CLOSE
Original image

The Late Movies: Talking Heads

Original image

I worship David Byrne, the lanky Scot frontman of Talking Heads. He's a sort of lyrical god to me. If he told me to do something, you know what? I'd do it. So when I tried to think of a topic for my first Late Movies installment, I had to go Byrne. Here are some favorite tunes from Talking Heads, courtesy of YouTube. Get 'em now while they're extremely hot.

"This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody)" - 1984

In this performance from Stop Making Sense, Byrne dances with a lamp. It's catchy and smart and just awesome. (Also notice right after the five-minute mark, he doesn't quite make it back to the mic in time; what's up with that?)

"Psycho Killer" - 1978

According to Wikipedia, Byrne has said of this song: "When I started writing this (I got help later), I imagined Alice Cooper doing a Randy Newman-type ballad. Both the Joker and Hannibal Lecter were much more fascinating than the good guys. Everybody sort of roots for the bad guys in movies." This live performance on The Old Grey Whistle Test (a BBC music show) dates from 1978.

"Take Me To The River" - 1980

Live in Rome, featuring Adrian Belew from King Crimson. Dude.

"Burning Down the House" - Circa 1983/1984

The provenance of this clip is unknown. According to Wikipedia:

Once the whole band had reworked the groove into something resembling the final recording, Byrne began chanting and singing nonsense syllables over the music until he had arrived at phrasing that fit with the rhythms-- a technique influenced by former Talking Heads producer Brian Eno-- "and then I [would] just write words to fit that phrasing... I'd have loads and loads of phrases collected that I thought thematically had something to do with one another, and I'd pick from those." [Byrne said.]

"Dream Operator" - 1986

So if you haven't seen Byrne's film True Stories, you're really missing out. It's weird, fun, and...well, weird again. Here's the infamous "fashion show" sequence from the movie:

Bonus Video: MGMT Performing "This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody)"

Shot on April 20, 2003 at Wesleyan, this is one of the earliest public performances by MGMT. Watch as they have a good time with this Talking Heads number.

Original image
iStock
arrow
Animals
Australian Charity Releases Album of Cat-Themed Ballads to Promote Feline Welfare
Original image
iStock

An Australian animal charity is helping save the nation’s kitties one torch song at a time, releasing a feline-focused musical album that educates pet owners about how to properly care for their cats.

Around 35,000 cats end up in pounds, shelters, and rescue programs every year in the Australian state of New South Wales, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Microchipping and fixing cats, along with keeping closer tabs on them, could help reduce this number. To get this message out, the RSPCA’s New South Wales chapter created Cat Ballads: Music To Improve The Lives Of Cats.

The five-track recording is campy and fur-filled, with titles like "Desex Me Before I Do Something Crazy" and "Meow Meow." But songs like “I Need You” might tug the heartstrings of ailurophiles with lyrics like “I guess that’s goodbye then/but you’ve done this before/the window's wide open/and so’s the back door/you might think I’m independent/but you’d be wrong.” There's also a special version of the song that's specifically designed for cats’ ears, featuring purring, bird tweets, and other feline-friendly noises.

Together, the tunes remind us how vulnerable our kitties really are, and provide a timely reminder for cat owners to be responsible parents to their furry friends.

“The Cat Ballads campaign coincides with kitten season, which is when our shelters receive a significantly higher number of unwanted kittens as the seasons change,” Dr. Jade Norris, a veterinary scientist with the RSPCA, tells Mental Floss. “Desexing cats is a critical strategy to reduce unwanted kittens.”

Listen to a song from Cat Ballads below, and visit the project’s website for the full rundown.

Original image
AFP/Stringer/Getty Images
arrow
technology
ABBA Is Going on Tour—As Holograms
Original image
AFP/Stringer/Getty Images

Missed your chance to watch ABBA perform live at the peak of their popularity? You’re in luck: Fans will soon be able to see the group in concert in all their chart-topping, 1970s glory—or rather, they’ll be able to see their holograms. As Mashable reports, a virtual version of the Swedish pop band is getting ready to go on tour.

ABBA split up in 1982, and the band hasn't been on tour since. (Though they did get together for a surprise reunion performance in 2016.) All four members of ABBA are still alive, but apparently not up for reentering the concert circuit when they can earn money on a holographic tour from the comfort of their homes.

The musicians of ABBA have already had the necessary measurements taken to bring their digital selves to life. The final holograms will resemble the band in the late 1970s, with their images projected in front of physical performers. Part of the show will be played live, but the main vocals will be lifted from original ABBA records and recordings of their 1977 Australian tour.

ABBA won’t be the first musical act to perform via hologram. Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson, and Dean Martin have all been revived using the technology, but this may be one of the first times computerized avatars are standing in for big-name performers who are still around. ABBA super-fans will find out if “SOS” still sounds as catchy from the mouths of holograms when the tour launches in 2019.

[h/t Mashable]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios