Talking Heads, Cities

Talking Heads again again. Watch Adrian Belew bop.

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I Zimbra (Talking Heads)

More Talking Heads from Rome, 1980, because it’s one of the greatest videoed live performances we’ve ever seen.

For some annoying reason, if you want to actually watch the video bit of a WordPress-embedded YouTube video rather just hear the audio, you have to either watch it fullscreen or click to watch it on YouTube itself.

The Great Curve (Talking Heads, live in Rome)

Surely one of the most blood-pumping gigs ever caught on film, the Talking Heads’ stop off in Rome on their Remain In Light tour has been grainily immortalised and mounted on YouTube for all to jiggle to. For the Bemolution’s money, the band’s later, smaller Stop Making Sense-era incarnation was sterile and artily contrived compared to this earlier, Fela Kuti-inspired nine-piece. Borne aloft by a propulsive, hypnotic Afrobeat throb, courtesy of an awesomely muscular rhythm section and the bounding enthusiasm of everyone involved, the results are mesmeric, transporting, and, above all, irresistibly funky An extra visceral punch comes from Adrian Belew, fresh from spells with Zappa, Bowie and then King Crimson-bound, whose hair-raising guitar experimentalism sounds as cutting-edge today as it presumably did thirty-four years ago.

For some annoying reason, if you want to actually watch the video bit of a WordPress-embedded YouTube video rather just hear the audio, you have to either watch it fullscreen or click to watch it on YouTube itself.

Robert Fripp Hasn’t Retired (King Crimson)

Early this year, Robert Fripp appeared to retire. This week, he’s announced that King Crimson are reforming, his protracted legal wrangles with Universal Group apparently resolved, which is all very surprising. We’ve never been all that fond of King Crimson, preferring Fripp’s less forbidding collaborations with other artists, and this isn’t likely to change by the sound of what’s been released about the band’s latest configuration. One-time Zappa sideman, Talking Heads dynamo and impressionistic guitar wizard Adrian Belew is out, which is a shame, because for thirty years he’s been Crimson’s bouncily enthusiastic human face. He’s been replaced by three drummers – interesting in theory, but not the nicest thing to listen to either. But never mind – it provides a decent enough excuse to showcase ‘Elephant Talk’, Crimson at its campest, silliest, and most accessible, mostly thanks to Mr Belew, here resplendent in pink. This video also documents one of the Halley’s Comet occurrences when Robert Fripp actually smiles on stage.

Oh, and go on then – the rather more geriatric early 2000s version too.

For some annoying reason, if you want to actually watch the video bit of a WordPress-embedded YouTube video rather just hear the audio, you have to either watch it fullscreen or click to watch it on YouTube itself.