Apr 1 2018

David Byrne Presents: American Utopia World Tour Opening Acts

By Todomundo

Song Artist Purchase
Water Fountain Tune-Yards Amazon
Cumbia Bomba Mexican Institute Of Sound Amazon
Eras Juana Molina Amazon
Amor Inventado Karina Zeviani Amazon
Slip Away Perfume Genius Amazon
Overcome Laura Mvula ft. Nile Rodgers Amazon
Deathless Ibeyi ft. Kamasi Washington Amazon
Tres Estaciones Lisandro Aristimuño Amazon
Fool Perfume Genius Amazon
Jupiter Benjamin Clementine Amazon
Muda Mutante Karina Zeviani Amazon
When Will I Learn Ibeyi ft. Chilly Gonzales Amazon
Paraguaya Juana Molina Amazon
Green Garden Laura Mvula Amazon
London Benjamin Clementine Amazon
I Carried This for Years Ibeyi Amazon
Pa La Calle Mexican Institute Of Sound Amazon
Bizness Tune-Yards Amazon
Kiss My Feet Laura Mvula Amazon
Can't Help Falling In Love Perfume Genius Amazon
Me Voy [King Doudou Remix] Ibeyi ft. Mala Rodriguez Amazon
Better Sorry Than Asafe Benjamin Clementine Amazon
México Mexican Institute Of Sound Amazon
Stay Awake Laura Mvula Amazon
River Ibeyi Amazon

Last month, I announced the opening acts on my tour and this month I’d like to introduce you to more of their music. It’s wonderful to share the stage with these artists whose music I’ve been listening to.

Lisandro Aristimuño is from Argentina—he and his band joined me at my show in Buenos Aires at the Teatro Gran Rex. He’s been on a number of my Latin Rock playlists over the years. He’s considered one of the most innovative artists in Argentina over the last decade. He mixes electronic, chamber, indigenous and pop/rock elements to create something entirely new. His new record is called Constelaciones.

I toured with Juana Molina back in 2004 after discovering her through an Amazon algorithm—“If you like Sigur Ros, you’ll also like this.” And I did! We shared the stage again in Montevideo in March, where she performed music from her new album Halo. I’d seen her recently at Poisson Rouge and her show made me feel good for days.

Just last week, I was joined by Karina Zeviani for 4 shows in Brazil. I met Karina years ago here in NY; she had written some lovely bossa/sambas which was a little unusual for a young contemporary artist, but when she made her record she “updated” her sound and material completely. Her album Amor Inventado is much more experimental and electronic. Some time ago the guys from Thievery Corp were looking for a singer and I suggested Karina and they ended up recording some songs together. She also worked with Nouvelle Vague, the French group that often covers new wave songs bossa nova style.

I am currently in Mexico City, where I will be joined by The Mexican Institute of Sound at our show on April 3. A project spearheaded by Camilo Lara, a force in the alt-Latin music scene for many, many years. The MIS project began as a DJ project along with Nortec Collective and Kinky…imagine Fatboy Slim, but with cumbia and other Mexican beats! It’s not all party music, though. Here is a rough lyric translation of the first verse of “Mexico”—

How much time will pass?

So that things can improve

We are all victims

Of a confiscated state

With a government involved

In the profits of the narco

It is a rotten nation

With a wounded population

Mexico, Mexico

Mexico, Mexico, Mexico

It is Mexico, Mexico ra ra ra

Pretty serious and engaged for a “DJ project”!

