Saturday, 10 March 2018
Warning Sign Of Things To Come
One thing leads to another- I few weeks ago I missed out on tickets to see David Byrne on his upcoming. C'est la vie. Then I read an interview with him which referred to a film from 2016 I meant to watch but didn't get around to. The name of the film is 20th Century Women, and that's what it's about. I enjoyed it a lot, the story a single mother in her 50s and two much younger women, co-raising her son, a teenager, in late 1970s California. The film is peppered with the music of Talking Heads from their '77 debut and the 1978 follow up. On Thursday I pulled out Talking Heads 1978 album More Songs About Buildings And Food and played it through a couple of times, an album I first got into in 1987. And now today you're getting a song from that record, Warning Sign.
By 1978 Talking Heads were clearly something a little bit different, benefiting from the rush of CBGB's punk, but clearly not punk, a four-square guitar band who were showing they could make people dance. And while David Byrne may have been leader, dominant mouthpiece and main songwriter the rhythm section, Tina Weymouth and husband Chris Frantz, were developing something just as unique as Byrne's strange way of looking at the world lyrically. Warning Sign opens with Frantz's drums and some wonderful reverb splashed all over his snare, then followed by Weynouth's circling bassline. A guitar joins in and the group set up a groove that goes on for almost a minute before Byrne joins in with his nervous, neurotic vocals, echo and a slur adding some menace to the song. Brian Eno's subtle production pays off throughout the song. As someone says over at Youtube 'I could live in that bassline forever'.