Byrne & Eno: Filling in the blanks

On 20th listen, I now think the title track of Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is a prayer for Iraq. Which needs one, regardless of who's elected.

It was a pleasure preparing and writing my first-ever review in the Village Voice, of the new collaboration between David Byrne and Brian Eno. It's their first album since 1981's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (depending on how you count Talking Heads' Remain in Light from '80 or Byrne's soundtrack The Catherine Wheel from '81, both of which feature Eno and were recorded later).

I hadn't listened to Byrne's The Knee Plays for years and found I really loved it, especially as a soundtrack for my evening suburban driver shifts for Jimmy John's, and I'd never given my Nonesuch promo of Grown Backwards a chance--surprisingly good, especially the duet with Rufus Wainwright. The Talking Heads re-releases from a couple years ago are, I hope, old news to readers of this blog, but are essential up through Little Creatures, while the also-reissued and essential Bush of Ghosts is one of those classics that my friends either love or hate. I find it pure loveliness--it's at least funky enough that my four-year-old nephew asks for "Eno" in our car.

But the real revelation was Eno's earlier solo classics, or at least the two I could afford to pick up: 1973's Here Come the Warm Jets and especially 1975's Another Green World truly open up a new world. The latter is fast becoming one of my favorite albums ever, though it's so out of focus I can barely figure out why. The former kicks off with a song I recognize, and had always assumed was some late-'80s indie rock. Elsewhere on Jets there's a track that became sample fodder for the Atmosphere/El-P track "Homecoming" (hidden at the end of Lucy Ford).

I'd find the track, but I just realized the disc is in my broken-down car at a park near Medicine Lake--the Camry died right before my last delivery the other night, thus ending my suburban summer. Next week, after some RNC-related work and other freelancing, it's back to teaching and back to the hip-hop book (it's coming along, I swear).

Here's the thread at ILX.

Matos's preview, Will's review.

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