19 Jun. 2012

Feet on the ground, head in the sky

I guess this must be the place.

The Talking Heads and David Byrne in particular require a certain type of listener. Not necessarily one who’s into muted guitar and an off kilter lyrical style, but one who can appreciate the nuances of each song when listened to in succession. They ultimately tell a great story about a bands journey.

In their hay-day, the Talking Heads were the shit. They remain so today in their recordings and have come a long way since first taking the stage. Byrne himself had a bad case of stage fright and wouldn’t face the crowd at the beginning of his career. Now, looking back, and to quote The New Yorker, “Byrne was the funkiest white dude in pop until Flea showed up.” Unfortunately, the majority of todays generation doesn’t know much about them unless they were fortunate enough to grow up listening to their dads classic rock records. Sure, you’ll hear Burning Down the House and Once in a Lifetime on the radio, but delve a little deeper into songs like This Must be the Place or Life During Wartime. Better yet, take a look at them playing live to get a feel for the energy this band gives off.

Looking at This Must be the Place, we hear a change in David Byrne’s writing.  At first, you don’t really notice the subtle difference, but if you pay attention, the song actually depicts a loving relationship with life and a new found appreciation for what it has to offer. “Make it up as we go along….hiiiyooo, I got plenty of time.” This differs from the way the lyrics sounded previously.


Byrne always had a unique way of looking at things. Twyla Tharp, who was involved with Byrne in the early 80s and collaborated with him, described him as looking to “find the residue of ancient thoughts in the most up to date aspects of society.”

Try to keep some of this in mind as we look at “This Must be the Place.”