On many of my US tour dates I’ll be sharing the stage with Perfume Genius. Mike Hadreas, his given name, writes gorgeous songs—often very personal. The songs and videos almost demand that one include and consider his personal life, sexuality and experiences when listening. This joins the endless debate whether an artist’s biography is important to how one perceives the work. In my opinion, one doesn’t have to know Mike’s history, the songs stand up on their own and the production on the latest record, No Shape, is filled with unexpected sounds. (It was produced by Blake Mills who has worked on albums by Fiona Apple, John Legend and Alabama Shakes.) But, if one does want a biographical spoiler it’s all out there. According to Wikipedia, source of all things: “Growing up, Hadreas was the only openly gay student at his school, and he received death threats, which were not addressed by the administration. He dropped out of high school during his senior year. Two years after dropping out, he was attacked by several young men in his neighborhood. He moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and worked as a doorman for a club in the East Village. In 2005, Hadreas returned home to Seattle and began recording music.” Hadreas is bravely pushing back against how he and others have been treated in the past. Despite that bravery, it’s a little hard to imagine him as club bouncer.

I tried to book Laura Mvula for Meltdown Festival at the Southbank Centre in 2015 but the timing wasn’t right. I included her track “Green Garden” on a DB Radio playlist back in June 2016—a playlist that to me represented all the wonderfully powerful, optimistic and meaningful music being created at the time. Now it’s 2018 and I’ll finally get to see her live—she’ll join me on some shows across Europe this summer.

It’s no secret that I am a Benjamin Clementine fan, and I’m honored to have him join me across dates in the US and Canada this summer. I was introduced to Clementine’s music through a friend who insisted I check him out. I was floored. I invited him to be part of the Meltdown festival I curated in London. He took the stage in a long coat, no shirt or shoes on, and played the piano perched on a high stool, almost standing. I interviewed him for T magazine, which you can read here.

Joining us on our second set of North American shows is the French/Venezuelan/Cuban duo Ibeyi. They currently live in France. Wonderful stuff. They appeared in Beyonce’s Lemonade video, so they are hardly unknown. They sing in English, French, Spanish and Yoruba—a Nigerian language that permeates the Afro-Atlantic tradition in Cuba, Brazil and elsewhere. In the Yoruba language, Ibeyi (Ìbejì) is an Orisha (the pantheon or Yoruba gods and goddesses) who is embodied as a pair of twins. Two as one. A Candomble priest and artist read my shells in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, and determined that my primary Orisha is Obatala.


I first heard Tuneyards years ago when she opened for Dirty Projectors at Bowery Ballroom in NY. They explicitly told me “Don’t miss the opening act—she’s amazing!” They were right. I later invited her to become part of the Contemporary Color project — the film of that show is available to stream here. Merrill closes out the final leg of the American Utopia tour.

DB

Mexico City

Apr 1 2018

David Byrne Presents: American Utopia World Tour Opening Acts

By Todomundo

Song Artist Purchase
Water Fountain Tune-Yards Amazon
Cumbia Bomba Mexican Institute Of Sound Amazon
Eras Juana Molina Amazon
Amor Inventado Karina Zeviani Amazon
Slip Away Perfume Genius Amazon
Overcome Laura Mvula ft. Nile Rodgers Amazon
Deathless Ibeyi ft. Kamasi Washington Amazon
Tres Estaciones Lisandro Aristimuño Amazon
Fool Perfume Genius Amazon
Jupiter Benjamin Clementine Amazon
Muda Mutante Karina Zeviani Amazon
When Will I Learn Ibeyi ft. Chilly Gonzales Amazon
Paraguaya Juana Molina Amazon
Green Garden Laura Mvula Amazon
London Benjamin Clementine Amazon
I Carried This for Years Ibeyi Amazon
Pa La Calle Mexican Institute Of Sound Amazon
Bizness Tune-Yards Amazon
Kiss My Feet Laura Mvula Amazon
Can't Help Falling In Love Perfume Genius Amazon
Me Voy [King Doudou Remix] Ibeyi ft. Mala Rodriguez Amazon
Better Sorry Than Asafe Benjamin Clementine Amazon
México Mexican Institute Of Sound Amazon
Stay Awake Laura Mvula Amazon
River Ibeyi Amazon

August Radio David Byrne Presents: Alt Latin

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