I’ve always enjoyed Talking Heads like anybody else. But somehow I never ventured into that obsessive, heartsick territory I’ve found with artists like XTC and The Clash. Somehow, their music felt a little more distant. At times they were downright arty, and as a contrary person I have a deep aversion to artiness. But the more I get to know David Byrne, the more humanity I see in Talking Heads’ music. In interviews Byrne is not a cold intellectual, but in fact a thoughtful nerd. I finally got around to watching True Stories and although it is kind of arty in some ways, it’s mostly just weird in a warm, down to earth way. And I can get on board with that! In a fairly recent interview the man himself gave a really lovely bit of advice to young artists: “[I]f the musician or artist values their freedom and the ability to be creative then they have to maybe realize that they won’t be making hundreds of millions of dollars. They might be making less money but they might have more artistic satisfaction. They might even have to do other kinds of work.” And though I never thought I’d make hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s striking to me that this line of thought is exactly where I’m at now. I never REALLY knew what I wanted to do, but I thought it would be a simple and smooth process. And of course it’s not. But it’s actually okay.
But I digress! Holy CRAP, how hard do you suppose David had to warm up before the nightly aerobics sessions that went into Stop Making Sense?!