Sunday, September 21, 2008

I am subject to brief flashes of intense cruelty and/or unshelter, most definitively inflicted on those the closest to me and who I love

Didi Menendez did a portrait of me for her American Poet Portraits series, it is from my YouTube shaving video, it is really nice, wild colors, thank you Didi for the inclusion. Check it out in full size and with her other works on the site.










Last night saw David Byrne at Chastain in Atlanta, it was pretty incredible, he played songs from the three Talking Heads collaborations with Eno, the setlist included:

I ZIMBRA, HOUSES IN MOTION, HEAVEN, CROSSEYED & PAINLESS, ONCE IN A LIFETIME, LIFE DURING WARTIME, TAKE ME TO THE RIVER & THE GREAT CURVE

He also played HELP ME SOMEBODY from the MY LIFE IN THE BUSH OF GHOSTS record, which was really interesting to hear done live, as that album is mostly all samples, and instead Byrne sang the sampled vocals himself, and the music translated really well, it sounded like a REMAIN IN LIGHT b-side or something, that was the only track from that record they did.

They also played a lot off the new Eno/Byrne record, which has some cool stuff but overall wasn't as exciting as the old. Still nice to hear, and better than most.

I was really surprised with how strong the band sounded, the set up was pretty much exactly as the band was in STOP MAKING SENSE, albeit with new musicians, who were on point.

Everyone on stage was in all white, including Byrne, the musicians, a set of three backup soul singers, and a crew of people who did weird choreographed dances all through the set, which often tended to include Byrne, it was fun.

Byrne seemed really happy and upbeat, in fact they extended the 2nd encore when the crowd wouldn't stop screaming, Byrne seemed amazed and was laughing, said, 'Well, this isn't the song you'd usually play in this moment, but it's the only other one we know' and they did another from the new record.



The crowd was weird, it's an 'old people' venue, there were a lot of grandparents there sitting and nodding along or staring, there were a lot of drunk fratboys yelling for Psycho Killer, there was a lot of electronic device use and talking. After we got up a lot closer to the stage it was really nice, it felt like a huge street party.

Right next to me, during HEAVEN, there is the line, 'When this kiss is over it will start again' and the dude who had been trying unsuccessfully to rub his junk up on this girl in between beers goes, 'Man that would be awesome,' referring to the lyric, and the girl said 'Huh?' and he goes 'If the kiss was over and then it started again. That would be awesome' and then he kind of leered at the girl in his khaki shorts and button up as if this would do the trick, as if she'd want him now, and the girl went back to text messaging.

Overall a really good show, I imagine it was almost like seeing Talking Heads.

Overall also, though, probably the last 'big' show I will ever go to. My list of people I want to see before I die is pretty much all X'd off. I'd still like to see Michael Gira but he rarely seems to tour.








I don't know, something

I have a semblance of a beard now, I don't like it

What the fuck is going on











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16 comments:

Derek White said...

Sweet. Lucky you. Here's an ode to Izimbra I just did yesterday
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYR-CTVvGu0

I saw Michael Gira once with the Swans. His mic went out but that didn't stop him from throwing down the mic and yelling loud enough to be heard.

I don't know if I've ever placed the Swans and Talking Heads in the same sentence before.

I remember reading a story that Michael Gira wrote once about eating someone's shit. It was in some random fanzine and I'm sure is lost to obscurity, but it stuck in my mind.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

Michael Gira is an intense mother, or seems so, I have wanted to find a copy of his collection 'The Consumer' for years but its never less than $50 on amazon used, I am just gonna say fuck it and buy it soon.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i like the gorilla on its back wiggling in time to the music, that is nice

Derek White said...

oh, and nice mug, that's spot on.

derek said...

the gorilla, speaking of Michael Gira, is actually eating it's own shit. It was doing it over and over. In the Bronx zoo. It was also sucking on it's own tit. Behavior only displayed in captivity.

Shit, I better change my name.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

tit sucking gorillas. that wins.

Didi Menendez said...

I'm in love with your painting. I think I have broken through to another dimension in my painting....

Thank you for shaving....

BLAKE BUTLER said...

didi, yes, i think this is my favorite piece you've done, and not just because it's of me. really strong.

Andy Nicholson said...

I saw Byrne a few years ago. It was a great show and, similar to what you saw, one of the most mixed crowds I've ever experienced at a show, especially in terms of age.

Lovely painting from Didi--a hint of early Matisse in the expansion of color?

KEN BAUMANN said...

really good title and last sentences

i want sleep

jereme said...

i like the painting. you look menacing. prison shaving or something.

last night david byrne pulled out his little red notebook, opened it to the third page titled "people to play in front of before death", and put a thick red line through "BLAKE BUTLER"

BLAKE BUTLER said...

andy, yes

ken, :) we need to talksssss we never on at same time

Gene said...

I listened to MY LIFE IN THE BUSH OF GHOSTS a few times this weekend, while Jenny made pasta. We are twins.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

jereme my alive got soft then really hard then a little softer

Keith said...

That painting's so killer...

Didi Menendez said...

The painting is for sale. I wonder who wants Blake in their living room.