This Must Be the Playlist: David Byrne's iPod Picks

Blog: 12.21.11

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 11:29 AM

There is no shortage of 2011 year-end playlists, but few are as trustworthy as what's currently on David Byrne's iPod. The former Talking Heads front man sat down with Kurt Andersen this week to talk about the new Talking Heads: Chronology DVD, a collection of rare concert footage from the band's early days (the entire interview airs in early January).

Byrne is a kind of uber-curator at this point in his career and a proven taste-maker through his Luaka Bop record label.  Still considered by many to be the patron saint of indie rock he told Kurt he had an endless appetite for new music:

Kurt: Do you ever as you're listening to music say, 'Oh I see a little of my DNA in this young person's work.'?

David: The embarrassing part is that I find that I don't notice that right away, a friend will point it out, and it will be embarrassing because it will be like, 'Well ok, that's why I like that group so much!'

So what groups does Byrne like right now?

A quick peek at his iPod shows a taste for music that is as varied as his interests (which include urban planning, bicycling, multimedia theater, and installation art — to name just a few). Most songs are recent releases from relative unknowns (or were until today). 

They range from the updated Muscle Shoals sound of the Alabama Shakes, to Lissie's folksie lo-fi cover of a KiD CuDi rap track, to the avant-pop chamber funk of Fol Chen.  And, perhaps not surprisingly, most of them contain at least a few strands of Talking Heads' DNA, which we consider a compliment.


David Byrne's exclusive iPod playlist

      Alabama Shakes, "Hold On" from the album Alabama Shakes EP






      People Get Ready
      , "Uncanny" from the album People Get Ready EP






      Lissie, "Pursuit of Happiness" (KiD CuDi cover) from the album Covered Up With Flowers






      Bright Moments
      , "Travelers" from the forthcoming album  Natives






      Future Islands
      , "Balance" from the album On The Water






      Fol Chen, "The New December" from the album Part II: the New December






      David Lynch, "These Are My Friends" from the album Crazy Clown Time






      James Blake, "We Might Feel Unsound" from the album Enough Thunder EP



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      Comments [4]

      Kate Lynn Morris from Houston.

      Hot stuff. Straight outta Texas !

      Apr. 22 2013 03:21 PM
      Cusano Patrizia

      Ascoltare cose nuove e allargare gli orizzonti. Chi meglio di D:B: può indicarci una via.

      Jan. 02 2012 04:48 AM
      Paul Sweisberger from Anderson SC

      Great pick Mr.Byrne. Alabama Shakes are growing so fast as a band. I saw them 2 times and there blowing people away. Watching the crowd at Orange Peel in Ashville NC. Its going to be hard to get tickets next time there in town.I myself drove 2 hours to see them and even met people who drove 5 hours.looking forward to a full cd to come out

      Jan. 01 2012 02:33 AM
      lauraglu from SF

      James Blake's albums give me tingles. And he is simply phenomenal live.

      Dec. 21 2011 08:50 PM

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