Sunday, September 07, 2014

You Got A Face With A View

Back in the day it was my job to figure out if a song "had legs." A song with legs had a durable framework that would lend its familiarity to a cover version without requiring the authenticity of the artifact of the original. There's a reason why there's a DJ at weddings now. People don't want an imitation of the thing they like. It's fairly easy to make an improved version of most pop songs live, but most people don't think improving things is an improvement. They have invested the original artifact with meaning and it's hard to wean them off it. Otherwise someone that looked vaguely like Tom Hanks would be playing at every cinema in the world.

This is one of the oddest songs I ever encountered that has legs. David Byrne is a very odd person to be producing pop songs. That's what made them wonderful, I guess. They're bent in an interesting way. Still, here we are, with the backwards chicken plucking getting over one more time.

My bandmates thought Psycho Killer had legs but it didn't. It's instantly recognizable so it gets played during a third down timeout, but people want the actual thing. There's no there, there.

This song? It's got a face with a view.


Leslie said...

Shoeless Joe guitar player.. I liked it!

Casey Klahn said...

I hear so little live music that when I do get to, it is like the proverbial starving man crossing the fence to chomp on the BBQ NY Strip.

Cover me, no problem. Legs? I'm cool if it sits on a flat 4-wheel dolly and begs with a cup.

This is fun.

chasmatic said...

Where I come from if a song can be played by a polka band, it has legs. Think of it as stairwell music.

Anonymous said...

U mean like this?:

Rusty Silverwing said...

I heard Shawn Colvin do a cover of the song before I heard the original.

I also like One Cool Remove, from the same album.

I have no idea what, if anything, either song means. That hasn't stopped me from enjoying either.