Choreographed pop

I had a night out last night, on my own though – my thirty-nine week pregnant partner stayed at home for some reason. I went to see the UK premiere of the new David Byrne concert film, Ride Rise and Roar [I should keep this blog from becoming excessively focussed on him shouldn’t I]. When I say I went to the premiere, this is sort of true – last night was the premiere of the film, somewhere in London, but the film was simulcast in other cinemas round the country. This exciting event attracted a total of 8 people to the Swindon screening – me, and seven other people; I was the youngest. Oh well, that tells you something about Swindon I suppose. There was supposed to be a live simulcast Q&A session with Byrne afterwards, but rather inevitably the cinema in Swindon couldn’t connect up properly. Oh well, I left happy. The film is great – it is about the choreographing of the performance, as well as a film of the show itself. It made me realise how unusual it is to see any movement on stage for standard ‘rock’ music or ‘indie’ music – for guitar based pop, that is. Take That, or Girls Aloud, that sort of pop music is always animated, which is part of what differentiates it as a distinctive genre.  Concert movies are also rather static – any movement comes from lighting, camera positions, editing, and so on. Nobody dances in The Last Waltz. So it was fascinating, and toe-tap inducing, to see  old Talking Heads songs and new Byrne/Eno songs literally put into motion.

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