Produced by

David Byrne

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Singer/songwriter and avid cyclist David Byrne didn’t want to do the usual audiobook thing when it came to his "Bicycle Diaries." Inspired by years of listening to public radio, he decided to produce each chapter like a piece of audio art. He’ll share some excerpts with us.

Today's Playlist:

1. "(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave" - Phil Collins

2.  "Kelele" - Angelique Kidjo

3.  "The Book I Read" - Talking Heads

4. "Dancing Together" - David Byrne &Fatboy Slim feat. Sharon Jones


David Byrne
David Byrne tried the Vélib’ public bicycle-rental program in Paris.

Photo by: Matthew Rankin

David Byrne
A view in Valencia, CA
David Byrne
From David Byrne’s bike trip along the Karl-Marx-Allee, in Berlin, Germany.
David Byrne
From a bike trip out to Tierra Santa (the Holy Land), Buenos Aires.
David Byrne
Aboriginal lands in Australia.
One of David Byrne’s bicycle racks - “The Jersey” - is located at 9th Avenue and 39th Street.

Photo by: G.R. Christmas / Courtesy PaceWildenstein


David Byrne

Comments [7]

bernie from bklyn

regarding byrne's comments re: the new expensive production of Wagner's Ring and byrne's objection to spending money on "those dead guys". why is his opinion on this of any value?
because he one of the first in a long line of musicians who are more concerned with their image than with the music they're creating. he has to be the one that appears to be working and passing the torch onto younger, cutting edge artists, the one who informs the yuppies about the beauty of "world" music and therefore, singlehandededly empowering the masses living in favelas to free themselves. the Ring should be performed by bike riding squatters who play on cardbooard boxes and paint cans and sing through auto-tuned plastic cups connected by fishing wire.
this guy is full of it and always has been.

Sep. 28 2010 08:09 PM
James Panero from New York

I love David Byrne, and whenever I see this gentleman rider ambling along the Hudson River bike path I love him even more. NYC's aggressive cyclists take note.

On a side note, if slide number two, above, is really a "bikes-eye view" of Valencia, CA, that must be one big bike (maybe to go along with Byrne's "big suit").

Sep. 28 2010 03:04 PM
ted from atlanta

Oh yeah, of course RISD, great school. I'm so ashamed! (I just associate Byrne with NYC in spirit I guess) Sounds like a cool audiobook...

Sep. 28 2010 02:35 PM
greta from NYC

He went to RISD in Providence.

Sep. 28 2010 11:10 AM
Jennifer Paull from Hamtramck/Detroit, MI

I have seen you in Detroit several times lately, but always at a distance. In the future our bike routes may intersect. There's a synchronicity I notice in Detroit.

Would you share a few Detroit biking locations you enjoyed? Did you get to see Tour De Troit?

Have you been able to see shifts in Detroit's cosmic energy since your last visit? It all sounds like music to me. I too find cycling to be a type of meditation. It really does keep one sane.

I'm glad to know that Detroit is on your "great biking where you least expect it" list. I hope you come back soon!

Sep. 28 2010 12:58 AM
Joe from the Lower East Side from NYC

I've interviewed you a couple of years ago at your "Playing the Building" installation. Ever since the first Talking Heads single, pretty much up to your recent collaboration with Eno, buildings, structures etc. seem to crop up as themes. Talking Heads 2nd album was called "More Songs About Buildings & Food". How do you compare/contrast your architectural background (& current interests) with being a musician/singer/songwriter? How has this influenced your songwriting (if it has at all)?

Sep. 27 2010 11:20 PM
ted in atlanta from the art side

Since I think I remember Mr. Byrne was in school in NYC for some kind of visual art, (sorry for my ignorance on details) I will ask a couple of questions in that direction. PLEASE paraphrase! These are quick and clunky thoughts....

1. How important was the art school environment to the sound of Talking Heads and the success you had? How influential is it still today, having had that background.

2. I had posters of Remain In Light and Little Creatures, (Finster, what a character!) and was again fascinated by the box set art. Obviously the visual “product” aspect of a music project is becoming more and more disassociated. Does this allow music to be more objectively assessed, or does it detract from the entire environment an artist could once create for the listener. How do you reclaim the more immersive experience the design and mood an album or even a group of songs once was able to convey? Web? Better or worse?

3. How do you feel about other designers or fans working your music up with alternate video in youtube, etc…. Is it dangerous or advantageous? Might video imagery begin to become inseparable from the interpretation of the song, in ways the original artist may object to or be thrilled by, and is this kind of haphazard collaboration building fanbase or diluting a song’s intentions?

4. What became of the muscle bodysuit?

5. How were you first exposed to world music; so clearly a passion of yours. Is the NYC experience the perfect world music exposure location? You have had such a lengthy and successful career, covering so many styles… Do you think there is a definitive Davie Byrne “sound”?

6. What was your favorite project or album; why?

7. On Twyla Tharpe’s Catherine Wheel, did she direct mood and tone, or did she respond to your compositions; what was the collaboration like, working with a structured performance like that.

Sep. 27 2010 11:49 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.