Swamp, boneless in Life During Wartime, and lost in a darn big suit in Girlfriend Is Better. And he is unparalleled in Once in a Lifetime.
Watch it. At least so we can talk about how great it is.
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