When former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne visited Santa Barbara almost exactly four years ago, it was more than a typical concert — it was a performance. Not only was there stellar music, but also cleverly choreographed dancing that brought a delightful element of playfulness to the songs.
That concert was a celebration of Byrne’s work with Brian Eno, the egghead genius who produced three of the Talking Heads’ classic albums, and who collaborated with Byrne on the electro-funk meets ethno-sampled masterpiece My Life in the Bush of Ghosts and also the then-new electronic-gospel album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.
Byrne is returning to Santa Barbara next Thursday, Oct. 11, again at the Arlington Theatre, this time in support of a more recent collaboration: the just-released album Love This Giant with indie artist St. Vincent, the nom de stage of Annie Clark. The show is part of UCSB Arts & Lectures’ particularly strong 2012-13 series.
If you haven’t had the pleasure to hear Love This Giant, it has the funky minimalist rhythms that you’d expect from Byrne, a bit of arty guitar that you’d expect from Clark, the distinctive vocals you’d expect from both of them, and something you might not expect — lots of horns!
Horns? Apart from Byrne’s lesser-known album The Knee Plays, I don’t really associate horns with either Byrne or Clark. But apparently, at Clark’s urging, there are horns all over their new album, providing a cool, minimalist funk texture that I really dig.
And we can expect the horns to be along in force for the upcoming concert at the Arlington Theatre, providing the backbone for the evening’s music.
Based on reviews of previous shows on their current tour, we can also look forward to some theatrical, horn- and dance-enhanced reinterpretations of songs by the Talking Heads, and Byrne’s and St. Vincent’s solo work. Plus, it seems we’re likely to hear some of those great fuzzed-out guitar solos from Clark.
No doubt, another great performance awaits us at the Arlington Theatre on Thursday night. For tickets, click here or call the Arlington Theatre at 805.963.4408.
— Noozhawk contributing writer Jeff Moehlis is a professor of mechanical engineering at UCSB. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his Web site, music-illuminati.com.