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#XPNFest headliner David Byrne has a lot up his sleeve for 2018

David Byrne | Photo by Jody Rogac

2018 is going to be a great year for music icon David Byrne. The former Talking Heads frontman released American Utopia, his first solo album since 2004’s Grown Backwards, and announced an expansive world tour, with various shows already sold out. Part of that tour involves Byrne will also be stopping by the BB&T Pavilion in Camden to headline the XPoNential Music Festival with other amazing artists such as The War on Drugs, Sturgill Simpson, Sylvan Esso, and more. (For more updates and information, head over to the XPN Fest website.)

The visual approach to the tour is captivating; Byrne has referred to the staging as a blank canvas, where he and his backup singers use headset mics, his band plays their instruments wirelessly, there are no boom stands or instrument cables or drum risers in the way. Essentially it opens up the entire stage for movement and expression; watch a roundup of fan videos from recent shows below.  Continue reading →

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Listen to David Byrne’s American Utopia via NPR Music

David Byrne | Photo by Jody Rogac

At the beginning of 2018, it was announced that Talking Heads founding member and prolific artist David Byrne was gearing up for a new release. American Utopia, the title of Byrne’s first solo outing since 2004’s Grown Backwards, was announced alongside lead single “Everybody’s Coming to My House,” a catchy, upbeat jam and XPN favorite track. Slated to release March 9th on Todo Mundo and Nonesuch Records, American Utopia is available to stream in full now, a week early, over on NPR Music. Continue reading →

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David Byrne shares American Utopia track “This Is That”

David Byrne | photo by Jody Rogac | courtesy of the artist
David Byrne | photo by Jody Rogac | courtesy of the artist

Listening to music from this year’s upcoming XPN Fest headliners is one of the best ways to beat the winter blues on a dreary February day — especially when that headliner is David Byrne and he’s just released a new song. Byrne’s forthcoming album American Utopia is due out March 9, and the iconic artist has just shared a second single, “This Is That.” Continue reading →

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XPN Fest headliner David Byrne collabs with Oneohtrix Point Never on new track, “This Is That”

David Byrne | Photo by Jody Rogac

Before David Byrne burns down the house this summer at this year’s XPN Fest — haa bet he never gets that one — the music icon will release a new album titled American Utopia on March 9th via Todomundo/Nonesuch. And before then, you can listen to one of the new tracks right now as he’s just shared “This Is That” with BBC Radio. Continue reading →

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David Byrne will bring his “most ambitious show since Stop Making Sense” to Hershey and Wilkes-Barre

David Byrne | photo by Eric Ashleigh for WXPN

When David Byrne last played Philadelphia, it was at the Tower Theater during his collaboration with St. Vincent, Love This Giant — where the stage was wide open and filled up with horn players, various guitarists and a keyboard station up on risers. Byrne found the setup freeing and inspiring, and is patterning his 2018 run off of it.

As he posted in an announcement on his Facebook page earlier today, Bryne developed an even more open design for his current run of shows, which will include material from a new album he’s releasing in 2018. Working with Clair Brothers in Lancaster County, Byrne developed a setup that made the stage a completely blank canvas, free of risers and drum platforms, free of monitor wedges and hovering stage-hands.

“I’d experienced a taste of this on the tour I did with St. Vincent, where all the brass players were mobile,” Byrne wrote. “With everyone mobile, I realized the stage could be completely clear. If we could have the monitors in our ears, the amps off-stage and the lights up high, then we had the possibility of a completely empty space.” Continue reading →

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XPN MusicNotes: Watch LCD Soundsystem perform new songs, & see David Byrne and Angélique Kidjo sing Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime”

LCD Soundsystem | still from video

LCD Soundsystem is readying their first new album since 2010’s This is Happening, and on Saturday Night Live this past weekend James Murphy & crew performed a couple of new tunes: “American Dream” and “Call the Police.” Watch the performances below. Continue reading →

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Questlove, David Byrne, The Weeknd show up in Spike Lee’s Michael Jackson doc

Questlove | Photo by John Vettese
Questlove | Photo by John Vettese

Next month, Showtime is premiering a Spike Lee-directed documentary on Michael Jackson’s breakout 1979 debut. Michael Jackson’’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall – which airs February 5th and is out on DVD on February 26th – will look at the album’s making and its legacy, and features commentary from David Byrne of The Talking Heads, pop superstar The Weeknd and Philly’s own Questlove, who has an amusing observation about the relationship between Star Warsand “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” in the doc’s trailer, which you can watch below. Continue reading →

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Behind the scenes of David Byrne’s Contemporary Color with Jim Boggia

L-R: Conrad Korsch, Jim Boggia, Thad DeBrock, Daniel Mintseris | Photo courtesy of Jim Boggia
L-R: Conrad Korsch, Jim Boggia, Thad DeBrock, Daniel Mintseris | Photo courtesy of Jim Boggia

Contemporary Color is David Byrne’s recent musical project. It features “ten of the country’s elite color guard teams — the flag-flipping, sequin-studded crème de la crème of the “sport of the arts” — sync steps with musical luminaries for a bacchanalia of beats, sabre-spinning, and glitter cannons.” It features live performances by Byrne, Nelly Furtado, How to Dress Well, Devonté Hynes, Money Mark + Ad-Rock, Zola Jesus, Lucius, Nico Muhly + Ira Glass, St. Vincent, and tUnE-yArDs. And in the seat of the band is Philly’s Jim Boggia, and Philly born, #TempleMade jazz musicians. The show opens and plays in Toronto tonight and tomorrow at Air Canada Centre and on June 27 & 28th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn as part of the BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music Winter/Spring Season). Last week during rehearsals for the show, Boggia began posting photos of the rehearsals on his Instagram, and we reached out to him for to find out more. Continue reading →