David Byrne came to South By Southwest on Wednesday (March 13) to talk about his Reasons To Be Cheerful project and, in the evening, to screen and answer questions about his 1986 film True Stories. But a little musical discussion was probably inevitable during his 55-minute early afternoon keynote session.
A couple of years ago, former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne found himself being hit by wave after wave of bad news. Rather than being swept under by the growing tide of despair, Byrne decided to take stock and began collecting reports that made him feel optimistic about the future of humanity. “For my own mental health I needed to do something,” he explains.
The video, which became the official clip of the track, is a collaboration of Byrne with the Detroit School of Arts, filmed in part by the Radio and TV students, with the presence of the Vocal Jazz Ensemble of the school.
David Byrne has taken “Everybody’s Coming to My House,” from his new album American Utopia, and handed it over to Detroit School of Arts (DSA) Vocal Jazz Ensemble students who have performed their own verison, and was filmed in part by their classmates from the school’s Radio & Television Department.
Byrne has now shared the official visuals for that track, with the video the result of a collaboration between the artist and the Detroit School of Arts. Radio and TV Department students from the school had a hand in the filming of the video, while the clip also stars the Vocal Jazz Ensemble singing ‘Everybody’s Coming to My House’.
The official video is billed as a collaboration between Byrne and students from the Detroit School of the Arts, featuring the school’s vocal jazz ensemble transforming the Byrne’s pop song into an uplifting gospel tune. The video was partially filmed by students from the radio and TV department.
The artist, Talking Heads musician, avid cyclist, and all-around nice guy’s new website Reasons to Be Cheerful is a news spot and “online observatory” that won’t want to make you hurl your laptop out a window and run away screaming.
I’ve done these talks at BRIC Arts Center in Fort Greene in April, at IdeasCity in connection with the New Museum and most recently at The New School on 12th St. Now I’m hoping to bring the idea to a wider audience."
David Byrne has announced a short run of free lectures to take place across Europe over the coming days. Entitled "Reasons to Be Cheerful," it’s a continuation of a concept that he says informed American Utopia, his first album in 14 years, which arrives in March.
What kind of positive stuff has Byrne found? He identifies certain common qualities among the stories that have caught his eye: "Almost all of these initiatives are local, they come from cities or small regions who have taken it upon themselves to try something that might offer a better alternative than what exists."
The idea originated last year, when the musician was feeling adrift in a sea of bad news (particularly given his progressive leanings). "I wake up in the morning, I look at the paper and I often say to myself, 'Oh no!' Often I'm depressed for half the day," Byrne wrote