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David Byrne + Fatboy Slim- Upcoming Release

Northern Wish

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David Byrne & Fatboy Slim To Release Here Lies Love on Todomundo / Nonesuch February 23

David Byrne and Fatboy Slim have paired up for a 22-track song cycle about the life of former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos and her childhood servant, Estrella Cumpas. Due February 23 on Todomundo / Nonesuch Records, the album includes a 100-page book detailing the project and a DVD.

In addition to Byrne and Fatboy Slim, Here Lies Love features performances by Santigold, Florence Welch (Florence And The Machine), Sia, Steve Earle, St. Vincent, Natalie Merchant, Tori Amos, Sharon Jones, Nicole Atkins, and many others.

"The story I am interested in is about asking what drives a powerful person — what makes them tick? How do they make and then remake themselves? I thought to myself, wouldn't it be great if — as this piece would be principally composed of clubby dance music — one could experience it in a club setting? Could one bring a 'story' and a kind of theater to the disco? Was that possible? If so, wouldn't that be amazing!"

—David Byrne, from the album's introduction

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Good to know, I was thinking of picking up the book.

It starts off well, with discussion of urban renewal in decaying American cities as seen from a bike. As the book progresses, though, it becomes less focused on biking and more on Byrne's own worldview and daily activities. Some of the topics he tackles are ambitious, but his research and writing don't prove up to the task, in my opinion.

Also, a huge pet peeve from the book: when Byrne wants to talk disparagingly about the wealthy he uses the term "billionaires." I find this to be a rather conspicuous choice of language. The common vernacular would be "millionaires", but since Byrne himself is no doubt a millionaire, he uses "billionaires" so as not to make sophomoric generalizations about his own economic bracket.

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